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Locations prepared for ambok festivities

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A woman is making the Khmer speciality ambok (flattened rice) in Kampong Thom province. Hong Menea

Locations prepared for ambok festivities

The Phnom Penh Municipal administration has prepared nearly 1,000 locations to celebrate the eating of Khmer speciality ambok (flattened rice) to defend the nation, religion and the King on November 9.

It is expected that some 100,000 people will attend the ceremony, according to Phnom Penh Municipal Hall spokesman Meth Meas Pheakdey.

To prepare the ambok eating celebration, the administration held a meeting on Thursday with the working group of the district level and specialists to organise the ceremony smoothly and protect the safety of people who join in the revelry, he said.

“We have chosen the Wat Phnom historical site as the main location to celebrate.

“We will also organise the eating of ambok in communes, districts and communities so that citizens can gather to eat it,” Meas Pheakdey said.

He said ambok eating, boat racing and the Water Festival and Independence Day celebrations will commence on November 9.

‘Free of charge’

“We will prepare ambok for brothers and sisters to eat free of charge in various locations. Those in Phnom Penh who want to join in the revelry can go to locations where we have prepared it in the spirit of solidarity,” he said.

Phnom Penh deputy governor Mean Chanyada led a district team and specialist teams on Thursday to prepare for the celebration of eating the Khmer speciality.

He called upon citizens to join the ambok eating celebration on Independence Day on November 9 and then take part in the subsequent Water Festival which will be held from November 10-12.

“To protect security and maintain safety for citizens during the ambok eating celebration, Phnom Penh authorities are ready to deploy armed forces,” said Chanyada.

However, he did not know how many police officers would be required to ensure security during the ambok eating celebration.

Prime Minister Hun Sen declared on October 2 that the Water Festival and Independence Day celebrations would be held nationwide from November 9-12, and people should eat ambok to defend the nation, religion and King.

He said the celebration is also a warning aimed at those who intend to topple the government.

Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has declared November 9 as the date he will return to the Kingdom through “people power” to arrest Hun Sen.

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