Mass Grave and Memorial in Kampong Chhnang (2010)




A Trip to Kampong Chhnang

Mass grave and Memorial


24 March 2010

Jim Mizerski


On March 19, 2010, I took a tuk-tuk from Phnom Penh to the Rolea Phieat district of Kampong Chhnang province. About 10 kilometers south southwest of Kampong Chhnang there are half a dozen mass grave and Khmer Rouge prison sites (40602 to 40608 in the DC-Cam and Yale database). The estimated total number of victims at the sites in this small area is between 125,000 and 300,000.


Some of the wealthy surviving relatives of people that died here built a small memorial in the area a few years ago. It was our first stop because it was easy to spot as we approached the GPS location of some of the burial sites. The local people at the memorial that we talked to said that the relatives were the only people that came to visit here. They said that as far as they knew, the war crimes tribunal investigators had not come to the sites. The memorial is in the close vicinity of site 40604-40606.


In the vicinity of site 40602 there is now a high school on one side of the road and a pagoda on the other side.


Just off the road south of site 40608 a new temple is being constructed on the site of an older temple. A few of the local people guided us through the area around site 40608. They showed us places with mass graves, where the Khmer Rouge prison used to be, a tree that they said was used for hangings, and the fragments of bones that the cows had chewed.


Before we left the area we returned to the small pagoda at the memorial. My tuk-tuk driver shaved his head and the monks chanted and blessed him and the tuk-tuk. We had a safe trip back to Phnom Penh.


Here are some pictures of whom and what we saw.


See photos:


Site 40602

Site 40607-8

Sites 40603-40606 and Memorial