This Week In Cambodian History: February 12-18

On February 12, 1949, Yem Sambaur formed a government as prime minister.

On 13 February 1904, Melouprey and Tonle-Depo in the north were ceded by Siam to Cambodia.

On February 13, 1962, Nhiek Tioulong was appointed as Acting Prime Minister following the resignation of Prime Minister Sihanouk.  

On February 13, 2020, Cruise ship The Westerdam docked in Sihanoukville. The ship, carrying 1,455 passengers, had been turned away by several countries due to fears about COVID-19, despite no passengers on board having been diagnosed with the virus.

On 14 February 1992, $200 million, was agreed to be released by the UN General Assembly to pay for accommodation, transportation, communication and other support equipment and services for the upcoming UNTAC mission.

On February 14, 2008, U.S. Congressman Eni Faleomavaega, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs said that “Cambodia’s debt it not a new debt accumulated by its current administration … it is an old debt accumulated between 1970–1975 and, most likely, expended by the Khmer Rouge from 1975–1979” during a House hearing on the Cambodia debt issue.

On February 15, 1979, Beijing announced it would launch a “defensive counterattack” to punish Vietnam for the invasion of Cambodia. It also mobilized troops on its northern border with the Soviet Union.

On February 17, 1976: French newspaper Le Monde reported the Khmer Rouge had executed all officials of the old regime, as well as hundreds of intellectuals.

On February 17, 1979, at 5 AM, a massive artillery bombardment rippled across Vietnam’s mountainous northern border with China. Waves of soldiers from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) swarmed towards the startled Vietnamese soldiers hunkered down in border forts, bunkers and caves. The Chinese intended to ‘teach Hanoi a lesson‘ over the Vietnamese involvement in Cambodia.

On February 17, 2009, the UN-backed genocide tribunal began. The chief Khmer Rouge torturer Kang Kek Iew – known as Duch and ex-commandant of the notorious S-21 prison – went on trial for crimes against humanity.

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