To Youk Chhang





CHUM KIRI, JULY 17, 2001



My name is Tong Ra; I am a teacher at Chum Kiri Junior High School in Chum Kiri District, Kampot Province.


After seeing and reading Searching for the truth, which clearly describes and narrates historical facts, and has printed distressing, unbearable pictures taken during the Pol Pot regime, my heart and soul suffer so much. Nothing can ever be compared to the suffering [under the regime] because the murderous, inhumane acts of the regime were so barbarous that no one could ever have imagined them.


Under the pressure of this mighty fascist dictatorship, I myself lost an uncle and a brother who were both schoolteachers. They were killed and thrown into a grave at Srei Pagoda, called Po Vong. My remaining uncles and older siblings still do not know exactly where they were executed. To his day, I am in pain whenever I think about the past tragedies because of what we call “prosecuting perpetrators in a true and just tribunal.” This tribunal has been a desire of both victims and their surviving relatives. These people have been waiting anxiously for this moment for many years, and will never let it be forgotten, even though the tragedy occurred twenty years ago and the perpetrators are getting older and older. Today I feel both glad and sad, and these feelings linger in my mind. I  am glad because the National Assembly has passed a law to form a tribunal to bring the Khmer Rouge to trial. I am sad because the tribunal might be delayed even longer, and I want it to happen in the very near future.


Being confident in justice, I hope your records will become indispensable evidence in solving and revealing the  truth hidden in the regime of the “killing fields,” through the tribunals, which will put top Khmer Rouge leaders on trial in the future. Please bring justice to the victims and put an end to their long-unsolvable suffering as quickly as possible.


In the end, I wish the editor-in-chief and your colleagues continuous accomplishments in your historic missions for Cambodian citizens and our lovely homeland of today and the future.


Please, Director, accept my sincere respect.

Tong Ra








Documentation Center of Cambodia

Ten Years of Independently Searching for the Truth: 1997-2007


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