Billed as a more peaceful alternative to the Remembrance Day celebrated by the CPP, Sam Rainsy Party supporters on Tuesday held their annual “Day of Forgiveness” across from the National Assembly.
Remembrance Day grew out of National Hate Day, which the government began marking after the fall of the Khmer Rouge as a day to express the grief and frustrations from that period.
The Sam Rainsy Party instead holds a ceremony every May 22 to mark the anniversary of the cremation of journalist Thun Bunly. Four years ago, Thun Bunly, a member of the Khmer Nation Party, forerunner of the Sam Rainsy Party, was gunned down by unidentified assailants.
“What people want is peace for their minds, not hatred and anger,” Sam Rainsy said before the ceremony. “We need to retrieve our anger through a spirit of justice. Don’t be confused between hatred and forgiveness.”
The ceremony was held near the stupa that honors the memory of 17 people killed during a grenade attack at a Sam Rainsy Party rally held seven weeks before Thun Bunly was killed.
No arrests have been made in either case.