Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP meeting with Rainsy in Hong Kong was to ‘pay respect’



CNRP meeting with Rainsy in Hong Kong was to ‘pay respect’

Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy (left) seen with CNRP members  at a meeting in Hong Kong last week to ‘pay respect’ to him before controversial legal changes targeting him take effect. FACEBOOK
Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy (left) seen with CNRP members at a meeting in Hong Kong last week to ‘pay respect’ to him before controversial legal changes targeting him take effect. Facebook

CNRP meeting with Rainsy in Hong Kong was to ‘pay respect’

CNRP Deputy President Mu Sochua confirmed that she and other top opposition leaders met with former party President Sam Rainsy in Hong Kong last week, to “pay respect” to their former leader before controversial changes to the political party law ban them from “conspiring” with him.

However, Sochua declined to comment on the substance of the meeting. “Yes, I am in Hong Kong to pay respect to Mr. Sam Rainsy,” she said in an email Friday. Sochua was joined by party President Kem Sokha, fellow deputy presidents Pol Ham and Eng Chhay Eang, and others.

“The amendments to the Law on Political Parties force us to disassociate ourselves from Mr. Sam Rainsy,” her email continued.

The amendments, passed by the National Assembly last week, ban parties from “conspiring” with convicted criminals, and also from using their image, writings or “activities” for the party’s benefit. The changes – called for by Prime Minister Hun Sen – were targeted directly at Rainsy, who has a number of politically tinged convictions to his name.

Sochua promised that the CNRP would obey the law, but added that Rainsy’s influence could not be entirely removed from Cambodia’s political landscape. “The people of Cambodia who desire change will remain on the same path. We will obey the law but We Are Sam Rainsy,” she said.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy (centre) dining with CNRP members in Hong Kong last week. Facebook

Rainsy himself has been critical of the law on social media, taking to Twitter to accuse the Cambodian government of banning his image entirely.

“These photos are prohibited. Nobody can display them in Cambodia. Whoever is caught with a photo of this kind will be punished,” Rainsy tweeted on Friday alongside photos of himself on the campaign trail.

The law does not prohibit specific individuals from possessing or displaying a picture of a criminal, nor does it explicitly ban a criminal’s image from appearing in public areas.

But in an email yesterday, Rainsy maintained that “[a]ny person who would like to display a photo of me is likely to be a CNRP supporter . . . since my photo cannot be displayed at any public place, the prohibition is tantamount to a general ban.”

Political analyst Ou Virak said the former opposition leader has the “right to question how far [the law] would be interpreted”.

“This is Cambodia and the law can be interpreted however the people in power want,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Courts’ decisions now published as reference source

    The Ministry of Justice has published 44 verdicts from civil litigation cases which can be used as models for court precedents and for study by the public and those who work in pertinent fields. Publication of the verdicts on December 31 came as the result of joint

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • China firm to develop Mondulkiri airport

    Tourism to the Kingdom’s northeast corridor could experience a remarkable metamorphosis after the government decided in principle of a Chinese company to study and develop a proposal to build a regional-level airport in Mondulkiri province, according to industry insiders. The Council of Ministers said