A Change of Guard

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Thursday, 11 August 2016

Interview: 'What My Husband Did Was For The Sake of The Nation. I Always Supported Him.'

Interview: 'What My Husband Did Was For The Sake of The Nation. I Always Supported Him.'

Interview: 'What my husband did was for the sake of the nation. I always supported him.'
Bou Rachana stands in front of an image of slain husband Kem Ley.
RFA/Sideth Cheu

'What My Husband Did Was For The Sake of The Nation. I Always Supported Him.'

Since Bou Rachana’s husband, the popular government critic and scholar Kem Ley was murdered on July 10, the country and the family have been struggling to come to grips with his death. While the government has arrested a former soldier for his murder, there appears to be little confidence in the ability of authorities to solve the crime.

In an interview with the RFA Khmer Service journalist Chun Chanboth of the RFA Radio Call-In Show on Friday, Bou Rachan, who is six-months pregnant, discussed the difficulties the killing has caused for her and her family, their need for closure and their desire to see Kem Ley’s work continue.

RFA: Have you received any update from the authorities regarding their investigation into your husband’s murder?

Bou Rachana: No, I haven’t. Since the day my husband died, I have not received any news from the authorities.

RFA: Have you been approached or informed by the authorities at all?

Bou Rachana: No, I haven’t. Not even a single bit!

RFA: Do you think you would like for the authorities to give you access to the security camera videos that may show his death?

Bou Rachana: Yes, I do. I would like the authorities to give me access to the security camera footage so that I can see the murder.

RFA: Have you made that request to the authorities?

Bou Rachana: No, I haven’t yet. I couldn’t manage to do so for I had been too overwhelmed with the funeral.

RFA: Will you make such request in the near future?

Bou Rachana:  Yes, I will.

RFA:  Please describe for us your life 25 days after your husband’s death.

Bou Rachana:  I am still very shocked and saddened. I am missing him so dearly.

RFA: What about your kids? I heard that one of them wanted to commit suicide. Is that true?

Bou Rachana: All my kids are missing their father so dearly. None of them has returned to school yet. My third son wanted to commit suicide after he felt very sad for the loss of his father. He used to receive love and care from his father and he doesn’t get that any more.

RFA: What do you do to help them deal with that situation?

Bou Rachana: I have asked them to be strong for their future. Now that their father is no longer with them, I encouraged them to concentrate on their studies so that they can follow their father’s footsteps.

RFA: Are you afraid to let them follow their father’s footsteps?

Bou Rachana: No, I am not. What my husband did was for the sake of the nation. I always supported him.

RFA: Do you want to find out who is behind the murder?

Bou Rachana:  Yes, I do. I would like to call on the government to find justice for us.

RFA: Do you think you will find a lawyer to help you with this?

Bou Rachana: I haven’t thought about it yet for I have still been too overwhelmed with his loss.

Translated by Nareth Muong.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


The culture of impunity has killed many Khmer heroes.

To stop the killing of Khmer heroes, we must fight to stop this impunity.

A peaceful demonstration is needed to denounce the brutal killing of Dr. Kem Ley and force Ah Kouk Hun Sen to find the killers and the mastermind behind the killing.

As we all have known, inactions produced nothing.

Actions to support the just cause - to stop impunity - will help Khmer people in their struggle to free Cambodia from the evil Yuon Vietnam.

The evil Yuon Vietnam and its puppet CPP have killed many Khmer heroes FOR FREE thanks to this culture of impunity.

It is time for "Khmer Pouch Neak Chambang" to wake up and fight to win this one battle (impunity) first. Win one battle at a time. Next battle should be stopping the mass influx of the illegal Vietnamese migrants or illegal loggings.

It is highly likely that the killing of Dr. Kem Ley was committed by Yuon because Dr. Kem Ley's 100 night mission had explicitly exposed the Vietnamization of Cambodia.

But Yuon is smart at committing bad deeds or crime. Yuon has waited patiently for the right moment to smash Dr. Kem Ley and indirectly let the blame fall onto Ah Kouk Hun Sen.

In effect, Yuon saw Dr. Kem Ley made comments about Global witness's report on Hun Sen's family. Two days later Kem Ley was dead. Most of Khmer people pointed their fingers to Hun Sen.

That's how Yuon killed Khmer and then blaming the killings on Khmer, especially during the Pol Pot era.

Finally, Ah Kouk Hun Sen must exert his efforts to find the real killers to fulfill his duty, to clarify his name, and also to prove to Khmer people that he is no longer a Yuon's puppet.

Bun Thoeun