Security arrangements in Phnom Penh increased noticeably last week in preparation for the anniversary of the overthrow of Prince Sihanouk, the country's former leader.
Security arrangements in Phnom Penh increased noticeably last week in preparation for the anniversary of the overthrow of Prince Sihanouk, the country's former leader. This film was shot last Wednesday (17 March), one day before the anniversary of the coup. The streets were patrolled by police, there were spot identity checks. The city was quiet. At the same time, total calm was reported at all battlefields.
SYNOPSIS: Life in Phnom Penh looks normal, but a heavy ring of security has descended over the streets. Last Thursday was the anniversary of the overthrow of the former Cambodian leader, Prince Sihanouk. The government was anxious to avoid any form of demonstration.
This film was shot last Wednesday, the day before the anniversary of the coup. Police checks were carried out on pedestrians as well as car drivers, in a search for people without identity cards.....these might have been Vietcong infiltrators.
While police were checking identity cards, troops patrolled the streets. Other troops toured in tanks and trucks.
The Royal Palace, where Prince Sihanouk's mother lives, was under a close guard. It was feared that she may be the target of demonstrations. Helicopters kept a constant watch for infiltration.
On the Mekong River, gunboats maintained round the clock patrols Over the past weeks, military spokesman had voiced fears of renewed guerrilla activity. The government was taking no chances. Cobra helicopter gunships flew over the city during the day.
While the Cambodian troops continued to patrol the outlying districts, the military high command reported total clam on all battlefields.
The soldiers continued their norma operations. And over the radio, in a national address, the Chief of State, Cheng Heng, said that general elections would be organise according to the democratic principles of the new republic.