Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - A prayer for muddied waters

A prayer for muddied waters

A prayer for muddied waters

With  the results of government tests still pending, more than 60 people from the area around Ratanakkiri’s Yeak Laom Lake, which suddenly became muddy last Friday, gathered to pray for the return of the lake’s once crystal-clear waters.

Villagers, community leaders and representatives of an ethnic minority group lined the banks of the lake, formed during a volcanic eruption some 4,000 years ago, to pray to the spirit they say watches over it.

“We performed an indigenous ceremony on Wednesday evening by preparing food, fruits, cigarettes, white and red cooked rice, wine mixed with pig’s blood and a raft for keeping those things on it,” said Tol Nguch, a member of the Yeak Loam Lake office.

Tol Nguch said he had seen the water in the lake change colour before, but not in such a pronounced fashion, adding that it has also developed a blue tinge, moss and began bubbling in its middle. He said that he hoped invoking the lake’s spirit will cause the water to return to normal in the next few days.

“We just hope the water will return to being crystal clear, but if it is still the same, we will discuss with each other again what we are going to do,” he said.

Provincial director of the Department of Industry, Mines and Energy Hem Vanthorn said the water has been tested, but they are still waiting on the results.

“The lab staff at the ministry are working with the water we sent them to test why it turned muddy,” he said, adding that rainwater flowing into the lake may have accounted for the discolouration.

“We prohibit tourists from swimming in the lake, because we are afraid it will affect their health . . . but we will allow them to swim again when the water becomes normal,” Hem Vanthorn said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen to ‘step down’ if he loses Sam Rainsy bet over Kem Sokha

    Hun Sen has promised to step down as prime minister while opposition figure Sam Rainsy pledges to turn himself in as forfeits if the long-term political rivals lose a “bet” over the future of former opposition leader Kem Sokha, who is on bail awaiting trial

  • UAE prince seeks to invest in Cambodia

    The UAE has expressed interest in Cambodian oil and gas exploration. Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem said this was the result of his discussions with Sheikh Ahmed bin Dalmook bin Juma al-Maktoum, a member of the royal family who visited him on Wednesday.

  • Kem Sokha off the menu as Smith talks judicial independence

    The UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Cambodia, Rhona Smith, on Tuesday, focused on “judicial independence” at a meeting with Ministry of Justice officials. Both Smith and ministry spokesman Chin Malin said the former opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (

  • Smith calls for ‘release’ of Sokha as visit ends

    At a press conference to conclude her 11-day visit to Cambodia, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia Rhona Smith on Thursday called for treason charges against former opposition leader Kem Sokha to be dropped and for him to be released from “restricted detention”.