Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen says Cambodia is self-sufficient and does not need other countries to ‘destroy peace anymore’

Hun Sen says Cambodia is self-sufficient and does not need other countries to ‘destroy peace anymore’

Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at the sixth annual Sea Festival in Kep on Saturday. Facebook
Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at the sixth annual Sea Festival in Kep on Saturday. Facebook

Hun Sen says Cambodia is self-sufficient and does not need other countries to ‘destroy peace anymore’

Prime Minister Hun Sen repeated his insistence that Cambodia is self-sufficient and does not need the support of outside countries on Saturday, while continuing to equate “peace” with development.

During the opening ceremony of the sixth Sea Festival in Kep, the premier called on citizens to “unite together to protect peace”, which he seemed to contend is under threat due to foreign interference.

Throughout a crackdown on the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party that saw the group dissolved and its leader Kem Sokha arrested, the government has accused the US, the EU and some international NGOs and media outlets of backing a conspiracy to overthrow the government. Since the CNRP’s dissolution, the US and EU have pulled funding for the upcoming national elections, and the former has applied visa sanctions on certain government officials.

On Saturday, Hun Sen reiterated that Cambodia can stand on its own.

“Cambodia is not the one who needs anyone’s oxygen to breath. Cambodia is like a person who has two nostrils and one mouth to breathe,” he said. “We don’t need any country or any group to destroy peace in our country anymore,” he said.

In separate speech on Saturday at the inauguration of a new high school in Kep, the premier declared Kep the “number one” province of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, claiming over 90 percent of the population supported him.

In the June commune elections, the CPP won 67.7 percent of the votes in the province.

“I feel that people here receive happiness and development from my leadership and the ruling CPP,” he said, before announcing that he is considering creating a new university in Kep to attract students from coastal areas.

Lun Phon, former head of the CNRP working group in Kep, said the commune elections had ended the ruling party monopoly there, with the opposition securing seven commune councillor seats.

He added that if the CNRP had not been dissolved, he expected a strong showing in the national elections.

Phon also rejected a claim made by the premier during his speech that “with no peace” there could be no human rights and no democracy.

“I think peace is only on paper. Even if there is no fighting or shooting, the peace in mind and democracy is not in the heart of the people. Freedom of expression is very restricted. So what [Prime Minister Hun Sen] said about ‘peace’ is impossible, as instead people are worried and afraid . . . and there is no calm in their hearts,” he said.

Political analyst Meas Nee said that while he agreed there could be no development without peace, true calm could not exist before the CPP and CNRP reconcile. “If there is no reconciliation, there will be no peace,” he said.

Nee added that Cambodia still needs partnerships with foreign countries. It cannot, he added, survive with only Chinese support to the exclusion of the West.

“If we don’t need oxygen from foreign countries, then at least we need to do businesses with them . . . We cannot say that we can live without being dependent on other countries. We need the investment; we need to work with the world,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted