Travel to Angkor and other mysterious places in Cambodia
The region of today's Cambodia was already settled in the 3rd millennium BC. However, the earliest historical news comes only from the beginning of the Christian era. The history record in Cambodia began with the introduction of cultural symbols from India. Funan flourished from the 1st to the 6th century. The following epoch, called Khmer-Chenla, led to a shift in political power to the rice cultivation areas in the domestic river valleys. At the beginning of the ninth century, the power center moved further westwards into the plains of the Tonle Sap, the largest lake in Southeast Asia. Inscriptions from the 11th century say that King Jayavarman II in the year 802 there on the mountain Kulen should have united the people of the Khmer. In the course of the ninth century Roluos became the center of civilization and in the 10th to 15th century Angkor became the capital with extensive irrigation systems.
At that time, Angkor consisted of a settlement of a spatial extent, as reached by cities in Europe only in the age of industrialization. After the heyday of Angkor, during the late phase of this period, the Khmer people converted to Theravada Buddhism in the 13th and 14th centuries. From the 16th to the 19th century, the Khmer Kingdom was little more than a chessboard figure in the power struggles between Siam and Vietnam. Finally, in 1863, King Norodom I accepted the French as a protective power. Cambodia became a part of French Indochina in the second half of the 19th century. After the Second World War, the country gained independence on the negotiating path, parallel to the French military defeat in Vietnam.
The realm of khmer and Angkor Wat:
Angkor Wat-the three main towers of this unique temple complex, to today's landmark Cambodia, adorn the national flag of the modern kingdom. The monumental structure is built at the beginning of the 12th century under King Suryavarman II in the cultural heyday of the Khmer empire, which is equally the period of its greatest political, military and territorial power in the region. The decline of the Khmer empire from the 13th century onwards is initiated by an economic decline and tensions between the ruling aristocracy and the great mass of the peasants, who are compelled to do business. The Khmer enter Angkor in 1431 and move the capital to the present Phnom Penh. The exact reasons are well known, such as the collapse of the irrigation system and the growing supply and assertion problems caused by the wars with the neighboring rich.
When both the Thai from the west and the tribe of Cham from the east are concerned, the Khmer lose the largest parts of their territories. From the 17th to the 19th century, Thai and Vietnamese are arguing about the supremacy in Cambodia - a starting point for the Cambodian population to this day, resentment against both neighbors. Angkor Wat and the surrounding city of Angkor Thom are overgrown by the jungle and not rediscovered until 1860 by French archaeologists. Since then great efforts have been made to preserve the temple complex with its original reliefs of posterity. Angkor Wat has been a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 1992. Today, the facility is the main attraction for tourists coming to the country. In Cambodia, which can look back on a history as an impressive high culture, the social engagement with the dark chapter of the Khmer Rouge is becoming increasingly important - a prerequisite for successful reconciliation.
Cambodia since independence 1953 until the beginning of civil war 1970:
Cambodia, since the middle of the 19th century French protectorate, received the status of an associated state within the French Union in 1949. After the ascent, King Norodom Sihanouk begins his crusade for independence. After several steps (police, court, military), the country was given full sovereignty on 9 November 1953. This is due to the growing military weakness of France, whose war against Communist North Vietnam (1st Indochinakrieg) ended with a devastating defeat in the battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954.
King Norodom Sihanouk tries to stabilize Cambodia internally and to realize his concept of active positive neutrality. In order to gain more room for maneuver, he abandoned his father's father, King Norodom III, in 1955. Suramarit, to the throne and assumes the office of the head of government. He strictly rejects his membership in the anticommunist central market SEATO (Southeast Asian Trade Organization), but after 1945 he accepted extensive US military aid and economic aid from the communist countries. However, he has to redirect this policy to the Cambodian Left because of his domestic policy. He is looking for a backdrop in the People's Republic of China, to which diplomatic relations have existed since 1958.
In 1963, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, protested against Cambodia 's CIA activities, proclaimed the US military hardship and, in 1965, severed relations with the American government.1966 He concluded a secret agreement with North Vietnam, which allowed Hanoi to station troops in Cambodia and to send weapons across the port of Sihanoukville shipping.
