Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CPP lawmaker accuses Sin Rozeth of supporting Rainsy’s movement, using restaurant as front for political activity



CPP lawmaker accuses Sin Rozeth of supporting Rainsy’s movement, using restaurant as front for political activity

Former CNRP Commune Chief Sin Rozeth (centre) speaks to customers at her restaurant in Battambang, which she started following the party’s dissolution in November. Facebook
Former CNRP Commune Chief Sin Rozeth (centre) speaks to customers at her restaurant in Battambang, which she started following the party’s dissolution in November. Facebook

CPP lawmaker accuses Sin Rozeth of supporting Rainsy’s movement, using restaurant as front for political activity

Ruling party lawmaker Chheang Vun has accused popular former opposition Commune Chief Sin Rozeth of supporting the Sam Rainsy-led “Cambodia National Rescue Movement” and using a restaurant she opened following the dissolution of her party to conduct political activity.

The lawmaker, who is from Battambang, has frequently confronted Rozeth following her victory in the province’s O’Char commune in last year’s local elections. However, after the widely-condemned dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party for an alleged attempt to overthrow the government, all opposition officials who did not defect to the ruling party were removed from their positions, and Rozeth started a restaurant to make a living.

Vun last week commented on one of Rozeth’s Facebook posts, claiming that he had seen multiple supporters of the “movement” – recently announced by ex-CNRP leader Sam Rainsy, ostensibly as a vehicle to call for protests – entering her restaurant in Battambang province and using it to conduct political activities.

Since the movement was announced earlier this month, the government has been quick to accuse it – without evidence – of fomenting armed revolt, and of violating a ban on political activity levelled at 118 senior party officials when the CNRP was dissolved.

“I saw those who supported the rebel movement go to the dumpling shop. If this restaurant is used as a place to gather fire, it is really dangerous for Rozeth and it should not be tolerated,” Vun wrote on Facebook.

Vun additionally said that he was not interested in getting Rozeth to defect to the CPP because she had little political value. The comment appeared to be a response to Interior Minister Sar Kheng’s suggestion that the lawmaker needed to give up attempts to lure the former chief to the ruling party, made during a meeting in Banteay Meanchey last week.

“Stop trying to get Sin Rozeth to defect to our CPP anymore. Why are you going to Rozeth’s restaurant so often?” Kheng said in a recording of the meeting, making a thinly-veiled reference to Vun.

Reached yesterday, Vun acknowledged making the comments but declined to comment on them further.

Rozeth re-posted screenshots of Vun’s comments on her Facebook page, saying yesterday she was only trying to earn a living and that former party officials came to the restaurant because the food was good.

“The business is only to sell fried rice and to earn money for my mother,” she said.

She said she was also worried about Vun’s allegation that the place was being used for a “rebel movement” as there was no political activity being conducted at her restaurant.

Chea Chiv, former CNRP head for the province, said party officials went to the restaurant to support the former commune chief and help her make some money.

“We have no other purpose besides eating, and are not rebels or doing any protests,” he said.

Political commentator Lao Mong Hay said that there was little chance for Rainsy’s new “movement” to gather traction within the country given law enforcement’s heightened surveillance of former CNRP officials.

He added that making unfounded accusations was commonplace in Cambodian politics, noting that when “there is a good place for eating, people will go there”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • 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

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and

  • 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