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US wary over intimidation

A US State Department official yesterday expressed concern over the Cambodian government’s intimidation of opposition lawmakers ahead of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s first official trip to America next week, according to reports.

The premier, and ruling Cambodian People’s Party supporters, have warned of protests targeting Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmakers in Cambodia should a scheduled anti-Hun Sen rally go ahead outside the US-ASEAN summit on Monday, where Hun Sen will be in attendance.

According to the Associated Press, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes expressed concern over the situation and said the right to free assembly was protected in the US.

The remarks echo sentiments expressed by the US Embassy in Cambodia earlier this week.

The opposition fears a repeat of last October, when a pro-government demonstration, held in response to protests against Hun Sen abroad, ended with two of its lawmakers savagely beaten and sent to hospital in Bangkok.

Contacted yesterday, CPP spokesman Sous Yara said “each country has its own sovereignty, that’s all I can say”.

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Asok's picture

The government over reaction turning an empty potential protest into an international embarrassment for the PM. First, Cambodian American alliance leader live in South Carolina 3500 Km from California and it members in the USA is probably less then 50 people out 400,000 of Cambodians living in America. Second, it can probably get 20 protesters at most to attend the anti-PM protest. Roeun, it leader, has to depend on Vietnamese American protesters ( with a population of 1 millions in California) against to the Vietnamese government to be seen as Cambodian American protest against Hun Sen. As can be seem a news article from the Press Enterprise, "Roeun’s group will be joined by Vietnamese Americans protesting the Vietnamese government, said Garden Grove Councilman Phat Bui, who plans to attend. Vietnamese Americans living in Southern California went to Riverside City Hall last year to protest the formal signing of a sister city agreement with Can Tho, Vietnam." Third, Brady Young threaten of protest against the PM, has his small, obscure click of about 100 people in California, who can probably muster 20 to attend the protest mostly from his family and friends. The government over reaction to one mosquito bite into full blown fever, now spread to US ambassador, US state department spoke man, and Time magazine. The PM and government should have a better public relations department than this.

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