Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Manet pulls out of California event following local backlash



Hun Manet pulls out of California event following local backlash

Hun Manet, Prime Minister Hun Sen's eldest son, pictured at an event in 2014.
Hun Manet, Prime Minister Hun Sen's eldest son, pictured at an event in 2014. Hong Menea

Hun Manet pulls out of California event following local backlash

The prime minister’s eldest son, Hun Manet, has announced he will not attend a Khmer New Year parade in California as planned to avoid potential clashes, following an angry backlash from Cambodians living in the US who oppose his father’s regime.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Manet said he would still visit the US and attend other Khmer New Year events, but would not attend the parade in Long Beach on April 10 to avoid potential violence, with protests planned to coincide with his visit.

“As a conscientious child of Cambodia, I don’t want to see turbid feelings and division between Khmer and Khmer and, particularly, I want to avoid any possible violence … during the parade that would damage the interests of the nation; [therefore] my team and I decided not to attend the parade,” Manet wrote.

“It is not time to show muscles against each other, which shows divisions among Khmers.”

Manet’s planned attendance as the guest of honour at the annual event stirred strong feelings for many in Long Beach, home of a large Cambodian population, many of whom are fervently anti-government and anti-Hun Sen.

Several local city Councillors had vowed to boycott the parade after roughly 200 protesters descended on a Long Beach City Hall meeting last week to express their outrage.

The Cambodian-American Alliance (CAA), a group of Khmer-Americans, has led the charge against the visit, something Manet noted, naming the group’s president Touch Vibol as one of the individuals who campaigned against his invitation by the Cambodian Coordinating Council, another group of Khmer-Americans.

The CAA, unreachable yesterday, have vowed to stage protests in Massachusetts and Washington state, where Manet will also visit.

Manet is head of the Cambodian People’s Party’s Overseas Youth Working Group and travels frequently in a bid to win over the traditionally pro-opposition diaspora.

Yesterday, political analyst Chea Vannath said that given protests against Hun Sen’s attendance at the February US-ASEAN summit in California, there would be little surprise among the CPP about the backlash to Manet’s plans.

“The Cambodian-American community is a very hot potato . . . He’s maybe trying to test the water . . . trying to make a new start with Cambodians overseas as an ambassador of goodwill,” Vannath said.

Political observer Ok Serei Sopheak, meanwhile, said Manet’s avoidance of the parade showed “political maturity”.

“Although any eventual clash would not come from him, nevertheless, if he participates, all the critics would come down against him . . . It would be like putting gasoline on the fire,” Sopheak said. “If there are clashes, nobody wins but the whole of Cambodia loses.”

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Courts’ decisions now published as reference source

    The Ministry of Justice has published 44 verdicts from civil litigation cases which can be used as models for court precedents and for study by the public and those who work in pertinent fields. Publication of the verdicts on December 31 came as the result of joint

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • China firm to develop Mondulkiri airport

    Tourism to the Kingdom’s northeast corridor could experience a remarkable metamorphosis after the government decided in principle of a Chinese company to study and develop a proposal to build a regional-level airport in Mondulkiri province, according to industry insiders. The Council of Ministers said