After the 1966 National Assembly, General Lon Nol, Chief Commander of the Cambodian Army, became Prime Minister. Originally one of the closest consultants Norodom Sihanouk rejects his break with the US and considers his appeasement policy against Hanoi and Beijing as national treason. For Prince Norodom Sihanouk, the domestic political situation is increasingly precarious. In 1970 he was deposed during a trip abroad to France and Moscow by an American-sponsored coup from Lon Nol. He travels further to Beijing where he receives political asylum.
Pol Pot and the Dominion of the Khmer Rouge 1975 to 1979:
The establishment of a Communist Party independent of Hanoi is not until 1960. Its core is the young Cambodians of the Association of Khmer students in France in 1949 came to Paris for training. Among them was the 1925 born Saloth Sar, better known under his later Pol Pot. Among his marxist circles are Ieng Sary, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, who headed the Communist Party of Cambodia (KPK) between 1960 and 1963. Pol Pot himself will be the head of the KPK. Until the late 1960s, the party operated largely without any major political or military success. During this time Pol Pot develops his ideology of the radical transformation of Cambodian society. His Bible is Maos Red Book. In a singular, wonderful and splendid leap, he wants to introduce true, pure communism-without regard for losses: a communism whose driving force is to be the poorest of the country, the peasants. The bombing of Cambodia by the Americans since 1969 plays him and the Red Khmer in the hands: They get admission and radicalize themselves. Immediately after the Khmer Rouge won the 5 - year civil war against the troops of Lon Nol, and invaded Phnom Penh on April 17, 1975, they implemented their ideological concept. They place Prince Norodom Sihanouk in his palace under house arrest in 1976 and subject the country to a rigid social transformation process, which aims to create primitive agbommunist relations.
Under so-called Stone Age communism, the urban population is systematically relocated to the country and compulsorily grouped together in collectives, where they are used as labor camps. The plan is brutal and ineffective: it should triple agricultural production within a year, without fertilizer, without modern machinery. Instead of improving living conditions, it only causes new poverty and corruption. The Khmer Rouge is making money, the markets and courts, the system of posts and the international telecommunications, school, newspapers, cultural and religious institutions. Every form of individuality is suspect.
Above all, members of the army and police, officials, intellectuals and the Buddhist clergy are persecuted and killed. Suspiciously against possible deviants in his own ranks, Pol Pot also repeatedly orders cleansing actions within the party. Pol Pot, who died in 1998, never felt guilty: we had to learn how to walk like babies. My conscience is pure.
Tuol Sleng 1975 to 1979:
From the former school Tuol Sleng in southern Phnom Penh, the Red Khmer in May 1976 made their probably most notorious and brutal prison: S-21. Under this name - Security Office 21 - it functions under the strictest secrecy as interrogation and torture center for all, from The regime believes that they are traitors or dissenters. Here are all those who are suspicious of violating the line of Angkar, as the Khmer Rouge call their internal party: workers, peasants, engineers, technicians, intellectuals, teachers, professors, students, ministers and diplomats. Whole families are, as it were, taken prisoner, including newborn children. The Khmer Rouge goes to work with tremendous meticulousness and cruelty: all detainees are photographed individually and detailed resumes are prepared. Tied with iron chains, they crouch on the naked Boton floor day and night. The hygienic conditions are conceivable. Many prisoners are ill, there is no medical care.
In each cell there is a table with strict rules on the conduct of interrogations. Anyone who does not comply with these rules will be punished with blows or electric shocks. It is not about guilt or innocence, but umbrutal torture to the extortion of confessions of alleged deeds. Even who accuses himself and repents fault does not escape the punishment. After an ordeal of two to four months, the prisoners are finally driven to the so-called Killing Fields and - to ammunition ammunition - slaughtered and buried in mass graves. Many or prisoners of war and torture slaves are youthful, often even 10-15-year-old children who have chosen and trained the Khmer Rouge. They are said to be particularly brutal against the prisoners.
Head of the interrogation and torture center is Duch alias Kang Kek leu. Under his command, at least 14,000 people have been tortured and sent to death in Tuol Sleng. After the invasion of the Vietnamese in Phnom Penh in 1979, he submerged and converted to Christianity. He is now arrested. Since 1980 the history of mass murder has been documented in the former prison building. Today, the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is a partner of the Ducumentation Center of Cambodia.
