November 12, 2008

The Cambodian Landmine Museum

-Thousands of deactivated landmines.-

Visiting the Cambodian Landmine Museum was an eye opening experience to say the least. We were shocked to learn the more recent history of Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot (the fascist killing-machine of the Cambodian communist movement). So much death and tragedy is hard to comprehend.

-A display of unexploded ordnances (UXO's).-

At the museum, we also learned the story of Aki Ra, a man, once a soldier turned humanitarian in his acts to disarm landmines. He spent well over a decade laying mines in order to do the most damage to the enemy. Yet since beginning his efforts de-mining, he has cleared in excess of 50,000 mines. In 1998, he began the museum to bring awareness to the plight of the Cambodian people regarding these deadly and maiming explosives. He and his family also run a home for landmine amputee children effected by these barbaric explosions.

Aki Ra and his family have an amazing story, a great humanitarian purpose and we were pleased to have been a part of supporting this cause.

-The museum's entrance display.-

-A heap of UXO's and landmines.-

Facts Worth Noting
(according to The Times Nov30, 2004)

  • 40: People worldwide killed or maimed by landmines everyday
  • 8,065: Reported casualties caused by landmines or unexploded ordnance in 2003
  • 86: Percentage of reported casualties who were civilians
  • 23: Percentage of reported casualties who were children
  • 400,000: Survivors of mine explosions in 121 countries, the majority in Africa
  • $3: Cost to plant a landmine
  • $1000: Cost to uncover and destroy a landmine
  • 144: Countries that have ratified the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty
  • 42: Countries that have not signed the Treaty, including the US, China, Russia and most of the Middle East
  • 83: Countries affected by landmines, including 52 parties to the Treaty
  • 66: Countries have registered new mine casualties since January 2003
*Keep in mind that these statistics are out-dated. The numbers of people effected has risen drastically from this time.

-Bullet casings used by the ruthless Khmer Rouge.-

For more information and to see how CANADA supports the project, check out:

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