Crossing Cambodia

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Above the law?

From the KI site an extensive report of a dog (1) which managed to hold up the Cambodian's PM daily procession from his home outside the capital to wherever he deems necessary.

Uncouth dog! You dare cut in front of the PM’s car, get him!!

19 Nov 2006
By Seyha
Salanh Khmer

Translated from Khmer by Socheata

A laughable but yet scary incident occurred when a dog dared cut in front of the car procession of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The incident occurred north of the roundabout circle in Takhmao city, Kandal province, on Thursday afternoon when Prime Minister Hun Sen’s car fleet returned from Phnom Penh to his secure Tuol Krosaing camp.

Sralanh Khmer witnessed this event at 5:05 PM when Mr. Hun Sen’s car procession led by a siren-blaring car and followed by a swarming number of bodyguard cars sped by. Alongside the road, military police officers and regular police officers are standing shoulder to shoulder to prevent people from crossing the street. A police officer holding a microphone, yelled orders to people not to cross the street in order to prevent any accident to the prime minister. Suddenly, a reddish color dog ran cut in front of the police officer trying to cross the street. Hearing the loud voice of the officer from the microphone, the dog was startled and stopped in the middle of the street, undecided what to do next. Meanwhile the prime minister’s car procession arrived, and it was forced to abruptly brake in order not to hit the uncouth dog who does not know the traffic rules and who is not afraid of the prime minister’s car procession.

Seeing this, the police officer who was holding the microphone to yell at people not to cross the street at the arrival of Mr. Hun Sen’s car procession, started to yell loudly: “Stop, stop, you uncouth dog … Get him! Get him! Get him! Don’t let it get away.” The dog, hearing this, turned around and crossed in front of the row of police officers. The police officer with the microphone, very angry with the entire ordeal, yelled: “Get him! Get him! Get that uncouth dog which dares cut in front of Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen’s car procession.” Nevertheless, they could not catch the dog which ran too fast and escaped.

Meanwhile, the traffic was at a standstill, people waiting in the traffic were laughing at the police officer. They said that this dog is lucky, if it were to be a human being, and that person would dare cut in front of Samdech Hun Sen’s car procession like the dog did, that person would be accused of being a terrorist wanting to assassinate Mr. Hun Sen for sure. The would-be traffic cutter would have been arrested, handcuffed and sent to spend time in Prey Sar jail without any question asked.

People living along the road from Phnom Penh to Takhmao used by Mr. Hun Sen’s car procession, are very bothered by this procession because each time the procession passed by, traffic is stopped by police officers and bodyguards. Furthermore, the siren sound is blaring very loudly. That was why people are happy about the lucky fate of the dog who dared cut across Mr. Hun Sen’s car procession on Thursday afternoon.

Not only is traffic closed when the prime minister leave his Tuol Krosaing home to attend the council of ministers’ meetings, but he also orders the traffic closed when he needs to go out to play golf. People were very frightful for the dog’s fate when they saw it cutting across the prime minister’s car procession. They are now happy to see the dog came out unscathed and caused a lot of commotion to the police officers instead.

Kep Chuktekma, Phnom Penh governor, used to say that dog meat is delicious, and he even told Phnom Penh city dwellers to eat dog meat. Therefore, if the angry police officers were to call and tell Mr. Kep Chuktekma by phone, he would never pardon this daring dog.
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