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Authorities on high alert ahead of Rainsy’s planned return

Taing Vida / Khmer Times Share:
Interior Ministry secretary of state Huy Vannak. KT/Siv Channa

With Sam Rainsy’s planned return approaching, the Interior Ministry has reiterated calls for police officers to educate the public not to partake in his coup plot, saying that his arrival will undermine peace and security.

Speaking yesterday at a meeting with hundreds of police officers and department directors at the Ministry of Interior, Huy Vannak, a secretary of state at the ministry, said police officers must be vigilant and continue educating people to refrain from anti-government activities.

Mr Vannak noted that the citizens are now concerned about social insecurity due to Rainsy’s planned return, and that police officers at all levels have to be ready and prevent any attempt to destroy the Kingdom’s peace.

“Rainsy has tried again and again to split the CPP through a call for an uprising, a call for the army to turn their guns on the government, and a call for an arrest of the Prime Minister and over thrown the monarchy regime” he said.

“We must educate the people and make sure that Rainsy and his supporters could not cause harm to the nation,” Mr Vannak added. “Rainsy has now revealed his plan to undermine peace and democracy. We must monitor the situation.”

Rainsy announced yesterday that he will depart Paris today for Bangkok where he will arrive on Friday and enter Cambodia through Poipet International Checkpoint on Saturday.

Security across the Kingdom has been beefed up in the past few weeks while wanted posters of Rainsy and his colleagues have been posted at all checkpoints along the Thai border.

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay yesterday said that tightened security would only stoke fear among people.

“I have heard that some workers are preparing to return home to the provinces because they fear an unrest in the city,” Mr Mong Hay said.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Amnesty International called for Cambodian authorities to end what it called a campaign of arbitrary arrests and prosecutions of ex-CNRP members and supporters and release all prisoners held for exercising their political rights.

It said that since August, at least 41 former CNRP members have been jailed and 88 others have been targeted with politically motivated charges of conspiracy.

“These recent developments have been accompanied by the militarisation of Cambodian border provinces, while Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has publicly ordered the military to attack any opposition gatherings that are held on 9 November,” it said.

Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, yesterday said the government was taking bold measures to prevent a coup plot and to ensure peace.

“The government has not arrested political activists, but only those who have supported and participated in Rainsy’s coup plot,” Mr Siphan said. “If they confess before the arrest, they will be free. If they continue to take part, they will be arrested.”

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