PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Authorities in northwestern Cambodia have scolded a man for his lawn decorations -- old land mines and other abandoned ordnance still containing live explosives, an official said Friday.
About 30 unexploded munitions were hung from a tamarind tree and scattered around the man’s yard, said Khen Srieng, an official from the Cambodian Mines Action Center, the government agency that oversees mine clearance.
Khen Srieng, who went to the man’s home on Wednesday to collect the munitions for destruction, said they were left over from three decades of civil war that ended in the 1990s and that most of the mines were still active and dangerous.
If there's one thing that we take for granted in our everyday lives, it's (thankfully) the extreme lack of landmines we come across on a day to day basis. There's always the occasional article about how some lady in like West Virginia - or another similar state - found an old land mine in her backyard while digging up the garden. Stories like this remind you that there are real places on earth that have to deal with landmine problems. Per this article, there are an estimated 4 to 6 MILLION other random explosives just hanging around Cambodia. Not great!
That begs the question; what the fuck is this guy doing? Listen, I'm all for wanting to spruce up the place - you know, make it look nice for the summertime - but could you maybe do it without the explosives? Particularly, ya know, the ones that are still LIVE and could leave me looking like Wile E Coyote in a moment's notice.
Call me old fashioned but I'd much rather have a wind chime that makes me want to rip the ears right off my head rather than landmines. Actually, anything other than landmines come to think of it.
There's just far too much margin for error. Oh, what's that? You went outside in the dark and accidentally walked into the boom boom tree? Tough luck. Who am I kidding, everyone in the area probably knows that tree and knows to steer clear unless you want to be blown to smithereens. To my knowledge, there is nothing to gain from the addition of explosive ornaments. So why do it?
He said the man used to be a junk collector and had gathered the devices from rice fields and forests near his home to sell as scrap. The man, whose name was not released, told Khen Srieng that after the government banned the sale and purchase of land mines and other unexploded ordnance, he didn’t know what to do with them.
Is it me or should the selling/purchasing landmines have banned years ago? I feel like maybe then you wouldn't be running into issues like explosive trees. Just a thought.
It seems like this man had absolutely no idea what to do with these mines so he just kinda chucked em into a tree. As one does. It would make far too much sense to dispose of them elsewhere, so why not just keep them in a tree right outside your home? It's just wild to think that sticking the leftover explosive in your tree is the best option. It's so dumb it almost makes me think that maybe this guy was running some sort of underground landmine exchange but I'm no expert. It's just so outlandish that you have to think there are some anterior motives.
Like if this was me - and I genuinely had no other place to put the leftover explosive - I'd probably just go place them in a random field or something. Out of sight, out of mind as they say. Then, the explosives are out of your way and won't get traced back to you. It's a win-win.
In all seriousness, it's good that no one was on the receiving end of this rigged tree and that the proper authorities got there to take care of it before it became a serious issue.