Thursday, January 22, 2009

A thousand year old burial site looted by powerful people

Monks and villagers are trying to prevent the military police from digging the ancient site.

Koh Santepheap newspaper
20th January, 2009
Reported in English by Khmerization

Svay Rieng province: Toul Trapeang Ang (Royal Pond Hill) is a thousand year old ancient man-made hill located in Romeas Haek district in Svay Rieng province. Recently it has been reportedly looted by police and military police from Romeas Haek district in search of valuables buried thousand of years on that hill.

It has been reported that at 7 o’clock at night time on the 16th of January, 2009, four officials from Romeas Haek district, including the chief of Sambath Meanchey district and local police chief with four military police officers, went to Toul Trapeang Ang to dig out to search for valuables but they were prevented by the villagers from doing so.

It’s been reported that, on Saturday 17th January, 2009 the above officials went to see the village chief and the hill’s curator by telling them that they got a permission from the higher authority to dig out the valuables from the hill to take them to a national museum. When they cannot produce a permission document and the fact that the digging were taken place at night time, the curator got suspicious. But those officials told the village chief and the curator that the works have to be done at night time so that the works do not alarm and attract the attention of the villagers.

Due to the objection from the villagers, the permission was not granted. But those officials retorted that, whether the permission is granted or not, they will still dig out the valuables from the hill because Toul Trapeang Ang is a state property, it does not belong to the villagers here. The officials said that they have the authority to dig the hill because they got the agreement of the commune chief, the local police chief and the local military police officers have also agreed. So everyone is warned not to obstruct the works.

At around 9 o’clock that night, the group has started digging the hill, with armed military police standing guard. About 100 local villagers stay watching them through the night until 1 am in the morning. After they dug out the hill two by two metres wide and one and a half metres deep, the group stopped and started to negotiate with the villagers for them to leave the site, but the villagers refused and they postponed their digging.

Mr. Tey Yeth, a 65 year old villager, said that Toul Trapeang Ang is about 100 metres by 100 metres in size and it was overgrown by bushes. To the east of the hill, there is a man-made pond of 80 metres by 60 metres wide, with the depth of 4 metres.

In the past, the area was densely forested and in 1960 only 10 families have settled there. In 1970, the place became a village when more people settled there and the hill was used as a vegetable garden by a 78 year old Mr. Keo Chorn and a 68 year old Mrs. Yu Soth who now resided at a temple in Phnom Penh and the hill, which is his vegetable garden, was tendered by his children.

In 1980, there was a group of people who came to dig out this hill in the middle of the night. In the morning, the villagers found a freshly dug out pit 2 metres wide and 3 metres deep and a lot of ancient pottery, ancient bricks and urns containing ancient human remains scattered inside and outside of the pit.

According to villagers, this hill was a burial site and is more than a thousand years old. The site is believed to have contained sacred objects and ancient valuables such as idols, urns containing remains of ancient heroes etc.

The digging around the site has been postponed for the time being due to objection from the villagers. The officials who ordered the digging used the pretext that they dig at night because they don’t want to alarm the villagers. They said that they want to dig out valuables to keep them in the national museum because they are worried that the hill will be looted by villagers.

Mr. Prum Phary, deputy director of the Provincial Heritage Office, said that, due to complaints from the village chief and from the villagers, he was asked by the director of Provincial Cultural and Fine Arts Centre to go to the area to see for himself. He has intervened and has asked that the digging be stopped immediately. Furthermore, he has instructed the village chief and the villagers to protect this hill and must report to the authority immediately should any group try to dig this hill again. At this time, the Provincial Cultural and Fine Arts Centre is asking the authority to punish those culprits who were involved in the digging of this ancient hill.//


Anonymous said...

This is what happend , when the country rules by the unedcuated leader like Merderer Hun sen , all it dogs are lawless too .. Sad for Cambodian peolpe ..

Anonymous said...

well, it is everyone's job to try to educate cambodia about the importance of prserving and conservating the many ancient khmer relics, architecture, etc... because if we just wait for only a few people to educate others, then cambodia may lose out. so, please be proactive and help to educate everyone the importance of keep khmer identity alive, etc... remember the wise words of the USA's president harry s. truman: image what people can do if they don't care who gets the credit! please think about it; it is a great advice to live by, especially if we want cambodian people to become better educated and so on. thank you.

Anonymous said...

These people are insanity and thieves to their own nation. They have no idea how to preserve and value the treasure of the past. No wonder the nation was once in the twilight year under Pol Pot dictatorship. Wake up and learn to give value your ancestors have left behind.

Anonymous said...

Bullshit, we need artifacts promote tourism and create job for the needy.

Stay out, Ah potato diggers!

