This Week In Cambodian History: January 22-28

On January 22, 1971, a Vietnamese commando unit withdrew after a night raid on Ponchentong virtually wiped out the Khmer Air Force on the ground.

On January 22, 1981, Thailand accused Cambodia of using chemical weapons against Khmer Rouge rebels based inside Thailand.

 On January 21-22, 1988, the second phase of meetings between Sihanouk and Hun Sen was held in France. The meeting agreed to abolish the groups headed by Son Sann (KPNLF) and the Khmer Rouge, but later meetings were cancelled by Sihanouk. 

On January 22, 2004, Chea Vichea, the leader of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia (FTUWKC) was shot in the head and chest in the morning while reading a newspaper at a kiosk in Daun Penh.

On January 23, 1973, American support allowed FANK relief troops to break through the two-battalions of Khmer Rouge who had laid siege to the town of Romeas since January 6.

On January 24, 1894, Flore Léonce Marquant (b. 1845 – d. 1921) was made acting resident supérieur

January 23-24, 1981, UNICEF suspended the Thai-Cambodian border land-bridge, pending evaluation of need after the December-January harvest.

On January 24, 1955, Prime Minister Penn Nouth resigned (again) and Leng Ngeth formed a government as prime minister on January 26.

On January 24, 1984, Dong Ruk refugee camp is shelled – 18 civilians are killed. The population fled to Site A.

On January 24, 1995, Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ung Huot, signed the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. Consequently, Cambodia was appointed as the formal ASEAN observer. 

On January 25, 1979, a rally was held in Olympic Stadium to celebrate the fall of Democratic Kampuchea.

January 25, 1983, At the first Donor’s Meeting of the year, the U.S. representative announced an intention to contribute 7.3 million dollars for the Border Relief Operation, noting that UNBRO staff “significantly increased relief work and monitoring” in isolated camps in northern and southern border areas. He reiterated the U.S. position that evidence did not demonstrate a need for an emergency program inside Cambodia and reaffirmed that the U.S. would not contribute to it. Overall, donors pledged 14.95 million dollars. Sweden offered 1.2 million dollars for the interior program.

On January 26, 2020, Jia Jinhua, a 60-year-old tourist from Wuhan, China, became the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Cambodia. He had been staying in Sihanoukville when he became ill.

On January 27, 1973, Paris Agreement signed ending the war in Vietnam. Article 20 called on all foreign countries to put an end to all military activities in Cambodia. The agreement was quickly broken by all sides. The Khmer Rouge leadership rejected the agreement as a betrayal.

On January 27, 2003, demonstrations began outside the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh. Rioting soon followed, and over several days, estimated damage was valued at between $20-50 million was done to Thai businesses and government offices. The demonstrations came after a Thai soap opera actress named Suvanant Kongying was reported (falsely) in newspaper Rasmei Angkor, as saying during an interview that she would not perform in Cambodia unless Angkor Wat was returned to Thailand.

Suvanant Kongying

On January 28, 1961, Penn Nouth (again) formed a government as prime minister- his 5th short term.

On January 28, 1979, Elizabeth Becker’s opinion piece ‘Sihanouk and the Saga Of the Khmer Rouge‘ was published by the New York Times

On January 28, 1993, the SNC set the date of of free elections in Cambodia as 23-25 May 1993.

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