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Petitions, endorsements and criticisms

Petitions, endorsements and criticisms

A RMED forces, civil servants, student organizations and provincial residents threw

their support behind Second Premier Hun Sen by signing petitions condemning Prince

Norodom Sirivudh and his "accomplices" for plotting to kill the premier

and overthrow the government.

The petitions printed in local newspapers and aired repeatedly by state-controlled

television and radio said that the assassination was aimed at destabilizing the country

and demand that the criminals be brought to justice.

"We vehemently condemn those offenders who are committing cruel human rights

abuses, democracy (abuses) and are violating the Constitution in opposition to the

national reconciliation policy of His Majesty the King and the Royal Government,"

read a message signed by residents, police and army of Kampong Thom province.

Several newspaper-members of the League of Cambodian Journalists (LCJ) published

in full length the group's Nov 21 statement. It denounced the plot to assassinate

Hun Sen as an unwise, disgraceful and disgusting act "which would bring Cambodia

back to the sea of blood" of the Khmer Rouge.

Koh Santepheap newspaper, which joined Hun Sen in justifying Kraingyov villagers'

attack on the office of Serey Pheap Thmey newspaper last month, offered extensive

coverage, using phrases such as: "Prince Sirivudh is a person who is worst than

horse waste".

The Funcinpec Steering Committee issued a statement on Nov 21 endorsing their President

Prince Norodom Ranariddh's course of action in finding the solution to the crisis

through peaceful means.

Meanwhile, Khmer Nation Party President Sam Rainsy criticized the house arrest of

Sirivudh as a violation of Article 80 of the Constitution.

In a separate statement issued last Monday, he described the argument supporting

the house arrest to protect the Prince from being killed as "an argument of

the jungle, the argument of Communists, of people unwilling or unable to respect

the law".

"It is not an argument that can be accepted by a democrat, by anyone who believes

in truth and justice," said Rainsy.