09 January 2012

 

Hun Sen approves Vichea statue

Cambodia's prime minister, Hun Sen, has signed off on a request from the Free Trade Workers to permit the placement of a statue in Phnom Penh to honor Chea Vichea.

Chea Vichea’s brother, Chea Mony, who has now assumed his elder sibling’s mantle as president of Cambodia’s Free Trade Union, said the FTU sent an annual letter on the anniversary of Chea Vichea’s assassination to the King requesting a statue be built, but their plea had been ignored every time. ... Hun Sen’s approval of the monument came with the caveat that the FTU would be responsible for funding and construction and that they must first have discussions with Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema. (more in Phnom Penh Post, Jan 4, 2012)
It seems previous requests had not been directed to the appropriate recipient. The governor of Phnom Penh was cited in the Post saying that had Chea Mony petitioned Hun Sen directly, the request "would have been granted a long time ago."

The city is responsible for helping to pay for the statue, says Chea Mony, based on the note that Hun Sen wrote on the FTU's request. As translated by the Post, the note reads “Agree as requested. Please Excellency Kep Chuktema help prepare construction by discussing with Mr Chea Mony.” (more in Phnom Penh Post, Jan 5, 2012)

A few days later, Vichea's widow Chea Kimny wrote this appeal to the Cambodian government:
I am very happy that the Free Trade Union of Workers in the Kingdom of Cambodia (FTUWKC) succeeded in its demand to the royal government to provide a location for the building of a statue for Chea Vichea, my husband. 
However, I and my two children, as well as the public – in particular all the workers – believe that Chea’s Vichea’s soul has not found peace yet, and he cannot leave this world yet because justice was not provided to him since the government could not find the killers.
Therefore, I and my two children are asking the government to find justice for our beloved husband and father.
Done in Finland, 09 January 2012

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