Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Terrorism concerns’ prompted petrol station closures during Ley funeral

‘Terrorism concerns’ prompted petrol station closures during Ley funeral

A Tela petrol station in Phnom Penh is closed off during the funeral procession of slain political analyst Kem Ley on Sunday. Photo supplied
A Tela petrol station in Phnom Penh is closed off during the funeral procession of slain political analyst Kem Ley on Sunday. Photo supplied

‘Terrorism concerns’ prompted petrol station closures during Ley funeral

City Hall yesterday defended its decision to ask petrol stations in the capital to halt sales along the route taken by Kem Ley’s funeral procession, citing the potential for “terrorism” and “third-party” attempts to burn down gasoline stations.

Mourners noted on social media that the stations’ closure had prevented people from filling up their gas tanks as they made their way to Takeo province – Ley’s final resting place.

Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Khoung Sreng said the move was taken as a security measure to ensure public safety, adding that station owners were asked to shut shop for a few hours as mourners passed by.

“If terrorism happens, terrorists will target petrol stations,” he said. “You can think about that, if someone burns the petrol station, how many people joining the procession are going to die.”

He dismissed complaints by mourners, questioning how they ran out of fuel close to their starting point at Wat Chas pagoda, adding that they were biased and disliked the authorities.

But Tim Malay, a member of the funeral committee and director of the Cambodia Youth Network, said that while authorities said it was to ensure the safety of mourners, such a step hadn’t been taken for previous processions.

“In comparison with the procession for the King Father [Norodom Sihanouk], the number of people was similar but none of the petrol stations were closed then.”

Employees at petrol stations the Post spoke to yesterday suggested some confusion over the directive, with some saying they had closed only when the crowds were too close, while others said their outlets were closed all morning.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all