Foreign war reporters arrived in Cambodia

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Foreign and local reporters taking notes in Cambodia during the 70s (Photo: DC-Cam)

20 April 2010
By Leang Delux
Radio France Internationale
Translated from Khmer by Socheata

As planned, foreign reporters who survived the war in Cambodia at the beginning of the 70s have returned back to Cambodia to commemorate their colleagues who died or disappeared between 1970 and 1975.

27 veteran reporters have arrived in Cambodia. They will be greeted by Khieu Kanharith, the minister of Information during a dinner meeting. Now, all these reporters are in their 60s or older. The majority of them are US citizens, followed by Australians, and Brits. All of them are reporters for major news agencies in the world, such as AP, Reuters, UPI, the Washington Post, Newsweek etc…

This gathering will span over a period of 4 days, starting form Tuesday afternoon. They will meet with Cambodian reporters during dinner. There will be 3 main events that will take place on Thursday 22 April: in the morning, they will be taken to Wat Po Pagoda, located in Borset district, Kampong Speu province. The Wat Po area was the location where 9 reporters were ambushed and killed by Pol Pot soldiers on 31 May 1970. Therefore, at this pagoda, the reporters will pay respect to the memory of their fallen colleagues there.

In the afternoon of the same day, they will return back to Phnom Penh to hold the second major event: paying respect to the memory of all reporters who died or disappeared between 1970 and 1975. This major event will be held at the park located in front of Le Royal Hotel where a stupa will be built to commemorate these reporters. The stupa will be built there because these reporters used to meet each other at that location in the beginning of the 70s.

The 3rd major event will take place in the evening of 22 April: it will be discussion forum among the reporters’ community and the exposition of old photos showing the activities of reporters during the 70s war.

Furthermore, for the majority of reporters who never returned back to Cambodia after their stint in the 70s, they will be taken to visit the Tuol Sleng museum, the Choeung Ek memorial and the royal palace.

Regarding the goal of the meeting with these foreign reporters, Khieu Kanharith said that it is only held to allow the opportunity for current reporters to meet with old reporters and to connect with each other. However, it will also allow these old reporters to have the opportunity to see Cambodia’s current situation which is quite different from what it used to be in the 70s.


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