Message of Condolence to the Families of the Victims of the Koh Pich Tragedy
November 22, 2010
Photos: Reuters and AP
Phnom Penh- The Cambodian Women’s Movement for Justice (CWMJ) expresses its deep condolences to the victims of Monday evening’s stampede on Koh Pich. CWMJ was founded in 2010 in support of Mu Sochua in her fight for fair trial, freedom of speech and gender justice.
Thousands attended the annual three-day water festival on Koh Pich, located outside Phnom Penh. Most of the people were from the countryside, making their annual visit to the city of Phnom Penh to celebrate the festival, one of the most popular in Cambodia. Hundreds of people crossed a bridge over to the main-land when a stampede formed, crushing at least 345 people to death and causing severe injuries to hundreds of others. The majority of the victims were women from rural provinces outside the capitol.
Members of the Cambodian Women’s Movement for Justice are monitoring the situation and express their sympathy to the victims and their families. Several medical facilities have reached capacity-level and have begun treating injuries in makeshift spaces.
“My mind is numb,” said Mu Sochua, Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) MP for Kampot province. “My sister goes to that island to take the women to sell their cookies. I am so worried about them.” The water festival should be a joyous occasion shared by all Cambodians, but the death of hundreds of Cambodians has marked the holiday with great sadness.
The Cambodian Women’s Movement for Justice joins in mourning with the Cambodian nation over this enormous tragedy. We appeal for contributions for children of those who have died in the stampede. All government agencies are flying their flags at half-mast.
Representatives of the Cambodian Women’s Movement for Justice