Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Senior RCAF official denies ‘fake news’ he will assist Rainsy return

Senior RCAF official denies ‘fake news’ he will assist Rainsy return

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Hing Bun Heang denied reports saying he supports Sam Rainsy’s return. Heng Chivoan

Senior RCAF official denies ‘fake news’ he will assist Rainsy return

Hing Bun Heang, the deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit, on Monday denied Facebook allegations claiming he is in Thailand preparing to accompany and protect Sam Rainsy on his return to Cambodia.

On the contrary, Bun Heang said, he is ready to arrest Sam Rainsy – the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party – following court orders.

Earlier on Monday, a Facebook account named Seng Ratana posted a message saying that “Hing Bun Heang is in Thailand preparing to accompany and provide protection to acting president Sam Rainsy when he returns to Cambodia this September, so this is good and exciting information”.

The post continued: “More than 20 other generals are prepared to accompany acting president Sam Rainsy at the Cambodia-Thailand border checkpoint.”

In response, Bun Heang said he would take serious action against any individuals who posted “fake news” which created confusion and damaged social order and political stability in the country.

“All members of the bodyguard task force under my command are ready with handcuffs to arrest that convict and his group if he dares to step into Cambodian territory.

“His arrest has been ordered by court warrants for his involvement in many treacheries and we are waiting for the exiled convict if he returns,” he said.

The Facebook allegations follow frequent promises by Rainsy that he would return to Cambodia this year.

On January 25, Rainsy posted on his personal Facebook page calling for military personnel not to obey Hun Sen’s commands because he was an “illegitimate prime minister and a dictator”.

Kin Phea, the director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told The Post on Monday that he considered the Facebook announcement as an incitement strategy and also said it was fake news.

“What was posted on Facebook is completely fake news, including Sam Rainsy’s return which is totally fake,” he said.

He said the post was intended to confuse a small group of people who would believe the announcement, but the majority of the public did not believe it.

Phea said people posting fake news on Facebook intended to cause internal conflict between CPP officials, which is not an effective strategy. “It’s an old strategy and not very useful,” he said.

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