Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP event blocked by armed cops, guards

CNRP event blocked by armed cops, guards

Police officials stand guard yesterday at Phnom Penh’s Wat Botum park where CNRP members planned to gather to host a commemoration ceremony for victims of the 1997 grenade attack.
Police officials stand guard yesterday at Phnom Penh’s Wat Botum park where CNRP members planned to gather to host a commemoration ceremony for victims of the 1997 grenade attack. Hong Menea

CNRP event blocked by armed cops, guards

A small gathering of Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmakers and senators were prevented from conducting a religious ceremony at Wat Botum Park in Phnom Penh yesterday by around 100 security personnel, a day after City Hall insisted such ceremonies be restricted to pagodas.

Opposition officials attempted to conduct a Pchum Ben ceremony for the victims of the 1997 grenade attack near the Royal Palace and Ministry of Justice, but were prevented from reaching the park by armed police personnel and Daun Penh security guards.

Around three dozen security guards were stationed along the perimeter of the park, with armed police personnel and plainclothes officers gathered around the Wat Botum pagoda.

Mu Sochua, CNRP lawmaker and deputy president, said seven lawmakers and two senators were stopped near the pagoda and informed they couldn’t proceed any further. Instead, the group chose to pray inside the pagoda grounds.

“The plan was to have the ceremony at the stupa [in the park],” she said. “But I think they would have used violence. They told us so.”

Sochua said normally in such situations there was room for negotiations with local authorities, but that in this case the police did not budge.

City Hall spokesman Meth Measpheakdey on Tuesday did not cite a law in denying permission for the event, but simply said Pchum Ben ceremonies were supposed to be held in pagodas.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen invites US president to attend summit in Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen personally invited US President Joe Biden to attend the ASEAN-US Summit which is set to be held in Cambodia in November, as ASEAN and the US are expected to upgrade their strategic partnership to a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’, according to Prime

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub