Hundreds Mark Anniversary of Grenade Attack

The long search for justice was the theme at March 30’s 10th an­ni­ver­sary commemoration of the 1997 grenade attack when at least 16 people were killed and more than 200 in­jured by perpetrators that have nev­­er been caught.

Some 300 people, many supporters and members of the SRP, gathered at the memorial stupa opposite the National Assembly to mark the decade since four hand grenades tore through a peaceful protest led by Sam Rainsy.

Ly Nary, the mother of Chet Duong Dararith, a journalist who was killed by the blasts, read a statement to the gathered mourners paying tribute to her son and the other men and women killed on March 30, 1997.

“We still remember you all and may your souls go to heaven. We still continue to seek justice for you,” she said.

Sam Rainsy also spoke of the “struggle for justice,” which he said he was still committed to.

“Our commitment to seek justice is the same. Our conscience is the same,” he said.

No one has ever been brought to justice for the grenade attack, which is considered one of the worst civilian atrocities in the country’s recent history and a key example of im­punity in Cam­bo­dia.

The government did not send a representative to the attack commemoration, Information Min­ister and government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said.

“We didn’t send anyone be­cause we were not invited and they curse us,” Khieu Kanharith said.

“We have the Pchum Ben festival at which we can mourn,” he added.

Teng Savorn, second deputy di­rector-general of National Police and head of a government committee investigating the 10-year-old at­tack, declined to comment on his progress Thursday saying that he was too busy to talk.

New York-based Human Right’s Watch claimed in a statement on Thursday that authorities did not conduct a serious investigation of the attack “because of substantial evidence of government involvement.”

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