The four-day funeral of slain monk Sam Bunthoeun began yesterday – more than 13 years after his death – at Odong Mountain, with some estimating a turnout of thousands. Bunthoeun, an outspoken critic of corruption and advocate for monks’ voting rights, was gunned down in February of 2003 by unknown assailants.
His body has been preserved in a glass coffin ever since, with his family deciding to finally have the body cremated last month. Seng Sros, Ponhear Leu district police chief, said the funeral will be attended by senior Buddhist clergy, including Great Supreme Patriarch Tep Vong – whose sometimes-politicised sermons were once targets of Bunthoeun’s criticism.
No one was arrested for Bunthoeun’s murder, and National Police spokesman Sarann Kamsorth insisted yesterday that the investigation was ongoing.