My Auntie Is Khmer Rouge

Today is 17th April 2015. And yesterday was the last day of Khmer New Year. But when I look back to my motherland history, today marked the 40th anniversary since the Khmer Rouge rolled into Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.

So I would like to share a story with you. It is about my family. It is a recalled story to the clear the unclear story.

A friend of mine told me that his relatives were killed by the Khmer Rouge cowards, and he wanted to revenge. That time I felt pity so much on him because we have known each other for eight years since secondary school.

Khmer Rouge is a communist organization which took power in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. This regime killed about 1.7 million innocent people.

Actually it is not only my friend that hate Khmer Rouge, but also many others who surfered  from the killing filed. The tension between Cambodians who were threatened by Khmer Rouge and Cambodians who worked for the Khmer Rouge was so sensitive.

I did not have any idea why Khmer Rouge killed its people. What’s behind the mystery?

Once night after dinner, I talked to my mom about that. “Mom, I hate Khmer Rouge. They killed my friend relatives. I want them to receive what they have done to my friend. I want to see them get hurt. Why they killed my friend relatives? I want to know why.”

Her eyes looking to me with confidence, she replied, “I understand you feeling. I want to tell you more than this. The Khmer Rouge was not only killed your friend relative, but they killed your grandfather too. They killed people because they are afraid that we do revolution against them, and they want to control us. You know, son, your auntie is a Khmer Rouge coward too.”

What? My auntie is Khmer Rouge!

I really cannot accept this. I hate those who work for Khmer Rouge, but my auntie is work for them.

When seeing my aggressive reaction after I realized about my auntie, she tried to explain to avoid the ravenge culture.

She said, “You have to understand and study about the root cause first before you judging other.” She told me to understand why Khmer Rouge killed its people, and why my auntie became a coward.

I met my auntie, and she said she decided to work for Khmer Rouge that time because she wanted to survive.

Most of the conflicts are caused by the misunderstanding. That’s why some young people who their family were killed, they hate and revenge to the former Khmer Rouge cowards. Youths should learn from the past, and they cannot just regret what the past did to their relatives.

At the international scene, the youths can become peace ambassadors of their respective countries, promoting exchange programmes in education, culture, science and technology, sports and games and in tourism promotions to understand each other and link all the youth of the region and the world in the pursuit and maintenance of peace and conflict.

The Youths have to grow up. They should learn new skills to deal with conflict in non-violent ways and create a community that lives by a credo of non-violence and multicultural appreciation.

With all this and with every youth having at the back of his mind that wherever he goes, peace is with him because without peace, he cannot live, then the 21st century would be a century of tolerance, peace and conflict free.

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