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PM denies role in Thai Rainsy rebuff

2 Sam Rainsy

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday denied he had pressured Thailand’s leaders – or any other government in the region – to refuse opposition leader Sam Rainsy entrance to their country.

Speaking at the opening and groundbreaking of roads and bridges in Pursat province, Hun Sen claimed that Rainsy had accused him of playing a part in the Cambodia National Rescue Party president being refused entry to Thailand last Tuesday.

“Maybe this convicted man places the highest value in me, because it would mean that I not only have the right to give orders in Cambodia, I also have the right to give orders in Thailand,” he said.

Hun Sen said it was an “insult” to a “sovereign government” that an outsider could make decisions on its behalf.

To the Post’s knowledge, however, the CNRP leader has not publicly made the claims Hun Sen was referring to.

Rainsy lives in self-imposed exile in France to avoid a lengthy prison term resulting from what some say were politically motivated charges.

He was travelling to Thailand to promote his new book, We Didn’t Start the Fire: My Struggle for Democracy in Cambodia.

“They told me that I would be welcome back after the election,” Rainsy said last week after immigration officials denied him entry. He declined to comment further.

Hun Sen said that after leaving Bangkok, Rainsy flew to Singapore, where he was not allowed out of his hotel.

Earlier, he had not been allowed to leave the airport in Kuala Lumpur to meet with Malaysia’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, Hun Sen added.

“I think it is suitable [for me] to lead the country and unsuitable for you to because you cannot get into other countries,” the prime minister said. “[You are] so cheap to put blame on Hun Sen.”

Opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua declined to respond to Hun Sen’s speech.

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