Shooting that left young couple dead angers Cambodians on social media

Police say a prominent businessman killed 2 and wounded 2 others following a long-running neighbor dispute.
By RFA Khmer
2024.06.21
Shooting that left young couple dead angers Cambodians on social media Srey Sina, right, in an image from the Facebook page of the Police Inspectorate of Angk Snuol District posted June 18, 2024.
(Police Inspectorate of Angk Snuol District via Facebook)

The case of a prominent businessman accused of shooting a young couple during a dispute inside a Phnom Penh home has angered Cambodians on social media and prompted King Norodom Sihamoni to revoke the accused man’s honorary title.

Srey Sina, 50, was arrested in neighboring Kandal province after he apparently fled the scene following Monday’s shooting, which left Long Lysong, 27, and his fiancee Khin Kanchana, 26, dead and two others wounded, according to Phnom Penh police.

Srey Sina told police he shot the young couple with a handgun after Long Lysong used abusive language following an argument between neighbors over a parking space, the felling of a mango tree and a clothes line, the Khmer Times reported.

The long-running dispute was originally between Long Lysong and a woman who rents one of Srey Sina’s houses, the newspaper said. 

On Facebook, Cambodians urged Phnom Penh authorities to hold Srey Sina accountable, and expressed worries that he would use his influence and money to gain his release from jail.

ENG_KHM_TYCOON SHOOTING_06182024.10.jpg
Srey Sina appears in two images displayed on the Kampuchea Thmey Daily Telegram page June 17, 2024. (@kptnews via Telegram)

Srey Sina, a wealthy real estate investor, held the title of Oknha, which is bestowed on Cambodians involved in business who are committed to charity or generous with donations to the government. 

But earlier this week, the Cambodian Oknha Association said in a statement that he wasn’t a member of their association, even though he held the Oknha title. The group said it would request to have the title withdrawn to “the honor and reputation of the Okhna title.”

Prime Minister Hun Manet made a similar public plea, and on Friday, the king issued a decree stripping Srey Sina of the Oknha title.

‘Difficult to accept’

The prime minister’s brother, Minister of Civil Service Hun Many, said on Facebook that he was “devastated” to learn of the “horrific incident.” He called Long Lysong “my brother” and urged Cambodians to promote a culture of peace, tolerance and forgiveness.

“We really don't want this to happen and condemn such barbaric abuse of human life,” he said. “I applaud and thank the law enforcement forces who worked hard to catch criminals accountable to the law.”

Long Lysong died at the scene, Khin Kanchana died at a hospital and two other young men received minor injuries, according to the Khmer Times. Police have arrested two other people suspected of involvement in the case.

Hun Manet and his father, Senate President Hun Sen, have arranged for lawyers to represent the victims’ families in court, the Khmer Times reported.

“We have lost everything and received nothing,” Lysong’s sister, Long Lyhor, told Kiripost. “It is difficult to accept as it happened immediately. It’s cruel that [the suspect] shot 12 bullets, resulting in two people dying and another two staff being injured.” 

Long Lysong and Khin Kanchana became engaged last November and planned to marry later this year, Kiripost reported. 

One of the attorneys representing family members, Son Chumchuon, told Radio Free Asia that the incident has caused mental suffering and monetary losses. Long Lysong was the family’s breadwinner, he said.

“We have to assess the extent of the damages. We have to look at how much (their death) affects the future living conditions of their dependents,” he said. “Their parents have the right to seek compensation.”

Translated by Sovannarith Keo. Edited by Matt Reed.

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