Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t makes case to ambassadors



Gov’t makes case to ambassadors

The ambassadors to Cambodia assemble for a briefing.
The ambassadors to Cambodia assemble for a briefing. Heng Chivoan

Gov’t makes case to ambassadors

Foreign Minister Hor Namhong yesterday summoned foreign ambassadors and representatives from the United Nations for a briefing on this week’s unfolding political crisis.

Namhong, who took no questions, attempted to reassure the gathered diplomats that authorities were working to catch those responsible for Monday’s savage beating of two opposition lawmakers outside parliament at the end of a pro-ruling party protest against Cambodia National Rescue Party deputy leader Kem Sokha.

He also moved to justify yesterday’s ousting of Sokha as the National Assembly’s first vice president, saying it was prompted by petitions from across the country, according to a ministry statement released after the 20-minute meeting.

“Kem Sokha has used his role as first vice deputy president of National Assembly to slander and attack the government and incite people to oppose the government and the CPP, both in the country and overseas,” Namhong said.

“Every activity of Kem Sokha makes him not suitable to be a leader of the National Assembly and violates the culture of dialogue.”

“To be a first vice president of National Assembly, Kem Sokha should be more patient and considerate [rather than attacking] the government.”

During the briefing, Namhong also echoed comments by Prime Minister Hun Sen, claiming the violence was carried out by 20 to 30 people an hour after the “protest ended peacefully”, at which time he said “police forces were removed from the area”.

He said authorities had “identified some suspects” but nothing was official.

The opposition accuses the Cambodian People’s Party of orchestrating the rally, which they then used as a justification to boot Sokha.

Speaking after the meeting, German Ambassador Joachim Baron von Marschall called the recent events “troubling”.

“The violence against persons who the Cambodian people have elected is unacceptable,” Marschall said via email.

“It is good that the government has taken a clear stand in this regard, but the ultimate proof will lie in swift and effective measures being taken to bring the culprits to justice.”

“The removal of Kem Sokha from his parliamentary office has taken place in the context of these events. What does this mean for the ‘culture of dialogue’? To me the dialogue is an essential prerequisite for a stable and peaceful development of this country.

Both partners to this dialogue are equally responsible to make it continue in a meaningful way – it is ‘win-win’ or ‘lose-lose’.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there

  • Cambodia lauded for fight against Covid-19

    Cambodia has drawn global accolades for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a new report finding that the Kingdom has controlled the pandemic better than any other country in Asia. Dr Takeshi Kasai, director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Western Pacific region,