Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions



PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks to members of the garment industry at an event yesterday in Phnom Penh's Sen Sok district. Facebook

PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party.

“You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all the mistake of the group of opposition officials. Hun Sen won’t die; the one who will die is the workers,” he told the gathering in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district.

Following the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party’s widely condemned dissolution last week, former party officials abroad have urged the international community to impose targeted sanctions on the government. After withdrawing funding for the National Election Committee last week, the US – along with the European Union – has hinted at taking further concrete steps.

In 2016, exports to the EU and US accounted for a total of 60 percent of Cambodia’s garment and footwear exports. The 700,000-strong sector receives favourable treatment under the US’ Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) and the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) initiative.

In a statement last week, the EU reminded Cambodia that “fundamental human rights is a prerequisite” for eligibility for the initiative.

In his speech yesterday, the premier reminded the assembled crowd of thousands that the ruling party was responsible for their welfare.

“Remember that what you have in your hands today is from the efforts of the CPP; it’s not from the opposition party. They . . . are continuing to appeal to foreign countries to stop buying goods from Cambodia,” he said.

Neither the US Embassy nor the EU Delegation in Cambodia responded to requests for comment.

Garment worker Duong Tola said he was worried about the possibility of the EU and US cancelling orders, but said he blamed the government, not the CNRP, for any possible negative effects.

“You are the ones who negotiate with those buyers; if they don’t purchase orders, it is your mistake,” Duong said, adding top officials are “sleeping on a pile of money”.

Mu Sochua, former deputy president of the CNRP, appeared to endorse the notion of sanctions against the garment industry yesterday, saying “human rights and democracy [are] prerequisites to EBA and GSP set up by EU and USA”.

“If prerequisites are not met then buyers must comply to their ethics,” she added.

Hun Sen also took the opportunity yesterday to threaten former opposition leader Sam Rainsy with arrest if he ever returns to Asia.

“Please don’t come to visit Asian countries,” he said. “Don’t forget, when you come [we can] send our intelligence agency to arrest you.”

Additional reporting by Andrew Nachemson

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Cintri strike ends, workers’ contracts to be terminated

    CINTRI (Cambodia) Ltd rubbish collectors who have been on strike for the past 13 days agreed to return to work starting Wednesday evening after the company agreed to terminate their contracts at the end of January next year and provide seniority payments and other benefits to