This Week In Cambodian History: November 21-27

November 21, 1979, Khao-I-Dang Holding Center, prepared by UNHCR on a few days notice, opened for refugees crossing the Thai border.

On November 21, 2011, the ECCC tribunal began Case 002, trying three of the top four surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge: Nuon Chea (the party’s deputy secretary), Khieu Samphan (head of state of Democratic Kampuchea) and Ieng Sary (deputy prime minister for foreign affairs of Democratic Kampuchea). Ieng Thirith, the party’s minister for social affairs, was deemed unfit to stand trial due to “dementia most likely caused by Alzheimer’s disease”.

On November 22, 2010, 347 people were killed and another 755 were injured in a human stampede during the Khmer Water Festival celebrations in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. The ‘Koh Pich stampede’ made headlines around the world.

On November 23, 1926, renowned and revered ‘new-Khmer’ architect Vann Molyvann was born in Ream, then part of Kampot province.

On November 24, 2000,  two attacks left eight people dead and at least fourteen wounded when anti-government rebels stormed state offices and battled security forces in Phnom Penh. The rebels threw grenades and used AK-47’s in an exchange of fire with soldiers and police outside the Ministry of Defense and Cabinet buildings, and ten men launched an assault on a military barracks approximately 15 kilometers (nine miles) west of the capital. There were no reports of casualties or damage. Police believed that the attacks were perpetrated by the anti-government group, the Cambodian Freedom Fighters.

The US Embassy released the following notice:



NOVEMBER 24, 2000

There has been sporadic shooting throughout the night. Authorities report to the Embassy that this clash was caused by a small resistance group who fought with security authorities through the night. A number were apprehended, but some remain at large. Cambodian authorities are still seeking to apprehend other people who were involved and to restore order. Until order is restored, the streets are still dangerous.

The U.S. Embassy will be closed today, Friday, November 24, 2000.

We strongly advise American citizens to remain indoors until it is clear that the authorities have restored order.”

On November 24, 2014, at 7:00 am, a fire ripped through Phsar Chas Market (Old Market) destroying around 300 stalls.

On November 25, 1963, Prime Minister-Prince Norodom Kantol attended the funeral of John F. Kennedy as the Cambodian representative.

On November 25, 1978, a young defector from Democratic Kampuchea named Hun Sen was reassigned to take charge of youth affairs in the anti-Pol Pot political organizations being prepared across the border in Vietnam.

On November 25, 1982, an international FAO (Food and Agriculture) Assessment Team leaves Cambodia after a visit of 23 days to examine the food situation. They traveled relatively widely and projected a 100,000 ton deficit of food in 1983, noting problems of malnutrition- especially among children. The mission report accepted a population estimate of 7,033,000 for the PRK.

On November 27, 1991, the compound of Khieu Samphan was attacked by an angry mob. The Khmer Rouge representative was in Phnom Penh for peace talks. After suffering injuries in the attack, he was flown back to Thailand.

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