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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rainsy pledges to protect natural resources

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy talks to supporters in Phnom Penh during a press conference late last year.
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy talks to supporters in Phnom Penh during a press conference late last year. Pha Lina

Rainsy pledges to protect natural resources

In a video posted on his Facebook page on Saturday, opposition leader Sam Rainsy vowed to continue to press for democratic change and the protection of Cambodia’s national resources.

“Change to have a new leader and a new government that defends Khmer people, especially the poor . . . and to defend our territory, defend our national treasures, like the forests, the mountains, lakes, rivers and other cultural sites,” he said.

Rainsy, who is in self-imposed exile abroad to avoid charges many believe to be politically motivated, reminded his Facebook followers that he was still thinking of them from afar.

“We will rescue our nation all together, and possibly soon,” he said.The opposition leader did not make explicit reference to the ruling party, but the video, a sizeable portion of which Rainsy devotes to talking about environmental concerns, was posted just a day after Prime Minister Hun Sen announced a crackdown on illegal logging and timber smuggling into Vietnam.

The announcement led to a series of raids yesterday.

Ruling party spokesman Sok Eysan hosed down Rainsy’s speech yesterday. Citing years of CPP-led economic growth, he said the country did not require “rescuing”.

“We don’t have any belief that he can take over and win against the Cambodian People’s Party,” he said.

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