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Tank talk at a time of mourning

Defence Minister Tea Banh confirmed yesterday at an event at the Ministry of Defence marking today’s 59th anniversary of Cambodia’s independence from France that last month’s shipment of tanks and armoured personnel carriers had come from Ukraine.

“I think 100 to 200 tanks is not that many,” he said to reporters, noting that, nonetheless, “We have full capacity for military operations to protect our territorial sovereignty.

“But for this year’s celebration, we were sad and full of sorrow, grieving the passing of our King Father, Norodom Sihanouk.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hun Sen told 1,000 graduates at the National Institute of Education that today’s ceremony would honour the King Father’s memory.

“It is Independence Day, and also a commemoration day,” the premier said.

But Information Minister Khieu Kanharith could not confirm whether King Sihamoni would lay a wreath and light a torch inside the Independence Monument as he usually does.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vong Sokheng at sokheng.vong@phnompenhpost.com

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