Grenade Attack, March 30, 1997
t least 12 people were killed and countless more wounded when four grenades were
thrown at the Sam-rainsy-led Khmer National Party demonstration in the park opposite
the National Assembly. The grenades were hurled into the crowd of demonstrators.
A unit of armed soldiers were standing nearby, but the soldiers made no attempt to
prevent the assailants from fleeing the scene of the crime. Nearly 10 years later,
the perpetrators have yet to be apprehended and brought to justice.
Piseth Pelika, center, shot at Psar O'Russey on July 6, 1999.
Piseth Pelika, July 13, 1999 (Shot July 6)
On July 6, 1999 Piseth Pelika, a much-loved Cambodian singer, dancer and actor, was
singled out from a crowd at Phnom Penh's O'Russei Market and gunned down in broad
daylight. She suffered multiple bullet wounds to the spine, and died seven days later,
aged 34, in Calmette Hospital.
Pelika, whose successful career had seen her make over 60 film appearances, was also
a strong promoter of traditional Cambodian culture. Her work in this field helped
ensure that Cambodia was awarded the top spot at the 1997 Ramayana Festival in Bangkok.
Police have not charged anyone with her murder, and the circumstances surrounding
her death remain a mystery even now, seven years after the event.
Sam Bunthoeurn, February 8, 2003 (Shot Feb 6)
On February 6, monk Sam Bunthoeurn was shot three times in the chest by a pair of
gunmen while he was standing in front of Wat Lanka, Phnom Penh. He died two days
later as a result of his injuries, while receiving treatment at Calmette Hospital.
A well-respected Buddhist leader, Bunthoeurn is best remembered for advocating Buddhist
Immediately after the event, police said the assassination was the result of a dispute
between Buntheourn and a layman. They subsequently suggested that they had information
which linked a suspect to the slaying. Four years later, Bunthoeurn's killer has
yet to be apprehended.
Bunthoeurn's body has been preserved and is now displayed to the public from a converted
supermarket freezer at Oudong's Buddhist center.
Om Radsady, February 18, 2003
Five months before the general election, Om Radsady, senior adviser to Funcinpec
leader Norodom Ranariddh, was shot in the thigh by two men while leaving a restaurant
in the Daun Penh district. He died later that day in Calmette hospital. Witnesses
reported seeing the assassins flee on a blue Honda AX-1 motorbike. An initial statement
by the Ministry of Interior (MoL) claimed Radsady had been murdered for his mobile
phone, but it later said there could have been a political motive for the assassination.
Radsady, a senior adviser to Funcinpec leader Prince Norodom Ranariddh, was a well-liked
former MP and popular public figure.
Mom Sophann, a rank and file member of parachute regiment 911, and his brother, were
both arrested and charged with the Radsady's murder. They said their motive was robbery.
Chea Vichea, January 22, 2004
Chea Vichea, an outspoken trade union activist and Sam Rainsy party supporter, was
shot in the head, chest and left wrist while reading a newspaper at a stand next
to Wat Lanka. In a contract-style drive-by hit, Vichea was shot repeatedly at close
range by an unmasked assailant who then fled on a motorbike driven by an accomplice.
Police arrested Sok Samoeun and Bourn Samnang, who were then convicted of Vichea's
murder, but the pair have vigorously asserted their innocence. The Cambodian Human
Rights Action Committee (CHRAC) is campaigning to have the men set free. The campaign
has earned the support of Va Sothy, a witness to the crime, King Father Norodom Sihanouk,
and Chea Mony, Vichea's brother. Many people have linked the assassination to a threatening
text-message received by Vichea shortly before his death.