Anti-Genocide Signs Unveiled At High Schools Countrywide

Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Tolerance. Hope.

These words were used to de­scribe the inauguration of the first of more than 1,000 signs bearing anti-genocide messages to be displayed at high schools around Cam­bodia. The first of them was dedicated Friday at Indra Devi High School in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kok district.

The message, written in Khmer and English, reads: “Talking about ex­periences during the Khmer Rouge regime is to promote reconciliation and educate children about forgiveness and tolerance. Learn­ing about the history of Dem­­ocratic Kampuchea is to prevent genocide.”

The effort to display the messages is being spearheaded by the Documentation Center of Cam­bodia. The center’s director, Youk Chhang, an alumnus of Indra Devi High School, said he hoped the new sign sparked conversation about the Khmer Rouge among students.

“When they go outside to play, they can see it. When they go home after school, they can talk to their parents about it,” he said

Khmer Rouge tribunal co-prosecutor Andrew Cayley, one of num­erous speakers, addressed several hundred students Friday during the unveiling.

“We’ve just been talking about forgiveness, reconciliation, truth and kindness, and to me, these are all expressions of hope,” he told the students.

“You represent the future. So we adults have to put our hope in you.”

A second anti-genocide sign was dedicated Saturday at Russei Keo High School in Phnom Penh. By early next year, every high school in the country should display the two sentences.

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