Chinese monks pray for dead in Cambodia's stampede tragedy

08:51, December 13, 2010      

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About 160 Chinese Buddhist monks from six countries and region gathered on Sunday at the Diamond Bridge, where a stampede occurred on Nov. 22 that killed 353 people and injured 393 others, to hold a Chinese traditional rite to pray for the dead to rest in peace and bring in happiness to the development of the Diamond Island.

The monks are from Chinese mainland and Taiwan, the United States, Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam in the World's Chinese Buddhist Sangha Congress.

"We have already held many Cambodian Buddhist ceremonies to pray to the spirits of the dead to rest in peace, and now we hold the one-day Chinese traditional ceremony to dedicate to them and to bring in good luck for the development of the Diamond Island," said Pung Kheav Se, the owner and developer of the Diamond Island on Sunday.

The development of the one-billion-U.S.-dollar Diamond Island began in 2008, it is designed to develop as a satellite city that includes business centers, shopping malls, entertainment facilities, hotels, schools, hospitals, condos and apartments.

The stampede tragedy happened on Nov. 22, the final day of the Water Festival, at Diamond Island's north bridge, killing 353 people and injuring 393 others. The accident was caused by a panic which soon after led to the stampede.

Cambodia's Water Festival from Nov. 20 to 22 is the largest annual festival in the Southeast Asian nation, around three million Cambodians, especially those from rural areas converged to the city to enjoy the regatta.

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