chapter  10
8 Pages

Killing Fields

Cambodia had been a constitutional monarchy from November 9, 1953 under King Norodom Sihanouk until 1970, when he was ousted in a coup d’êtat led by General Lon Nol and Prince Sisowath Sirik Matak.2 Sihanouk went into exile under Chinese protection and aligned himself with communist Khmer Rouge rebels who had roots in the Vietnamese Communist Party of the early 1950s. Hanoi intermittently assisted and fought them. After a fiveyear struggle against all and sundry, the Khmer Rouge under the leadership of Pol Pot (Saloth Sar) wrested power in 1975, changing the country’s name to Democratic Kampuchea.