Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Banh likens CNRP to Khmer Rouge

Banh likens CNRP to Khmer Rouge

Soldiers attend the RCAF’s 64th anniversary celebrations yesterday in Kampong Speu.
Soldiers attend the RCAF’s 64th anniversary celebrations yesterday in Kampong Speu. Heng Chivoan

Banh likens CNRP to Khmer Rouge

Defence Minister Tea Banh yesterday compared the opposition’s protests in the wake of the 2013 elections to the Khmer Rouge regime’s violent takeover in the 1970s, saying they were similarly dangerous.

Speaking at the 64th anniversary of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in Kampong Speu province, Banh said the opposition’s conduct in the postelection period – which the government has cast as an attempted “colour revolution” – would have “caused harm to the people” had it not been averted in time.

“We clearly understand: the Khmer Rouge regime was terribly uncivilised and the organisation leading the colour revolution is similarly dangerous for the country,” Banh said in an apparent reference to the Cambodia National Rescue Party.

He argued that colour revolutions had “damaged” over 20 countries, and that all the government’s recent measures against NGOs, opposition leader Kem Sokha and certain media outlets were justified.

Defence Minister Tea Banh greets soldiers as he arrives at celebrations for the 64th anniversary of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces yesterday in Kampong Speu province.
Defence Minister Tea Banh greets soldiers as he arrives at celebrations for the 64th anniversary of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces yesterday in Kampong Speu province. Heng Chivoan

The government recently expelled the National Democratic Institute from the country, arrested Kem Sokha for “treason” and has either shuttered or sidelined several independent media outlets.

“We will not tolerate the poisonous ideology,” he said.

As proof of a purported revolution, Banh cited garment wage protests following the election in 2013. One wage protest turned violent and security forces fired on the crowd, killing several, before going on to violently disperse nonviolent opposition demonstrations over election results being held elsewhere.

CNRP lawmaker Cheam Channy, however, rejected Banh’s allegations. “For the gathering in 2013, it was related to the election,” he said. “We have never thought about colour revolution, we just heard [government officials] say it in the news.”

Analyst Meas Nee said he saw no signs of colour revolution in Cambodia. “The royal government uses this word to scare the people,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom may hire Turkish power ship

    Cambodia is considering negotiating with Turkey to hire a 200MW-capacity power ship to meet electricity demands as the country faces an ongoing electrical shortage, according to the prime minister. Speaking to garment workers in Pursat province on Wednesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Electricite du

  • ‘Kingdom lacks up to 400MW in available electricity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the general public, hoteliers and businesspeople with generators to use them as back-up as the Electricity Authority of Cambodia cannot generate enough electricity to meet needs due to low water levels in power station reservoirs. On Saturday evening

  • EDC tackles power shortfall

    Electrcite Du Cambodge (EDC) on Monday issued a statement updating the public on its efforts to tackle insufficient electricity supplies during the ongoing dry season. Reductions in electricity prices have resulted in a steady increase in consumers in the Kingdom, while local and international investors

  • Woman who scaled Cambodia’s three highest peaks eyes Everest

    One of the very few Cambodian women to have successfully reached the Kingdom’s three highest peaks is now eyeing Malaysia’s tallest mountain, Mount Kinabalu, and potentially even the world’s tallest straddling Nepal and China, Mount Everest. While in many Western countries it