Defence Minister Tea Banh yesterday reminded the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces that they must be prepared to prevent any attempt at a colour revolution in the country.
Mr Banh issued the reminder while presiding over the 64th anniversary ceremony for the RCAF in Kompong Speu province’s Phnom Sruoch district.
“We must remain vigilant against opportunistic groups that seek to bring disaster and destruction to the country, eliminating peace and happiness,” he said.
Mr Banh said colour revolutions had led to civil war in other parts of the world such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Mali and Afghanistan.
Mr Banh added that the Veng Sreng protests of 2013 and early 2014 were an attempt to launch a colour revolution.
“That was the real goal of those demonstrations,” he said. “Those demonstrators colluded with foreign countries.”
Hundreds of thousands of workers took part in the 2014 protests to demand a $160 minimum wage in Phnom Penh.
As the situation came to a head, the government sent armed military police to Veng Sreng street, the epicentre of the protests and a road teeming with garment factories.
The protests followed the 2013 national election, which the opposition CNRP had labelled rigged, and included garment workers calling for a higher minimum wage.
“RCAF’s armed forces have an important role, and the necessary force, to protect peace, political stability, security, and public order at all times including when there are tense political situations or a crisis after an election,” Mr Banh added.