A slice of history crumbling away
September 19, 2007, 2:45 am
Filed under: History

A slice of history crumbling away

By Moeun Chhean Nariddh

THE only one of the six churches in Phnom Penh which survived the Khmer Rouge’s reign of destruction is now facing eventual collapse due to old age.

The Chapel of the Sisters of Providence Hospice, on the riverfront near the Phnom Penh Port, has had a diverse history since 1979 – it’s been a school, a video house, a Tae Kwan Do training ground and a hostel for orphans.

But its last inhabitants decided to abandon the old building after pieces of paste and cement began falling fall down every time there was heavy rain or strong wind. Continue reading


History books at odds with local coolies
September 17, 2007, 3:07 am
Filed under: History

History books at odds with local coolies

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the end of Japanese wartime occupation of Cambodia. The history books say it was bad. However, Moeun Chhean Nariddh discovers that those who were meant to be downtrodden tell a very different story.

Srok keut sangkream heuy(the country is at war now), Keo Hiek’s father told him the night the first Japanese troops arrived in his village 50 years ago.

But, like many young Cambodians, Hiek did not understand what sangkream, or war, meant then. Continue reading

“This is my land, so it’s also my airport”
September 17, 2007, 2:53 am
Filed under: History

“This is my land, so it’s also my airport”

By Moeun Chhean Nariddh

AFTER decades of neglect, the Takeo airport has become a field of bushes and grass where cows graze for food. Villagers say people have come to dig and collect the basement rocks for other uses, but the original shape of the runway can still be seen.

Farmers transplant rice between the areas of crushed, compacted rocks, which cover in part an area of about 15 hectares. Continue reading

Nothing to say sorry for:
September 17, 2007, 2:50 am
Filed under: History


Nothing to say sorry for: Japanese remembered as friends

By Moeun Chhean Nariddh


TAKEO – The letter begins: “Japan, 23 March 1994.

“Dear Friend, I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to write, but I haven’t forgotten our friendship.

“My wish for Cambodia is peace… Take it easy. Have a big beer and give my best wishes to Sridung and Wee and Sina and Sathiko and everyone else. – Tomoyoshi.”

Oum Srin, 39, of Takeo, keeps this as his most personal momento of the time spent with the former Japanese peace-keepers. Continue reading