The Mondulkiri and Battambang provincial police headquarters organised training on Monday and Tuesday in the handling of demonstrations and festivals and to ensure the force is ready to crack down on anyone causing insecurity or attempting to topple the government.
The General Commissariat of the National Police said the training aims at strengthening the capability of all armed forces.
The National Police website said on Tuesday that Mondulkiri provincial police chief Lor Sokha had assigned Dun Sokha, the provincial deputy police chief in charge of human resources, to organise the training for 133 police officers divided into 13 groups.
“They are taking part in training, lessons and exercises to devise strategies and teach the skills required to police demonstrations. All the trainees must pay close attention so they can put the theory into practice in real life,” Lor Sokha said.
Dun Sokha said the Mondulkiri provincial police headquarters often organised training sessions to ensure the police can maintain security and social order.
“We conduct training on a day-to-day basis. We have to work hard to ensure public order and safety during festivals,” he said.
Battambang provincial police headquarters also ran training sessions on Monday and Tuesday.
Provincial police chief Uch Sokhon could not be reached for comment on Wednesday but a deputy police chief who asked not to be named said the training was being conducted on the orders of the General Commissariat of the National Police and the Ministry of Interior.
“We have been training the police officers in various tactics and strategies to manage demonstrators,” he said.
National Police chief Neth Savoeun told The Post on Wednesday said the training would ensure the force is well prepared to combat any group causing insecurity or intending to topple the government.
“We have never cracked down on the Cambodia National Rescue Party [CNRP]. We only cracked down on those who cause insecurity and social disorder.
“All armed forces must be ready to tackle those who plan to return to the country to topple the government. We must deal with them effectively to maintain national security,” he said.
National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun could not be reached for comment.
Ou Chanrath, a former lawmaker of the Supreme Court-dissolved CNRP, said the police training was intended to crack down on supporters of CNRP “acting president” Sam Rainsy, and doing so threatened the people’s rights to freedom.
“This makes the people fearful, and our political situation will become worse. When people keep being arrested and accused, the international community will think that Cambodia is determined to crack down on CNRP supporters.
“The authorities’ actions affect human rights and democracy,” he claimed.