Proleung Khmer

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

School in Memory of Om Radsady

Invitation to Official Opening of School Built in Memory of Om Radsady on SATURDAY 19 February 2005

Phnom Penh—A primary school has been built to honor the memory of former Parliamentarian Om Radsady in Trapeang Kdar, Thma Edth commune, Kompong Tralach district, Kampong Chhnang province. The official opening ceremony will take place on SATURDAY 19 February 2005, during which time notebooks and other school materials will distributed to the children. We promise no long and boring speeches, just an opportunity to come together and commemorate a wonderful man with a token of our appreciation for his decency, humanity, and democratic legacy.

All are invited to attend, but donors present in Cambodia are particularly encouraged to come see what their contributions have helped to achieve. We will email pictures to everyone following the event. Please RSVP your planned attendance by as soon as possible so that car pools can be arranged in advance if necessary. Be forewarned though, this will be a modest affair, without much (if any) seating as we will all be busy distributing notebooks. We hope to have this done as quickly as possible to avoid having the children toil in the hot sun any longer than is necessary.

About the School and the Community

Trapeang Kdar village has never had a school and was deemed by the Asian Development Bank (AsDB) and the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MoEYS) to require a school in 2004. The nearest school is kilometers away and took the children of Trapeang Kdar village an hour to reach by foot, which reduced their likelihood of attendance.

The school, which is one single building within which are five classrooms, has been operational for several months. The school will be officially opened on 19 February 2005, two years plus one day to the date of Om Radsady’s passing. The school is named after the village in which it is situated “Trapeang Kdar” out of respect for Om Radsady’s known dislike for schools named after donors.

The Trapeang Kdar School has 148 students, of whom 81 are girls. There are three grades: First, Second, and Third. The school meets construction standards intended to last at least 50 years according to MoEYS and AsDB specifications.

The school was built with donations from more than 80 individuals in Australia, Cambodia, Canada, East Timor, France, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America with co-financing from the Asian Development Bank. The Royal Government of Cambodia has issued a one-page sub-decree (anukret) and a gold medal in acknowledgement of this contribution to the nation. All donors deserve recognition and are welcomed to request a copy of the sub-decree and an image of the medal via e-mail.

Further financial contributions towards the cost of solar panels, a computer, and a library are tax-deductible in the United States and Japan and can be made through American Assistance for Cambodia ( with reference to “Om Radsady” in the memo field on checks.

About Om Radsady

Om Radsady passionately helped and believed in children. He always had time for children, after speaking to children selling flowers at a restaurant, he remarked to a friend: “They are our future”. Om Radsady’s meager and honestly earned resources were shared daily with the less fortunate, he rented a small apartment and lived very modestly. He was non-partisan, and excelled at building bridges among political parties. At the time of his death, Princess Norodom Vacheara, half-sister to now Retired King Norodom Sihanouk, said her colleague Om Radsady was "a gentleman" who had no conflicts with others. He is remembered by those who knew as gentle and, remarkably, a man without enemies.

Om Radsady was a good man, a decent man, but above all, he was one of a rare breed in Cambodia, a man who understood democracy and practiced it.

Biography of Om Radsady

Om Radsady was born in Phnom Penh in 1952 and began his education in Cambodia. In 1968, at the age of 16, he traveled to France to continue his studies, and graduated as a Chemical Engineer from the University of Marseilles. After teaching for a period at a Lycée in France he went to Bouaké in the Ivory Coast where he taught for six years.

Returning to Paris he began work as a chemical engineer. He was also responsible for Khmer Radio broadcasts from Paris, from 1990 to 1992, during the final negotiations of the Paris Peace Accord on Cambodia. In 1991 he attended a Moral Re-Armament (MRA) conference in Caux, Switzerland, and at the end of the year he resigned his well paid job in France and returned to Cambodia to work for reconciliation and reconstruction without pay. He spent much of his time teaching the principles of democracy to students of the then University of Phnom Penh (now the Royal University of Phnom Penh) and eventually stood for election, winning a seat in Phnom Penh to the National Assembly in 1993.

Om Radsady served as a Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation & Media Committee of the National Assembly (1993-1998). In 1994, as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Om Radsady visited Japan, the Philippines, Australia, France, USA and Britain. In London he visited the Houses of Parliament where Sir Jim Lester introduced him to the work of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

In 1999, Om Radsady headed to East Timor to monitor the election for independence, as a United Nations Volunteer, serving for four months. The events following the referendum soon had him sitting in Darwin, Australia for over a month during which time he grew restless thinking about Cambodia. He was indefatigably curious and open-minded. He was a Member of the Board of Directors of the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace (starting in 1994) and the Cambodia Development Resource Institute (starting in 2000). He was an astute observer of Cambodian politics. Om Radsady once remarked: “Cambodia is like a play with too few actors, all of whom have to play several roles.”

At the time of his death, Om Radsady was an Adviser to the President of the National Assembly, Prince Norodom Ranariddh.

Om Radsady was gunned down in broad daylight as he left a restaurant in the Psah Kab Ko area of Phnom Penh on 18 February 2003. He was declared dead the same day at about 5PM at Calmette Hospital, Phnom Penh.


  • I always think about Om Radsady. Stay in peace my brother!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:27 AM  

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