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.


  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • ‘Do not harm Cambodians’, says PM’s son to opposition

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s eldest son Hun Manet said on Sunday that the Kingdom would not bow to international pressure, and accused some Western countries of siding with opposition politicians who hold dual citizenship to exert pressure on Cambodia. The remarks were made after