The Victory over Genocide Day is a national holiday in Cambodia that is always held on January 7 every year. This holiday is also known as “Cambodian Victory Day.” It is significant as it marks the day when the Khmer Rouge regime ended way back in 1979.
The Kingdom of Wonder was held as a base of operations for communist forces during the well-known Vietnam war. After the said war ended, a group from the Vietnam People’s Army took power in 1979, and called themselves the Khmer Rouge (Red Khmer).
The group promoted a mix of the Angkor Empire and communism, and implemented extreme policies in communism. The Khmer Rouge also enforced strict self-sufficiency, and took children from their families so that they could be trained and educated in communism.
One of the aims of the Khmer Rouge was to bring back the age of Cambodia where it was a purely agricultural society. In order to achieve this, a number of Cambodians were forced to evacuate from the cities. They were also made to take up work at labor camps.
It has been estimated that approximately two million Cambodians (around a quarter of the entire population) were killed during those four years. Most of the deaths during this time were attributed to illness, starvation, execution for refusal to embrace the Khmer Rouge ideals, as well as overwork within the labor camps. As a result, and with the sheer number of deaths, the reign of the Khmer Rouge through Pol Pot is recognized as a campaign of genocide against the Cambodian people.
On January 7 1979, the troops from Vietnam made it into Cambodia, and started to eliminate the Khmer Rouge. On April 17 1979, the Khmer Rouge surrendered.
Celebration of Victory over Genocide Day
Victory over Genocide Day is a solemn affair, as it commemorates a dark time in the history of the Cambodian people.