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Cambodian Leaders Urge Continued Peace on National Day of Remembrance

PHNOM PENH, May 21, 2024 — Former Prime Minister Hun Sen and current Prime Minister Hun Manet issued separate appeals to their fellow Cambodians on the National Day of Remembrance, urging the nation to uphold the peace that has been crucial for national reconstruction and development.

The day, commemorating the atrocities of the Democratic Kampuchea regime, also known as the Pol Pot genocidal regime from April 17, 1975, to January 6, 1979, serves as a solemn reminder of a brutal period in Cambodian history. "Today, we remember the dark times under the Pol Pot regime, a period marked by extreme brutality and the loss of over three million lives," the leaders stated in messages shared on social media.

Reflecting on the nearly three decades of conflict that Cambodia endured — characterized by war, tears, massacres, vandalism, forced evictions, and forced labor — they emphasized the profound national tragedy. Many Cambodians suffered and perished without access to basic human necessities or rights, such as medicine, sufficient food, or even the fundamental right to life.

To prevent such a regime from ever returning, both leaders called for a continued commitment to peace. "Maintaining our hard-earned peace is essential not just for our nation's development but for the welfare of every family and community across Cambodia," they stressed.

By focusing on peace, Cambodia can continue to develop socially, economically, and politically, ensuring that the horrors of the past never repeat themselves.

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