Congressman Lowenthal Resolution Marks 36th Anniversary of End to Cambodian Genocide

September 25, 2015
Press Release
Congressman Alan Lowenthal yesterday introduced a House Resolution marking the 36th anniversary of the end of the Cambodian Genocide and recognizing the contributions of the Cambodian American community in the United States in an effort to honor the millions of victims of one of the worst atrocities in modern history and to offer support to efforts pursuing justice for the victims and their families.

The resolution, H.Res. 436, comes 36 years after the end of the murderous Khmer Rouge regime that from 1975 to 1979 deliberately and systematically killed between 1,700,000 and 3,000,000 people in Cambodia.

The Khmer Rouge, under the leadership of Pol Pot and others, attempted a brutal social reengineering of the entire Cambodian society. Their efforts resulted in mass political executions, disease, starvation, and forced labor.

"Even after 36 years, the wounds of the Cambodian Genocide are still fresh. It is our obligation to remind the world of the horrors of the Killing Fields, and in doing so, make sure this awful crime against humanity is never forgotten," Congressman Lowenthal said.

"But each year, there are also reasons to celebrate: the vibrancy of more than 276,000 Cambodian Americans, many living in Long Beach's Cambodia Town; the strong sense of culture and continuity that the community has maintained while adding to the fabric of our shared society; and, the strength and resiliency that the community continues to show every day. Each year, we must take this opportunity to recommit ourselves to never let the world forget the Cambodian Genocide and rededicate ourselves to making sure such mass killings never happen again."

During and after the genocide, hundreds of thousands of Cambodians made their way as refugees to the United States. According to the U.S. Census in 2010, more than 276,000 Cambodians currently live in the U.S., with one of the largest concentrations in California's 47th Congressional District.