Friday, January 28, 2011

Families face grave situation [-... But, don't worry, the IRI said that we are moving in the right direction (sic!)]

Thursday, 27 January 2011
Mom Kunthear
The Phnom Penh Post

Ghosts are frequent visitors in the dreams of Prak Vanna. Or at least they have been since she moved next to a graveyard about six years ago.

“From the first day that I moved in to my new house, I felt scared and dreamed about ghosts,” she said while chopping firewood.

“But I always tell myself, don’t be afraid.”

Hundreds live among and around decades-old tombs, only a 20-minute drive south of Phnom Penh, across the Monivong bridge in Meanchey district’s Doeum Sleng village.

At least one grave dates from the 1920s.

Houses crowd the area, leaving it hard to tell where the cemetary ends and the neighbourhood begins.

People can often be seen sleeping in hammocks between the tombs.

A few hundred Khmer, Vietnamese and Chinese graves lie amongst the dust, decorated with colourful tiles, chipped blue and faded yellow paint.

A coat of sky blue with red crosses and lettering remains bright on a pair of headstones from the 1980s.

About a dozen are scattered just off the doorstep of Prak Vanna’s home.

“I’m really afraid of the ghosts and those graves. I am sickened by them, but I don’t have a choice to move from here because I am poor,” the 46-year-old grandmother said.

“My children would be homeless if I didn’t live here.”

When her daughter was married, she said guests refused to come into her house, apprehensive of the graveyard.

When she first moved in, she became sick. It took her about a year to get over her fear of the ghosts, and she even went to a local church to pray for help.

She says the tombs don’t really bother her anymore.

Prak Vanna used to live along the Bassac river, but she said her house collapsed in 2005 after sand-dredging eroded the bank.

She then bought a house for about US$500 in Doeum Sleng, named after a local tree bearing orange fruit with poisonous seeds.

No rest for the dead

The dead may not like the arrangements any more than the living.

Children play near the graves and sometimes run on top of them.

In one of Prak Vanna’s dreams, an old man chased after her and told her to move away.

“None of you take care of my grave,” he said. “You piss and defecate on my grave. I am disgusted!”

Afterwards, Prak Vanna said she told her children not to make messes around the graves and has no longer received visits from the angry ghost.

On Chinese New Year and ahead of the Pchum Ben holiday, relatives of the dead leave gifts of food, including fruit, treats and sticky rice.

Prak Vanna said, however, that it is the living who accept and eat the offerings.

“We always receive the food and fruit that rests as a sacrificial offering to the dead every year,” she said.

Another resident, Chan Pov, came to Doeum Sleng in 1995 and set up a small business selling groceries from her home.

She said she never goes near the graveyard at night, though her children play there sometimes during the day. Once, she had to get to the commune chief’s office, only a 10 minute walk away. She chose to run.

“I took only about 2 or 3 minutes because there were so many graves built along the way,” she said, laughing.

Chan Pov said there were few families and about 200 graves in the neighbourhood when she arrived, but relatives have been moving several of them each year, seeking more peaceful burial places.

Uncertainty for the living

The local commune chief said the state plans to move residents away from the tombs.

“We will move them from this area in the future, but we don’t know the exact date yet,” Yin Vuth said.

“The state has the right to move them from this place in order to maintain good order.”

He does not give out land titles in the neighbourhood and no longer allows people to move in or build new homes.

“There will be more people coming to build houses there if I don’t prohibit them, because they don’t need to pay any money to buy land, they can just go and find a place to build a house,” he said.

Yin Vuth said people were actually stealing land that belonged to the state.

After the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime, Huy Nareth moved to Doeum Sleng.

There were about 20 to 30 graves then. He estimated that close to 3,000 families now live in the neighbourhood.

The 72-year-old said the government should clear the area in the name of “development”.

“My idea is that the authority, the village chief, can order the owners of the graves to move them to another place, because we should develop the area to be better,” he said.

“Most people who live here cause problems in society, like drinking alcohol and fighting each other.”

Yin Vuth said, however, that there are no development projects planned for the area.

Prak Vanna said she would move if the government or NGOs offered her a new home.

