Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ceremony to go on sans urn

Ceremony to go on sans urn

Visitors look up at a stupa on Oudong mountain in December last year
Visitors look up at a stupa on Oudong mountain in December last year. Heng Chivoan

Ceremony to go on sans urn

Hundreds of monks will observe Meak Bochea Day on Kandal province’s Oudong mountain today, the first time the ceremony will take place in the absence of an urn said to contain relics of the Buddha since it was brought to the stupa in 2002.

High-ranking parliamentarians will also join the festivities, which is a public holiday in many Buddhist nations intended to remind followers of the Buddha’s teachings.

Police officials and representatives of the sangha yesterday said that the urn, which was stolen on December 10, will remain at the Royal Palace until work had been completed to repair a leaky roof at the stupa that used to house the priceless artefact.

Khim Sorn, Phnom Penh municipal director of monks, said yesterday that nearly 600 monks will attend the event at Oudong mountain today.

“At least one representative from the Royal Palace will attend with 80 senior monks and all of the public are welcome to join this ceremony together,” he said, adding that a “water leak” was being fixed at the site where the urn would be kept.

Oum Daravuth, a member of the Royal Palace cabinet, said yesterday that “our King holds the ceremony of Meak Bochea every year at the Royal Palace, just to pray to the Buddha and offer food to monks.”

He added that he did not know when the urn will be taken back to Oudong.

Eav Chamroeung, Kandal provincial police chief, said that “to tell you the truth, the relic will not yet to go to Oudong, because inside the stupa needs to be renovated”.

Sorn said that the ceremony could go ahead without the urn, which was one of the central components of the event in previous years.

“We prayed to five things [in the past]. Although there’s no relics at Oudong anymore, we still can hold this ceremony, because the day is important for two reasons,” he said.

“First is to remember the 1,250 disciples of Buddha who visited Buddha without any prior appointment, to listen to his last sermon. Second, it’s the day Buddha announced his passing.”


  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,