Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ex-party leader, gov’t critic named as secretary of state



Ex-party leader, gov’t critic named as secretary of state

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sourn Serey Ratha at the municipal court in 2016. He was sentenced to five years in prison for inciting soldiers to disobedience and inciting others to commit offences. Hong Menea

Ex-party leader, gov’t critic named as secretary of state

A former political party leader known for being critical of the government has been appointed secretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, a royal decree dated July 9 said.

Sourn Serey Ratha, the former president of the Khmer Power Party (KPP), told The Post on Sunday that although he was unsure of what he would be tasked with, he will use the position to improve farmers’ livelihood.

“I have not given up on political life. My focus is on helping citizens, especially farmers, as that is my vision from the beginning. If they have land, they should have good living conditions and become rightful owners without anyone encroaching on it,” he said.

Serey Ratha was arrested on August 13, 2017, after posting social media messages critical of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) leadership. The Facebook posts centred around a confrontation between Cambodian and Lao armies along the borders in Stung Treng province.

He was then sentenced to five years in prison and fined 10 million riel ($2,500) on charges of inciting soldiers to disobedience and inciting others to commit offences.

While in prison, he was booted out as KPP president. He was granted a royal pardon on August 23, 2018, at the request of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said he was not aware of Serey Ratha’s appointment. Future Forum think tank president Ou Virak nor political analyst Meas Ny could be reached for comment on Sunday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Preah Sihanouk hit with travel ban

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration has announced a temporary travel ban to and from the province, except for ambulances and trucks transporting goods. The announcement came after prime minister Hun Sen called on people in the province to travel only if necessary, and that people not

  • AstraZeneca jabs touch down in Phnom Penh airport

    The first shipment of 324,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/SII vaccine which was provided through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility was delivered to Phnom Penh International Airport on March 2. The rest of the COVAX provided vaccines will arrive in Cambodia at a later date.

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • Cambodia's cluster cases jump to 259

    The Ministry of Health on February 27 recorded 26 more cases of Covid-19 linked to the February 20 community transmission, bringing the total to 259 in one week. The 26 include three Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. The ministry noted that five of the Chinese