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Reports: Rainsy barred from Jakarta flight

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Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party. Hong Menea

Reports: Rainsy barred from Jakarta flight

Sam Rainsy was on Wednesday refused entry to a flight from Malaysia to Indonesia, media reported late on Wednesday.

The “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party’s announced return to the Kingdom on Independence Day on Saturday failed to occur.

Rainsy arrived in Kuala Lumpur airport on Saturday afternoon after boarding a flight from Paris, where he has been living for more than four years.

On Wednesday afternoon he was barred from boarding a flight at Kuala Lumpur airport to the Indonesian capital Jakarta, where he had planned to spend several days, AFP reported.

“Malaysia Airlines denied the boarding of [Rainsy] under the instruction of the Indonesian authorities,” the airline said in a statement to AFP.

Tian Chua, a vice-president of the People’s Justice Party, part of Malaysia’s ruling coalition, and a friend of Rainsy’s, said the opposition figure was “barred from Jakarta”.

Indonesian immigration department spokesman Sam Fernando confirmed Rainsy was not in the country but denied authorities had barred him from entering.

Reuters also reported that Malaysia Airlines said it had barred Rainsy from a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta on the instruction of Indonesian authorities.

“Malaysia Airlines denied boarding of the said passenger under the instruction of the Indonesian authorities,” Malaysia Airlines said in response to a Reuters question regarding whether Rainsy had been stopped from boarding a flight.

Asked about the Malaysia Airlines statement, Sam Fernando, the Indonesian Immigration Directorate General spokesperson, said that “from the Immigration’s side, there has not been a request to deny his entry here”.

Denny Abdi, the director of the Southeast Asia division of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said: “We are not aware of him coming to Jakarta,” Reuters reported.

Cambodia had previously sent requests to Asean member countries to arrest Rainsy and the CNRP leadership.

CNRP vice-president Mu Sochua was briefly detained at Kuala Lumpur airport by Malaysian authorities last Wednesday.

While in Malaysia, Rainsy was to have had a meeting at the parliament building following an invitation from Nurul Izzah Anwar, the Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh.

Nurul Izzah had invited Rainsy and his wife for discussions on the best socio-developmental paths available for both Malaysia and Cambodia.

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