Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sar Kheng: Rainsy return not blocked



Sar Kheng: Rainsy return not blocked

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said Cambodia had never blocked Sam Rainsy from returning to the Kingdom. AFP

Sar Kheng: Rainsy return not blocked

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng clarified that Cambodia had never blocked Sam Rainsy from returning to the Kingdom.

However, he said Cambodia reserved the right to take legal action as allowed by law against activities aimed at destroying the Kingdom.

“No one blocked the return of the convict Sam Rainsy and his group. But the government has announced that we will maintain peace and reserve the right to take legal action against all activities aimed at destroying peace, social stability and security,” Sar Kheng wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday.

His statement came as Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party, who had claimed he would return to the Kingdom on Saturday, landed in Malaysia.

Sar Kheng, who is also deputy prime minister, said the latest development in Rainsy’s return had been seen differently by some who wrongly blamed the government by saying it had made efforts to block Rainsy’s return, including using the armed forces.

“Nothing can be refuted concerning Rainsy’s return, which he repeated numerous times, and that he had incited people to support him – both locally and internationally,” he said.

Sar Kheng was referring to Rainsy’s position that his return was intended to topple the government through "people power" and arrest Prime Minister Hun Sen. Rainsy had also insulted King Norodom Sihamoni and incited military personnel to revolt.

Sar Kheng said forces had been deployed along the Thai border purely for reasons of security, social safety and order.

He said the forces were ready to apply the court ruling against the outlawed rebel group and that no border crossing had ever been closed as some had claimed.

Kin Phea, the director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said on Sunday that if Rainsy had any intention of returning, there were ways to land in the Kingdom.

“He is an individual who the court has convicted and he is not brave enough to return. So he is seeking reasons to hide this fact from his supporters.

“If he wanted to come, just fly directly into Cambodia. There are many direct flights from countries outside Asean member states, so why didn’t he use any of those options to land in Cambodia?” Phea asked.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting