Khmernews

PM Hun Sen Disagrees with Bones Cremation

Posted by khmernews on March 30, 2007

The Prime Minister Hun Sen, head of the government of Cambodia, again does not approve with the idea of cremating the bones and skulls of the victims during the Khmer Rouge regime while the Khmer Rouge trial is progressing. For the PM Hun Hen, these bones and skulls are important evidence for the process of the tribunal.

“Without this evidence, the court cannot progress,” explained the Prime Minister Monday last week in a bridge opening ceremony in Dangkao district not far away from the mass grave Cheung Aek genocidal center.

As there are more and more tourists visiting the center, the PM Hun Sen said that the purpose of keeping these bones and skulls is not for tourism, but it is just for the evidence of the genocide during the Khmer Rouge regime. “We are not displaying the bones of our people to the tourists, but we keep them for the evidence of the genocide of the Khmer Rouges.”

Cambodian senior figures have had disagreements for years over the bones of the victims during the Khmer Rouge regime. Former King Norodom Sihanouk was the first person who has insisted on cremating the bones and bringing them to be kept in stupas as in Buddhist tradition so that the spirits of those victims will rest in peace. Moreover, he announced that he would pay for the expense of the cremation. Meanwhile, there are a lot of people supporting the former king’s idea because of the religious reason and embarrassment [of the country’s history] to the foreign tourists. Those people think that the evidence of documents, witnesses, and photos are enough for the prosecution of the former Khmer Rouge leaders.

However, based on the lawful reason, most people support the head of the government since the evidence is very important for the trial. It should be remembered that the living former Khmer Rouge leaders including Noun Chea and Kieu Samphan do not accept the truth in their regime. Some former Khmer Rouge leaders even claimed with sarcasm that those heaps of bones (of the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime) have been invented. As a result, if those bones are cremated, it will be a great danger for the Khmer Rouge trial.

(Informal Transaltion)
-Extracted from Somnei Thmei, #101 Monday – Tuesday, March 11, 2007.

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