About 40 villagers from Prey Veng province submitted a petition to Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday supporting his efforts to jail opposition leader Kem Sokha for purported “treason”, while at the same time sneaking in a request for a new canal.
Cambodia National Rescue Party President Kem Sokha was arrested for treason in September for saying he took political advice from the US.
The government has since accused him, his party and the superpower of colluding to stage a “colour revolution”, with the Supreme Court set to decide whether to dissolve the party at a hearing next week.
While various government and armed forces officials have congratulated the premier, the small group of villagers from Reab commune also wanted to applaud the crackdown on the opposition, according to community representative Touch Pen.
“The reason is [the CNRP’s] work did not serve the nation and hurt the people, making society very chaotic. They cheated the civilians,” he said.
But among the villagers’ congratulations was a small request: “I asked the prime minster to build a canal,” Pen said.
Soun Sao, the CNRP’s first deputy commune chief in Reab, was dismissive of the group’s message for the premier but said a new canal would indeed benefit the villagers.
Kong Chamroeun, an officer for Hun Sen‘s cabinet, said he accepted the petition but said the matter was outside his office’s purview.