Hun Sen cancels Khmer New Year, but says no ‘emergency’ yet

Cambodia will most likely not be placed into a state of emergency for the coronavirus using the government’s new powers, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen, but next week’s Khmer New Year holiday will be indefinitely postponed.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday morning at his “Peace Palace” office building in Phnom Penh, the prime minister said the official holiday for the new year, which falls April 13-16, would be postponed, and both public and private institutions would be expected to continue working normally.

Hun Sen said a replacement holiday would be announced later to make up for the loss. He also said that he did not expect to call on his extensive powers under the government’s new state of emergency laws anytime soon — but said there was a possibility of curfews being announced.

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