Phnom Penh officials have granted permission for the construction of a sixth opposition party-backed stupa commemorating victims of the 1997 grenade attack on a party rally, after the previous five have been destroyed by the government in a bitter disagreement over the public monument.
However, opposition leader Sam Rainsy must comply with five conditions when the stupa is rebuilt, Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Than Sina said in the permission letter Monday.
According to the letter, the stupa must be built in front of Wat Botum pagoda, across the park from the National Assembly. It can occupy a 5.5-square- meter patch of land, with a base of 2.5 square meters.
People will not be allowed to guard the stupa and ceremonies cannot be held at the stupa if they coincide with ceremonies at the National Assembly or Royal Palace.
The stupa also must be removed if the government decides to renovate the park in which it is located, officials said.
Lastly, any plan to build a stupa must be approved by the Ministry of Urbanization and Construction, the Municipal Land Title Department and the Governor of Daun Penh District, the letter said.
“The conditions mean nothing to us,” Sam Rainsy Party Cabinet Chief Phi Thach said Tuesday, noting such decisions are up to the National Assembly and King Norodom Sihanouk.