Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cowards and heroes



Cowards and heroes

Cowards and heroes

The Editor,

It is hard to believe that Beat Richner tries to defend his action or inaction

in refusing emergency medical treatment to the grenade blast victims following the

Easter Sunday massacre, only 100 yards from the gates of his new hospital.

In his own country, or any nation of laws, he would be held accountable. He would

be held liable and suffer the legal, if not the moral and ethical, consequences of

his acts.

The day after the article appeared in the Phnom Penh Post, an English NGO worker

told me that she knew the woman who left the bloody footprints outside Kantha Bopha

II hospital. She said that the woman had the first gate closed in her face and then

she ran to the second gate, only to find it too closed. She collapsed there, and

was put in a cyclo. She died as the cyclo driver reached Calmette Hospital.

I still have the photos I took that day of bloody footprints going past Kantha Bopha.

The photos are haunting. One can almost feel the terror of the poor bleeding victim...pain,

terror, fear and then bewilderment and confusion at being turned away from the very

gates of the most famous hospital in Cambodia! She died before she could feel the

anger and indignation that has been expressed by many.

The photos of the bloody footprints seem to symbolize much of the horror of that

day...the innocent demonstrators, senseless violence, incredible inhumanity, and

then acts of extreme bravery and heroism. The photos serve as a memory of those victims

and those heroes who risked their lives to assist...those nameless heroes who carried

the wounded...the cyclo drivers, and the medical professionals who dared to behave

as professionals, even perhaps at the risk of angering the murderers.

Interestingly, the day after the blast, the bloody footprints were washed away from

the front of Kantha Bopha II. Perhaps someone wanted people not to know...or wanted

people to forget.

The people will not forget. For every coward who caused the violence and every doctor

who slammed a gate, remember there were many heroes. Cambodia will hopefully always

have those heroes.

- Bert Hoak, Phnom Penh.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants