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PM: All welcomed to make donations to flood victims

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Former CNRP leader Kem Sokha distribute donations to flood victims in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district on Saturday. Kem Sokha Facebook page

PM: All welcomed to make donations to flood victims

Prime Minister Hun Sen told authorities to let former opposition leader Kem Sokha and other politicians distribute donations to flood victims regardless of their political affiliation.

In a recorded message to municipal and provincial officials, he told them to let all politicians and generous people help.

He said he had received information that some officials had allowed for the distribution of donations by Sokha, but others were not as helpful.

He said the work is a humanitarian act.

“When [Sokha] and his group go to distribute donations in local areas, please make it possible for him to work with people. If anyone is bringing donations to citizens, please let them meet with citizens and provide assistance. This is the work we do together with all political parties, all politicians and all generous people who want to join,” Hun Sen said.

The prime minister visited flood victims in Phnom Penh on Thursday. During the visit, he said monks, citizens, authorities and the armed forces had carried out activities together to help victims.

“That is a special point – a strong point of Hun Sen’s government. You want to speak from the US, France, Canada, it is of your concern. We met and worked together regardless of political affiliation,” he said.

He said the priority is helping people to survive before speaking about human rights or democracy.

Sokha travelled to Pursat, Sihanoukville, Battambang and Phnom Penh to distribute donations to flood victims last month. This week, he is going to Banteay Meanchey and Kampong Speu provinces, according to Meach Sovannara, a former official of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).

On Friday, Sokha thanked Cambodian donors at home and abroad for materials and money to be distributed to the victims. He also donated $5,000 in donations to the government. In response, Hun Sen wrote a letter thanking him for the contribution.

Political analyst Ek Sovannara agreed that these were humanitarian actions and should not be obstructed because it eases the burden on the government.

He said political differences can be overcome when politicians forgive each other, have mutual understanding and protect interests together.

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