Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Harm King ‘over my dead body’

Harm King ‘over my dead body’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen (right) greets King Norodom Sihamoni during a ceremony marking Cambodia’s Independence Day in Phnom Penh in 2016. TANG CHHIN SOTHY/afp

Harm King ‘over my dead body’

Prime Minister Hun Sen reiterated on Wednesday his government’s support of the monarchy. In words welcomed by the royalist Funcinpec party, he said those wanting to harm the royal family would have to “walk over his dead body first”.

Speaking in Switzerland on Wednesday to 900 members of the Cambodian community in Europe, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) president defended the Kingdom’s lese majeste law, which came into force early this year and has been roundly condemned by human rights advocates and the UN.

“I say it over and over again, if you want to destroy the monarchy, you will need to walk over Hun Sen’s dead body."

“I have advised my children and grandchildren to protect the King and the monarchy … We have brought in punishments that can extend to imprisonment [for attacking the King] and they criticise us and want us to withdraw it.

“But in [Cambodia], the [punishment] is less than in Thailand. There, the punishment is many years in prison,” he said.

Hun Sen said [In Cambodia] the King was toppled and it became a republic for 23 years, [and someone asked] why do you maintain [the monarchy]?

“Without you, the monarchy would not be so well protected [they say] because Funcinpec does not have enough influence to do so, and so it requires agreement between the CPP and Funcinpec,” he said.

The Cambodian monarchy was re-established in 1993, decades after a coup toppled the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk in 1970, led by the US-backed Lon Nol which created the Khmer Republic.

The signing of the 1991 Paris Peace Accords led to the first national elections in 1993 – after more than two decades.

Funcinpec was founded in 1981 by King Sihanouk, initially as a resistance movement against the Vietnam-supported People’s Republic of Kampuchea government.

It last came to power in the 1993 elections and has since seen its support wane, failing to win a single seat in parliament in the July 29 polls.

“Now, even though Funcinpec has no seats in the National Assembly, the monarchy remains strong. Because of whom? It is because of the CPP that the monarchy is protected,” Hun Sen said.

Funcinpec spokesman Nop Sothearith welcomed the statement from Prime Minister Hun Sen on protecting the monarchy. He claimed his party works with the CPP on the matter.

“The monarchy was re-established by Funcinpec and the CPP in 1993 [and survives] until now. We continue to cooperate together to protect the monarchy.

“[Hun Sen] protects the King and shields the King from contempt. The ruling party adopted the lese majeste law to protect the King. I welcome and congratulate the CPP for passing a law that protects the King,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four

  • US' Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines arrive

    The first batch of 455,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine donated by the US touched down in Phnom Penh on the morning of July 30. They are part of the total 1,060,100 doses the US has pledged to provide to Cambodia through the World Health Organisation-led (

  • Governor: Covid subsides in capital

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng said the Covid-19 situation in the capital’s 14 districts has eased, with only two districts still recording a high number of infections. “Transmission cases in all districts are dropping, though they are relatively higher Meanchey and Por Sen Chey.