Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRM calls for boycott of water linked to Huns

CNRM calls for boycott of water linked to Huns

A screenshot of the Cambodia National Rescue Movement’s Facebook page bearing a doctored version of Vital’s logo, replacing drops of water with drops of blood and bearing the slogan ‘PREMIUM CAMBODIAN BLOOD’. Facebook
A screenshot of the Cambodia National Rescue Movement’s Facebook page bearing a doctored version of Vital’s logo, replacing drops of water with drops of blood and bearing the slogan ‘PREMIUM CAMBODIAN BLOOD’. Facebook

CNRM calls for boycott of water linked to Huns

Members of the Cambodia National Rescue Movement have called for a boycott of products from bottled water company Vital Premium Water, one of many local firms with ties to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s family.

“This economic boycott is our first concrete initiative showing that we are – and will be – only engaged in peaceful and nonviolent actions in our endeavour to make democracy prevail in Cambodia,” said CNRM founder and former opposition leader Sam Rainsy in an email yesterday.

The “movement” was started by opposition figures living abroad, some of whom fled Cambodia to avoid an ongoing political crackdown.

Vital is under the umbrella of the NVC Corporation, chaired by Hun Sen’s daughter Hun Mana. According to Global Witness’s 2016 report, Hostile Takeover, Vital is promoted by the Ministry of Tourism and has the same registered address as more than 30 companies belonging to Cambodian People’s Party Senator Lao Meng Khin and his family.

According to Rainsy, other brands being considered for boycotts include the petrol company Kampuchea Tela Co Ltd, which also has ties to the Hun family.

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said civil society activists have used similar tactics in Cambodia in the past without any success, though he thought this endeavour could be more effective, as the Cambodia National Rescue Party “spirit” is still “very strong” despite the party’s forced dissolution.

Similar boycotts were enacted domestically in Myanmar in the 2000s, though regional expert Paul Chambers said the context in Cambodia was vastly different. “The Myanmar military was . . . under stringent, Western-led global sanctions. Cambodia’s regime is not nearly as sanctioned globally as was Myanmar,” he wrote via email.

Chambers added that civilians are not “as united in opposition against the state” and that the likelihood of collective action is slim.

Speaking to supporters in Melbourne yesterday, Rainsy called for members of the ruling CPP to secretly join his movement. “Criminal Hun Sen has no more tricks, and all of you should leave Hun Sen and join with CNRM all together to rescue our nation,” he said.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan brushed off both of Rainsy’s calls for action, however. “If you do not want the water, you can not have it yourself. No need to appeal or persuade people to stop drinking water, and no one is stupid enough to believe the rebel group,” he said.

Eysan added that CPP members would not follow Rainsy, who he accused of being “useless”. “His visit to Australia shows that he has no bush to hide in anymore. He goes to the US and it is useless, and he goes to EU and it is useless,” he said.

A representative of Vital was unavailable for comment due to the Lunar New Year holiday.

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