For Immediate Release — Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Mary E. McCrank
Media Relations Officer
Cambodian Genocide Survivor Dith Pran Reschedules SUNY Geneseo Visit for Nov. 29
GENESEO, N.Y. — Cambodian genocide survivor Dith Pran, who had to cancel his visit during Cultural Harmony Week at the State University of New York at Geneseo due to a flight cancellation, will now visit the college on Tuesday, Nov. 29.
Pran survived one of the bloodiest genocides in human history, the Cambodian tragedy set forth by the Communist Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. His story was portrayed in the Academy Award-winning movie "The Killing Fields." His talk will be at 7 p.m. in 214 Newton Hall. It is free and open to the public.
Pran and Sydney Schanberg, then a correspondent for The New York Times, covered the events leading up to the genocide, including the fall of the capital to the communist Khmer Rouge. Arrested by the Khmer Rouge, they were sentenced to execution, but eventually released. Exiled to the killing fields, the forced labor camps in the Cambodian countryside, Pran endured starvation and torture for four years. In 1976, Schanberg received a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of Cambodia, and he accepted the award for himself and Pran. In October of 1979, Pran escaped to Thailand and to freedom.
A photojournalist for The New York Times since 1980, Pran was appointed as Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 1985. He has testified several times before the Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, and has received four honorary doctorate degrees. The 1998 Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipient, he is a member of the Asian American Journalist Association. Tirelessly working to expose the genocide, he compiled the stories in Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields: Memoirs of Survivors. Determined to educate the world and assure that the Cambodian genocide is not forgotten, nor repeated, Pran founded The Dith Pran Holocaust Awareness Project.
For more information about his visit, call (585) 245-5620.