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

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia's cluster cases jump to 259

    The Ministry of Health on February 27 recorded 26 more cases of Covid-19 linked to the February 20 community transmission, bringing the total to 259 in one week. The 26 include three Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. The ministry noted that five of the Chinese