Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Buddha statue not wanted

Buddha statue not wanted

Buddha statue not wanted

Ethnic Tumpoun residents from Ratanakkiri’s Banlung district sent petitions to authorities yesterday to protest plans to erect a Buddha statue at Yeak Loam Lake, saying it will bring bad luck to their villages.

The statue, donated by a Buddhist charity, is slated to be built near the lake in December and is intended for tourists visiting the popular destination.

“We just want a Buddha statue in the area because there are tourists, from Phnom Penh and other provinces, who are Buddhists and want to pray for luck at the lake,” said Buddhist Ngoun Chantry.

But ethnic minority residents, who make up the majority of the local population are vehemently opposing the idea.

“There has never been a Buddhist statue at the Yeak Loam Lake until now. We only obey the spirits of the wild and the animals, and this statue is against our beliefs,” said villager Mong Vicheat.

According to Yeak Loam Lake researcher Meas Ny, the ethnic minority groups believe that the new statue will bring tragedy, natural crises and sickness to their members.

“They’re rejecting the planning because they think it will bring bad luck to them,” Ny said. “The minority group is really strict in their religious belief. Every year, they always obey . . . the spirit who looks after the resort at the lake,” he said.

Yeak Loam commune chief Pi Loung said they have requested a study on the implications of building the Buddha statue near the lake.

“The provincial authority will order officials to study the place and whether authorities should allow the Buddha statue to be built,” Loung said.

“What’s important is that we do not see a dispute over religious beliefs.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10