Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sar Kheng slams abuse of noodle event



Sar Kheng slams abuse of noodle event

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng was presiding over the 12th Road Safety Week in Tbong Khmum province’s Ponhea Kraek district on Tuesday. Facebook

Sar Kheng slams abuse of noodle event

Gathering to eat Khmer noodles to discuss politics and democracy is good, but doing so to prepare for the return of a certain leader to incite a colour revolution is “illegal”, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said on Tuesday.

While presiding over the 12th Road Safety Week in Tbong Khmum province’s Ponhea Kraek district on Tuesday, Sar Kheng said some groups had gathered and discussed topics which could affect peace and stability in the Kingdom.

He referred to Sunday’s show of “national unity and solidarity” in which civil servants and Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) supporters gathered to eat Khmer noodles throughout the country, as had been encouraged by Prime Minister Hun Sen last week.

“Some people took advantage of the gathering to have meetings. There were two kinds of meetings – the first one is to prepare for the upcoming 2022 and 2023 elections. Such meetings are fine because it would strengthen democracy."

“The other kind, however, is eating Khmer noodles to discuss a colour revolution to topple the government . . . that is illegal! Let’s be clear on these two kinds of meetings,” Sar Kheng stressed.

He noted that the authorities would not arrest those who discuss “illegal” topics, but instead would “educate them”.

Sar Kheng stressed that any gathering with the intention to cause turmoil or a colour revolution was destructive to peace and stability in the Kingdom.

The Khmer noodle movement began when 35 members and supporters of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in Battambang province were summoned by the local court for questioning.

They were alleged to have shown support for the party “acting president” Sam Rainsy while gathering to eat Khmer noodles and were accused of violating the Supreme Court ruling which saw the party dissolved in late 2017.

Other supporters and former members have since gathered to eat Khmer noodles in a signal of defiance, calling them “patriotic Khmer noodles”.

General Chhay Kim Khoeun, the spokesperson for the National Police, said on Tuesday that Sar Kheng’s statements made sense.

“Firstly, it is related to the CNRP. Secondly, Sam Rainsy claimed to return. You know his status now? He is a convict who is ready to be arrested by us."

“So, if they [opposition supporters] gathered and prepared to welcome him, this meant that they are against the court’s warrant that orders Rainsy’s arrest. This is illegal."

“If they prepared such a plan, it means they were planning to cause chaos in society,” Kim Khoeun said.

He said if it’s proven that the supporters had planned for Rainsy’s return, police would educate them by explaining the court ruling which saw the dissolution of the CNRP. “But if they are defiant, police would send the case to the court,” he said.

Kim Khoeun confirmed that there were some groups who assembled to make preparations to welcome Rainsy, but he declined to reveal their identities to the public as yet.

Political analyst Em Sovannara said Hun Sen’s encouragement to all people to eat Khmer noodles indicated progress in freedom of speech and political rights.

He argued that the association of such gathering with “colour revolution” would trigger fears of a “revolution wave” in society.

“What’s acceptable is that our constitution guarantees the rights and freedom of everyone to express their opinions and exercise their political rights unless that political activity is illegal. But the politicians should not use their power to put pressure on citizens,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Inter-provincial travel ban lifted; Phnom Penh and Takmao not exempted

    The government on April 25 decided to lift the inter-provincial travel ban and the closure of tourist attractions across the country, effectively immediately. The travel ban and closures of all resorts were imposed on April 6 and 17 respectively in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a