Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Debate shows NA's strength, says Ranariddh

Debate shows NA's strength, says Ranariddh

Debate shows NA's strength, says Ranariddh

C O-PRIME MINISTER Prince Norodom Ranariddh said he was very happy with the

process in the National Assembly which resulted in the passing of legislation to

outlaw the Khmer Rouge.

In an interview with journalists on July 7

outside parliament he said: "I am very happy because it was the first time that

a proposal has come from the National Assembly and been accepted

unanimously.

"I think that it is a victory for the democracy too because

the proposal came from one of the members of the parliament.

"During

three days [of debate], in the framework of the National Assembly, it was a

very, very good implementation of the pluralism of a liberal democracy without

any pressure from anywhere."

He said the law provided guarantees to the

people and would not be used to accuse, suppress or oppress them thanks to the

members of parliament who have, through a liberal and free debate, improved the

draft law.

He said the law keeps the door open for a national

reconciliation with the KR by providing a six month amnesty period for KR

soldiers.

He added the law empowered the King at any time, not just

during the next six months, to grant amnesty to anybody from the top to the

bottom in the KR if he so desires.

When asked if King Sihanouk would

sign the draft into law Prince Ranariddh said: "This is not a problem. His

Majesty the King has been [informed] about all the options [in the draft]. And

secondly an interim Head of State [National Assembly Chairman Chea Sim] will

sign it, and his Majesty the King therefore will stay beyond all Cambodian

parties.

"Finally, I think that we have a very good law according to the

very urgent need coming from people."

When asked about the international

ramifications of the law the Prince said: "Now all the countries which used to

allow the Khmer Rouge to go through up till now, the Royal Government will ask

those countries not to allow any Khmer Rouge to go through or across the

territories, and not to recognize any other passports than that one delivered by

the Royal Government."

He said the Royal government "would ask all the

countries around the world to arrest the terrorists and outlaws [who were not

using Royal Government passports to travel internationally]. I think the

situation will be very strict ..... I think this is just one among many other

means to weaken the Khmer Rouge."

He said he felt one of the implications

of the law was that people would be drawn back into the national community, and

would no longer be attracted to the KR in the belief that one day they may be

leading the country.

Finance Minister Sam Rainsy, who had expressed

reservations that the law may be used to abuse human rights, said an hour before

the unanimous vote he was now satisfied the law had safeguards which would

protect the human rights of innocent people.

He said he was happy about

the debate and the MPs' efforts in the spirit of national reconciliation.

Earlier Rainsy unsuccessfully tried to move a motion suspending the law

to provide a chance for a cease-fire to be negotiated with the KR without

preconditions.

Chairman of the human rights commission of the National

Assembly Kem Sokha said the amnesty period would only apply to rank-and-file KR

and not to key leaders, though he declined to name who the amnesty would not

apply to.

He said after the amnesty period was over all KR would be

arrested regardless of whether they wanted to rejoin the national community.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro