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Authorities urge public over military ceremony

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Cambodia's Army stands at the opening ceremony of Win Win Monument in late December last year. Heng Chivoan

Authorities urge public over military ceremony

The Army Headquarters will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its establishment on Thursday in a private military ceremony. In conjunction with this, a government spokesperson urged the public to be aware of the movement of troops and armoured vehicles, as well as fabricated reports.

The celebration will see Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife preside over the event, described as a private meeting of the military, its spokesman Mao Phalla said. Phalla confirmed that hardware from more than 100 military units arrived at the Army Headquarters base on Saturday night.

Before the mobilisation, governor of Phnom Penh Khuong Sreng announced the movement of armoured vehicles from Kandal province’s Takhmao town to join in the event at the base in the capital’s Por Sen Chey district.

The announcement by Sreng said that after the event, the army vehicles would return to the headquarters of the Bodyguard Unit via the same route. He requested people not be concerned at seeing the movement of military hardware.

Phalla said this would be the first celebration of its founding after the Army Headquarters was established 20 years ago. He said the coming celebration would be in the form of a private meeting of army units without a public military parade.

“All types of hardware will be displayed including trucks, armoured vehicles and tanks. On Monday, the troops will rehearse a procession. It will be the first time in 20 years since the command was created [that this has happened],” Phalla said.

Ministry of National Defence spokesman Chhum Socheat could not be reached on Sunday for comment regarding the history of the army command’s establishment.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said on Sunday that Phnom Penh Municipal Hall had already informed the public about the celebration in order to prevent any distortion of news as to the reason behind the movement of military equipment.

However, he said some people had fabricated news after the announcement of the upcoming military ceremony. He said the government is keeping an eye on those who invent such news and legal measures against them would follow.

“We have informed the public since the beginning that the mobilisation has a clear intention and location, but we can see that some people have been distributing fake news."

“The government is monitoring the situation in order to take legal measures,” he said.

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