(This is an excerpt from Public School History Textbook implemented as Grade 12 curriculum in Cambodia. The book can be purchased in regular local bookstores with 2 USD. The text is originally in Khmer and translated for this Yishu publication.)
- Democratic Kampuchea
On April 17, 1975, Cambodians in Phnom Penh greeted and applauded with happiness to the National Liberation Arm Force of Kampuchea who won over Lon Nol regime. On the contrary, National Liberation Arm Force of Kampuchea used military power to force people to leave their homes.
Photo caption: Pol Pot.
Many innocent Cambodians were beaten and killed. Many were sick and died on the roads. They considered people as prisoners of war. They evacuated Cambodians from the capital to live in provinces and made them do heavy agricultural work in cooperatives.
After Lon Nol was overthrown, the National Liberation Arm Force of Kampuchea followed 8 orders of the General Secretary of the Communist Democratic Kampuchea Pol Pot:
1.Evacuate all people out of the capital
3.Destroy currencies of Lon Nol and withdraw new currencies that were published
4.Expel all Buddhist monks to work in farming
5.Kill all leaders of Lon Nol regime
6.Create cooperatives countrywide by introducing communal dining rooms
7.Deport all Vietnamese
8.Send army to border especially Vietnamese border
At the third National Congress, the Khmer Rouge leaders were praised, and on January 5, 1976, the leaders officially announced the important roles of Cambodian people especially workers, farmers who joined the war saving Cambodians, sacrificed their wealth, lives, leaving behind their families to serve the war without hesitation. On the other hand, the National Congress highlighted the enormous good deeds of the 3 types of Cambodian army (front, regional, and spy) who bravely fight to save the nation, to create a neutral country without any parties, sovereign with its territorial integrity, to create a society with real happiness, justice and democracy, no rich nor poor, no classes, a society that people were living with happiness. The National Congress especially opened a meeting on April 25, 26 & 27, 1975 agreeing to a plan of constitution which consisted of 16 chapters and 21 clauses.
The Democratic Kampuchea appeared to be a complete institution consisting Government, Parliament, Constitution but majority of people became slaves of the Angkar (organisation).
1.1. New division of administration zones
The Democratic Kampuchea divided Cambodia’s administration into Regions, Areas, Districts and Villages. After the victory in April 1975, Cambodia was divided into South Western Region, Eastern Region, North Eastern Region, Northern Region, North Western Region, Western Region and Special Regions surrounding Phnom Penh. Each region was sub-divided into Areas, Districts and Villages and the management was implemented in order of hierarchy from top down for example from Central to Region, to Areas, to Districts, and to Villages.
The Special Regions were monitored directly by the Central. The Special Regions had Area 25 which was in the south of Phnom Penh taken from the Eastern Region, Area 15 and Area 13 taken from South Western Region.
South Western Region (405) included Takeo, Kampot, Kandal and part of Kampong Speu on the south of national road no. 4, and divided into Area 13, 25, 33, and 35.
Eastern Region (203) included Svay Rieng, Prey Veng and eastern Kampong Cham and Chhlaung of Kratie, and divided into Area 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.
North Eastern Region (108) included Mondolkiri, Ratanakiri, Stung Treng, Preah Vihear, and divided into Area 101, 102, 103, 104 and 107. Katie became Area 505 and autonomous, only under direct control of the Central.
Northern Region (303) included Kampong Thom, Siem Reap and Oudor Meanchey, and divided into Area 41, 42, 43 and 106 (Siem Reap Oudor Meanchey).
Western Region (401) included Kampong Speu, Kampong Chhnang, Koh Kong, and Kampong Som, and divided into Area 11, 31, 32, 37.
North Western Region (560) included Posat and Battambang, and divided into Area 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. During the war from 1970-75 these provinces were far from the hot battles but were the areas that enriched of rice stock of the country.
North Western Region in 1976 accepted new people evacuated from South Western and Western Regions and put them in Srok Preah Net Preah and Phnom Srok. Population in this region increased to 1.79 million. They were forced to do heavy agricultural work 15 hours a day, with insufficient food and shelter. Some families died. Some families were killed, accusing that immoral and betrayed Angkar.
1.2. Management and dictatorship organisation of Democratic Kampuchea
Pol Pot and other key leaders of the Democratic Kampuchea, mostly were born in farmer and worker families. This was the starting point of their politic: the view point of farmers and workers. The basis of their ideology originated from ideology of Mao Tse Tung. The Democratic Kampuchea supporters were extreme left wing. On the other hand, communications of productions under the Democratic Kampuchea is communications of slavery.
Management and control organisation under the Democratic Kampuchea was totally different from management of any country or previous Cambodian rulings. They deceived the international community that they did an election and created three power bodies (Legislative, Executive, and Judicial). But in reality the Democratic Kampuchea had only one power body which was the collective of extremists called ‘Angkar’ (organisation). Angkar covered the party, Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.
Shortly after the Democratic Kampuchea’s troop took over power, they cancelled all Front Angkars in the country, except Norodom Sihanouk’s and some other key officials’s who were not in the country and were called Fronts. All committees in districts and villages were wiped out and put to cooperative leading committees, small production commanding committees, and big production commanding committees.
From district level up, even though there were people’s committees, they had no roles as administration authority. They created assisting institutions and commanding committees, in which economic commanding committees were appointed from the Central to small production team like military commanding committees.
The Central power was above all else, created by the Communist Party of Kampuchea as the leading head machine called ‘The Permanent Committee’. The Permanent Committee met and delegated tasks and orders. Technically, it was a general party assembly that convened and exercised their power. The Central Communist Party of Kampuchea established a government that had authority in order of hierarchy. In that, Pol Pot was responsible for military and economy.
Therefore, during the Democratic Kampuchea, the General Secretary of Communist Party of Kampuchea was the highest position.
- Economic, Culture and Social Affairs
The Democratic Kampuchea introduced a slogan ‘When there is rice, there is everything.’ Therefore, they forced people to live in provinces and to do rice farming.
The Democratic Kampuchea destroyed industrial and manufacturing facilities including factories, enterprises, transportations and communications. Commercialisation was totally abandoned through elimination of currencies and markets. Culture and education were no longer promoted, whereas schools were closed and turned to weapon storages, animal’s barns, prisons and other storages. Respected monasteries were totally demolished. Monks were forced to leave monkhood or killed. All beliefs were totally wiped out. Arts such as singing, dancing, folk operas, cinemas etc. were prohibited except singing and dancing that incited revenge and fight, and farmer’s and workers’ dancing wearing black. Women were required to cut their hair shirt short and wear black, and couples were forced married by just holding hands.
The Democratic Kampuchea built a worker/farmer class and all people were forced to live, eat, and work as cooperative. They separated family members. Parents had no control of their own children because they were children of Angkar. Therefore all women, men, old and young must worked for Angkor and those who were against Angkar must be ‘destroyed’. They not only killed officials, soldiers, police, students, but they also killed those in the same group who they didn’t trust. During 3 years 8 months and 20 days, the Democratic Kampuchea turned Cambodia into a vast killing field that humanity had never experienced before.
During the Democratic Kampuchea, 3 millions of innocent people died and not a single family that could get away from the politics of the Democratic Kampuchea’s genocide.
Therefore, the Democratic Kampuchea put the country into a miserable tragedy during the period they were in https://www.viagrapascherfr.com/commander-du-viagra-sans-ordonnance/ power.
Excerpt from: Research Department of Pedagogy (2008): ‘Cambodia in the 70s’, Chapter 4 in Social Studies, Research Department of Pedagogy, 2008, pp. 220-227 (in Khmer)