Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Australia protesters vow to burn Hun Sen effigy

Australia protesters vow to burn Hun Sen effigy

A group of more than 500 Australian-Cambodians has vowed to burn an effigy of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who yesterday threatened to beat protesters in Australia.
A group of more than 500 Australian-Cambodians has vowed to burn an effigy of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who yesterday threatened to beat protesters in Australia. Fresh News

Australia protesters vow to burn Hun Sen effigy

After Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said he would "beat" any would-be protesters who dared to burn his photo during an upcoming trip to Australia, a group of those would-be protesters have said, thanks for the idea.

In the speech, Hun Sen threatened to boycott the Asean-Australian Special Summit on March 17 and 18, before issuing a menacing word of warning to would-be protesters in Australia.

“I would like to send a message, do not burn my photo," he said. "If you burn my photo, I will follow you home ... I will follow you and beat you at home."

He added, “I want to be clear, you have your right to burn my image. I have my right to fight you, so it’s fine … I will go to your houses and seize you.”

Cambodian-Australian Melbourne resident Va Malina said she would be joining demonstrations next month to coincide with Hun Sen's visit, and that the protests would now include burning an effigy of Hun Sen – thanks to the premier's suggestion.

“We didn’t plan to burn Hun Sen’s effigy, but he is the one who reminded us yesterday,” she said.

The protests will call for the release of jailed opposition leader Kem Sokha and demand the reinstatement of his party – which was forcibly dissolved in November – before the July 29 national election. While organisers had initially planned for some 500 people to protest across the country, following Hun Sen's inflammatory words, more are now expected to turn out.

Malina said Hun Sen would not be able to deliver on his “cruel and violent” threats because of Australian law and condemnation from the international community.

“You have no right to beat or punish us here,” she said.

Hong Lim, an Australian state lawmaker from Victoria who was born in Cambodia, announced he would join the protesters too, and said Australians were entitled to peacefully protest.

“The whole irony is that this event he’s coming to attend is about Australia and Asean jointly fighting against terrorism … and the terrorist Hun Sen is threatening to bring terrorism into Australia," Lim said.

”He’s gone mad. He’s threatening Australian citizens on Australian soil,” he added. “To threaten anyone with bodily harm is an offence.”

The Australian Embassy and the Department of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Updates to follow.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors

  • Vietnam told to remove border tents

    Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophoan has ordered local authorities to prohibit the construction of buildings in areas bordering Cambodia and to report any irregularities immediately. Recently, Vietnamese officials removed another seven tents from the border area with Cambodia. His remarks were made on Wednesday afternoon