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Authorities must heed lessons of Koh Pich

Dear Editor,

As a resident of the capital, I write to express my hope that the cremation ceremony planned in Phnom Penh next week for the late King Father will pass without any injury or loss of life among the huge crowds that are expected to congregate in the city.

It is rumoured that as many as three million people will travel to Phnom Penh, more than doubling the city’s population.

I was in Phnom Penh in 2010, when 353 people lost their lives and hundreds more were injured in what has been described as a stampede on the Koh Pich Bridge.

I truly hope the national and municipal authorities have learned some lessons from that tragic event.

I have visited the Phnom Penh municipality’s English-language website and, although there is a page dedicated to the event, I have been unable to find any information on crowd-control measures that will be in place over the course of the four-day ceremony.

It is of paramount importance to the people of Cambodia that they mourn their beloved King Father.

It is more important, still, however, that this ceremony does not lead to further loss of life.

John
Phnom Penh resident

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