Imprimir
Visto: 2168
Alas Regud

Association Internationale de Charité et de Protection aux victimes des Descriminations raciales, des absolutismes religieux, aux réfugiés de guerre, objecteurs de conscience, apatrides, emigrants necessiteux, exiles politiques et peuples opprimés

Charitable and Protective  International Association of victims of religious persecution and racial discrimination, war refugees, conscientious objectors, sans  patrie, needy  emigrants, oppressed people and political exiles

 Asociación  Internacional  Caritativa y Protectora  de víctimas de la persecución religiosa, refugiados de  guerra,  objetores   de   conciencia, apátridas, personas oprimidas y exilados políticos

SOCIÈTÉ POUR LA DELIVRANCE ET LA PROTECTION DE L´HOMME
SOCIETY FOR THE RESCUE AND PROTECTION OF HUMAN INDIVIDUALS
SOCIEDAD PARA EL RESCATE Y LA PROTECCION DE LOS SERES HUMANO

This review was written by James N. Wallece, of the magazine´s staff who reported on the Indo-China war from 1967 to 1973.  It was taked from US. NEWS & WORLD REPORT, Aug, 1977, by UNIVERSAL ALLIANCE, Refugees Section… Non-profit

Photo: Cambodian refugee camp in Thailand. U.S. officials estimate that only 1 in 5 fleeing the Communists manages to survive patrols, mine fields.

A COMMUNIST SOLUTION

“THE DEATH OF A MILLION CAMBODIANS”

“"We walked practically all day, still in the company of hundreds of thousands of people. We walked over two bodies in the road, just as thousands must have done before us. They were flat like pancakes".

To Cambodian pharmacist Kyheng Savang, even the chilling experience of walking over bodies "flat like pancakes" soon lost all meaning in the continuing horror of one of the greatest forced migrations in human history: the mass evacuation of Cambodia's cities after the Communist take-over in April, 1975.

The story of this man and thousands of others who eventually escaped is told in unemotional but deadly detail in a new book: "Murder of a Gentle Land" by John Barron and Anthony Paul.

The evacuation and massacres, say the authors, led to the death of al least 1 million Cambodians a figure disputed by some U.S. officials. Richard C. Holbrooke, Assistant Secretary of State, told a House subcommittee on July 26 that "precise figures" are unobtainable but "the number of deaths appears to be in the tens if not hundreds of thousands".

Work of a Year: Documenting de extent of Cambodia's agony - genocide that ranks alongside Hitler's slaughter of the Jews or Stalin's liquidation of the Kulaks - required painstaking interviewing and research. Barron and Paul spent more than a year in Southeast Asia and Europe working on the book.

During most of the long Vietnam conflict, neighboring Cambodia and its sleepy capital city were truly a place and a time far removed from the war - a peaceful oasis of tranquil people.

When war did spread to Cambodia, it took on a savage mindlessness than eventually ripped an entire society apart as the Communists tool control.

Mysterious rulers: The men and ideology now ruling Cambodia are almost as mysterious today as they were when Phompenh fell on April 17, 1975. Everything is ordered done in the name of an omnipresent Angka Loeu or "Organization on High". But no one seems to know, or say just who or what the "Organization" is or even how it relates to the Khmer Rouge Communists.

There is no doubt, however, what Angka Loeu has done.

The forced evacuation clearly had been planned in advance. Less than five hours after the first Communist soldiers in their black pajamas entered Phompenh, residents were being brusquely ordered to leave immediately "for a few days" or "for a time" Reasons given the bewildered populace ranged from a need to "clean up the city" to "escape American B-52 raids"

People were forced to leave without food or water, in temperatures that exceeded 100 degrees. Hospital patients were pushed along highways in their beds. Pregnant women gave birth beside the road, then abandoned dying infants as soldiers prodded people constantly onward. Stragglers were shot, bayoneted or crushed to death.

Only after several days was the truth revealed: Nobody was going to return home. Evacuees were told to hack new villages and rice fields out of the jungle, often with their bare hands, for the "new Cambodia".

What was the purpose of it all?

Some Angka Loeu political commissars at first talked vaguely about creating a "purer Communism" than existed in Russia or China, or a "new kind of equality". Research by the authors of "Murder of a Gentle Land" reveals far more ambitious goals.

The forced exodus of some 3.5 million people, half the country's was apart of a complex plan to destroy a society's past and present. Seemingly pointless wandering up and down the same road, separation of families, destruction of personal papers and random terror were intended to disorient and intimidate people so completely that they would lose even the will to rebuild their personal lives.

At the same time, every written record in the country -even schoolchildren's spelling list - was being burned. Imported machinery, equipment and household goods were methodically destroyed. The authors present convincing evidence that at the end of 1976, long after the evacuations ended, the regime was systematically killing off anyone with even a high-school education.

Ring Of Truth: Because anything involving Indo-China is automatically controversial, one question must be raised: Is this account of what happened reliable? To a correspondent familiar with wartime Cambodia, it all has the ring of truth.

American aircraft photographed roads choked with evacuees, and the empty cities. The authors discount anything their interviewees only heard about, making their case on what people actually saw and experienced. Refugees' stories were crosschecked for months.

The cities were emptied, an Angka Loeu commissar once told a Catholic priest, "because people are good but cities are evil".

In Cambodia, this book reveals, it is evil people who triumphed.

-----------------------

  • UNA ACCION A TIEMPO vale más que cientos de rezos y que un millón de promesas, ya que la acción crea o promueve, y los problemas y males aumentan, mientras esperamos, y mientras no los erradicamos por medio de efectivos esfuerzos.

FACTA NON VERBA.  Hacer es mejor que soñar, esperar, deplorar, desesperar o ilusionarse con vanas esperanzas.

Maha Chohan Kut Humi Lal Singh

* * *