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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bodyguard Unit ready for ‘colour revolution’

A tank is transported along Hanoi Road on the back of a military truck in the capital last month.
A tank is transported along Hanoi Road on the back of a military truck in the capital last month. Niem Chheng

Bodyguard Unit ready for ‘colour revolution’

The Prime Minister’s Bodyguard Unit will “absolutely not” allow people to trigger a colour revolution – a term government and military officials have repeatedly used to describe the motives of the opposition party – a spokesman said yesterday.

Ith Tharoath, spokesman for unit commander Hing Bun Heang, made the comments after reiterating that the recent surge in troop and military equipment movement around the country was simply part of the unit’s scheduled withdrawal from the contested border region in Preah Vihear province.

“We will not allow some ignorance to cause insecurity in society; we will not allow it to happen, and we have a role to prevent it,” Tharoath told journalists at the unit’s headquarters in Takhmao. “We will absolutely not allow people who want to trigger colour revolution, and some ill-intentioned people who want to destroy this peace – we will . . . not let them do it.”

Several government officials have accused the opposition CNRP of causing instability and trying to provoke a “colour revolution”, referring to largely non-violent uprisings that have toppled governments in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

In recent weeks, as the political environment has deteriorated, Bodyguard Unit troops, armoured personnel carriers and tanks have been moved from Preah Vihear to the capital.

But, in line with previous statements by defence officials, Tharoath said the equipment had been moved for repairs and due to improved relations with Thailand.

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