CPP Colleagues, King Mourn Death of Math Ly

Math Ly, a senior official of CPP’s central committee and an adviser to King Norodom Si­hanouk, died Saturday after several months of ill health, officials said. Math Ly was 74.

His death was met with an outpouring of grief from colleagues, as well as from King Sihanouk and Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“The death of His Excellency Math Ly is the loss of a good child of the nation and Cambo­dian people,” King Sihanouk wrote Saturday in a letter of condolence to Math Ly’s family.

Hun Sen also wrote a letter on Saturday, saying the former CPP parliamentarian’s service to the country was unforgettable.

“My wife and I would like to express profound gratitude to [His Excellency] Math Ly, who tried to serve the nation,” Hun Sen wrote.

Math Ly, an active leader in the Cham community, had been battling high blood pressure and liver and lung illnesses, CPP parliamentarian Othsman Hassan said Sunday.

Math Ly was flown to Vietnam on Thursday for medical treatment. He died at about 5:30 am on Saturday, Othsman Hassan said. He said Math Ly’s body was returned to Phnom Penh the same day. His funeral and burial took place Saturday afternoon in Meanchey district’s Prek Pra commune. Senior CPP officials, in­cluding Honorary President Heng Samrin, parliamentary dean Chea Soth, and Secretary-General Say Chhum, attended the funeral, Othsman Hassan said.

Math Ly joined the Khmer Issarak movement to fight against French colonialism in 1948, according to the book “Historical Dictionary of Cambo­dia,” by Justin Corfield and Laura Summers. In the 1970s, he joined the Communist Party of Kampu­chea, which later became the Party of Democratic Kampuchea, also known as the Khmer Rouge, Corfield and Summers wrote.

According to Corfield and Sum­mers, he fled to Vietnam in mid-1978 when the Khmer Rouge began purging the eastern re­gions of Cambodia and joined a movement to oust Pol Pot.

He was elected CPP’s parliamentarian for Kompong Cham province in 1993 and re-elected in 1998. He was appointed to King Sihanouk’s Privy Council in December 1993.

Ismail Osman, Funcinpec un­dersecretary of state for the Ministry of Cults and Religious Affairs, said Sunday he respected Math Ly as an older brother.

“Even though we are in different parties, we respect and love without any argument,” Ismail Osman said.


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