Tag Archives: cambodia

FACTS & FIGURES: My Lai massacre … Vietnam War

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     My Lai Massacre was ​an incident, that occurred during the Vietnam War on 16 March 1968, when a group of US soldiers killed 347 ordinary people, including women and children, in the Vietnamese village of My Lai. Later in 1971, the officer who ordered the attack, Lieutenant William Calley, was sent to prison for life, but this was later reduced to 10 years and he was in fact released in 1974 in just three years. Many Americans were shocked by the incident, and as a result protests against the war increased.

    To put it in perspective it was a mass murder of unarmed South Vietnamese civilians by the U.S. troops in Son Tinh district in South Vietnam. In this horrific crime somewhere around 500 unarmed people were killed by the U.S. Army soldiers.

    Victims included men, women, children and even infants. Some of the women were even gang-raped and their bodies were mutilated and that included children as young as twelve. Twenty-six soldiers were charged with criminal offences.

    This war crime was later called ‘the most shocking episode of the Vietnam War. It took place in two hamlets of Son My village in Quang Ngai province. These hamlets were marked on the U.S. Army topographic maps as My Lai and My Khe.

    The U.S. Army slang names, for the hamlets and sub-hamlets in that area were Pinkville, and the carnage was initially referred to as the Pinkville Massacre. Later, when the U.S. Army started its investigation, the media changed it to the Massacre at Songmy. Currently, this horrific event is referred to as the My Lai Massacre in the United States and called the Sơn M massacre in Vietnam.

    The incident prompted global outrage when it became public knowledge in November 1969. The incident increased to some extent domestic opposition to the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War when the scope of killing and cover-up attempts were exposed. Initially, three U.S. servicemen who had tried to halt the massacre and had rescued the hiding civilians were shunned, and even denounced as traitors by several U.S. Congressmen. And it was only after 30 years that they were recognized and decorated, one posthumously, by the U.S. Army for shielding non-combatants from harm in a war zone. My Lai was one of the largest publicized massacres of civilians by U.S. forces in the 20th century.

    On the morning of 16 March at 7:30 a.m., around 100 soldiers from Charlie Company led by Medina, following a short artillery and helicopter gunship barrage, landed in helicopters at  Son My, a patchwork of settlements, rice paddies, irrigation ditches, dikes, and dirt roads, connecting an assortment of hamlets and sub-hamlets. The largest among them were the hamlets of My Lai, Co Luy, My Khe, and Tu Cung.

    Although no ammunitions were fired on American soldiers after landing, the American troops, still suspected there were VC guerrillas (i.e. Viet Cong guerrillas, officially known as the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam) hiding underground or in the huts.

    According to the operational plan, 1st Platoon, led by Second Lieutenant William Calley, and 2nd Platoon, led by 2LT Stephen Brooks, entered the hamlet of Tu Cung in a line formation at 08:00, while the 3rd Platoon, commanded by 2LT Jeffrey U. Lacross, and Captain Medina’s command post remained outside. On approach, both platoons fired at people they saw in the rice fields and in the bushes.

    The villagers, who were getting ready for a market day, at first did not panic or run away, as they were herded into the hamlet’s commons. Harry Stanley, a machine gunner from Charlie Company, said during the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division inquiry that the killings started without warning. He first observed a member of 1st Platoon strike a Vietnamese man with a bayonet. Then the same trooper pushed another villager into a well and threw a grenade in it. Next, he saw some fifteen or twenty people, mainly women and children, kneeling around a temple with smouldering incense. They were actually praying and crying. Sadly, they were all killed by shots to their head.

    Most of the killings occurred in the southern part of Tu Cung, a sub-hamlet of Xom Lang, which was a home to 700 residents. Xom Lang was erroneously marked on the U.S. military operational maps of Quang Ngai province as My Lai.

    A large group of approximately 70–80 villagers were rounded up by 1st Platoon in Xom Lang and led to an irrigation ditch east of the settlement. They were then pushed into the ditch and shot dead by soldiers after repeated orders issued by Calley, who was also shooting himself. PFC (Private First Class a junior military rank) Paul Meadlo testified that he expended several M16 rifle magazines. He recollected that women were allegedly saying “No VC” (That they are not from Viet Cong) and were trying to shield their children. He remembered that he was shooting into women with babies in their hands, since he was convinced at that time that they were all booby-trapped with grenades and were poised to attack. On another occasion during the security sweep in My Lai, Meadlo again fired at civilians side-by-side with Lieutenant Calley.

    PFC Dennis Konti, a witness for the prosecution, especially spoke about, one gruesome episode during the shooting, “A lot of women had thrown themselves on top of the children to protect them, and the children were alive at first. Then, the children who were old enough to walk got up and Calley began to shoot the children also”. Other 1st Platoon members testified that many of the deaths of individual Vietnamese men, women and children occurred inside My Lai during the security sweep. Livestock was shot as well. Over the next few days American army was involved in burning and destruction of dwellings, as well as mistreatment of Vietnamese detainees.

    Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, Jr., a helicopter pilot from Company B (Aero-Scouts), 123rd Aviation Battalion, Americal Division, saw dead and wounded civilians as he was flying over the village of Son My, providing close-air support for ground forces. 

    Thompson and his crew witnessed an unarmed woman being kicked and shot at point-blank range by a soldier Medina, who later claimed that he thought she had a hand grenade. Thompson then saw a group of civilians again consisting of children, women, and old men at a bunker being approached by ground personnel. Thompson landed, and told his crew that if the soldiers shot at the villagers while he was trying to get them out of the bunker, then they were to open fire on their comrades.

    Thompson later testified that he spoke with a lieutenant (identified as Stephen Brooks of 2nd Platoon) and told him there were women and children in the bunker, and asked if the lieutenant would help get them out. Thompson found 12–16 people in the bunker, he coaxed them out and led them to the helicopter, standing with them while they were flown out in two groups.

    Further in My Lai, Thompson and other air crew members noticed several large groups of bodies. They spotted some survivors in the ditch. Thompson landed again. A crew member, Specialist 4 Glenn Andreotta, entered the ditch and returned with a bloodied but apparently unharmed four-year old girl, who was then flown to safety. Thompson then reported what he had seen to his company commander, Major Frederic W. Watke, using terms such as “murder” and “needless and unnecessary killings.” Thompson’s statements were confirmed by other helicopter pilots too and air crew members.

    For his actions at Me My Lai, Thompson was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

     It gives shivers when you think of such horrific crimes.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

Facts & Figures: KHYMER ROUGE, The Story of Marxist Dictator Pol Pot, Cambodia

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(Pol Pot)

    The Khmer Rouge was a brutal regime that ruled Cambodia, under the horrendous leadership of Marxist dictator Pol Pot, from 1975 to 1979. Pol Pot’s attempts to create a Cambodian “master race” through social engineering ultimately led to the deaths of more than 2 million people in this Southeast Asian nation. Those killed were either executed as enemies of the regime, or they died from starvation, disease or overwork. Historically, this period—is depicted in a film titled, ‘The Killing Fields.’ Referred as Cambodian Genocide.  Cambodia as we all know is surrounded by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and the Gulf of Thailand.

    Although, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge didn’t come to power until the mid-1970s, the roots of their takeover can be traced back to the 1960s, when a communist insurgency first became active in Cambodia, which was then ruled by a monarch.

    Throughout the 1960s, the Khmer Rouge, operated as, the armed wing of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, the name the party used for Cambodia. Operating primarily out of remote jungles and mountain areas in the northeast of the country, near its border with Vietnam, which at that time was involved in its own civil war. Khmer Rouge did not have popular support across Cambodia, particularly in the cities, including its capital Phnom Penh.

    After a 1970 military coup that led to the ouster of Cambodia’s ruling monarch, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, the Khmer Rouge decided to join forces with the deposed leader and form a political coalition. This was because the monarch had been popular among city-dwelling Cambodians, and through this coalition the Khmer Rouge began to garner more and more support of the city-dwelling Cambodians.

    For the next five years, a civil war unleashed between the right-leaning military that had led the coup, and those supporting the alliance of Prince Norodom and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Eventually, the Khmer Rouge side, seized the advantage of the conflict, after gaining control of, increasing amounts of territory in the Cambodian countryside.

    In 1975, Khmer Rouge fighters invaded Phnom Penh and took over the city. And with the capital in its grasp, the Khmer Rouge had won the civil war and, thus, started ruling over the country.

    But notably, the Khmer Rouge opted, not to restore power to Prince Norodom, and instead, handed it over to Pol Pot, leader of the Khmer Rouge. And Prince Norodom was forced to live in exile.

    As a leader of the Khmer Rouge during the days of insurgent movement, Pol Pot had come to admire the tribes in Cambodia’s rural northeast. These tribes were self-sufficient and lived on the goods that they produced through subsistence farming.

   The tribes, he felt, were like communes that worked together, shared the spoils of their labour, and were untainted by the evils of money, wealth and religion, the latter being the Buddhism, quite common in urban Cambodia.

    Once installed as the country’s leader by the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot and the forces loyal to him quickly set about, remaking Cambodia, which they had renamed Kampuchea, in the model of these rural tribes, with the hopes of creating a communist-style, agricultural utopia.

    They declared 1975 as the “Year Zero” in the country. Pol Pot isolated Kampuchea from the global community. He resettled hundreds of thousands of the country’s city-dwellers into rural farming communes and abolished the country’s currency. He also outlawed the ownership of private property and the practice of religion in the new nation.

    Workers on the collective farms established by Pol Pot soon began suffering from the effects of overwork and lack of food. Hundreds of thousands died from disease, starvation and even damage to their bodies sustained during back-breaking work or abuse from the ruthless Khmer Rouge guards overseeing the camps.

