Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Killing Fields

Yesterday, I was at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Resort to attend the Friendship Toastmasters meeting. It was an enjoyable meeting because there were good speeches (I particularly liked Susan Lim’s “BA.RE.NO” speech) and good evaluations (Grace Tan and Hadzrin Shah were punctilious and painstaking in their evaluations) and even Daphne Au gave us an atypical take on Table Topics. It’s been some time since I took part in this 2-minute impromptu speaking session and needless to say, I was voted Best Table Topics speaker. And Table Topics evaluator, Kim Chow gave us an in-your-face evaluation which was refreshing. And of course, Ahmad Salahuddin (fellow Toastmaster from MIMKL) who as General Evaluator was very thorough and meticulous with his feedback. I would score an 8 over a 10 for this meeting.

Vann Nath, one of only seven reported survivors of Khmer Rouge’s detainment facility known as S-21's – where 14,000 men, women and children were interrogated, tortured and executed during the 1975-79 Pol Pot regime in Cambodia – died Monday at the age of 66 after suffering a heart attack and slipping into a coma. He said his health never recovered from the year he spent behind the barbed wire of the jail in Phnom Penh, where he was repeatedly interrogated and tortured and where he witnessed countless other prisoners dispatched to their deaths.

Nath claimed his life was spared due to his training as an artist so that he could be put to work painting portraits of Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot. His paintings depict the barbaric brutalities endured by innocent citizens including the horrific torture methods and they are on permanent display at the former Tuol-Sleng prison, which has now become a genocide museum. Below are a selection of Vann Nath's paintings:


Images credit: http://metalonmetalblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/vann-nath-his-paintings-of-pol-pots.html

1 comment:

Susan Lim said...

Thank you for your kind words. Your blog is punctuated with wits, wisdom and wonder. Awesome!

Susan