Cambodia indigenous group says firm razed two temples
Khouth Sophak Chakrya The Phnom Penh Post Thu, January 13, 2022
Temple fragment leftover after alleged demolition. FACEBOOK
KAMPONG CHAM – The Steang indigenous community living in Kampong Cham commune of Kratie province’s Sambor district has called on the Department of Culture and Fine Arts and relevant authorities to intervene and collect the fragments of two ancient temples that were allegedly destroyed by Think Biotech Cambodia Co Ltd.
Bun Khon, a 50-year-old resident of Achen village in Kampong Cham commune who represents the community, told The Post that the Leav Chom and Trapeang Krabao temples were located at checkpoint 13, 0017N and checkpoint 105 in the village until they were destroyed and cleared away by the company in recent months.
Citing photos taken by the villagers, he said the remaining temple fragments at the location match the style of the sculptures and lintels of the two temples and are very similar to those of Sambor Prei Kuk in Kampong Thom province.
“These two ancient temples were our most valuable treasures, reflecting the works of culture, traditions, customs and religion of our indigenous ancestors. Currently, we are all filled with regret because the temples have been destroyed by Think Biotech,” he said.
He continued that in mid-2021 – after the razing of both temples – villagers reported what happened to the authorities expecting that they would intervene and stop these activities by the company, but no officials came to stop the destruction and the company kept at it until they were demolished.
Bun Khon called on provincial or national-level officials to intervene and collect the remaining fragments of the two temples for storage with the hopes of someday assembling them back into the two lost temples.
The Post was unable to reach the Kratie provincial culture and fine arts department director Tep Veasna nor the director of Think Biotech Cambodia Co Ltd, Lu Chu Chang, for comment on January 13 regarding these allegations.