At a promotion ceremony for almost two dozen upper-echelon national policemen, Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng listed factory worker protests among Cambodia’s major security concerns, alongside terrorism and trafficking.
“Security is a very complicated issue,” he said. “There’s terrorism, robbery, kidnapping, drugs and human trafficking, and the movement of factory workers is a threat to investors and the economy. All of these things work to overthrow and reduce the influence of the legal government.”
The promotion ceremony rewarded 22 members of the Ministry of Interior’s police force with one, two, three or, in a unique case, four general’s stars.
Hok Lundy, director general of the National Police, was promoted to the rank of four-star general, the only national policeman ever to receive the rank.
Prime Minister Hun Sen conferred the promotions on the policemen and also addressed the crowd.
“Security during the commune elections is our first priority,” he said. “I demand a strong effort and increased attention to crack down on terrorism, killing, trafficking, logging and tax evasion.”
Hun Sen also made reference to Tuesday’s terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, saying, “Terrorism is everywhere.”
Hok Lundy also addressed the crowd on the subject of security during commune elections.
“The government has wanted to operate with a principle of neutrality since 1993, but there are some big obstacles,” he said.
In a kind of progress report for the Ministry of the Interior, Sar Kheng listed the achievements of the National Police force.
“We have cracked down on 8,526 cases, arrested 11,563 criminals, seized 11,562 weapons this year and have destroyed 63,384 weapons,” he said.
Phlong Kim Chhon, first deputy governor of Koh Kong province, and Thao Kim Long, first deputy governor of Kompong Cham province, were promoted to the rank of major general.
By law, King Norodom Sihanouk must issue a decree for the promotion of candidates to any rank above a one-star general.