S AM RAINSY has indicated that both he and Funcinpec leader Prince Norodom
Ranariddh have made "concessions" that have led to a "truce" in their bitter
Rainsy, the former Finance Minister, appeared set to be sacked
from the party, and then possibly the National Assembly, until heavyweight
internal and international pressure swung in his favor.
"We seemed to
have reached a truce and things have calmed down... I hope it will continue to
prevail and that we will get to a real peace," he told the Post on June
The truce is a tenuous one: "On a legal basis, yes I am still in the
party, unless some arbitrary decision in violation of party bylaws is made," he
Asked about rumors of a deal being cut - Ranariddh, in the face of
pressure from Assembly chairman Chea Sim and a huge array of foreign diplomats
and politicians; and Rainsy being told to apologize - Rainsy was more guarded
"I do not have the right to comment. I can neither confirm
nor deny. Whatever I have done, it doesn't belong to me now, it belongs to
Prince Ranariddh. I can tell you I have done the maximum I could."
don't want to comment or elaborate. You should ask the other side," he
When asked who then "backed down", Rainsy said: "This is very
difficult. For any reasonable agreement there has to be satisfaction for both
sides. And both sides have to make concessions."
"As for me, I would
never make concessions on principle. I would on many things... personal things,
I would swallow my pride. But on principle, never."
Chea Sim's June 10
statement signaled the likely outcome of Prince Ranariddh's bid to have Rainsy
Chea Sim - without once referring to Rainsy by name - said he
had received messages of concern from US Senators and Congressmen, members of
the House of Lords, MPs from Japan and Switzerland, the Inter-Parliament Union
and many others about "a number of events" happening within the
He said the Assembly would not take any action contradictory to
the "root bases of liberal democracy", nor would they abandon the respect for
international norms and human rights.
"We will not make our friends
abroad lose faith and confidence in the National Assembly, the Royal government
and the Cambodian leaders," he said.
Rainsy said that Chea Sim's
statement was "self-explanatory and very clear".
"I think he has enhanced
the image of the CPP. I feel sorry that Funcinpec has not benefited from these
latest developments... on the contrary, Funcinpec seems to have suffered,"
Rainsy said. "I feel this is shared by many people," he said.
he was not surprised by Chea Sim's support, but was happy. "I hope every
Cambodian leader adopts the same attitude. Then Cambodia will really move
forward to a genuine democracy."
Rainsy was quick to praise all the
"international friends" for their concern.
"They played a very important
role," he said, adding it was the duty of all Cambodians to take into account
that concern shown.
About an alleged private comment from Ranariddh that
he would resign as Prime Minister should Rainsy remain in the party and
Assembly, Rainsy said: "I feel sorry that all these developments take on a
"Personal considerations seem to prevail over ideals of
principles," he said.
"It is up to Prince Ranariddh to speak that
language. It is not my language."
Rainsy said he felt more comfortable
and more secure than he did a week ago. "I feel encouraged in my fight for legal
and democratic principles but it is not a personal victory."
"It is a
victory for democracy in Cambodia, for Parliament to really be an independent
body. This enhances the honor of all MPs," he said.
When asked whether he
would remain an outspoken representative, he said: "I will continue to support
the interest of the country, even if it is to the detriment to the party's
When asked if he could continue to work with Prince Ranariddh,
he said: "I can work with anybody, provided they abide by legal, democratic
"If you do justice even to your enemy, they can be turned
into your friend."