Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rainsy asks New Zealand, Australia to ban CPP officials

Rainsy asks New Zealand, Australia to ban CPP officials

Australian lawmaker Mark Butler (left) meets with former opposition leader Sam Rainsy on Sunday in Australia.
Australian lawmaker Mark Butler (left) meets with former opposition leader Sam Rainsy on Sunday in Australia. Facebook

Rainsy asks New Zealand, Australia to ban CPP officials

Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy met with government officials in Australia and New Zealand this week, requesting that the two nations issue visa bans against Cambodian People’s Party officials and their families in response to the arrest of opposition head Kem Sokha for treason.

Rainsy met with Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, officials with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and lawmakers from both countries.

He said the purpose of his trip was to ask the countries to “react to the political crackdown in Cambodia” and added that Australia in particular “has a major role to play in the region . . . [and] must show leadership for the development of democracy”.

Rainsy met with Victoria MP Anthony Byrne on Sunday and Adelaide MP Mark Butler on Monday, he said, to request that the lawmakers recommend a visa ban to parliament. He said Butler and Byrne have asked the Australian government “to react in an appropriate way”.

“Many CPP officials and their families, they come to Australia to buy property, invest . . . and send their children to study,” Rainsy said, adding that the international response must “affect the personal interests” of ruling party members to be effective.

The former CNRP president said the situation will be discussed when the Australian Parliament convenes in October.

Neither the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh nor the New Zealand Embassy in Bangkok replied to requests for comment yesterday.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said he was “not worried” about Rainsy’s request. “We have a good relationship, good cooperation, with Australia. We respect each other,” he said.

Siphan also defended the European tour of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s son Hun Manet, whose visit to Germany over the weekend was met with protest.

He was in Switzerland on Sunday and England on Monday to meet supporters.

In an article posted to government-aligned outlet Fresh News, Manet justified his mission abroad by saying the CPP has a policy to serve citizens abroad.

However, Siphan struck a different note in a Facebook post on Monday in which he criticised protesters abroad and accused them of “psychological warfare”.

“Cambodia’s choice is to serve the interest of Cambodia, not serving other Western countries and those people living there . . . Any protest outside the country has no impact on the decisions of Cambodia,” he said.


  • Professor beaten by mob in Phnom Penh after alleged hit-and-run

    Updated with new information: 6:44am, Tuesday March 13 2018 A university professor accused of a hit-and-run has been transported to Vietnam with serious head injuries after he was brutally beaten by a mob in Phnom Penh late Sunday afternoon. A video of the attack shows a group

  • American ‘fugitive’ arrested in Cambodia outside of US Embassy

    An American citizen was arrested on request by the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, according to Cambodian police. Major General Uk Hei Sela, chief of investigations at the Department of Immigration, identified the man as American Jan Sterling Hagen, and said he was

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of