A delegation of ruling party lawmakers travelled to Bangkok over the weekend to visit two opposition parliamentarians hospitalised there after being beaten outside of the National Assembly, a gesture one of the wounded lawmakers likened to a man slapping a child then patting it on the back.
Speaking by phone yesterday, the injured Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmakers Kong Sakphea and Nhay Chamroeun said they were pleased by the visit from their Cambodian People’s Party counterparts, but Chamroeun insisted yesterday that it was not enough to undo his conviction that the ruling party orchestrated the attacks.
“When both of us are in tears, is not because we’re excited about the delegation bringing a small gift to give us … [It] is because we’re thinking of the very cruel event when the perpetrators beat us,” Sakphea said.
The beatings took place just outside the assembly after the lawmakers were ushered out a little-used side exit, and came on the heels of a pro-CPP rally. Three soldiers have since been charged over the attacks.
“So for our injuries, it’s like they already beat us on the head, and now they’re rubbing our backs and peeling a banana for us to eat,” Sakphea said.
The CPP lawmakers who made the trip included Chheang Vun and Ban Srey Mom, as well as Mith Karen, National Assembly deputy secretary general.
Chamroeun yesterday denied allegations that he and Sakphea had provoked their attackers by cursing at them.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan yesterday maintained the violence against the lawmakers had nothing to do with the demonstration that preceded it.