Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - MPs urge inquiry into Pailin



MPs urge inquiry into Pailin

MPs urge inquiry into Pailin

E EGISLATORS are determined to give the co-defense ministers a parliamentary

grilling to find out exactly what caused the military debacles at Pailin and

Anlong Veng.

Fourteen Funcinpec and BLDP members of the National Assembly

have signed a petition demanding that Co-Ministers of Defense Tea Banh and Tea

Chamrath appear before the National Assembly to face questions on the losses and

military strategy failings.

The MPs say they are exercising their powers

under article 89 of the constitution, which says that "a high ranking member of

the government" can be invited before the Assembly to "clarify important special

issues." There are 120 members in the Assembly, and there are just enough MPs

supporting the petition.

The petition has reportedly been given last week

to National Assembly Chairman Chea Sim, who is to send it to the defense

ministry. He has reportedly not done so because of heavy political opposition

from within his own Cambodian People's Party.

"There is so much secrecy

about military affairs that we do not even know exactly how many soldiers died

in Pailin," says Human Rights Commission Chairman Kem Sokha of the BLDP, one of

the signatories. "We have a right to know from the government how and why Anlong

Veng and Pailin were lost."

There have been several reports about

terrible conditions at the battlefront, with government soldiers going without

food, water and salaries, but the government has not publicly

commented.

There have also been allegations of massive looting by

government soldiers at Pailin, with the worst offenders being high ranking

officers. In fact, several soldiers are said to have left because they did not

get their due share of the loot.

Also, when the government soldiers fled

Pailin, they are reported to left behind several wounded soldiers at the Pailin

hospital, all of whom were killed by the Khmer Rouge.

The petitioners

hope that the co-ministers of defense can clarify how much of these reports is

true. They also wish to discuss openly what the military plans really were

especially with the escalation in fighting.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and