Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - More prep for Water Festival

More prep for Water Festival

People walk along the newly paved promenade on the east bank of the Tonle Sap river
People walk along the newly paved promenade on the east bank of the Tonle Sap river yesterday. Authorities are suggesting that boaters look for accommodation in pagodas and schools during Water Festival. Pha Lina

More prep for Water Festival

Thousands of government forces will be deployed to help with crowd control at this year’s Water Festival, while boaters, who won’t be allowed to camp out in the usual area across the river from the Royal Palace, will be allotted their own places to sleep, according to new measures that were announced by officials.

Kheng Tito, spokesman for the National Military Police, said yesterday that 2,000 members of the military police will be on hand at the ceremony, which starts on November 5 and goes on for three days.

“They will be ready to cooperate with the national police forces to regulate public order and the traffic in the capital,” Tito explained, adding that 1,000 additional military police personnel will assist with first aid in case of an unexpected accident.

“We are preventing a repeat of the old incident from happening again,” he said, referring to a panicked stampede at the 2010 festival in which 353 were killed.

The festival has not been held since, with the government citing floods and the death of King Father Norodom Sihanouk as the reasons for the cancellations.

In years past, those who raced along the Tonle Sap during the festival stayed along the eastern bank of the river. But with the paving of the promenade, boaters have been told to stay in pagodas and schools this year, Long Dimanche, spokesman for City Hall, said last month.

While he didn’t specify the locations, Kem Gunawadh, director general of state-owned broadcaster TVK, said yesterday that there are 10 locations in pagodas, schools and in the Phnom Penh Port area reserved for boaters during the three-day festival.

He added that 1,000 foreign tourists are expected to attend and that the government will advertise the festival on CNN.

“There will also be live concerts by the Ministry of Culture and private companies at Wat Botum, Wat Phnom, across the river in Chroy Changvar and at Freedom Park,” Gunawadh said.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Updated: 10:17am, Friday March 23, 2018 Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent tothe family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria police last week, is

  • Apparel groups including H&M and Gap urge Cambodia garment industry reform, seek meeting with Hun Sen

    A group representing some of the largest apparel brands in the US and Europe – including Gap, H&M and ASOS – expressed “growing concern” on Tuesday over several controversial labour laws and ongoing court cases against unionists described as restrictive and unjust. In an open letter

  • Hun Sen says Montagnards don’t exist in Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen once again attacked ex-opposition leader Sam Rainsy for pledging “autonomy” to Montagnards, claiming – seemingly incorrectly – the ethnic minority does not exist in Cambodia. “We respect all minorities such as Jarai, Steang, Phnong, but we have never had Montagnards,” the premier said