Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Former CNRP provincial officer claims harassment

Former CNRP provincial officer claims harassment

Former CNRP provincial officer claims harassment

A former member of the court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in Svay Rieng province claimed on Sunday that he has been forced into hiding because he criticised the Romeas Haek district governor and local authorities.

Kong Mas, the former head of the CNRP’s Svay Rieng provincial committee, told The Post on Monday he had gone into hiding a few weeks ago after hearing talk of a hunt for him. A visit by police on Sunday, he said, confirmed the rumours.

Mas, who is expected to stand in the July 29 national elections, fled to Bangkok following the party’s dissolution by the Supreme Court in November. He returned after reporting intimidation and harassment by Thai officials before recently going into hiding.

“The commune police chief visited a CNRP commune official and asked whether I was back in Romeas Haek. My mother also spoke to me [on Sunday night] warning me not to return home,” he said.

A former CNRP official, who asked to remain anonymous, confirmed that commune police had been to see him.

“The commune police came to ask if Kong Mas had been to Romeas Haek recently. The police told me: ‘If he comes back, please let us know’,” he said.

While the official said he did not know the reason behind the visit by police, Mas said that he had frequently criticised local authorities over developments in the area.

“I criticised Romeas Haek District Governor Penh Chea for trying to take a plot of land from a family in Kampong Trach commune. The family had lived in that area since 2008. Penh Chea came later but he had the land title since 2004.

“Chea claimed that he wanted to give the land to the state, but there must be proper compensation for the family,” Mas said.

He claimed to have also criticised road construction in the district and the felling of trees to be sold to Vietnam. This, he claimed, happened not only under Chea, but also previous governors.

“I have frequently used Facebook to criticise developments in the district, especially regarding land disputes where villagers have had their land taken, and not just by one family, but many, and this made the [authorities] unhappy. I have also criticised the district governor for his involvement in these matters,” he said.

Lut Rom, the Kampong Trach commune police chief who allegedly went to look for Mas, and Sam Sam Ol, Romeas Haek district police chief, declined to comment when contacted by The Post.

Koy Sopheap, Svay Rieng deputy police crime chief, and Phan Ratana, a spokesperson for Svay Rieng provincial court, said they were unaware of the case or if an arrest warrant had been issued for Mas. Chea could also not be reached for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Temi tourism project approved by the CDC

    The $500.4 million Tourism, Ecological, Marine and International (Temi) tourism project has been approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), according to a notice on its Facebook page on Monday. The project is part of Chinese-owned Union City Development Group Co Ltd’s (

  • Rainsy will return at ‘favourable time’

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Saturday suggested he would not return to Cambodia as he had previously promised, saying that like liberators King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Charles de Gaulle, he would only do so at a “favourable time”. “I will go back to Cambodia

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s

  • NagaWorld casino sees net profit of more than $390M last year

    Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino posted a 53 per cent net profit increase last year at $390.6 million, a sum which is almost equal to the combined net profit of all Cambodian commercial banks in 2017. NagaWorld’s parent company, NagaCorp Ltd, is listed on the Hong Kong