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Sar Kheng praised for thwarting ‘revolution’

National Police officials attend an event in April in Kandal province where Interior Minister Sar Kheng urged authorities to bolster security ahead of upcoming elections.
National Police officials attend an event in April in Kandal province where Interior Minister Sar Kheng urged authorities to bolster security ahead of upcoming elections. Photo supplied

Sar Kheng praised for thwarting ‘revolution’

The head of the National Police congratulated Interior Minister Sar Kheng on successfully quashing “colour revolution” in an open letter published on the last day of 2017, a year in which a crackdown on civil society, the independent media and the opposition was justified by the alleged threat of a conspiracy to overthrow the government.

National Police Chief Neth Savoeun praised Kheng for his “wise leadership”. In particular, Savoeun said, police “combated in time colour revolution activity – which was organised by the opposition party with assistance from foreigners – guaranteeing security, peace, safety and social order for the people”.

The day before, Kheng had issued a public letter lauding civil servants and police for their achievements in 2017, including protecting Cambodia’s “strong independence, peace, territorial integrity and national sovereignty, which is the main factor in promoting democracy”.

The government has claimed that the opposition CNRP was behind a foreign-supported “colour revolution”, though it has put forward scant evidence to support the accusations.

The allegations of conspiracy led to the CNRP’s dissolution in November, a move that was near-universally decried.

Political analyst Meas Nee said the congratulatory letters were “a kind of political language” that was common in the Kingdom. “They just support each other in the same party,” Nee said. “I still don’t see any sign of colour revolution.”