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Government press unit accuses Rainsy of betraying nation’s ideals

Images of monks protesting were presented as evidence that Sam Rainsy ‘betrayed’ the Buddhist religion. Photo supplied
Images of monks protesting were presented as evidence that Sam Rainsy ‘betrayed’ the Buddhist religion. Photo supplied

Government press unit accuses Rainsy of betraying nation’s ideals

The Council of Ministers’ Press and Quick Reaction Unit excoriated former opposition leader Sam Rainsy in a nearly 20-minute video Monday, accusing the politician of betraying the nation, the national religion and the King – the three elements of Cambodia’s constitutionally mandated national motto.

Making references to Rainsy’s father, Sam Sary, who himself was accused of attempting to overthrow King Norodom Sihanouk, the video branded Rainsy a traitor, just days after the National Police filed a “treason” complaint against Rainsy over a 2013 video in which he promised “autonomy” to ethnic minorities living in Cambodia.

“There is a family tree of politicians who turn out by all means to step on the prestige of this nation and sink it, destroying the state religion of Buddhism and devaluing the King all the time,” the video’s narrator says.

The clip also claims Rainsy “incites . . . fake monks” to protest. At this point, the video displays photographs of prominent monks and government critics But Buntenh and Luon Sovath.

“They use the religion as a puppet,” the narrator adds.

The video accuses Rainsy and his “companion”, political analyst Lao Mong Hay, of betraying King Norodom Sihamoni, because of Mong Hay’s active criticisms of a new lèse majesté law, which bans insults to the King.

Rainsy and Buntenh both live abroad, and both are facing politically tinged legal troubles in Cambodia. Rainsy Monday said the “silly accusations” were not worth responding to. Mong Hay also declined to comment.

Buntenh and Sovath could not be reached.