Kong Korm, the former president of the defunct Sam Rainsy Party, has dismissed his one-time political ally’s plan to return to Cambodia on Saturday as being like “a handful of salt outside a barrel of honey”.
Korm, who was a Sam Rainsy Party member for some 20 years, posted on Facebook on Monday: “Salt outside a barrel of honey cannot spoil the taste of the honey.
“Likewise, the plan of [Rainsy’s] ‘nine-fingers’ group to return on November 9 cannot interrupt Independence Day and the Water Festival, nor spoil the atmosphere. Cambodians won’t allow any group to destroy them again,” he said.
Rainsy supporters were told to raise nine fingers, representing November 9, to show backing for the return of the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party.
Korm is currently the honorary president of the Khmer Will Party formed last year by his son, Kong Monika.
“Rainsy’s group has claimed to be the champion of democracy and human rights, with Western countries like the US as their allies.
“They were implementing a plan to use people and defecting soldiers to topple the government, like Lon Nol [who overthrew the then prime minister Prince Norodom Sihanouk in 1970] to form a republic,” he said.
The plan, he said, could be backed up by claiming there was a foreign naval base in Cambodia.
“The handful of salt, or the nine-finger group [of Rainsy plotters], is dissolving due to its members breaking away, confessing and being left behind. No one cares about their imaginary saving of democracy and human rights.
“If this group was in Cambodia, they would bring the Kingdom nothing but hardship, crime, devastation and chaos,” Korm stressed.
He said Rainsy had chosen November 9 as the date of his return to obscure the end of his freedom, the death of his political career and the end of his group.
Korm could not be reached for further comment on Monday.
Sok Touch, the president of Royal Academy of Cambodia, said while Rainsy would not be able to return on Independence Day on November 9, the announcement of his plans to do so would affect both the celebrations for it and for Water Festival over the days that followed.
He said as the Cambodian people had endured traumatic experiences, those such as vendors were concerned that their businesses could be attacked, looted or robbed.
“The government has deployed forces along the border. This is in response to Rainsy’s claims that troops support him, with the government wanting to show who it is the military supports.
“If there had been no movement of troops, Rainsy might think that soldiers supported him. The army is loyal to the country,” Touch said.
Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said the government could organise normal or even larger Independence Day and Water Festival celebrations now that it was well in control of the situation in the country.