Under Vietnamese occupation from 1979 to 1989:
The invasion of the Vietnamese troops, which on 7 January 1979 conquered Phnom Penh, ends an old space. But Cambodia is far from stable political, economic and social relations. The length of the country is catastrophic. A famine breaks out, 300,000 people flee and live in camps on the Cambodian - Thai border. Again, a tug-of-war begins. As early as 1978, with the support of the Vietnamese, a united front was established for the national rescue of Cambodia. Its leader, Heng Samrin, becomes a state chief in 1979 and calls the People's Republic of Kampuchea. However, the new government is recognized only by the Eastern bloc states and a few other countries.
The road to democracy from 1991 onwards:
A UN mission prepared the first free elections for a National Assembly in Cambodia. The result of these elections in 1993 is an unstable coalition government from Communists who have renamed the Cambodian People's Party (CPP), and Royalists (FUNCINPEC). Prince Norodom Ranariddh, a son of Norodom Sihanouk, and Hun Sen are the first and second Prime Ministers to take power. Cambodia becomes a constitutional monarchy (King Cambodia) with Norodom Sihanouk as king. Buddhism is re-admitted as a state religion. To seize the sole power, Hun Sen pounces against Prince Norodom Ranariddh in 1997. From the first free Cambodian elections organized by the international community as unfair, he emerged as the winner in 1998. Despite persisting intrigues, political reprisals, kurruption and violence, the internal and external political situation begins to stabilize. The last Khmer Routers, who have gradually surrendered their weapons since 1994, are transferred to the government camp for an amnesty. Some of their leaders retain political influence to this day.
Cambodia's foreign policy will once again take its seat at the UN General Assembly, and will finally end its international isolation with the accession to the ASEAN and the World Trade Organization. The Kabodschanische Volkspartei emerged victorious from the 2003 parliamentary elections. However, it misses a two-thirds majority and therefore needs a coalition partner. After almost one year's domestic policy blockade, a coalition government between CPP and FUNCIPEC came under the Prime Minister Hun Sen conditions in June 2004.
King Norodom Sihanouk thanked in early October 2004. The appointment of his son Prince Norodom Sihamoni as successor is endorsed by the throne council. The 15-year-old has spent most of his life abroad as a ballet dancer, choreographer and UNESCO embassy. He comes from King Sihanouk's association with his wife and today's Fraun Monique. In October 2004, the National Assembly approved the agreement with the United Nations on the establishment of a special tribunal against which the leaders of the Khmer Rouge are to be responsible. After the confusion and the brutality of civil war, Cambodia has gone a long way since the beginning of the democratization process. The 1998 parliamentary elections, the 2000 municipal elections and the 2003 parliamentary elections, with the subsequent difficult government formation and the establishment of the Khmer Rouge tribunal, have made it clear that the country's political forces are now in a position to settle potential conflicts peacefully attached. Despite the coup, the elections scheduled for July 1998 were as planned. Hundreds of foreign observers monitoring the elections confirmed that the vote was relatively free and fair; However, the CPP harassed opposition candidates and party members before and after the elections when dozens were imprisoned and several were killed. The election gave the CPP a variety of votes, but results, especially in the cities where the vote could not be dictated by the local authorities, showed that the party is not popular popular support. Prince Ranariddh and another opposition candidate, Sam Rainsy, took refuge abroad and contested the outcome of the election. In November, the CPP and FUNCINPEC reached an agreement in which Hun Sen became the sole minister-president and Ranariddh became president of the National Assembly. The parties formed a coalition government and shared control over the various Cabinet Ministers. At the beginning of 1999, the constitution was amended to create a Senate, which was called for in the 1998 agreement. These signs that Cambodia's political situation stabilized encouraged ASEAN to give Cambodia membership in the short term. Pol Pot died in 1998, and early 1999, most of the remaining Khmer Rouge troops and leaders were surrendered. Rebel troops were integrated into the Cambodian army. In 1999, two leaders of Khmer Rouge were arrested and charged with genocide for their part in the atrocities. Since the 1991 Paris Agreement, Cambodia's economic growth has depended on millions of foreign aid. The foreign interest in Cambodia, however, has declined and the country has received declining economic support. This development, together with the continuing lack of openness in Cambodian politics, has made Cambodia's prospects for democratization as much as the chances for sustainable economic growth.