April 17, 1975

Battambang City is the second largest city in Cambodia. It sits in the Northwest of the country in Battambang Province. When the Khmer Rouge entered, the people had no idea what to expect or what was to befall them.

Chhalith says:

“That night, the Khmer Rouge Revolutionary Army began marching into Battambang City from all sides. Throughout the night, crowds cheered and waved as these young soldiers, their clothes torn and dirty marched through the streets. Some with cars drove out of the city to pick up soldiers and give them a ride. The refugees from the countryside cheered the loudest. While Lon Nol’s government soldiers had come into their villages during the day, stealing from and mistreating the people, the Khmer Rouge had come at night to help the people and to recruit soldiers from them. These were their sons and daughters, the promised liberators, the ones who were going to bring peace and harmony to all of Cambodia, but there was something strange, something surreal about it all. These soldiers seemed as poor themselves as the poorest people I had ever seen in Battambang.”

Read the entire story here: Spare Them? No Profit. Remove Them? No Loss. by Chhalith Ou and R. Z. Halleson.

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