New Stupa the Centerpiece for Memorial Service

For the first time since grenade blasts ripped through an opposition rally in 1997, the Sam Rainsy Party will have a formal place to commemorate the victims of the March 30 attack.

It wasn’t until last year that a permanent stupa was erected in the park across from the National Assembly. Several previous me­morials were torn down by police.

At least 200 Sam Rainsy Party members are expected to join 100 monks from various pagodas this morning in a remembrance ceremony at the stupa, which lists the names of the victims. Many other residents are expected to come, party officials said.

Sam Rainsy said he will use the ceremony to bring attention to two elements of the attack and the investigations that followed.

First, he said, he will make a plea to the US government to de­classify a report filed by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, which he says contains details about what occurred that Sun­day morning.

At least four gre­nades rocked the as­sembly, killing at least 17 of the 200 people gathered on the site to hear Sam Rainsy rail a­gainst a corrupt court system.

Some dead bodies, too, were likely carried away by police or died in the hospital unidentified, Sam Rainsy said Thursday. More than 125 were injured.

No arrests have been made in connection with the attack.

Among those hurt was US citizen Ron Abney, whose injury brought the FBI to Cambodia.

The preliminary FBI report was quickly classified and a second report then surfaced, Sam Rainsy said. He wants the first report declassified to give peace of mind to the victims’ family.

“For the families, I think they deserve to be informed about what has been found,” he said.

At the ceremony to­day, Sam Rainsy will al­so announce that the courts in France have of­ficially agreed to in­vestigate the attack. Sam Rainsy and his wife hold French passports, which allowed them to file a complaint there.

“There have been new developments” in the case, he said. Other witnesses and clues have surfaced since the FBI did its investigation, he said. He wants to show families that the case has not been forgotten.

“Things are moving on,” he said. “You should not give up hope that light will be shed on this tragedy one day.”


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