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Cambodia's New Era Begins With Technology

Cambodia has all the makings of an idyllic tourist destination: miles of coastline, year-round warm weather and a rich cultural heritage. Instead, it is a country with a tumultuous past, one that has been caught for decades in the middle of warring nations and civil unrest. Used as a buffer zone by both the U.S. and the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War, Cambodia suffered from bombs, Communist influence and mounting internal struggles in the 1950s and 1960s. By the mid-1970s, military extremist Pol Pot and the Communist Party of Kampuchea -- also known as the Khmer Rouge -- were rapidly gaining power and thus began the destruction of Cambodian society. People were moved from the cities into the country to live and work in Pol Pot's version of an agrarian utopia. Convinced that Cambodia needed cleansing, Pol Pot and his regime systematically executed an estimated two to three million of their own countrymen. Former government officials, intellectuals, students, businessmen and countless other innocent lives were lost during the five-year reign of the Khmer Rouge. A genocide comparable to the Holocaust, the Khmer Rouge visited torture, mass executions and starvation on the population. Nearly half of Cambodia's 7.3 million people were brutally exterminated while the living were left to pick up the pieces.

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