Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Govt has KR mindset, Rainsy tells Thai press




Govt has KR mindset, Rainsy tells Thai press

Govt has KR mindset, Rainsy tells Thai press

Says dissenters jailed, killed or forced into hiding

OPPOSITION leader Sam Rainsy this week accused the government of using lawsuits, jail sentences and assassinations to silence critics.

Speaking at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT) in Bangkok on Tuesday, Sam Rainsy said grassroots activists, politicians and village leaders have been killed, jailed and forced into hiding for disagreeing with the ruling party.

The government of Prime Minister Hun Sen, he said, is trying to silence growing discontent over land confiscation and the fact most Cambodians are not benefiting from the growing economy.

Part of the problem, he said, is that many of Cambodia’s leaders are former Khmer Rouge.

“They still have the Khmer Rouge mentality,” he told Thai media.

“They do not tolerate critics, and they are paranoid. They see enemies everywhere around them, and they take preemptive moves to eliminate their enemies or potential enemies by killing them or silencing them.”

Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, dismissed Sam Rainsy’s claims on Wednesday, saying they were false accusations that lacked any factual basis.

“[Sam Rainsy] discriminates against the government, but he can move freely around the country. The government does not discriminate against him,” he told the Post, insisting that freedom of expression was not suppressed in the Kingdom.

Chea Vannath, a political analyst and former president of the Centre for Social Development, acknowledged that Cambodia’s approach to governance was less than perfect.

“Cambodia is a post-conflict country and not a mature democratic country, so there is room for improvement for the ruling party,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Thousands attend CNRP-organised pro-democracy vigil in South Korea

    Thousands of supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Saturday gathered in the South Korean city of Gwangju to hold a candlelight demonstration calling for the “liberation” of democracy in Cambodia. Yim Sinorn, a CNRP member in South Korea, said on

  • US Embassy: Chinese trade does not help like the West’s

    The US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Friday said relations between China and Cambodia did not create jobs or help industry when compared to the trade between the Kingdom and the US. “About 87 per cent of trade [with China] are Chinese imports, which do not

  • Vietnamese land-grabbers held

    Following a provincial court order, Ratanakkiri Military Police on April 16 arrested 12 Vietnamese nationals accused of crossing the border into Cambodia and illegally clearing forest land. The accused are now being detained at Phnom Svay prison in the province. Ratanakkiri military police commander Thav Yen told

  • Eight people sent to court over violent protest

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities on Sunday sent eight people to court for blocking National Road 4 and using violence against authorities in a land dispute in Prey Nop district’s Bit Traing commune. Four police officers and two commune security guards sustained injuries when the protesters