UPDATE – Cambodia Landmine Museum Incident

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

We would just like to remind everyone that, although rumors about the ongoing situation are rife both on social media and around Siem Reap, most of them are not true, nor are they helpful. We ask you to please not deal in rumors and speculation, and trust us to provide you with updates as they become available.

No other updates are available as of this time.

UPDATE – Cambodia Landmine Museum Incident 

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

The investigation is still ongoing and the museum remains closed for the time being. The children from the Relief Center are all safe and doing well.

As of this time, what we need the most are donations to help cover the costs of lawyers. If you’d like to help, please consider donating.

We are very grateful for all the help and donations we have received so far, we wouldn’t be able to get through these difficult times without your support.

UPDATE – Cambodia Landmine Museum Incident

Monday, September 3rd, 2018

To all friends of the Landmine Relief Fund who have taken the time to donate or offer their help over the last few days, I would like to personally thank you for your support. I apologize for my brevity and the delay in getting this message out, but things have been hectic and we’ve all been extremely busy dealing with the situation at hand.

Our efforts right now are two-fold. First, we are working hard to bring the children back to the Relief Center, the only home they have ever known. Second, we are trying to get our three friends, Aki Ra, Yon, and Thea, released from detention so that they can help with the ongoing investigation.

Rumors about this situation are rife both on social media and around Siem Reap. Most of them are not true, nor are they helpful. I ask you to please not deal in rumors and speculation, and trust us to provide you with updates as they become available.  

Once again, thank you very much for your help and support, it is greatly appreciated during these difficult times.    

-Bill Morse

Cambodia Landmine Museum Incident Statement

Friday, August 31st, 2018

To all supporters and friends of the Landmine Relief Fund, we are writing to inform you of an incident that took place at the museum earlier this week which we feel you should be made aware of.

On Monday, August 27th, a fire broke out at the Cambodia Landmine Museum in Siem Reap. The fire originated from a storage building behind the museum school, and was contained to that building, although the school also sustained some moderate water damage from the efforts to put out the fire. The museum staff managed to contain the fire until the fire brigade arrived and extinguished it. There were no injuries.

The police are now investigating the incident. All of the museum staff have been questioned by the authorities and Aki Ra has been detained for questioning, along with the museum’s Assistant Director Yon Oeurn and Operations Manager Sokhunteah Heanh. Aki Ra has resigned from his duties at both CSHD and the Cambodia Landmine Museum to deal with these legal matters and recurring health issues.

The authorities have closed the museum down while the investigation is ongoing to ensure nothing else in the facilities poses any danger to the public. At this time we are unsure of how long the museum will remain closed. All of the children and young adults living at the museum’s Relief Center have been relocated to suitable housing and have adequate staff taking care of them until the future of the museum can be determined. We have been working with local social workers to ensure the children are all safe and properly taken care of.

Although the museum is not a part of CSHD, and the two are separate entities, CSHD staff has also been questioned by the police due to their association with Aki Ra, and their storage facilities and related documentation have been inspected. Finding everything in order, CSHD has been given the all clear and the team members are expected to go back out onto the field on Monday to continue their demining and explosive ordnance disposal work.

The investigation is still ongoing and we will provide further updates as they become available to us. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the appropriate authorities for their collaboration as well as all friends and supporters who have offered their help during these last few days.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have at this time.

Thank you,
Cambodia Landmine Museum

Now, more than ever, we need your continuing support.


It’s easy to overlook a country of only 14 million people that underwent major genocide and suffered the ravages of civil and international war several decades ago. However, every day, people in Cambodia still face the lasting effects of those hardships. Poverty, lack of education, illness, and landmines are all still major problems.

In 2003 Bill Morse learned about a “crazy Cambodian man who deactivated landmines and unexploded ordinance by using a stick and a pair of pliers”. Aki Ra, founder of Cambodian Self-Help Demining (CSHD), the Rural School Village Program (RSVP), and the Cambodia Landmine Museum and Relief Center, was that man. Aki Ra had been approached by many Westerners over the years following the Khmer Rouge occupation looking to help his cause, but only rarely did something ever come of it. Bill Morse wanted to help and go the extra mile by doing so.

The Landmine Relief Fund (LMRF) was established in 2003 to support the work of Aki Ra and his NGOs. The LMRF is a US 501c3 charity based out of the United States.

“People don’t want to raise money for a country that they can’t even find on a map. By the time this problem is gone, I won’t even be around anymore. It’s up to the younger generations, the future, to get rid of this problem created by the older generations. Cambodia is the size of Missouri. If these deaths and injuries were happening there, the US Army wouldn’t be in Afghanistan, they’d bin Kansas City marching to St. Louis. “

Bill Morse

Lt. US Army, Military Police 1970/71

Thank you,


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