KANDAL authorities continue to play tit-for-tat with Sam Rainsy over his attempts
to establish a Khmer Nation Party office there.
Four hours after Rainsy reopened the office in Saang district on July 21- for the
fifth time - local officials, including 30 soldiers and policemen, ripped down the
new party sign, smashed it with an ax and tossed it in a nearby river, he said.
The office was first opened on June 6 and its sign subsequently torn down four times.
Each time KNP Secretary-General Khieu Rada put it up again. Rainsy said another office
in Koh Thom, Kandal, had also been closed by authorities since June. KNP's other
provincial offices - five in Sihanoukville and two in Prey Veng - had not been targeted.
Rainsy blamed the difficulties in Kandal to forces loyal to Hun Sen. He noted the
province's CPP deputy governor Koun Kim was considered to be close to Hun Sen, and
also that Hun Sen's Kraingyov development zone is in Saang.
Rainsy said he was not "in a hurry" to again reopen the Saang office, but
would do so some time in the near future. "If I do something wrong, if KNP does
something wrong, they should come and arrest us. Instead of acting cowardly after
I have gone, they should come and confront me.
Rainsy said KNP planned other regional offices including one in Kompong Cham but
- given that the provincial governor there, Hun Neng, was Hun Sen's brother - there
could be "some problems."