Sunday, January 15, 2012
Cambodia Land Mine Museum
There are an estimated 6 million landmines in Cambodia. These are for the most part concentrated in the Thai-Cambodian border. Aki Ra, a former child soldier in the Khmer Rouge and later on in the Vietnamese army (which captured and conscripted him), founded this museum to instill awareness of the danger and dire consequences brought about by these landmines and to help street children, some of whom are victims of landmines. These children are now housed in the museum complex.
As a child soldier in the Khmer Rouge, Aki Ra planted landmines. In this little glass pavilion are hand grenades, grenade launchers, rifles, which are just a handful of weaponry gathered by Aki Ra since he started his self help demining mission. All told, he's cleared around 50,000 landmines.
In the image above, bombs line the walkway leading to the museum. The Landmine Museum is located in the Angkor Wat National Park, about 30 minutes from the center of Siem Reap. If you're visiting Banteay Srei, take a few minutes to stop by the museum. It was an interesting revelation to me that landmines are made to maim, not kill its victims.
For more information about the museum, visit http://cambodialandminemuseum.org/.
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Images by Charie