Provincial authorities in Banteay Meanchey on Thursday called an urgent meeting after villagers filed a complaint calling for a halt to the construction of graves and stupas in the provincial capital.
The complaint was made after the demarcation for burial facilities was extended at Phnom Svay in Serey Sophon town.
Banteay Meanchey deputy governor Ly Sary called on citizens to prevent the construction of such facilities at the foot of Phnom Svay mountain.
“We will not allow any more construction of graves. The Department of Cults and Religions must provide a complete database of stupas or graves in the province to prepare measures to address this issue immediately,” he said.
According to Sary, town residents requested that encroachment on the hill be stopped.
“This halt is enacted in order for us to take good care of the environment, improve the beauty of the mountain, save the greenery and minimise the construction of graves that affect the foot of the mountain since it’s a tourist destination,” Sary said.
He stressed that the provincial religions department must draft a letter to its national-level colleagues to announce the action. He called on the local department of mines and energy to oversee the issue.
Orth Oung Samphors, an affairs officer at the province’s department of religions, said on Thursday that there are monks and pagodas near the foot of the mountain.
“The ministry has already put up a public notice on the construction of stupas or graves in the Phnom Svay area.
“But cases like this still happen there because some Buddhist followers colluded with the pagoda’s chief monk.” he said.