Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Manet upset over Australia protests



Manet upset over Australia protests

Hun Manet (centre) talks with reporters yesterday morning at the Phnom Penh International Airport after returning from a trip to Australia.
Hun Manet (centre) talks with reporters yesterday morning at the Phnom Penh International Airport after returning from a trip to Australia. Pha Lina

Manet upset over Australia protests

Prime Minister Hun Sen’s eldest son Hun Manet returned yesterday from an almost two-week trip to Australia, complaining about protests that met him there and suggesting that the ruling party had the capacity to stage protests of its own.

The CNRP has insisted it was not behind the protests that met Manet in the cities of Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney, but upon his return to Phnom Penh yesterday, Manet told reporters he still believed leaders of the party in Australia were the organisers.

The protesters, he continued, had crudely cursed him as “a ghost and an evil spirit that eats religious offerings”, instead of offering constructive criticism, and left him confused about their intent.

“What was the benefit?” Manet asked.

“I just came to hear about [what Cambodian-Australians think about] our country. So why are they looking down on me, causing divisions and conflicts? Is this the benefit of the demonstrations?

“Wherever I go, there is always hate. It was not different from the US,” he added. “But do not forget that there was a lot of people joining in and supporting [my visit].”

Manet reiterated that he still believed the CNRP in Cambodia was behind the protests, and brought up CNRP lawmaker Nhay Chamroeun, who has also been known to make trips abroad.

“If the CNRP really did hold [the protests], what does that mean?” Manet asked. “Don’t forget that the CPP has forces – but we don’t use them. Nhay Chamroeun goes everywhere and there is no one from the CPP rallying and shouting with banners.

“In Phnom Penh, we haven’t done that.”

Manet, however, failed to acknowledge that Chamroeun and fellow CNRP lawmaker Kong Saphea were savagely beaten outside the National Assembly last year by a mob that included three of Hun Sen’s bodyguards following a protest promoted by the premier.

Hun Sen had foreshadowed the protest from abroad, after being similarly angered by protesters on a trip to France.

The diaspora has long been a stronghold of the opposition, and Manet was last year put in charge of leading the CPP’s first counter-efforts at outreach in countries like Australia, the US and France. However, he yesterday denied that was his intent on the trip.

“With my presence abroad, I am not breaking anyone’s rice pot. I am not forcing [anyone] and not stealing anyone’s rice pot. I am abroad to meet with people voluntarily,” Manet said. “I do not go overseas to gain financial support to help the CPP.

“Don’t accuse me of breaking the rice pot. If the rice is good, there would be no one running from it.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Inter-provincial travel ban lifted; Phnom Penh and Takmao not exempted

    The government on April 25 decided to lift the inter-provincial travel ban and the closure of tourist attractions across the country, effectively immediately. The travel ban and closures of all resorts were imposed on April 6 and 17 respectively in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19,

  • 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

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • 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