Angkor Wat Temple

Angkor Wat Temple

By MMC Editorial

Two senior Khmer Rouge leaders, khieu samphan and Ieng Sary, were seen bringing Burma delegates visiting Angkor Wat Temple. (Documentation Center of Cambodia Archives)

The Angkor Wat Temple was built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II and dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. This temple is a symbol of national pride throughout all Cambodian generations since the independence from France in 1953 and since then all Cambodian governments have pictured Angkor Wat in the country’s flag.

Democratic Kampuchea was also the same. The official national flag of the regime included Angkor Wat with the three yellow towers in the foreground and with a red background. Unlike many other historical, cultural buildings that have been damaged or turned to administrative offices by the extremist communist regime, Angkor Wat temple had been left vacant without conservation. No documents prove that the Khmer Rouge used the moat around the temple for any specific benefit.

The government of Democratic Kampuchea also showed the Angkor Wat Temple to their small circle of foreign friends, when they would visit Cambodia such as the delegation of the The Workers’ Communist Party of Norway, the Swedish supporters of the communist movement, and journalists who were allowed to tour around this temple complex including Elizabeth Becker, author of the book When The War Was Over,.

When the Democratic Kampuchea regime collapsed and years went by, the Angkor Wat Temple and other ancient temples in Siem Reap province were continuously restored. Millions of Khmer and foreign tourists visit every year.

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