Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Activities aimed at destroying peace’ must be halted

‘Activities aimed at destroying peace’ must be halted

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Interior Sar Kheng told officials and the armed forces to be ready to prevent and intercept all activities by outlawed and (self) exiled groups that attempt to push Cambodia into war and chaos. Heng Chivoan

‘Activities aimed at destroying peace’ must be halted

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng on Wednesday ordered provincial administration officials and the armed forces to be ready to prevent and intercept all activities by outlawed and (self) exiled groups that attempt to push Cambodia into war and chaos.

While he did not specifically refer to any particular group, it is believed he was referring to former opposition leader and “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Sam Rainsy who lives in France.

Rainsy has made a number of provocative statements encouraging rebellion against the government in recent months.

Most recently, on February 5, Rainsy said in a video clip posted on his official Facebook page: “In 2019, we have to take over Cambodia and hand it to the people. This is the story and our goal in history in which we have to join this mission to successfully take over Cambodia and give it to the people.”

Sar Kheng has previously said Rainsy is guilty of inciting people and the armed forces to revolt against the Cambodian government.

Making his remarks at the closing of the Stung Treng provincial administration’s 2018 Review and 2019 Goals Setting meeting on Wednesday, attended by provincial administration officials, police and Military Police, he said authorities needed to continue to strengthen peace and stability to prevent and intercept all the attempts to push Cambodia into war and chaos.

The interior minister also ordered leaders within each unit to ensure that officials and the armed forces under their command respected discipline, internal rules and fulfilled their obligations in accordance with their duties.

“Anti-peace forces are trying to find a way to destroy peace [in Cambodia]. This is a problem, so we should not forget, be unaware, lazy or bored. We need to be responsible and destroy all activities that are aimed at destroying peace,” he said.

He said Rainsy would not be afforded the same welcome he recieved in 2013 – when he arrived back in the Kingdom to compete in that year’s national election following four years of exile – as the current political situation is different.

“Such a welcome as 2013 is not possible. This is what I want to talk about. [Rainsy’s suggested return] aims to destroy security and stability in Cambodia."

“The return is illegal and the gathering of his supporters opposes the law, security and stability, and it also opposes development."

“We all know that if there is no peace, we can do nothing as a nation. This is not only in Cambodia, but all countries of the world. After we have peace, we need to maintain it and this is the important thing,” he said.

He continued that Cambodia is not a perfect country, so the government continues to reform and solve problems the Kingdom faces. But he added that the current situation in Cambodia is the most favourable it has ever been.

Kin Phea, the director-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, supported Sar Kheng’s order.

“This is a message for our officials to be cautious about support for Sam Rainsy. If people want to welcome [Rainsy back] politically, they violate the law because a political welcome [for Rainsy] damages social stability and opposes the Supreme Court’s verdict, which bans the CNRP from being involved with politics in the first place,” he said.

Political analyst Meas Nee regarded Sar Kheng’s statement as just a political tactic from the interior minister to eradicate the prime minister’s doubts over his loyalty towards him.

He said that this order shows that the government also feels doubtful about the loyalty of its own armed forces.

“Sar Kheng is speaking in order to protect himself . . . in order to avoid suspicion from Samdech Hun Sen and other members,” he said, adding that it is not illegal for people to welcome Rainsy back.


  • Rainsy stopped in Paris from boarding Thai flight

    Airline officials at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport on Thursday prevented Sam Rainsy from boarding his flight to Bangkok ahead of his announced return to Cambodia on Saturday. Prime Minister Hun Sen had earlier in the day assured Phnom Penh residents that there would be

  • Analyst: Rainsy blocked from boarding flight 'an excuse'

    THAI Airways not allowing Sam Rainsy on its route from Paris to Bangkok on Thursday is being used as an excuse to keep his standing among fellow coup plotters and his uninformed supporters as flights to non-Asean countries are available, an analyst said on Friday.

  • Rainsy lands in Malaysia

    Cambodian opposition figure Sam Rainsy arrived in Kuala Lumpur airport on Saturday afternoon after boarding a flight from Paris, where he has been living for more than four years. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Koy Kuong said on Saturday that Cambodia respected

  • Touch: Rainsy will never return

    Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has claimed it has achieved 70 per cent of its struggle to find a solution to the current political situation in the Kingdom. Just before boarding a plane at Charles de Gaulle

  • Sokha continues call for dropping of charge after bail conditions reduced

    Not satisfied with having his bail conditions reduced, allowing him to travel freely in Cambodia, Kem Sokha says he wants his charge totally dropped. “As an innocent man who has been in detention for two years even without being found guilty, I continue to demand

  • MEPs' call for Rainsy's safety not European Parliament position

    The European Parliament said on Friday that a statement by 56 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) calling for guarantees of Sam Rainsy’s freedom and safety should he return to Cambodia did not represent its position. Delphine Colard, the European Parliament’s press officer told