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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Libraries given copies of Kem Ley’s writings

Books containing the writings of Kem Ley are delivered to the National Library in Phnom Penh yesterday afternoon.
Books containing the writings of Kem Ley are delivered to the National Library in Phnom Penh yesterday afternoon. Heng Chivoan

Libraries given copies of Kem Ley’s writings

Students of murdered political commentator Kem Ley have raised $30,000 from the sales of two books compiled from his allegories and other writings, and yesterday began donating 1,000 copies of the book to university libraries around Phnom Penh.

Hang Vitou, a former student of Kem Ley, who had been giving lessons in analysis until he was murdered on the morning of July 10, said one book contains the long political “jokes” written by his former teacher, while the other had more academic writings.

“Providing these books is to urge readers to read Kem Ley’s work and his ideas related to social problems and their solutions . . . and to promote the hard work he did while he was alive,” Vitou said.

He said a total of 20,000 copies of the two versions would be produced, with 14,000 already printed.

The sales of 11,000 of those raised about $30,000, he said, while another 1,000 had been set aside as free copies for people who could not afford to buy them.

“The money will be donated to Kantha Bopha Hospital, to Kem Ley’s mother and his wife, and the rest will be for our team to continue Kem Ley’s work,” he said.

Vitou said copies of the books would also be donated to the National Library. A librarian there, Yorn Sokha, said that she welcomed the donation and that it would be put on display for the public.

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