Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Plans for Peace Accord rally on Sunday remain up in air



Plans for Peace Accord rally on Sunday remain up in air

Sam Rainsy poses at a South Korean airport in November last year before announcing he would not return to Phnom Penh. Facebook
Sam Rainsy poses at a South Korean airport in November last year before announcing he would not return to Phnom Penh. Facebook

Plans for Peace Accord rally on Sunday remain up in air

Plans for a thousands-strong CNRP-led rally to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords in Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park on Sunday remained up in the air yesterday, with the Ministry of Interior maintaining it had received no request for such a gathering.

After approaching City Hall for permission on Wednesday, the opposition was informed by the municipality that the matter would be taken up by the Interior Ministry given the large size of the event.

However, ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak yesteday said he could not comment on a request that had yet-to-be received.“You have heard this from someone else, but are asking the Ministry of Interior [to comment],” he said. “The people working here are not as fast as you think.”

However, City Hall spokesman Mean Chanyada and CNRP Long Ry both confirmed the request had been sent to the ministry on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday night, self-exiled CNRP president Sam Rainsy posted a video excerpt from a Tuesday teleconference address to supporters in Siem Reap province in which he vowed, albeit on wildly unlikely conditions, to “come back to Cambodia soon”.

“I, Sam Rainsy, will come back to Cambodia immediately,” he said. “At that time, I will prepare myself, buy plane tickets and travel in two to three days.”

Last November, Rainsy reneged on a promise to return to Cambodia when faced with an arrest warrant for a 2011 defamation conviction. He has been in self exile ever since.

Reached yesterday, Rainsy said his return depended on a guarantee that “all political prisoners be released from jail upon my setting foot on Cambodia’s soil”. A similar request by Rainsy to take the place in prison of his party members and those jailed alongside them was purportedly conveyed by party spokesman Yim Sovann on Monday, but was allegedly turned down by the prisoners.

Rainsy is not the only CNRP member facing legal tussles. Yesterday, acting president Kem Sokha’s lawyer, Sam Sokong, said he had filed an appeal with the Supreme Court challenging the lower court’s procedures that led to the conviction of Sokha last month for failing to appear for prior summonses. An appeal has already been filed in the Appeal Court challenging Sokha’s five-month sentence.

“He has parliamentary immunity and it was not a red-handed crime, so he had a clear reason to not appear before the court,” Sokong said.

Additionally, Sokong filed an appeal yesterday in the Appeal Court relating to the 30-month sentence handed out to jailed CNRP lawmaker Um Sam An last week for his Facebook posts regarding the controversial issue of the Cambodian-Vietnamese border.

MOST VIEWED

  • 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,

  • 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

  • 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

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration

  • Howard Johnson opens in Sihanoukville

    New York Stock Exchange- (NYSE) listed hotel franchiser Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Inc (WH) has opened its first hotel in the Kingdom – the Howard Johnson Plaza by Wyndham Blue Bay Sihanoukville, WH said in a February 18 press release. WH said the new 36-storey property in Sihanoukville’

  • Cambodia’s new draft law on investment and its effects

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) has completed the drafting of the long-awaited new Law on Investment. The draft will be later tabled at the Economic and Financial Policy Committee before being submitted to the Council of Ministers and the National Assembly for