Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tributes set to be laid on third anniversary of Kem Ley death

Tributes set to be laid on third anniversary of Kem Ley death

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Flowers and tributes are laid for political analyst Kem Ley, who was slain on July 10, 2016. Heng Chivoan

Tributes set to be laid on third anniversary of Kem Ley death

The Khmer Student Intelligent League Association (KSILA) has said its members, despite warnings from Phnom Penh Municipal Hall, will lay flowers and tributes for the third year at the Caltex petrol station in Phnom Penh where political analyst Kem Ley was slain on July 10, 2016.

KSILA president Moung Sony said laying flowers to commemorate the third anniversary of Ley’s death will not affect public order and harm anyone.

“It is completely normal that we plan to lay flowers to commemorate [Ley’s death]. There will be about three or four people and it will only take 15 minutes."

“So our group will go [to the petrol station] and then continue to Kem Ley’s memorial service in his hometown with six monks,” Sony said.

He told The Post that Phnom Penh Municipal Hall had prohibited them from laying flowers because the petrol station, on the capital’s Monivong Boulevard, was a private location. Sony said the explanation was unreasonable.

“If the petrol station is a private location, the Phnom Penh Municipal Hall should not have the right to approve or not approve. Because it’s a privately owned place, the Phnom Penh Municipal Hall should tell us to ask the owner of the petrol station."

“That would be more reasonable, but [the municipal hall] used the term ‘not approved’, and cited this reason,” he said.

Last Monday, the KSILA submitted a letter to Phnom Penh Municipal Hall requesting permission for 10 people to gather to place flowers at the petrol station on Wednesday between 9am and 11am.

On Thursday, the municipal hall issued a letter denying their request because the area was under private management and instructed the group to stage their memorial ceremony at the victim’s home or at the KSILA’s headquarters.

Phnom Penh Municipal Hall spokesman Met Meas Pheakdey told The Post on Sunday: “To stage religious ceremonies in order to honour [the dead] . . . we have other places, such as pagodas, for that type of event.”

The municipal hall’s letter said: “Regarding the proposed gathering at the above area or along a public street if it affects security, safety, social or public order or involves any activity other than a commemorative ceremony, the head [of the KSILA] will be held responsible before the law.”

Social and political analyst Lao Mong Hay declined to comment on the municipal hall prohibiting the memorial but said he would participate in the day’s events by selling memorial mugs bearing a picture of Ley.

“Personally, I have arranged the memorial mugs to honour Kem Ley. They are for sale to raise money for the funeral costs. The mugs will have a picture of Kem Ley on them and will be sold for $6. I will attend the memorial service with Kem Ley’s family in his hometown on the afternoon on July 10."

“I will live stream it on Facebook and talk about tributes to him, my relationship with him and the process of finding justice [for his murder],” Mong Hay said.

Ley, 45, was shot twice with a Glock handgun inside a Caltex petrol station cafe on July 10, 2016.

After the murder, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court handed down a whole-life jail term to a man named Oeut Ang who, after his arrest on March 1, 2017, gave police the name Chuob Samlab, which means “meet to kill” in Khmer.


  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’