Anonymous said...

please remember we all can help to make a difference when we educate others to understand because not everybody was lucky enough to get the same education as we did. thank you. thus, there is no boundary in education, either! it can make a difference! thank you.

Anonymous said...

9:27 AM yeah there are two small and one long potatoes between your legs....i want to pick should stay out if u don't want it o be picked by potatoes diggers/pickers.....i like to pick ah youn/youn's slaves' potatoes.

vannak said...

I admire your barking efford, I learn to like your barking style because you are so loyal to your master, or may be it is hard for you but you have to do it?
We dig potatos not our ancestor.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Listen up, motherfuckers, we are not going to let any potato diggers to deny any Khmer of their future. All artifacts will be dig up and used to create jobs for everyone. You got that?

khmer innocent said...

Those people including villagers, monks who with their bare hands tried opposing the brainless thieves, should be rewarded in order to encourage many more of such Khmer Heroic spirit.

And those thieves including police, military police and others involved must be stripped off from their posts and sent to jail for theft act, damaging public property, wrong usage of government position, illegal usage of weapons, damaging Khmer culture .....

I will consider my vote if the government take this criminal case seriously.

Long Live Khmer !

Anonymous said...

Long Live Khmer, 11:19? How long can they live without jobs, stupid?

Anonymous said...

Haha. Lol lOl... now you understand why Thais have attempted to protect all the temples and the historical sites of the ancient times from these barbarian invaders in Cambodia who claimed to be Khmers.
These people migrated from the caves. The monkeys are in power of their tinsy land. Haha..Lol LOl hahah..

Anonymous said...

9:27 AM, your phrase, "Potato digger!!" is very impressive. Yeah..they're all potato digger. Not like you coz you're such....umm..., let's me think....Oh! I got're the only one, Potato Sucker, rigth?
If this not fits you. Try this, mother sucker!!
That's make more sense!! Ass-hole.

Anonymous said...

11:29 AM, How long can they live without jobs, stupid?

And a job like to sneak digging for a ancient stuff at night!!

A job like to threating a weak, poor people for your own interest!!

Anonymous said...

What, 9:27 AM ??? you want to tell that you are a potato digger.
No matter what you are a potato-digger or tomato-picker, you're still stinky.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and are you telling us you are on crack, 12:22?

Anonymous said...

these thieves who pretended to be protecting the artifacts should be stripped off their positions and sent to jail. this is what happened in a corrupt system where the one who are supposed to protect national treasures steal them instead. shame on them!

Anonymous said...

Who said anything about protecting? We need it for exhibition to promote tourism and create jobs for Khmer people. Get it, potato digger (8:54)?

Anonymous said...

9"37pm if ah Kwack know it (that will make it legal) those thieves of the thieves did not need to come at night and walk away!

Anonymous said...

What difference does it make whether they dig at midnight or noon. They did not ran away. They explained what they are doing... .

In any case, the bottom line is, without a growing tourist industry, there will not be any new jobs for the young people who graduate from school ... . And that is bad.

Anonymous said...

Please save Cambodia! Stop pouk Ah Scam Rainxy!

Anonymous said...

Why are we trying to argue with Yuon’s thief? Thief always thief, we can’t change him about that. Ah 2:36 all along has been trying so hard promoting tourist industry and jobs by digging up Khmer ancestor’s treasure for his party and personal gain.

Let me tell you this, ah Jkourt 2:36. I have family members working in the Puppet’s gov’t. with high profiles, but I still criticize them up front since I believe in freedom of speech. I also don’t like the system of the corrupted regime. I don’t kiss ass like you! Got it?

Anonymous said...

22 January is Fifth anniversary that Mr.Chea Vichea, Former President of FTUWKC,
Gunnded down on 22nd January 2004, by ah Hun Sen(ah criminal against humanity in Cambodia) :

សំដាចម៍ ហ៊ុន សែនជា អាមេឧក្រឹដ្ឋជន ប្រឆាំងមនុស្សជាតិ នៅប្រទេសខ្មែរ មានបាតដៃប្រលាក់ឈាមខ្មែរ រាប់មិនអស់។ អាហ៊ុន សែន ត្រូវតែទទួលទោស រន្ទះបាញ់ ដោយសារបទឧក្រឹដ្ឋកម្ម ប្រឆាំងមនុស្សជាតិ និង បទក្បត់ជាតិ កាត់ដីប្រទេសខ្មែរ អោយទៅប្រទេសយួន !

មើលផងដែរ ៖

Anonymous said...

Enough, blah blah blah, Ah potato digger (4:49).

There is no way we're going to let you starve Khmer people to dead by living precious artifacts buried in the ground. You got that?