Cambodia: Landmine victims pay respect to late king

22 January 2013

Tun Channareth stepped on a landmine at the Thai-Cambodian border in 1982, helped to launch the Cambodia Campaign to Ban Landmines (CCBL), and now works with JRS Cambodia. (JRS Cambodia)

Phnom Penh, 22 January 2013 — Landmine survivors and campaigners paid their respects to the late King Sihanouk at the Royal Palace on Tuesday, the 22nd of January, at 7.00 AM.

King Sihanouk was the first monarch in the world to call for a ban on landmines. He continued to rally behind the ban until it was achieved in 1997. He was also a staunch advocate for the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), which Cambodia has not yet acceded to.

King Sihamoni, the current king, is also a strong supporter of both treaties. The Cambodian government, under Prime Minister Hun Sen, is a leader in the global movement against landmines. The movement aims to eradicate landmines from the earth, clear contaminated land, and support victims.

Meanwhile Cambodia  awaits the Defence Minister’s stamp of approval for signing the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Landmine and cluster munition survivors visited him last November and will continue to put pressure on the government to sign the CCM, which now boasts 111 signatories dedicated to the clearance and destruction of munition stockpiles.

Landmine campaigners hope to see Cambodia join the Convention as a mark of respect to the late King and a sign of Cambodia’s commitment to peace in the region. The delegation on Tuesday, 22 January 2013, was led by Tun Channareth, who received the 1997 Nobel Peace prize on behalf of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines in Oslo.

For more information, please contact:

Tun Channareth  011 5838 64
Sak Sopheak       092 331 501, 078337798
Song Kosal          012 285 683
Denise Coghlan   012488950

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