Friday, 20 April 2012

R: Ratanakiri

Ratanakiri's  History

From the Stone Age to the /Bronze Age in the 4th century, the towns and regions of the highlander people were invaded by armies of Annamites, Chams, Khmer and Thai during the early years. Between 13th - 18th centuries, Highlands and villages were raided and prisoners were taken as slaves by the kings slave traders.

The French arrived 1893 and incorporated French Indochina area with a communal rule replacing slavery. Rubber plantations were built and the local people where forced to work.They did not like communal rule to begin with but later became weak and accepted it. Ratanakiri province was created 1959, the land in and around it had originally been Shing Treng Province and the name Ratanakiri was made up from the word Ratana = "Gem"  and Kiri "Mountain" both from Sanskrit giri) two features for which Ratanakiri is known.

1950-1960 Khmer campaigned in north-east Cambodia to bring the villagers under government rule.  They were put to work on roads and the rubber plantations. The working  conditions were horrendous and the people forced to work.  If they didn't cooperate the Khmer burnt the villages and killing hundreds of people.

In 1969 - 1970 The United States moved in and bombed the region, forcing Khmer  people out of the town to forage for food as they ran to escape the Khmer. 1970 Central government withdrew their troops leaving Khmer Rouge regime to pick up the pieces. These were harsh times but then  life became much worse. Khmer Lao were not allowed to speak in their native tongue nor practise their religious faith, schools were closed, which were believed incompatible with the communists.

In 1979 the Vietnamese defeated the Khmer. after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime, its rebels remained in the forests of Ratanakiri.

Female Baby Elephant

Ratanakiri Wildlife National Park

Ratanakiri with its monsoon climate, lowland tropical forest and it mountainous hilly forestry make it the ideal home for some of their wild animals within the asian mainland. There are two provinces, Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri where its been recorded that there are over 40 species of mammals, which include Asian elephants, gaur and monkey's. 76 species of birds, and  9 reptile species. Within the Virachey National Park alone there are 30 species of ants, 19 Katydid species, 37 species of fish, 35 species of reptile, 26 species of amphibian numerous others which not been observed enough yet.. Areas have been placed within the park for the different species including the endangered species of birds, giant ibis. The floral ground cover of around 320 types of ground cover and 189 tree species including young saplings. Almost half of Ratanakiri has been put out to endangered species to protect them, these areas include Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary. and the Virachey National park.

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