Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Healer driven from village



Healer driven from village

Healer driven from village

A traditional healer and his family fled their home in Kong Pisey district in Kampong Speu province on Friday after villagers accused the man of sorcery and threatened to kill him.

Deputy district police chief Tuy Then said police saved the family after a few hundred villagers threatened to kill Prak Kong, 65, a traditional healer and fortune teller. The villagers had gathered around Kong’s house and tried to drag him outside, but police intervened and brought Kong and his eight family members to the police station, Then said.

Several locals had fallen ill and other villagers blamed their illness on witchcraft, he said.

“They could not eat because they drank a lot and got sick, and villagers are superstitious,” Then said. “Citizens believe too much in superstition, and they don’t care about health, they just drink.”

Kong began living part-time in Kong Pisey district after meeting his second wife 10 years ago, said Heng An, Kong’s 36-year-old step-daughter. Kong spends part of the year wandering the country peddling natural remedies. His first wife lives in Takeo province, she said.

According to An, the villagers accused her step-father of everything from causing poverty to death.

“The villagers say they are getting poorer because Ta Kong made them poor, and that he made people die,” An said. “Last month, two villagers died on the same day, one from a chronic illness and another from a stroke, and they blamed him. Then, on the hundred-day anniversary of their funeral, another person died of diabetes and he was blamed for that.”

An says she would like an NGO to intervene so she can return to her home without fear.

“Now they don’t allow us to live there, they threatened to kill us and burn down our house,” she said.

But Then confirmed that it would be impossible for Kong to return to the village.

“Now the situation is calm, but last night villagers went to destroy the spirit house in front of the family home,” Then said. “They also injured Kong’s nephew who was looking after the house.”

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