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Police Watchful of Ongoing Opposition Demonstrations

  • Heng Reaksmey
  • VOA Khmer

Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy of the Cambodia National Rescue Party wearing a helmet arrives for a rally in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Dec. 16, 2013. The opposition party rallied for the second day, calling for Prime Minister Hun Sen's government to hold re-election. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy of the Cambodia National Rescue Party wearing a helmet arrives for a rally in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Dec. 16, 2013. The opposition party rallied for the second day, calling for Prime Minister Hun Sen's government to hold re-election. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodian authorities say they are keeping a close watch on opposition demonstrations, which entered their fourth day in the capital on Wednesday.

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said the demonstrations have not crossed any lines, but if they become a threat to the government, they will be broken up by force.

Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets since Sunday, some calling for a re-election, but others for Prime Minister Hun Sen to step down. No violence has been reported so far, but Khieu Sopheak said police stand on alert.

“When national security becomes a threat, the government forces must take action to ensure stability,” he said.

Sam Rainsy, president of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, said Wednesday that the demonstrations are not a threat to national security.

“The protesters know not to use violence,” he said.

Rights workers say the demonstrators and security forces should avoid violence, which can harm national security.

And the ruling and opposition parties should work together to reduce tension, said Thun Saray, president of the rights group Adhoc. Negotiation is better than violence, he said.
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