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Officials Oppose to Hun Sen's Moving Crematoriums

Opposition and civil society officials have opposed Prime Minister Hun Sen's authorization to transfer crematoriums in Phnom Penh to the suburbs.

The officials want the ruling party to conduct a referendum saying that the decision affects Cambodian religious beliefs and customs.

Heav Veasna, executive director for the Center for Social Development (CSD) wants to keep the crematoriums in Phnom Penh, because they have always been part of Cambodia's cultural. And although he is against the government’s decision to moving the cremation sites from the Buddhist temples, he does acknowledged that the crematoriums need to be updated.

The requests to move the crematoriums were suggested by Cambodian supreme head monk, Venerable Nun Ngeth and Ministry of Culture and Religions' State Secretary Min Khin.

The decision was based on health and environmental concerns, the smokes coming from the crematoriums were polluting the environment surrounding the city.

Phnom Penh is home to more than 1 million of Cambodia’s population of 13.8 million.

Opposition party lawmaker, Keo Remy, who also opposed to the government's decision says that it’s the pollution from cars emissions that is effecting the environment, and not necessarily the smokes from the crematoriums.

Supreme head monk, Venerable Nun Ngeth, Venerable Tep Vong, and State Secretary Min Khin were not available for comment.