At a plenary meeting of the Council of Ministers on Friday, Prime Minister Hun Sen restricted members of the Supreme Council for Consultation and Recommendation from addressing disputes being handled by the courts or those already solved by the government.
He also said the Council cannot address any notices released by the Council of Ministers and ordered it to tighten its issuing of mission letters, which are used to permit officials to investigate cases.
In a press release issued after the meeting, Hun Sen said the Council will not be allowed to solve land disputes, disputes being processed, or disputes being mediated by the judicial body.
“The Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Consultation and Recommendations has to look into the goals and objectives of members of the body concerning disputes,” Hun Sen said.
The body must not issue mission letters in the above-mentioned disputes. They must not send land dispute cases between individuals to me for a solution,” he said.
Council member Mam Sonando, from the Beehive Social Democratic Party, said on Sunday that the role of members was to act on a royal decree and their duty was to monitor law implementation of national and sub-national level officials.
If there are such restrictions on the Council, it will narrow the scope of each member’s work and render them unable to do everything the law required, he said.
“If this [person] or that [person] is removed, it is against the royal decree, which gives us more rights concerning national and sub-national levels.
“The royal decree allows us to do certain things and Samdech Hun Sen changed this work in the sense that we are not allowed to do this or that,” Sonando said.
However, because the body was established by the prime minister himself, Sonando doesn’t take issue with the decision.
He said he is concerned that some disputes received by Council members concerned irregularities in implementing the law.
Civil servants interfered with most of the disputes and the solutions ended up causing injustice, he said.
Affiliated Network for Social Accountability (Ansa) executive director San Chey told The Post on Sunday that the restrictions on the Council’s work performance showed that the body had become more fragile and vague.
“This has never happened before. But we don’t think that the voice of the Council could solve the many problems facing the people. It is a vague future for the body. We will have to see whether the members will continue their work or pursue other options,” he said.