Opposition party president Sam Rainsy issued a call on Tuesday evening for the government to halt its post-election mobilisation of armed forces to avoid inciting “fear” in the population.
Rainsy, who has been in the United States for his daughter’s wedding and is due back today, posted the short message on his official Facebook page along with an iconic 1967 picture of a Vietnam War protester holding a flower towards the guns of US national guard soldiers.
“We call on the government to stop the military build-up and to stop moving the armed forces around so as to stop creating fear among the population,” Rainsy wrote.
“We appeal to policemen and soldiers to refrain from using violence against any citizens because we all are Khmers, peaceful Buddhists, and love our country.”
Ruling party lawmaker and spokesman Cheam Yeap responded in a tit-for-tat yesterday, saying troops would be withdrawn if Rainsy would only stop calling for mass demonstrations.
“We will withdraw the army when Sam Rainsy stops calling on people to protest en masse and when the situation is normal. We are just protecting security in the country,” he said.