Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP deputy claims MEPs to accompany Rainsy’s return

CNRP deputy claims MEPs to accompany Rainsy’s return

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sam Rainsy and officials from the EU meet on Thursday. Facebook

CNRP deputy claims MEPs to accompany Rainsy’s return

Mu Sochua, the deputy president of the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has claimed that at least six Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will accompany the court-dissolved party’s leadership on their return to Cambodia.

Meanwhile, former CNRP president Kem Sokha, who is at home on court-supervised bail pending his court case on a treason charge, has said he will serve Cambodia “as long as the sun still rises”.

Sochua, Sam Rainsy, CNRP “acting president”, and his wife Tioulong Saumura visited the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday “to demand the release of Kem Sokha, freedom for Cambodians, the restoration of democracy and respect for human rights”.

Sochua insisted the MEPs were not urged to withdraw Cambodia’s access to the EU’s “Everything But Arms” (EBA) agreement at the meeting.

She posted video clips of interviews with MEPs in which they expressed their support of the self-exiled CNRP leaders.

On Thursday, she told The Post that within just two hours of meeting with them, six MEPs had shown their support for accompanying Rainsy and other high-ranking CNRP officials on their return to Cambodia.

“We also have commitments from Australia, New Zealand, the US and Asean. They will go [to Cambodia] to ensure democracy and human rights are restored, Kem Sokha is freed and the CNRP is restored – no fake democracy."

“Democracy must be restored to avoid the withdrawal of access to EBA. The ball is in Hun Sen’s court,” she said.

Rainsy said on Facebook after meeting with MEPs that Prime Minister Hun Sen was solely responsible for the fate of EBA for Cambodia. He said retaining access to EBA was easy.

“It is not hard . . . just release Kem Sokha. Sokha was wrongly charged. Drop the charge against him, which is baseless and illegitimate, and allow the CNRP to operate again. It is not hard,” Rainsy said.

Meanwhile, CNRP president Sokha took to Facebook to thank those who wished him well as he turned 67 on Thursday.

He said his compatriots gave him the courage to continue after having lost his freedom for nearly two years. He said nothing could dampen his patriotism for the nation.

“Although I cannot meet people like before, although I cannot hear your concerns directly, no matter what the obstacle is, as long as the sun still rises, please Cambodia, trust that I, Kem Sokha, wait for the day that I can serve the nation further.”

“No matter what suffering I am enduring and in what form, there is no word ‘regret’ for Kem Sokha, who has devoted himself to the nation and its citizens, democracy, freedom, sovereignty and national reconciliation,” Sokha said.

He said his wish for his birthday was happiness, peace, freedom, prosperity and justice for all people at all levels.

Sokha’s daughter Kem Monovitya said on Facebook that she and her family, colleagues and those who loved democracy and social justice would continue to walk with Sokha.

They would do so until the Cambodian ship reached its destination – one where Cambodian people claimed ownership of their country, she said.

“Your daughter believes that your devotion, strength and honesty will lead us to our goal. Please, father, take care of your health and continue being a heroic role model in the democratisation mission,” she said.

Government spokesperson Phay Siphan said foreigners had to respect Cambodian sovereignty.

“These foreigners [at the European Parliament] have to understand that Cambodia is a sovereign state."

“The government has never prevented [CNRP members abroad] from returning to Cambodia, but if they come here to do any activity intended to go against Cambodian sovereignty, we have the right to prevent them from entering and tell them to leave.”

Siphan said protecting Cambodian sovereignty is the obligation of all Cambodians and CNRP co-founder Sokha had to fulfil his duty before the court.


  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting