Factors Leading To Genocide And Consequences Of It

2829 words - 11 pages

Factors Leading to Genocide and Consequences of It

The Cambodian genocide of 1975-1979, during the Democratic Kampuchea
(DK) regime headed by Pol Pot, is considered to be one of the worst
human tragedies of the 20th century. In comparison with other
genocides that have happened in other countries, this one brought
together extremist ideology with ethnic hostility and also a terrible
indifference for human life. Khmer RougeÂ’s ideology developed into
massive murders of civilians and massive repressions and ended up with
the massacre of native and foreign population. There are many reasons
lead to such terrible events and consequences of them in the history
of Cambodia. Such reasons as the rising in power of the Khmer Rouge
and their engagement in genocide; the political game of the US in
Cambodia; the ouster of Norodom Sihanouk in the coup by General Lon
Nol, US invasion into Vietnam and Vietnam War are the main reasons
leading up to genocide in Cambodia. The events leading to the eventual
Cambodian genocide of 1975-1979 and the genocide itself paved the road
to the rapid degeneration of Cambodian, and it is the prevailing
reason that it now suffers as a third world country.

Before speaking about the role of King Sihanouk in forming of the
situation lead to civil war and genocide in Cambodia, I want to dwell
on situation in post 1945 situation in Cambodia. After the World War
II France was still weak, but wanted to rise in power in once owned
region -- Indochina. However, the conditions in the region werenÂ’t
favorable for France anymore, because Cambodian after several month of
freedom in 1946 wanted to become free and be fully independent. France
compromised and granted Cambodia self-government within the French
Union. Then a constitution was promulgated in May, 1947 and finally
King Norodom Sihanouk campaigned for complete independence in 1953;
and in 1955 Cambodia was withdrawn from the French Union in 1955 and
was admitted into the United Nations. (http://www.mekong.net/cambodia/banyan_r.htm).

The figure of Sihanouk isnÂ’t very easy as it could be seen from the
first sight. “He has had more incarnations than a Hindu god. He has
been a playboy prince, a colonial front-man/king, a Japanese puppet, a
fighter for independence, a populist prime minister with elitist
tastes, a persecutor of Communists, a neutralist with anti-American
and pro-Communist leanings, an exile in Peking, a head of state under
palace arrests of mass-murdering regime, a deposed head of state once
more, a leader of an exiled opposition coalition including the party
of the mass murderers who deposed him, and finally a figurehead king.”
(Daniels Anthony. In Pol Pot Land. National Review; 9/29/2003, Vol. 55
Issue 18, p.27-8, 1bw)

During next ten years Sihanouk was trying to stay in power: he formed

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