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.


  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Mr Pancake or M Crepe? Tasty by any title

    Crowds of people gather around a lone man with a mobile food cart every day at around 2pm in front of the Institut Francais du Cambodge to order what many say are the best crepes in Phnom Penh. To some – even to the man making

  • Phnom Penh condo market loses steam

    Just four new condominiums were launched for sale last year in the capital, down from 17 in 2020, according to research by CBRE Cambodia. The four developments comprised “more than 1,000” units, while the 17 in 2020 consisted of 10,866, the real estate firm reported. CBRE Cambodia categorises condos as “high-range”, “

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • PM sets tourism reopening as centrepiece of ATF 2022

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged ASEAN to reopen tourism and trade now that many of the bloc’s member countries have vaccinated their populations. Speaking at the 40th ASEAN Tourism Forum 2022 (ATF 2022) in Preah Sihanouk province on January 18, the premier also said ASEAN has a