Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - American embassy advisory ‘not reality’

American embassy advisory ‘not reality’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A motorbike passes the US Embassy in April in Phnom Penh. post staff

American embassy advisory ‘not reality’

The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and several government officials claimed that the US Embassy’s advisory to its citizens to be cautious during the upcoming elections is driven by political motivation and does not reflect the actual situation in the Kingdom.

The criticism comes in the wake of an embassy announcement published on its website on Tuesday.

The announcement said that the national elections on July 29 might lead to political gatherings, protests or security force mobilisations and US citizens should avoid participating in such activities and avoid trips to provinces.

CPP spokesperson Sok Eysan said that the announcement did not reflect the country’s “stability” but instead painted a grim picture that elections in Cambodia are not safe.

“In reality, people live in peace and there is political stability, and no one worries as much as the US Embassy does. Second, it is a political gesture with indirect intimidation."

“It is ineffective and the important thing is the real situation [in the country]. It says the opposite of reality."

“And no one at the embassy believes in [the statement],” he added.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said that it is a diplomatic responsibility of each country to protect its citizens and it is typical of the US Embassy to appeal to its citizens to be cautious.

“It is an administrative duty of the embassy and it is done every time, but in fact nothing has happened in Cambodia,” he said.

Ministry of Interior spokesperson Khieu Sopheak said the authorities will ensure the safety of all people, whether they are American or French, as is their duty.

“But if there is any information [of security threats], please share it with the Cambodian authorities,” he said.

However, Sam Kuntheamy, the director at the Neutral and Impartial Committee for tial Committee for Free And Fair Elections (Nicfec), said the embassy’s appeal does not have any underlying political tone and it was merely to inform its citizens about safety and security.

“It shows that it pays attention to its people and does not have political motive. It is just for the safety of its citizens living in Cambodia."

“We think that nothing will happen in the upcoming elections,” he added.

Earlier, Kiet Chantharith, spokesman of the National Police, said that 60,000 personnel from various forces are assigned to maintain security and public order during the election.

The joint forces consist of the National Police, Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and military police, and includes the security guards.

Embassy spokesman Arend Zwartjes said in an email to The Post that it did not have further comment to make.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said