Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Official distances CNRP from protests after letter

Official distances CNRP from protests after letter

Authorities detain an activist last week during a ‘Black Monday’ protest in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district.
Authorities detain an activist last week during a ‘Black Monday’ protest in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district. Hong Menea

Official distances CNRP from protests after letter

Less than a week after some of its senior lawmakers endorsed the “Black Monday” campaign and offered up party headquarters as a venue for events, a Cambodia Nation Rescue Party spokesman has distanced the opposition from the movement following the receipt of a threatening letter from City Hall.

Speaking on Saturday, CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann said the party had “no plans” to hold public expressions of support for the initiative and moved to reassure authorities, telling them “not to worry”.

He said comments by lawmakers, including fellow party spokesman Eng Chhay Eang and senior official Mu Sochua, who both explicitly backed the campaign last week, were their personal stances rather than the party’s position.

“Previously, the party has followed and respected the will of each staff member or leader which aims to express an idea,” Sovann said. “The idea is not a threat, but intended to solve the problem and offer justice to victims only.”

Donning black garb, “Black Monday” activists have been protesting weekly since the jailing of four human rights workers and an election official in May. The five, along with an opposition commune chief, have been charged for supposedly bribing a purported mistress of CNRP acting president Kem Sokha, who has also been charged in relation to the widely criticised case.

The government, meanwhile, has characterised the campaign as a “colour revolution” intended to sow instability.

In this vein, City Hall sent a warning letter to the CNRP on August 12, warning them they would “have to face the law” if they joined the “illegal” movement.

Speaking yesterday, Boeung Kak land activist Tep Vanny, one of the campaign’s core participants, said she felt let down upon hearing Sovann’s comments, saying the CNRP’s full backing would lend momentum to the movement, which is also pushing authorities to find whoever was behind the murder of political analyst Kem Ley.

“I am very disappointed,” Vanny said.

Speaking yesterday, CNRP lawmaker for Battambang Long Botta said about 15 opposition elected representatives still planned to show up at the party’s headquarters today dressed in black to lend their support.

“We have to maintain the pressure,” Botta said. “If people start to forget, it’s not good.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the

  • Two major S’ville events could jumpstart international tourism: insiders

    Preah Sihanouk province is set to host two major international tourism-related events in late 2021 and early 2022, which insiders expect to ignite new interest among new and repeat foreign holidaymakers into visiting the Kingdom and significantly raise tourist arrivals from near zero in the Covid era.