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Day of Peace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Phnom Penh, Cambodia - On September 21, 150 Cambodia Mekong University students and some representative Ambassadors for Peace of UPF-Cambodia  responded to the call by the United Nations to commemorate the International Day of Peace and strengthen the ideals of peace.

The event was organized by UPF-Cambodia and Cambodia Mekong University. The first session was held at the university. Mr. Hajime Saito, Chief Advisor of UPF-Cambodia, explained the meaning of this gathering. Three young representatives of Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam created a solemn atmosphere by offering prayers for peace. H.E. Sau Phan, Ambassador for Peace and Deputy General Commissioner of the National Police, said in the opening speech, “Before we demand the government to change the society, we have to change our mindset to think of the happiness and sadness of others as our own and live for the sake of others.”

Executive Director of UPF-Cambodia, H.E. Sok Seng Yan, spoke on Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution. “The first important thing for building peace is to reconcile with God,” he said.

For the second session, participants visited the killing field where the Khmer Rouge regime brutally massacred almost 9,000 people and buried the bodies between 1975 and 1979. Even though it is still the rainy season, this day was beautiful with a clear sky. The site was recently renovated to attract more foreign tourists. Gates to the stupa and modern museum were constructed, and roofs were built over the spots where people were buried. It seemed that the spirits welcomed us with joy. For most Cambodians, it was their first visit to this place.

H.E. Sau Phan offered flowers to pay respect and console the victims’ spirits. All participants offered one minute of silent prayer for them.

The 150 people made a resolution in a loud voice not to repeat the same mistake and instead to build peace in Cambodia by becoming peacemakers. Finally they took pictures in front of memorial stupa filled with skulls of victims.


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