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March Held for Victims at Choeung Ek and Beyond

A Buddhist monk from Japan, front right, chants together with a Cambodian Buddhist monk, center, and a Cambodian Muslim, left, as they carry a wreath of flowers to lead a march at Choeung Ek, a former Khmer Rouge killing field, some 16 kilometers (10 mile

Some 250 Buddhist monks and nuns marked to the Choeung Ek mass grave site outside Phnom Penh on Tuesday, in a ceremony to pray for justice and peace for the victims of the Khmer Rouge.

The procession included monks from Burma, Japan and Thailand, as well as Cambodia. It was organized by the Catuddisa Sangha Center, 3 kilometers away from the site, as the UN-backed tribunal prepares for a trial of four Khmer Rouge leaders.

Soeung Kea, president of the center, told VOA Khmer the march was to honor the memory of those who have died, not only under the Khmer Rouge, but in all tragedies, wars and natural disasters around the world.

The march included meditation and prayers, he said, “to have justice for the trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders, for victims both alive and dead.”

Prak Sareth, a Buddhist monk from Wat Ounalom pagoda who participated in the ceremony, said it was important to respect the memory of those killed by the regime.

The tribunal will judge “black from white,” he said, “and wrongdoers cannot escape from the law.”