Lending weight to recent warnings by Prime Minister Hun Sen, youth supporters of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party have vowed to rally at the opposition’s Phnom Penh headquarters if a planned demonstration confronts the premier during his state visit to the US next week.
In a video posted to Facebook yesterday, Sim Sovannara and Saing Sung, the purported leader of a pro-CPP group called the Will of Overseas Youth, cautioned Cambodia National Rescue Party supporters in the United States against repeating the events of last year.
“As all of you know, a few months ago, you all held demonstrations when Samdech [Hun Sen] went to the United States, and when Samdech went to visit France, all of you held a demonstration, too,” Sung said.
“Your two demonstrations resulted in your leader [Kem Sokha], who was first vice-president of the National Assembly, being removed from the title shamefully.
Therefore, if all of you still hold protests against our government’s head, our youth league group, and other youth groups, will go to the front of the [CNRP’s] headquarters and ask the Royal Government to delete the [CNRP].”
Sung left unsaid the vicious assault on two opposition lawmakers by pro-government protesters that took place outside parliament on October 26.
The demonstration that preceded the attack occurred just a day after Hun Sen foreshadowed protests against CNRP deputy Kem Sokha, which were used as justification to sack him as the parliamentary first vice president.
After a similar message by the prime minister in January, the CNRP called on its supporters not to protest at the US-ASEAN summit in California.
However, the Cambodia-America Alliance, which says it’s not affiliated with the CNRP, has vowed to go ahead with its “rally against the tyrant Hun Sen” outside the venue.
In the video, Sung, who denied he was taking orders from the CPP or its leader, said he believed the CNRP was involved with the protest, a claim that’s also been made by Hun Sen’s son, Hun Manith, who cited undisclosed evidence.
CNRP spokesman Yem Ponhearith said the party would not respond to the threat, but trusted in the government to protect its members.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said Sung and Sovannara’s youth groups were not involved with the CPP and would be treated like anyone else.
“We don’t know which group he is in . . . if [he] acts legally there is no problem, if they act illegally we will take action.”