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Sunday, 17 November 2013

Cambodia

HISTORY

The country was named after Cambu Svayambhuva, an ancient sage from whom the country’s kings claim to be descended.

The area now known as Cambodia was once occupied by the Khmer empire, an ancient civilization that flourished during the 6th–15th centuries.

Warriors of the Khmer Empire, found in Cambodia from 800-1400 AD, rode elephants into battle. The sight of the trumpeting elephants caused panic in the enemy’s ranks and won the Khmers many battles.

The Khmer Rouge were a Stalinist, Maoist militant group who took over the capital, Phnom Penh, on April 17, 1975. Led by Pol Pot,  they immediately forced everyone out of the cities, effectively turning the whole country into a giant labor camp.

Over the next four years between 1.7 million and 2 million people were killed (20–30% of the population) in a genocide comparable to the Holocaust.

On February 7, 1979 the Vietnam People's Army captured the Cambodian capital city Phnom Penh, deposing Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, which marked the end of large-scale fighting in the Cambodian–Vietnamese War.

The Cambodian monarchy was restored on September 24, 1993, with Norodom Sihanouk as king.


On December 29, 1998 leaders of the Khmer Rouge apologized for the deaths of nearly a quarter of the country's then population, during the "Killing Fields" era between 1975-1979.

The price of rat meat was reported to have quadrupled in Cambodia in 2008 as inflation put other meat beyond the reach of poor people.

In 2014 two Khmer Rouge leaders, Nuon Chea and Kheiu Samphan, were jailed by a UN backed court for life, which found them guilty of crimes against humanity and responsible for the deaths of up to two million Cambodians during the 1970s genocide.

Photos of the victims of the Khmer Rouge

FUN CAMBODIA FACTS

One of the most popular drinks in Cambodia is Tarantula Brandy; a concoction that includes rice liquor and freshly dead tarantulas.

The Tonle Sap River in Cambodia flows north for almost half the year and then south for the rest of the year.

The biggest religious building in the world is a Hindu Temple, Angkor Wat, located in Cambodia. It was built at the end of the 11th century from 5 million tons of sandstone that had to be carried from a quarry 25 miles away.

Angelina Jolie was awarded Cambodian citizenship after turning one of the country's overly-poached areas into a nature reserve.

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