A Change of Guard

សូមស្តាប់វិទ្យុសង្គ្រោះជាតិ Please read more Khmer news and listen to CNRP Radio at National Rescue Party. សូមស្តាប់វីទ្យុខ្មែរប៉ុស្តិ៍/Khmer Post Radio.
Follow Khmerization on Facebook/តាមដានខ្មែរូបនីយកម្មតាម Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/khmerization.khmerican

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Phnom Penh governor criticises Kem Ley funeral

School of Vice

This is no time for petty recriminations and talk about 'money'. If the delay of the funeral helps generate more income for Kem Ley's family and dependents, so be it. After all, no amount of money will ever be enough to bring the person back to life, and his legacy and selfless sacrifice for all is beyond measure in material terms. It is likely that Kem Ley's assassination has more to do with his nation's future and politics rather than his reported comments on the recent revelations in the Global Witness report about the amassed fortunes of the Hun dynasty - even if financial issues factor into, or form part of, that political equation. 

Bear in mind too that those who donate to his family do so mainly out of their heart-felt compassion and sorrow for his wife and small children who are now deprived of their protector and pillar of support, and having to face a life of uncertainty without him.


People gather in front of a portrait of slain political analyst Kem Ley yesterday afternoon at Chroy Changvar’s Wat Chas pagoda.
People gather in front of a portrait of slain political analyst Kem Ley yesterday afternoon at Chroy Changvar’s Wat Chas pagoda. Heng Chivoan

Phnom Penh governor criticises Kem Ley funeral
Mon, 18 July 2016 ppp
Lay Samean

The continued presence of the body of slain political analyst Kem Ley at the capital’s Wat Chas pagoda, where thousands have converged to pay their respects over the past week, is nothing more than a politicised money grab, City Governor Pa Socheatvong said yesterday.

Socheatvong’s remarks came after the committee tasked with overseeing details of the funeral balked at an agreement to send the body for interment to Ley’s home province of Takeo.

An at-times strident critic of the government, Ley was shot dead while drinking coffee at a Phnom Penh petrol station last Sunday.

While City Hall on Friday said they had reached an agreement that the procession would take place yesterday, the funeral committee – a group of more than 20 family members, friends and colleagues – decided more time was warranted for the public viewing. Socheatvong yesterday slammed the change of heart as politically motivated.

“The interference of those people has become the subject of political interests,” he said, claiming the decision-making process had been taken out of the hands of the family. “It benefits their financial interests . . . they store the body to earn money, and it can earn $10,000 per day; they do not store the body for letting his soul rest in peace.

“Some politicians try to take advantage, and they said [Ley’s] body is the public’s body. But the body is still a human body and the family has the right to decide.”

Phnom Penh City Hall spokesman Mean Chanyada said the family and funeral committee had reached an agreement with the authorities but “changed their minds without stating any clear reasons”.

“We are very disappointed that they seem to mock the authorities,” he said.

But Ley’s pregnant widow, Bu Rachana, speaking from hospital where she is being cared for due to exhaustion, said the original plan had been to mourn him for 10 days to give people from the provinces the chance to share their sorrow, and that time had not yet elapsed.

People hold up Kem Ley posters yesterday at the political analyst’s funeral in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district.
People hold up Kem Ley posters yesterday at the political analyst’s funeral in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district. Heng Chivoan

“I want to look at my husband’s face a bit longer, since he is not going to sleep for just one day, but for the rest of my life,” she said. “Once I bring him [to the funeral], I will be apart from him forever. I need to look at his face for the last time,” she said.

Activist monk But Buntenh, a Ley supporter and member of the funeral committee, meanwhile, vehemently denied the move was political.

“I think the City Hall and the government has every right to say this, but I think their job at the moment is finding justice for Kem Ley and his family,” he said. “We are not trying to politicise Kem Ley’s body . . . we are not making any plans to earn more money.”

But in a Facebook post on Saturday, Buntenh had said that the funeral would “generate more income for the nation and the family” and that “Kem Ley’s body has passed beyond the family and . . . belongs to the public”.

He added that the committee had not yet reached a decision about when or where his body would be transported, though one committee member, who asked not to be named, yesterday put the date as July 24 – two weeks after Ley’s death.

Ley’s brother, Kem Rithseth, meanwhile, expressed unhappiness with the committee’s decision, saying he had left the group as it did not respect the majority view and that postponing the funeral had left his family in a state of limbo.

“We have to end this quickly, because the pagoda does not belong to us alone . . . If we do something that makes people stop respecting [my brother], his reputation will fall,” he said.

Analyst Chea Vannath said in the Buddhist tradition, keeping the body in view was not necessary to pay respects, but added there were “mixed feelings” – personal and political – for the public display of grief.

“It is very powerful when it is from the heart . . . People liked Kem Ley, even though they didn’t know him,” she said.

Additional reporting by Erin Handley


Anonymous said...

មើលទៅដូចជា រអៀសខ្លួនហើយ បានជាថាចង់មកគោរព សព្វ លោកកែម ឡី ដូចជា គ្រាន់តែថាទេដឹង អាគុកវាអ្នកសម្លាប់ ធ្វើម្តេចវាមកនោះ វាថាយកអឿទេ ពួកវាបានដឹងរឿងពិតតែទាំងអស់គ្នាហ្ណឹងឯង កាលពីមុន ដូចជា ឈុត វុឌ្ឍី ជា វិជ្ជា ពួកវាដែលហាមាត់អញ្ចឹងទេ? តែម្តងនេះវាខ្មាស់ជនបរទេស គេបន្តរគ្នាមក គោរពសព្វ កែម ឡី មើលទៅវាឃើញ ហើយ ដេកមិនលក់ដឹង វាមិនស្រួលដូចសម្លាប់លើកមុនឬ? កាលពីមុនជា អាចោរលួចគោ ហ៊ុន សែន វាឡើងងាជា ដែកជោ សម្តេច បណ្ឌិត តែឥឡូវ វាយ៉ាងណា អាគុក មែនទេ? គ្មានអ្នកណាដាក់ឲ្យទេ គឺវាដាក់ខ្លួនវា ដល់កតែម្តង កូនក្មេងក៍ហៅ អាគុកដែរ នេះហើយបានសំមុខវា ឡើងកាប់ពពកតែជ្រកអាចន៍ជន្លេន មើលទៅថ្ងៃអន្សារជិតដល់ហើយ​ ទោះយួនថែមរថគ្រោះមកទូលក្រសាំងក៍ទប់មិជាប់ដែរ អាគុកអើយ

Anonymous said...

Kem Ley deserved to die because he formed an independent party taking votes away from CNRP. Kem Ley's family does not deserve the extra money and sympathy. Now they are rich and much better off. That's sick.

Anonymous said...

To the idiot @20 July 2016 at 12:13

You are a Yuon animal! How dare, Yuon pest!

Anonymous said...