War Journalists to Get Reunion in Cambodia Next Month

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chhang Song, a chameleon-politician (Photo: The Phnom Penh Post)


Some 40 foreign war journalists who were covering in Cambodia in early 1970s will get together in Phnom Penh next month, Chhang Song, former information minister said Wednesday.

He said for the first time since that horrible war, foreign war correspondents are returning to Phnom Penh for a reunion from April 20 to 23.

The event is organized by Chhang Song, the last Information Minister in the Lon Nol government who now divides his time between Cambodia and the United States and acts as a senior adviser to both the government and public-at-large.

For those who covered the Cambodian War between 1970 and 1975, the memories have always been particularly painful.

Chhang Song said a total of 36 foreign and Cambodian journalists were killed or disappeared, more than in the war in neighboring Vietnam.

Assisting Chhang Song in his quest is former Associated Press ( AP) correspondent U.S.-born Carl Robinson who covered the Cambodian War from neighboring Saigon, today's Ho Chi Minh City, and now lives in Brisbane, Australia.

While several reunions have been held over the past 15 years in Saigon, this is the first one in Phnom Penh. And, considering their age, this reunion will most likely also be the last one.

"Covering the war was so painful that many, even now, are unable to look back on that period," explains Robinson, who has only re-visited Cambodia in the past couple of years.

Cambodian government has granted permission for the construction of a memorial to the journalists who died in Cambodia while covering the civil war in the 1970s, according to local media report on Monday.

The memorial will be located in the Daun Penh district gardens opposite Raffles Hotel le Royal, it said.


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