Two more Sam Rainsy supporters returned from Thailand to reveal his November 9 coup plot and asked for clemency.
Tor Nimol and his wife had made accusations of the government via many Facebook posts. They returned from Thailand on Sunday to confess and seek leniency from the government.
Just before his return, Nimol posted on his Facebook account saying: “Hun Sen defeated! For his power, associates, and families, even losing Everything But Arms [EBA], Hun Sen won’t care because those who would be affected are not [from] his family.
“But half of the Cambodian population need EBA and they don’t need Hun Sen as a leader,” he wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday.
But on Sunday, he said he had friends who could not be trusted. He wanted to stay alone with his beloved wife.
The same day, Nimol was interviewed by Fresh News where he said Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) vice-president Eng Chhai Eang had told him to gather Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand to escort Sam Rainsy on his return on November 9.
He said Chhai Eang had also instructed him to post a fake Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) letter.
“Recently, he [Chhai Eang], had forged a CPP letter about the EBA,” he said, without elaborating on the letter’s content.
Rainsy had claimed that millions of migrant workers would escort him on November 9, but Nimol said the number was just a claim as workers cared more about their work.
“The factor that discouraged them from participating was that they cared about their work more than wasting time on Rainsy. Who would take care of their families?
“So, Rainsy’s claim that millions of workers would join his return was just an inflated number as propaganda and simply a trick,” Nimol said.
Nimol decided to confess because he believed that Hun Sen was generous and would be lenient over his past actions. He said those who supported Rainsy’s coup plot on November 9 were cheated by Rainsy, Chhai Eang and CNRP vice-president Mu Sochua.
“I appeal to all CNRP activists who have been cheated to return and reunite with their families because the prime minister would not hold a grudge against them,” he said.
Nimol said he regretted his previous attacks on the government and that Sam Rainsy was walking towards his political dead-end and would lose popularity should he continue cheating and inciting the people.
Sochua claimed on Monday that what Nimol said was “a forced confession and does not hold as the truth”.
Kin Phea, the director-general of the International Relations Institute at Royal Academy of Cambodia, said Nimol’s confession and that of his wife was just a normal occurrence in Cambodian politics since 1993.
“We regard this as a simple thing in Cambodian politics. But it also reflects the strength of the CPP in mobilising support, even from among the opposition. This is a special point that CPP is good at,” Phea said.
He said Nimol had strongly attacked the government and the CPP. But, when he came forward to confess, Phea said he could be a good resource for the CPP.
He said Rainsy was now handling politics like a drizzle (rain) and he does not have landslide support unlike his return in 2013.
“We see that the international community did not pay much attention to Rainsy, but they turned their attention on Sokha on what was his next step. His moderate supporters, as opposed to absolute supporters, are also having second thoughts about him,” Phea said.
Phea said that people support the opposition not because they saw a good policy from the former opposition party, but because they had faced social injustice.
“So, the crucial task of the government is to solve the social injustice that everyone sees is happening,” he said.
In the meantime, the director of Sokha’s cabinet Muth Chantha wrote on his Facebook page quoting Kem Sokha.
“I will never do what may cause any turmoil or chaos to the country that I live in.
“I have never imagined nor intended to leave my country because I have chosen it as the only roof that I will have to live in and as a base for my political career,” Sokha was quoted as saying.