Saturday, November 16, 2013

City Prepares Ceremony in Remembrance of Bridge Stampede Victims

Heng Reaksmey, VOA Khmer, 16 November 2013

PHNOM PENH - Phnom Penh will hold a ceremony Nov. 22 in remembrance of the victims who died during a Water Festival stampede in 2011.

More than 350 people died in the stampede, which took place on a bridge crowded with panicked festival-goers.

The city will invite 108 monks to hold a religious ceremony honoring the victims, said Long Dimong, a spokesman for the municipal government.

At least 353 people died and another 480 were injured when revelers overcrowded the Diamond Island bridge, linking the main city to a small island on an adjacent river. Some remain disabled to this day.

Critics say city authorities and police failed to properly manage the crowds at the festival, which brings millions of people to the city, but a governmental investigative committee found no wrongdoing on the part of authorities.

The festival has been canceled every year since the incident.

Opposition officials say they too will hold a ceremony to honor the dead.

“We very much regret that event, where hundreds of people were killed,” said Ngem Ponchrith, a spokesman for the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party. “The leaders should be held responsible.”


Anonymous said...

I would like to repost and update my comment.



Any autocratic regime in the world is so afraid of the mass gathering because once that gathering were turning against them, they would not be able to contain it.

Every year in Cambodia, during the water festival - Bonn Om Touk – millions of people were gathering to see the racing boats. That made the puppet government and its master Vietnam very nervous. They might have thought that what would happen if those people used that occasion and turned it into a sea of demonstration against them?

In order to disrupt that annual gathering, they might have created that disastrous event in Koh Pich – showing, proving to people that huge crowd is very dangerous, thus people must stay away from huge crowd in the future.

The absence of the water festival in the following year might underscore the assumption that the Koh Pich Bridge’s incident was planned.

Khmer people must wait and see for this year ( 2012). If there was no water festival in Cambodia, there would be a stronger possibility that the deadly event in Koh Pich was premeditated. The international community, the CNRP, and Khmer people must find the mastermind behind this horrible crime.

It is highly likely that Vietnam was the mastermind behind that incident because logically and humanly it is difficult for Khmer people to kill their own people like that.

The ulterior motive ( the ultimate goal ) behind the catastrophic event in the koh Pich bridge was to put an end to the yearly millions people gathering. It does not matter to the expansionist Vietnam whether Khmer culture or custom disappear or not.

Bun Thoeun

Note: I wrote this comment and posted in KI a couple of months ago. Now, this year (2012), there is no water festival either, citing Sihanouk’s death was the cause of the cancellation.

Historically, how many times in the past that Cambodia failed to celebrate the water festival ?

Bun Thoeun

( Update for this 2013 )

Now, this year, 2013, there is no water festival again. The flood was the reason for the cancellation.

How about next year?

The chance to celebrate the water festival will be slim if the puppet government was still in power because Vietnam and Hun Sen worried that people might use that moment to mount a huge demonstration against them.

Wake up Khmer people !! Everything is almost gone under this puppet Hun Sen’s government.

Khmer people, especially the CNRP, must exert their best concert efforts to claim the election’s victory. We cannot let this CPP thief stole Khmer people's votes like that.

We must realize that decades - 30 to 50 years - from now, Khmer people’s sacrifice to save Cambodia will produce fruitless result because Vietnam’s influence were so overwhelming by that time.

If we wanted to save Cambodia, this would be the right time because the CNRP had won the election, which is a solid foundation for the CNRP to succeed.

Bun Thoeun

Anonymous said...

លោកប៊ុន ធឿន,
រហូតមកទល់ថ្ងៃនេះ គ្មាននរណាដឹងថា តេីនរណាជាម្ចាស់នៃស្ពានមួយ
នេះពិតប្រាកដទេ ? ។ ការផ្តល់អំណោយបន្តិចបន្តួច គឺគ្រាន់ជាការបំបិទ
មាត់ជនរងគ្រោះ និងគ្រួសារនៃជនរងគ្រោះមិនឲប្តឹងសងជម្ងឺចិត្តនៃការ
ខូចខាតប៉ុណ្ណោះ ។ ការរុះស្ពានចោល គឺជាការបំបិទដាន !!
លី ឌៀប