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Confusion as roads go back to 60s era

S TREET names and numbers in Phnom Penh will revert to what they were during His

Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk's previous era in power, a top official

said.

Chap Nhalivoud, vice governor of Phnom Penh city municipality, says

about 100 street signs in Phnom Penh will be renamed after royalty and the high

dignitaries of the Prince Sihanouk period, 1954-1969. They will also be

re-assigned the numbers they had in this era.

The streets were re-named

after leading communists, by the former State of Cambodia regime.

Some

signs are already being removed on Phnom Penh's main streets: Tousamuth, Achar

Mean, Sivutha and Keo Mony, and replaced with the names Norodom, Monivong, Preah

Sihanouk and Issarak.

Nhalivoud says: "Our Royal government wants to keep

the original historic markers of the King's previous era, the period in which

Cambodia achieved its independence from the French.

"Everything must be

done; not only the streets, but also the universities, schools, hospitals and

government buildings."

But local residents have complained of confusion

when trying to find places, saying they have not been informed by the government

of the changes.

They also point out that every document relating to a

renamed location must now be changed, for example identity cards, plans and

advertising signs.

Tourists have also experienced difficulty caused by

city maps which no longer match street signs.

A Phnom Penh businessman,

who declined to be named, said: "It seems to be crazy that the new government

has to change even the numbers, there's no point to it, no political issue is

involved. I understand every regime wants their own achievements, but they

should also think about the people as well."

Nhalivoud says he hopes the

confusion will be eased by the new street signs having stickers on them with the

old SOC names and numbers.

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