Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Coup’ call renewed from Canada

‘Coup’ call renewed from Canada

A screen shot that was posted to social media yesterday featuring Som Sovanara (pictured) calling on security forces to be ready for a move against the government. Photo supplied
A screen shot that was posted to social media yesterday featuring Som Sovanara (pictured) calling on security forces to be ready for a move against the government. Photo supplied

‘Coup’ call renewed from Canada

A former soldier living in Canada who last month called on the armed forces to turn against the government renewed that call in a video posted yesterday, warning the government that it had 30 days to release jailed opposition members and rights workers or face the wrath of the armed forces.

Som Sovanara – a member of the dissident Khmer National Liberation Front, which bills itself as non-violent, but has been labelled a terrorist organisation by the prime minister – received asylum in Canada after fleeing Cambodia in 2013.

In the video, Sovanara repeats his call to the armed forces to “be ready to go against the authoritarian leadership of the CPP, Hun Sen and Yuon communists”, using a word for the Vietnamese considered derogatory by many.

He also goes on to demand the government release jailed opposition members, human rights activists and KNLF members within 30 days, and release CCTV footage of political analyst Kem Ley’s murder.

Despite his apparent allusions to a potential coup, Sovanara has previously insisted that his message is purely non-violent, and simply a call for “real democracy and peace”. Having served in the military in Preah Vihear between 2007 and 2010, he has also claimed he is in contact with current members of the military.

Defence Ministry spokesman Chhum Socheat yesterday said Sovanara’s call to arms was “stupid”, and accused him of provoking violence against the government.

“Any armed forces acting against the legal government is an illegal action, and the Cambodian people will not accept that . . . We are working in cooperation with other partners to spot him . . . but we have not yet spotted him,” Socheat added, while refusing to say whether Cambodian authorities had reached out to their Canadian counterparts for help.

MOST VIEWED

  • Second Hungary business forum set for H2

    Cambodia has asked Hungary to provide GSP- (Generalised System of Preferences) Plus facilities for when the Kingdom sheds its least-developed country (LDC) label, as the two countries prepare to hold a second business forum in the second half (H2) of this year to expand trade

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports

  • CPP sets out five primary strategic goals for 2023-28

    The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) on January 29 concluded its two-day extraordinary congress, setting the party’s priority goals for 2023-2028. The ruling party’s congress was attended by more than 3,000 members from across the Kingdom, including the members of the permanent and central committees,

  • Nearly 50 states join Kun Khmer Federation, all set for training

    In a little over a week, the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) has accepted membership requests from 20 new nations, in addition to the exiting 29. The sudden influx of international recognition stems from the Kingdom’s successful introduction of Kun Khmer to the 32nd Souheast Asian (