Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP fury at being blocked

CNRP fury at being blocked

Cambodia National Rescue Party deputy president Kem Sokha prays at a one-year commemoration of the passing of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk, who died on October 15, 2012
Cambodia National Rescue Party deputy president Kem Sokha prays at a one-year commemoration of the passing of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk, who died on October 15, 2012. HONG MENEA

CNRP fury at being blocked

Deputy president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party Kem Sokha yesterday lambasted the government for preventing the party’s supporters from paying tribute to the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk at a newly built statue of the former monarch.

About 150 CNRP supporters – including 105 Buddhist monks – gathered yesterday morning at party headquarters in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district to commemorate the first anniversary of Sihanouk’s death.

An afternoon vigil at the statue near Independence Monument was planned, but had to be abandoned after authorities told the party it could not take place until after today’s official commemoration ceremony.

As many as 100 military police were seen arriving at the new monument in the hour prior to the planned ceremony, taking up positions around the memorial.

“[The authorities] told us to wait until after the official commemoration. We had requested [to be allowed to hold a ceremony] but still have had no answer,” said Sokha.

The lawmaker went on to suggest that the move was a sign that the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) saw symbols of the monarchy as their political property.

“We see that group of communists and … former Khmer Rouge has always thought of the Royal Statue of former King Norodom Sihanouk as belonging to them, even though the statue belongs to all Cambodian people,” Sokha said, referring to the CPP.

Khieu Kanharith, a government spokesman, declined to comment yesterday about the possible participation of CNRP lawmakers at tomorrow’s commemoration ceremony.

“I don’t know about the CNRP. But tomorrow all ministries and state institutions will be there,” he said.

Opposition lawmaker Yim Sovann said the CNRP had yet to pick a date to hold the observance, but would soon be writing to the committee responsible for granting permission to hold public ceremonies.



  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Monks given ‘Samdech’ title for contributions

    Three senior monks on Thursday were given the highest-ranking title “samdech”, with Prime Minister Hun Sen saying that the promotions were due to their contributions to Buddhism. The three distinguished monks were promoted on Thursday morning at Botum Vatey pagoda in Phnom Penh, at a

  • Facing possible sanctions, PM criticises Washington’s rights record

    While United States congressmen are discussing the Cambodia Democracy Act and an amendment that could impose more sanctions against Cambodia’s government, Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday counterattacked by questioning the respect of human rights and democracy under the US-backed Lon Nol regime, and