But for the moment, she’s tried to make peace with her close proximity to the dead.

When her niece and nephew came to visit her home, they laughed at her for living in a graveyard.

“I told them, don’t be afraid, sooner or later you all will die and become ghosts as well.”


Anonymous said...

IRI got big pay from HUN SEN!!

Anonymous said...

Hun Sen has lands to donate to Yourn but let his own people live on the grave Yard?

Anonymous said...

To IRI I think If you go to north korea , or Hanoi ask People There ' maybe you still get 99% of their population answer YES THE GOVERNMENT GO TO THE RIGHT DIRECTION . On the other way From 1975 to 1979 If you asked everyone in Cambodia the answer was 1000% the government went to the right good direction . but you go to Beung Kak or deiy Krahorm Ask those People then you will get what are the different . Think about it again IRI > you understand what i mean .

Anonymous said...


That's meant for HUN SEN?

Really exxagerating this institue this is!!

I don't how your survey conducted but you can't buy my opinion.

Khmer PP,

Anonymous said...

What is khmer gov't doing? out of all the spaces and land we that we have, why let our people live among the grave yard?. In Aust, grave-yard is a very secret place. A place where people need to rest in peace and be respected.

This is very wrong. The gov't needs to clean up its act. This is shameful for our nation as a khmer nation. Why can't this gov't learn from the successful nations where their gov't able to provide a proper housing and as well as an effective management?...

To be a successful nation, gov't needs to work from bottom up, that is, working toward in making sure that everyone needs are met, otherwise you are not doing the right things.

Now if people's need are not met, the gov't then will have to face with a lot of problems ahead them.

How are you going to achieve this? A need to have a community development plan, e.g every kiometer square at least 5000 houses being built for people then collect in rental or people can buy it from the gov't if they want to or otherwise they buy land and build it themselves which ever.

Including a shopping centre, a family doctor, a dentist, a pharmacy, high school,primary school, proper road and park etc...

It is illegal to let people live wherever they like, 1) because it is unhealthy, 2) it looks un-organised as well sending a bad image for our nation. The house should be built by bricks or other means of proper housing materials which can be done by all the qualified builders...with proper plumbing, electrician etc...

Now, we all know that people themself have no money to start with. So the gov't needs to spend more to make it works/happens. If the gov't doesn't do anything about this, it will become much worst in the near future due to increases in population growth.

Everyone knows that every nation needs building infrastructures, if not, how are we going to move about in doing our daily choirs?

The gov't are like parents who have the ability to provide all the necessity in life for every child and every child is the future for our nation. That is why in the west, we have a rule to protect everyone equally e.g. in Aust, we have a policy called the 'Mulitculturalism Policy'. The Aus gov't is using this policy to protect everyone and also to let people know that everyone is eqaully important. Aust

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Hun Sen and Ten Thousands stars Dr. Hun Manet,

Why do you and your relatives give Kos Trol, sea and lands to Vietnam? Why? and Why?

Why do you and all of your relatives involve alot of murder cases in Cambodia? Why? Why?

Why do you murder cambodian K5,1997events and so on and so on with lost count? Why?

If you are so good why do you and your families murder cambodians? Why? and Why?

If you are so good why do about 90%cambodians are so poor but you and your relatives are billionair and millinor? Why? Why?

Why do you try to kill people from telling the true? Why? Why?

What is the difference from Khmer Rough and you, Sir?

If you are so good Why do you block KI from cambodians?

If you are so good why more than 6 millions vietnameses are living permantly in cambodia, right now? Why, Dr. Hen Sen? and Why

Every where, I walk in Cambodia I see vietnamese speak vietnamese every where, why? why?

Don't you and your families scare of hell for ethernity?

When you die can you bring all of your power and money with you?

Dr. Hun Sen and Dr. Big ass lady and his belove Dr. Hun Manet Please don't put us in jail or kill us for this! We want to live like you and your families do!

Khmers victim of 1997 and K5


If Dr. Hun Sen and Dr. Hun Manet remove the tablet it is show they are extremely coward and his star are just joy stars given by his daddy not by patriotism. Dr. Hun Manet is very coward as his daddy they only aim to kill innocent cambodians that all. Dr. Hun SEn and Dr. ten stars Hun Manet are very great at bullying cambodians and killing Cambodians but cowardly toward Thai and Viet.

