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45th Anniversary of January 7 Victory Day: Cambodia Commemorates the End of the Khmer Rouge Regime

Phnom Penh, January 7, 2024 – In ceremony in Phnom Penh, led by President of the CPP Hun Sen, Prime Minister Hun Manet and government officials, paid tribute to the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime. The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of remembering the past to ensure that such tragedies never occur again. Cambodians pay homage to the fallen, express gratitude to those who fought for their freedom, and reaffirm their commitment to building a peaceful and prosperous future.

Today marks a significant day in the history of Cambodia. The nation observes the 45th anniversary of January 7 Victory Day, a day that signifies the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge regime and marks a turning point towards peace and rebuilding.

The Win-Win Policy, initiated by Prime Minister Hun Sen in the late 1990s, stands as a landmark strategy in Cambodia's path to peace and reconciliation. This policy was instrumental in ending the prolonged civil war and internal conflicts that had plagued Cambodia since the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime.

The Dark Era of the Khmer Rouge:

Under the leadership of Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge regime ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. It was a period characterized by extreme brutality, mass executions, forced labor, and oppression. The regime's radical policies led to the death of an estimated 2 to 3 million Cambodians, nearly a quarter of the country's population, from starvation, disease, overwork, and executions.

Liberation and Hope:

The pivotal moment came on January 7, 1979, when Vietnamese volunteer troops, in collaboration with Cambodian resistance fighters, liberated Phnom Penh from the Khmer Rouge's grip. This event not only marked the end of a genocidal regime but also ignited hope for a new future for the Cambodian people.

A Day of Remembrance and Reflection:

January 7 Victory Day serves as a day to remember those who suffered and perished under the Khmer Rouge. It's a day to celebrate the spirit of the Cambodian people who have overcome immense hardship. It's also a reminder of the importance of international cooperation in the fight against tyranny and the upholding of human rights.

Beyond the Celebrations:

While the day is marked with joyous celebrations, it also brings to the forefront the enduring trauma and the legacy of the genocide. Cambodia continues its efforts in bringing the perpetrators to justice, supporting survivors, and educating the younger generations about this grim chapter of their history. These efforts underscore the necessity of remembering and learning from the past to prevent such atrocities from recurring.

The Ongoing Commitment to Peace and Progress:

Today, the Win-Win Policy is celebrated in Cambodia as a successful strategy that brought an end to decades of conflict and suffering. It is seen as a crucial step in Cambodia's journey towards stability, development, and national reconciliation.

This 45th anniversary is not only a reflection on the end of a tyrannical regime but also a testament to Cambodia's ongoing commitment to peace, stability, and progress. The government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Manet, reaffirms its dedication to building a nation that upholds freedom, justice, and human dignity.

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