Prime Minister Hun Sen donated $10,000 to Kem Ley’s family yesterday to help with the costs of a ceremony commemorating the one-year anniversary of the murdered political analyst’s assassination.
Ley’s brother Kem Rithisith said he received the donation from Fresh News founder and CEO Lim Cheavutha. He said that the donation came after news of his family’s financial difficulties reached Hun Sen.
“After finishing the [anniversary] ceremony, we were short $10,000 and Fresh News interviewed me and this news reached Hun Sen,” Rithisith said.
“We see him as a normal person, and he has right to donate, and we accepted,” Rithisith said. Rithisith said his family spent $20,000 on this month’s ceremony to mark the one-year anniversary of Ley’s death, and received about $10,000 in donations from attendees.
“He is a leader like our parents; therefore, when we have problems he has an obligation to help . . . and this helped us.”
Hun Sen has over the past year sued a number of people, including former opposition leader Sam Rainsy, for claiming that he or his ruling party was behind the murder.
Yet a Fresh News editorial yesterday lambasted the opposition for what it described as its opportunism after the popular analyst’s murder. “After Kem Ley passed away, people saw the opposition participating in the ceremony and taking advantage of his body, but when Kem Ley’s family faced difficulties, there is no leader of the opposition showing up to find solutions.”
However, Cambodia National Rescue Party deputy leader Eng Chhay Eng said his party helped “by seeking justice for Kem Ley and his family, and this is the most important thing”.