Marshal Lon Nol, President of the Khmer Republic, reviewed his troops in the capital Phnom Penh on Thursday (August 15) as the country celebrated its first armed Forces Day.
GV People arriving PAN TO Troops awaiting arrival of President
SV General Matak (right) arrives
GV President Lon Nol arriving in motorcar
CU Guard of Honour
SV Lon Nol taking salute
GV Balloons and doves released and the band starts playing
GV Aeroplanes and helicopters fly over. (2 shots)
SV Lon Nol salutes PAN TO troops marching past. (2 shots)
Initials VS 17.01 VS 17.19
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Background: Marshal Lon Nol, President of the Khmer Republic, reviewed his troops in the capital Phnom Penh on Thursday (August 15) as the country celebrated its first armed Forces Day.
It was also the first anniversary of the end of United States bombing support missions in the Khmer Republic.
As preparations were being made for the parade, Phnom Penh suffered one of its heaviest rocket attacks for some months.
Insurgent gunners fired more than 20 rounds of Chinese made rockets into the city overnight, killing ten people and wounding 16.
The Armed Forces Day has been seen by observers as a show of solidarity at a time of speculation that there is acute dissention within the top ranks of the Government and armed forces, after four years of fighting that has crippled the country.
SYNOPSIS: Crowds gathered in the Khmer Republic capital Phnom Penh on Thursday to celebrate the country's first Armed Forced Day in four years of crippling war.
Attending, Prince Sirik Matak, an Army Genera land the man tipped to be Khmer leader should President Lon Nol be removed.
Security was intense as President Lon Nol arrived to review a parade of more than four thousand troops.
In the early hours insurgent gunners fired more than twenty rounds of Chinese-made rockets in the capital. Ten people were killed and sixteen wounded in the heaviest attack for some time. Last month Marshal Lon Nol was reported to want talks with the Khmer insurgents to negotiate an end to a military struggle that ??? turned into stalemate.
Balloons and doves were released to mark the occasion.
The United States is understood to want a peace settlement. Although there are no US troops now in the country the Americans have financed the war.
Thursday's parade was also the first anniversary of the end of United States bombing support for the Khmer forces. Now they have to rely on the fighter bombers of their own air force.
Since the war began, the Khmer army has been built up from thirty five thousand to a quarter of a million strong. Observers saw Thursday's parade as a sow of solidarity with president Lon Nol, at a time of great speculation that dissention splits the top ranks of government and armed forces.