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Leading

In EU, Manet met with protest

RCAF Lieutenant General Hun Manet speaks to supporters at an event on Saturday in Germany.

Hun Manet, military official and son of Prime Minister Hun Sen, met with counterparts in France and supporters in Germany this week, even after both countries lined up to condemn the government’s recent arrest of opposition leader Kem Sokha. An item on government newswire AKP on Friday called the tour a “working visit in France”, and said Manet arrived there on Thursday following “the invitation of the French Ministry of Defence”. The trip was meant to “strengthen the friendship and cooperation between Cambodia and France”. On Saturday, Manet continued his European tour with a visit to Germany, where he spoke to around 200 supporters according to statements and photographs on his Facebook page.

Man charged over song criticising Hun Sen

Huy Oudom, 29, seen singing a video posted on his Facebook page was arrested on Saturday.

A Kampong Speu resident was charged with “incitement” on Saturday by the Kratie Provincial Court over a video from 2013 of him singing a song criticising Prime Minister Hun Sen’s policies. In the video, Huy Oudom, 29, accuses Hun Sen in song of giving away Cambodian land to the yuon – an often derogatory term used for people of Vietnamese descent – and for exploiting the natural resources of the country. “He takes the power for only himself and is not fearful of the people, and this is too much. And you should stop doing this because you are born as Khmer but behave like a dog – a useless dog,” he sang. Oudom was arrested on Friday in Kratie province and charged the next day under articles 494 and 495 of the Criminal Code ...

Visitor numbers grow over holiday fest

A tourist ferry leaves a pier in Sihanoukville earlier this year.

Tourism numbers swelled by nearly 16 percent during this year’s Pchum Ben festival, according to the Ministry of Tourism, with officials crediting efforts to improve tourism infrastructure and the quality of services for the higher volume of both domestic and foreign tourists. In a posting on its Facebook page on Friday, the ministry said hotel and port records showed a total of just over 1 million tourists in the Kingdom during the three-day holiday, a 15.7 percent increase compared to last year’s festival. Domestic tourists made up the bulk of this figure totalling 1,010,000, while foreign tourists numbered about 40,000. According to the ministry, Siem Reap played host to more visitors during the Pchum Ben festival than any other city in Cambodia.

NEC defends holiday halt

National Election Committee members speak to the press on voter registration for next year’s national elections earlier this month in Phnom Penh.

A National Election Committee (NEC) member has defended the electoral body’s decision to cease registration for the Pchum Ben holiday, despite its Secretary-General Tep Nytha complaining last week that registrations were only trickling in because migrant workers – many of whom return home for major holidays – had not registered. Migrant worker and electoral rights advocates have criticised the electoral body for not facilitating registration of overseas Cambodians, who number close to 1.5 million, and most of whom are in Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea. Hang Puthea, NEC member and spokesman, said the body decided to take the three-day holiday off because they had observed most people would be present a few days before and after the holidays to register.

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