"I see ... a pile of skulls and bones. For the first time since my arrival, what I see before me is too painful, and I break down completely. These are my relatives, friends, and neighbors, I keep thinking ... It is a long time before I am calm again. And then I am able, with my bare hands, to rearrange the skulls and bones so that they are not scattered about." In this quote, Cambodian genocide survivor, Dith Pran, illustrates the pure horror the Cambodian people endured during the rule of Pol Pot - mass killing, starvation, executions, and brutal torture, perpetrated by their own ruler. Pot’s rule was not simply a totalitarian dictatorship. It was a totalitarian dictatorship that perpetrated one of the worst genocides in history, known to the world as the Cambodian Genocide.
To begin, in 1962, a little-known politician named Pol Pot became the leader of the Cambodian Communist Party. However, the ruling Prince of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk, did not approve of Pot’s policies and exiled him to the Cambodian jungle. There, Pot formed a militarized resistance movement, known as the…show more content… It resulted in the mass extermination of almost a quarter of Cambodia’s population and thus affected the dramatic age gap of the country, which is still present today - the majority of Cambodians are still under thirty years old. The country is still ruled by a primarily authoritarian government, and basic constitutional freedoms such as freedom of the press and speech are still widely prohibited. The vast majority of the perpetrators of this horrendous genocide are still alive and well, and it is extremely unlikely that they will ever see their deserved justice. As Cambodian genocide survivor Dith Pran once said, “I want them (the Cambodian people) never to forget the faces of their relatives and friends who were killed during that time. The dead are crying out for