Two pagodas, one each in Stung Treng and Kandal provinces, have agreed to stop using bells made out of metal from remnants of war following the advice of the Cambodian Mine Action Center in a message posted on his Facebook page today.
CMAC director general Heng Ratana said such bells could send the wrong message to children that picking up or playing with UXOs will not pose any danger to them. The bells, made of metal from MK82 and MK117 shells, were removed by CMAC from the pagodas in Kandal and Stung Streng provinces respectively.
They were used to signal the beginning and end of classes. In his message, Ratana suggested that instead of using such bells, pagodas could promote the use of Khmer traditional drums for the purpose.
“Let’s eliminate the use of bells made from bombs and promote the sound of Khmer traditional drums,” he said.
Regional and internal wars and conflicts in the 1970s and 1980s have left Cambodia with an estimated four to six million landmines and other unexploded ordnances (UXOs), which are being found throughout the Kingdom daily. Some have even been found in schools and pagodas.