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

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • First commercial gold mine online

    Australian miner Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd on June 21 began the commercial operation of its $120 million Okvau Gold Project in the northeastern province of Mondulkiri, becoming the Kingdom’s first gold producer. Located in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province’s Keo Seima district, the

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • Transport minister requests free trial of Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway

    The Ministry of Public Works and Transport held discussions with the company constructing the expressway from Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk province to allow drivers to test the road free of charge before an official toll is set. While inspecting the progress of its construction