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Motorised funeral ‘march’ for Kem Ley

Monks lead a procession of hundreds for Kem Ley over Chroy Changvar bridge as they travel to Wat Chas pagoda earlier this month. SBN
Monks lead a procession of hundreds for Kem Ley over Chroy Changvar bridge as they travel to Wat Chas pagoda earlier this month. SBN

Motorised funeral ‘march’ for Kem Ley

After two days of meetings, City Hall and the funeral committee of slain political activist Kem Ley have hashed out details for Sunday’s funeral procession, with the committee agreeing to restrict mourners to motos and cars.

City Hall on Wednesday raised two objections to the committee’s plans: allowing mourners to walk and the use of Monivong and Russian boulevards. While mourners still cannot march, the two sides reached an agreement that will see the procession utilise the two main thoroughfares.

Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Khoung Sreng yesterday said police forces would be deployed along the procession route and again stressed that people should not walk.

“We have measures to stop it, but we appeal to people to understand about this problem,” he said, before declining to say how many security personnel will be on the streets.

The procession will start from Wat Chas pagoda at 7am, where Ley’s body has been on display since his death on July 10, and will make its way across the Japanese Friendship Bridge towards Russian Boulevard and onwards to his home province of Takeo on National Road 3.

Tim Malay, funeral committee member and director of the Cambodia Youth Network, said it would be difficult to prevent people from walking along with the procession.

“If the people want walk 20 or 30 metres, or stand along the road, how can we ban them?” he said.

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