Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Joking 'rebel' sign at Sin Rozeth restaurant attracts governor's warning



Joking 'rebel' sign at Sin Rozeth restaurant attracts governor's warning

Former CNRP Commune Chief Sin Rozeth (centre) speaks to customers at her restaurant in Battambang, which she started following the party’s dissolution in November. Facebook
Former CNRP Commune Chief Sin Rozeth (centre) speaks to customers at her restaurant in Battambang, which she started following the party’s dissolution in November. Facebook

Joking 'rebel' sign at Sin Rozeth restaurant attracts governor's warning

Former opposition commune chief Sin Rozeth was pulled up today by the Battambang town governor for a tongue-in-cheek banner outside her noodle shop joking that "rebels" were not welcome – a reference to accusations that her restaurant was being used as a de facto headquarters for the Cambodia National Rescue Movement.

Cambodian People's Party lawmaker Chheang Vun made the allegation last week, saying the restaurant was being used to support the new Sam Rainsy-led "movement", which the government has dubbed - without evidence - a "terrorist" organisation, despite its professed commitment to nonviolence.

In response to the accusations, Rozeth put up a small sign that read: "Rozeth's shop welcomes all guests, but not rebels."

The joke, however, was apparently lost on local Cambodian People's Party officials, who summoned Rozeth for a meeting at town hall with Battambang Governor Peng Sithy today. Rozeth said she was admonished for putting up the sign and using the world "rebel", which Sithy said suggested the country was in the midst of conflict or war.

The word, however, has been used repeatedly by CPP officials to describe former members of the Cambodia National Rescue Party - the country's only viable opposition, which was forcibly dissolved in November over accusations it was plotting regime change. Prime Minister Hun Sen himself has also used the term, while adopting a decidedly bellicose tone towards Rainsy's movement. In a public speech just last week, the premier threatened to respond with heavy weapons should the CNRM rear its head in Cambodia.

But Rozeth - a popular political newcomer who has repeatedly found herself in the crosshairs of ruling party officials - said today that Sithy warned her that using such language could damage the Kingdom's reputation.

“He said that now the country is in peace, so if I put [up a banner] like this it affects national and international tourists,” she said.

Rozeth said she has also received other complaints from police about her restaurant causing excessive traffic, and has previously been informed that she needs to report all foreign patrons, but disregarded the orders because she felt they were meant to harass her.

Governor Sithy could not be reached for comment yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American

  • Lost in translation: ‘Starvation’ in capital’s designated red zones

    “DACH bay” is a Khmer slang meaning a “loss of income”, that could also be literally translated to «deprived of rice”, which alludes to starvation. However, civil society organisation (CSO) officials have independently confirmed the government’s prior assertions that there are no cases of