Two cambodian boys walk past the grave of Khmer Rouge's former leader Pol Pot in July of 2006.
By: Phnom Penh Post
21 former regime member's homes and munitions warehouses are to be renovated in the hope of driving tourism in the area
The Khmer Rouge's last stronghold, Anlong Veng in Oddar Meanchey district, is set to be developed as a historical tourist site after getting government approval by Prime Minister Hun Sen's Cabinet. Anlong Veng's officials are particularly excited about the development because they say it will allow the local population to sell goods to tourists related to the Khmer Rouge and consequently increase their quality of life. A sharp contrast to the quality of life the Khmer Rouge provided between 1975 and 1978 when nearly two million Cambodians perished under their watch. The Khmer Rouge locations those officials are hoping will drive tourism are 21 soon-to-be refurbished homes that belonged to Khmer Rouge leaders and members, as well as former munitions warehouses. Already attracting tourists in the area is Pol Pot's grave, located near the Chom border crossing with Thailand, and the compound of Khmer Rouge Central Committee member Chhit Choeun. One might wonder how a trip to Angkor Wat might be complemented by a visit to a genocidal dictator's grave and munition warehouses of doom. If anything, it would be to see the contrast between the Khmer Empire's greatest monument and achievement of engineering, Angkor Wat, and the Khmer Rouge's (or Red Khmer) use of social engineering to achieve mass death. The Khmer people are the largest ethnic group in Cambodia, and unfortunately the Red Khmer's use of that ethnic group's name will forever be tied to the people and history of Cambodia.