City Hall Rejects New Request for Kem Ley Ceremony

Phnom Penh City Hall on Friday denied a second request for a 100-day ceremony in honor of Kem Ley, rejecting a bid to hold it at Wat Chas because organizers failed to secure a permission letter from the slain analyst’s family.

Municipal governor Pa Socheatvong issued a statement saying anyone who intended to represent the family needed to show they had its approval for the plans.

“This is a political funeral so we have to be serious,” said City Hall spokesman Mean Chanyada.

Kem Ley’s widow, Bou Rachana, fled the country with her four sons in late August and recently gave birth to her fifth son.

Kem Ley’s brother, Kem Rithysith, has been at odds with the funeral committee.

The government previously denied a request to hold the ceremony from October 14 to 16 at the city’s central Wat Botum park.

Pa Nguon Teang, a member of the funeral committee, said there was no law that requires “so many procedures” for a funeral ceremony.

Wat Chas chief monk Meas Sakhorn said he was willing to host the ceremony, but wanted the city’s approval.

“I do not take sides with anyone,” he said.

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