>Cambodia braces for Independence Day, Water Festival


Last year’s boat race during the Water Festival in front of the Royal Palace.

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) — More than 10,000 security personnel will be posted on Phnom Penh’s streets as the Cambodian capital heads into a week of holidays that will see millions of visitor arrivals, national media reported Monday.

Starting with Independence Day on Nov. 9 and culminating five days later with the end of the annual Water Festival, city authorities say they will have to tackle a host of problems, the Phnom Penh Post said.

The first priority is keeping order on the roads to preventing tens of thousands of revelers from packing too tightly into Phnom Penh’s narrow riverfront to view the three days of Om Tuk boat races.

Ya Kim Ey, chief of Phnom Penh’s Military Police, told the Postth at street and building closures in the past years have backed up traffic around key sites.

“According to previous reports, we have seen problems in areas where many people like to gather – particularly near the Royal Palace,” he said.

“Streets are closed on both sides and people get trapped in traffic jams,” Ya Kim Ey added.

He added that police will be deployed at additional sites this year to lessen congestion caused by street closures.

Most of the riverfront will be closed to vehicle traffic during the Water Festival.

Phnom Penh’s Unity Committee, which is responsible for helping organize the festivities, said in a statement that some 5,353 military polices will join a contingent of 4,000 municipal polices and 653 gendarmeries.

The Unity Committee said security forces will be concentrated in several areas where large crowds are expected to gather, including around the Independence Monument, along Sothearos Boulevard, at the park in front of the Royal Palace and at Wat Phnom.

Editor: Zheng E

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