ONE suspect has been arrested in connection with the spreading of anti-government leaflets in central Phnom Penh yesterday, police officials said.
More than 100 of the leaflets were discovered yesterday near Wat Phnom in Daun Penh district. Angkor Wat temple is pictured on the cover of the leaflets along with the title “Nationalist Khmer Voice”.
The leaflets contain strong anti-Vietnamese rhetoric, accusing the ruling Cambodian People’s Party of “selling the nation” to Vietnam.
Using a commonword for Vietnamese that some believe to be derogatory, the tracts decry “the flow of yuon immigrants without passports” and “the theft of Khmer territory to include in the Yuon Indochinese federation”.
“If we do not stand up to resolve this suffering, it will fall on younger generations,” the leaflet goes on. “That’s why to keep the Khmer nation alive, Khmers must unite to stand up and chase out the yuon.”
Phnom Penh municipal police chief Touch Naruth said a man suspected of driving a woman who distributed the leaflets on his motorbike had been arrested and was being held for questioning. Police were still investigating the case, searching for the woman and other suspects who may have been involved, he said.
“This man was involved because he was the driver, and the woman was the scatterer,” Touch Naruth said. “When we finish our investigation, we will send him to court.”
In January, officials in Takeo province investigated a case in which antigovernment leaflets were anonymously distributed following the January 7 holiday, which commemorates the ouster of the Khmer Rouge regime back Cambodian and Vietnamese troops in 1979. The leaflets said the day should be remembered only as the day that Cambodia became “abused and occupied” by Vietnam.
Sam Rainsy Party spokesman Yim Sovann said critics of the government should express themselves without making rude and defamatory statements.
“I support freedom of expression, but it must be ethical expression based on facts,” Yim Sovann said. “The SRP has a platform like this.”