Claiming to represent the views of the “super majority” of Cambodians in the US, the president of a Khmer-American anti-government group yesterday continued to criticise plans by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s eldest son, Hun Manet, to visit next month.
Manet, an RCAF commander, has been invited as the guest of honour at April’s Khmer New Year parade in Long Beach, California. He will also attend events elsewhere in the US.
His invitation has raised the ire of the Cambodia-America Alliance, which has publicly denounced the visit. In response, Manet has played the peacemaker, telling critics the trip is apolitical and inviting opposition members and supporters to join.
But CAA president Vibol Touch isn’t sold. “The message is crystal clear and absolute, Cambodian-Americans will not welcome and accept the son of a dictator who has supported his father’s oppressive policies,” Touch said in a statement.
Touch linked Manet to the military’s 911 Brigade, which was involved in the fatal 2014 crackdown against garment workers.
Government spokesman Phay Siphan denied Manet was linked to the unit. “The New Year is not an opportunity to fight and argue with each other,” he added.