    Pol Pot’s regime also executed thousands of people that it deemed as enemies of the state. Those seen as intellectuals, or potential leaders of a revolutionary movement, were also executed. Legend has it that, some were executed for merely appearing to be intellectuals, because they wore glasses and were able to speak a foreign language.

    As part of this effort, hundreds of thousands of the educated, middle-class Cambodians were tortured and executed in special centres established in the cities. Most infamous of which was Tuol Sleng jail in Phnom Penh, where nearly 17,000 men, women and children were imprisoned during the regime’s four years in power. In what became to be known as the Cambodian Genocide, an estimated 1.7 to 2.2 million Cambodians died during Pol Pot’s regime.

    Finally, the Vietnamese Army invaded Cambodia in 1979 and dislodged Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge from power, after a series of violent battles on the border between the two countries. Pol Pot had sought to extend his influence into the newly unified Vietnam, but his forces were suitably rebuffed.

    After the invasion, Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge fighters quickly retreated to remote areas of the country. Where, they remained active as an insurgent group, albeit with declining influence. Vietnam retained control of the country, with a military presence, for much of the 1980s, even over the objections of the United States.

    After the fall of the Khmer Rouge that happened decades back. Cambodia has gradually re-established ties with the world community, although the country still faces problems, including widespread poverty and illiteracy. Prince Norodom returned to govern Cambodia in 1993, but he now rules under a constitutional monarchy.

    Pol Pot himself lived in the rural northeast of the country until 1997, when he was tried by the Khmer Rouge for his crimes against the state. The trial of course was an eyewash, and the former dictator died while under house arrest in his jungle home. Since he had died in his jungle house his body parts were sent for a DNA test.

    The stories of the suffering of the Cambodian people at the hands of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge have garnered worldwide attention in the years since their rise and fall, including through a fictional account of the atrocities in the popular 1984 movie The Killing Fields.

    Corona Virus reminds me of the filthy communist dictator Pol Pot.

    Stay home. Stay safe.

***

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

INTERESTING FACTS FIGURES & QUOTES EPISODE 25

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Burkina Faso is the least educated country of the world with a literacy rate of 21.8%. It is a landlocked country in West Africa.

William Shakespeare termed old age as the second childhood.

Maize Corn is the most produced grain in the world. Whereas, wheat covers most of the earth than any other crop.

Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia and one of the largest religious monuments of the world, on a site measuring 162.6 hectares. Originally constructed as a Hindu temple dedicated to God Vishnu for the Khmer Empire. It was gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century.

Are pigs the neatest of animals in the world: Contrary to popular belief, pigs are unable to sweat; instead, they wallow in mud to cool down. Their mucky appearance gives pigs an undeserved reputation for slovenliness. In fact, pigs are some of the cleanest animals around, refusing to excrete, anywhere near their living or eating areas when given a choice.

Staple diet of America: Whether it’s roasted, baked, fried, transformed into a patty, or used in a salad, sandwich or casserole, chicken remains a major dietary staple in the United States. Americans get almost as many calories from chicken as they do from bread, according to the USDA.

There is one major difference between a ROM (that is read-only memory) and a RAM (that is random-access memory) chip: ROM can hold data without power and RAM cannot. Essentially, ROM is meant for permanent storage, and RAM is for temporary storage.

Basketball is probably the most popular indoor sports in the world.

In a disturbing trend, tigers in the country are increasingly being killed by snares, even in the core areas of the sanctuaries. In the last nine years, 24 tigers and 114 leopards have suffered slow, agonizing deaths due to these traps. Worryingly, apart from poachers, local communities are also using these wire noose snares to kill the big cats preying on their livestock.

There has been a steady increase in tiger population in the last few years. India had 2,226 tigers as per the 2014 All India Tiger Estimation. This accounts for a 60% jump in tiger population compared to 2006.

Tigers need large habitats as they have high juvenile dispersal rates. Tigers have lost more than 95% of their historical range.

“Everything is ready except the east wind,” is an ancient Chinese proverb that translates to how can everything be ready without the thing which is most crucial.

Recently, the catastrophic disappearance of emperor penguins from Antarctica made global headlines. The colony of adults and nursing chicks was among the largest in the world. It sank without a trace due to global warming, because of weakened ice collapsing on unchilling waters. The tragedy is similar to the proverbial collapse of a star caused by the death of a sparrow.

In less than sixty years Singapore has transformed from a poor developed country into one of the richest—its per capita income is now double that of Australia. Singapore will be in a class entirely of its own by 2050.

Men argue. Nature acts–VOLTAIRE, French historian and philosopher.

If you destroy a free market you create a black market—WINSTON CHURCHILL, Prime Minister of U.K.

The poetry of earth is never dead—JOHN KEATS, English romantic poet.

Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand—A Chinese proverb.

I want a brighter word than bright—JOHN KEATS, English romantic poet.

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced—JOHN KEATS, English romantic poet.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****