Monk chanting ceremony held to pray spirits of 375 dead in water festival stampede

19:55, November 23, 2010      

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About 500 monks prayed for the 375 people killed in a stampede on Monday night in the capital Phnom Penh during the third and final day of the water festival celebrations.

"Some 400 to 500 monks came to chant and pray to the dead of the stampede to rest in peace and wished them to be reborn in next lives," Non Nget, the supreme patriarch of the monks in Cambodia said before the chanting ceremony on Tuesday afternoon at the Koh Pich (Diamond) island's bridge, where the people got crushed when it had become overcrowded.

Wreaths have been laid and incense sticks have been burned to pay homage to the dead.

It is a usual Buddhism ceremony that monks chant when there are people died in order to dedicate their spirits to rest in peace and born in good lives in next lives.

The chanting ceremony is also attended by the deputy prime minister Yim Chhay Ly.

The stampede has left at least 375 people dead and about 755 others injured.

Cambodian government has declared Thursday a national day of mourning and ordered all government offices to fly the national flag at half-mast.



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