Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Khmer noodle movement not for CNRP talks, says PM



Khmer noodle movement not for CNRP talks, says PM

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
PM Hun Sen gave a speech at the graduation ceremony of medical students from the University of Puthisastra yesterday. Facebook

Khmer noodle movement not for CNRP talks, says PM

Prime Minister Hun Sen clarified on Thursday that the creation of his rival Khmer noodle movement is not an attempt by the government to find a political solution with the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), as had been suggested by analysts.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony of medical students from the University of Puthisastra, Hun Sen said his recent encouragement for all people to eat Khmer noodles on Sunday was simply an attempt to unite citizens as Khmer noodles had been used to foster tension in recent weeks.

“Please don’t take what I said to be analysed outside the intention of eating Khmer noodles, as some people think that it is a step towards negotiations [with the CNRP]."

“Don’t be confused. I’m talking purely about Khmer noodles and solidarity; about national unity through the eating of Khmer noodles on June 9,” he said.

The Khmer noodle movement began when 35 members and supporters of the former CNRP in Battambang province were summoned by the local court for questioning for allegedly showing support for the party “acting president” Sam Rainsy while gathering to eat Khmer noodles.

They were accused of violating the Supreme Court ruling which saw the party dissolved in late 2017.

Other supporters and members have since gathered to eat Khmer noodles in a signal of defiance, calling them “patriotic Khmer noodles”.

Hun Sen also appealed to educational institutions, pagodas, churches, mosques and factories throughout the country to join in Sunday’s eating of Khmer noodles and told Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) members to be open to CNRP supporters if they call them to eat the popular dish.

Hun Sen also called for people to eat Khmer noodles frequently from now on, asking state institutions to prepare them for guests when they celebrate national or international events in order to promote Khmer food and culture.

“I hope that through the noodle movement for national solidarity and national unity, we will eliminate smearing and promote a movement for consuming Khmer goods,” the prime minister said.

The director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia Kin Phea said the creation of the Khmer noodle movement is not to show national solidarity and national unity but was a test of the number of supporters held by the CPP and the CNRP.

“I don’t think this [Hun Sen calling for people to eat Khmer noodles on Sunday] is quite necessary. Actually, there is no need for the CPP to test their political force with the former opposition as they have completely taken power through the July 2018 election."

“Citizens support the CPP in 100 per cent of the National Assembly seats,” he said.

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

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • 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

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • 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