Official Says Shot Singer Still Paralyzed

Touch Srey Nich’s condition appeared to be improving Sun­day, but the popular singer, who was shot three times in a daytime attack on Tuesday, remained paralyzed from the neck down at a Bangkok hospital, a government official said.

“She is conscious, and she shakes her head but her body is not moving yet,” Khieu Thavika, spokes­man for the Council of Ministers, said in a telephone interview from Bangkok. “She is better than before, but oxygen is still used to help support her breathing.”

The 24-year-old star was shot twice in the face and once in the neck as she emerged from a flower shop on Monireth Boule­vard near Mao Tse-tung Boule­vard in Phnom Penh, witnesses said. Her mother, Kim Sinoun, 59, was also shot in the attack. She died soon after arriving at Cal­mette Hospital. Police are looking for suspects.

Kim Sinoun’s body was cremated Friday in a ceremony at Wat Ounalom in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district. About 500 people, including some 200 students, attended the ceremony, district police said. Her husband, however, was not present as he was tending to his daughter in Bangkok.

The shooting of Touch Srey Nich, and the death of her mother, have un­leashed an outpouring of grief from the public.

A Cambodian electronics firm, Sensorexim Trading Co, on Sun­day of­fered to provide the singer  $100 a month pension—or $1,200 a year—for the rest of her life if she returns to the country after her recovery.

Touch Srey Nich has appeared in Sen­sorexim’s advertisements and has been an adviser to the company for about five years, Kith Sen Sorya, the company’s director, said. “She serves for my company, so I have to take care of her. I do this as I want other companies to follow,” he said.

Meanwhile, demand for the star’s cassettes, CDs, video CDs and DVDs has soared since the incident, market vendors said.

Bun Chhay, a vendor for Chlang­den Production at Phsar Olympic, said sales of Srey Nich’s songs and videos have nearly doubled to more than 10 discs per day. But he said, “Even if they sell well, I am not happy. I am sad to hear she was shot and seriously injured.”

The singer is known for songs such as “Seila Cham Bdei,” or “The Rock Waits for a Husband,” and “Sramay Kalvey Komar,” or “Imagine About Childhood.”


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