Heightened Security Measures Dampen Water Festival Celebrations in Phnom Penh

Visitor numbers have nearly halved for the first day of the Water Festival celebrations in Phnom Penh, owing to a heavy presence of security personnel. Official statistics showed that around 550,000 people attended the festivities on Sunday, compared to the 900,000 who attended the first day of the annual festival in 2018.

The Water Festival, unlike the Khmer New Year and Pchum Ben holidays where Cambodians travel to their hometowns in the provinces, sees an influx of tourists from across the country to revel in the boat races and cultural events across Phnom Penh. However, this year there is an air of political tension affecting attendance at the festivities.

Heavily armed security personnel can be seen in areas around the Royal Palace and along the riverside, with security forces patrolling the streets and stationing armoured vehicles at various points.

In full: https://www.voacambodia.com/a/heightened-security-measures-dampen-water-festival-celebrations-in-phnom-penh/5162370.html

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