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Spokesman chips in: Activist’s son helped with college fees

Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, has vowed to fund the college education of deceased rights activist Chan Soveth’s son.

Calling it a “purely humanitarian activity”, Siphan said yesterday he would pay the fees for Soveth’s eldest son, 16-year-old Chan Sovisal, to attend the Royal University of Phnom Penh.

“We just share and build human resources. We want him to know he is fatherless, but he does still have relatives. This is just encouragement that you will have tomorrow and you will accomplish your purposes,” Siphan said.

Soveth, a senior investigator at rights group Adhoc, where he worked for almost two decades, died at the age of 51 from an apparent heart attack on December 10.

Sovisal expressed gratitude for Siphan’s gesture yesterday: ‘‘I have nothing to say other than thanks for His Excellency Phay Siphan’s benevolence.’’

Adhoc has also set up a fund to raise money for Soveth’s family.

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