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Abbot nixes plan for Ley ceremony

People gather in front of a portrait of slain political analyst Kem Ley in July at Chroy Changvar’s Wat Chas pagoda.
People gather in front of a portrait of slain political analyst Kem Ley in July at Chroy Changvar’s Wat Chas pagoda. Heng Chivoan

Abbot nixes plan for Ley ceremony

The abbot of Chroy Changvar district’s Wat Chas said yesterday he would not allow his pagoda to be used for the ceremony marking 100 days since the murder of outspoken political analyst Kem Ley.

“I, the abbot of Wat Por Yaram [Wat Chas] committee, have agreed with Phnom Penh administration’s notification to not allow the pagoda to be used to organise such an event,” abbot Meas Sakorn said in a letter to the committee organising the ceremony.

“So if the organising committee for the 100-day anniversary for Kem Ley, or any individuals or any group still organises the above ceremony, I, the abbot of the pagoda’s committee, am not responsible, and I ask the authorities to take administrative measures.”

Pa Nguon Teang, head of the ceremony organising committee, said the plans for the ceremony on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, would still go ahead, despite opposition from authorities and the abbot.

“He is probably under pressure from the authorities,” he said. “We are still finding a way to negotiate and discuss with the abbot to ensure we can organise the ceremony at the pagoda.”

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