Seriously where is the win win policy of Dr. Hun Sen represent. The country is getting smaller and shamer by Dr. Hun Sen and Dr. Hun Manet.

Anonymous said...

What can I say horror! horror! how poor we are, these rich leader came from the poor family background as well why they do not understand?

Khmer proverb: born as caterpillar became butterfly and forgot caterpillar origin

Anonymous said...

Reek Cham Reurn Nas Srok Kher EEY Lov, Krom Kar Deurk Norm Ro Boss BANDIT Hun Sen

People live among the dead

Anonymous said...

Gosh! and some of the motherfuckre thing we talk bad about ah choymaray motherfucker Hun Xen!

How bad for people to do think like that?

Anonymous said...

Stop blaming our leaders, they are the masters of the art of war you can trust

By Mike

Warfare is the greatest affair of state, the basis of life and death, the way to survival or extinction. It must be thoroughly pondered and analyzed. Therefore, structure it and evaluate it comparatively through estimations and seek out it's true nature.

As you now know that our leaders' task is to unite the people and make them follow the ruler, then they will die with him, they will live with him and not fear of danger, and as we all clearly see, our leaders in general have encompassed the wisdom, credibility, courage, strictness, and they do understand the laws for military organization and military discipline very well.

As you have heard "The wars win or lose before we ever fought" or another word "evaluating the enemy, subjugating the enemy's army without fighting is the true pinnacle of excellence". If you understand that then you will never blame our leaders for what strategy they have been using vis-a-vis Thailand's military bully. The basic strategy in warfare is to focus upon manipulating the enemy, creating the opportunity for an easy victory, and then applying maximum power at the appropriate moment. Avoiding strong forces is not cowardice, but wisdom, for it is self-defeating to fight when and where there is no advantages, like Sun Tzu's "The Art of War". All of you should have one of these books. He said "One who knows when he can fight, and when he can not fight, will be victorious. One who knows themselves and knows the enemy will not be endangered in a hundred engagements".

As we clearly see, initial estimations show that our gov't does not have or gain more advantage to the nation for going to war right now. Am I right?

The greatest military commanders have always frequently thought and identified solely with the common strategy of "Deceit and Deception". That's the strategy that they will be using in any warfare. Warfare must be viewed as a matter of deception, of constantly creating false appearances, spreading disinformation, and employing trickery and deceit. When imaginatively created and effectively implemented, the enemy will neither know where to attack nor what formations to employ, and will accordingly be prone to making fatal errors. How Deception does it like this if the enemies have greater number of forces full of strength? We avoid them and wait until we create chaos or weakness within the enemy's rank first. If the enemies' unity caused them to be separated, attack where they are unprepared.

Go forth where they will not expect it. If we found ourselves or estimated we are in advantageous position, destroy them. These are ways the military strategists devised to obtain their victories. They can not be spoken of in advance. As all of you have seen, the USA lost war, not on the battlefields in Vietnam, but in the war room in Washington DC. In direct battles, US Army's power machine have sought to obtain victory in every combat, but the press and the people in Washington have opposed the war. They demonstrated and kept on putting pressures on the Gov't to withdraw the US troops from Vietnam.

Now you clearly see war, win or lose, is not about military power, it's about deception, using our brain. Am I right?

Read more.............!
Posted by Khmerization at Friday, January 28, 2011

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

nis hoey dael ah hun xen sabay nas ning kheunh reas ruos nov leu dey mong khmaoch robos ah yuon ning ah chen.

Anonymous said...

AH HUN SEN continue to be misled by his advisors and the IRI that Cambodia is going in the right direction! Yes...the direction is to lead AH HUN SEN right straight to the grave!

Anonymous said...

H i

All the tombs have to remove , do not let them remai n, devoid of meaning. Remove!!! Remove!!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

that what I have been trying saying to the world....I left Khmer 10 yrs ago and went back Nothing has changed still smell like piss and Human waste,Vomit. Nothing has been clean up....No one care to do anything. I not theirs problem!