Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rainsy asks New Zealand, Australia to ban CPP officials

Rainsy asks New Zealand, Australia to ban CPP officials

Australian lawmaker Mark Butler (left) meets with former opposition leader Sam Rainsy on Sunday in Australia.
Australian lawmaker Mark Butler (left) meets with former opposition leader Sam Rainsy on Sunday in Australia. Facebook

Rainsy asks New Zealand, Australia to ban CPP officials

Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy met with government officials in Australia and New Zealand this week, requesting that the two nations issue visa bans against Cambodian People’s Party officials and their families in response to the arrest of opposition head Kem Sokha for treason.

Rainsy met with Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, officials with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and lawmakers from both countries.

He said the purpose of his trip was to ask the countries to “react to the political crackdown in Cambodia” and added that Australia in particular “has a major role to play in the region . . . [and] must show leadership for the development of democracy”.

Rainsy met with Victoria MP Anthony Byrne on Sunday and Adelaide MP Mark Butler on Monday, he said, to request that the lawmakers recommend a visa ban to parliament. He said Butler and Byrne have asked the Australian government “to react in an appropriate way”.

“Many CPP officials and their families, they come to Australia to buy property, invest . . . and send their children to study,” Rainsy said, adding that the international response must “affect the personal interests” of ruling party members to be effective.

The former CNRP president said the situation will be discussed when the Australian Parliament convenes in October.

Neither the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh nor the New Zealand Embassy in Bangkok replied to requests for comment yesterday.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said he was “not worried” about Rainsy’s request. “We have a good relationship, good cooperation, with Australia. We respect each other,” he said.

Siphan also defended the European tour of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s son Hun Manet, whose visit to Germany over the weekend was met with protest.

He was in Switzerland on Sunday and England on Monday to meet supporters.

In an article posted to government-aligned outlet Fresh News, Manet justified his mission abroad by saying the CPP has a policy to serve citizens abroad.

However, Siphan struck a different note in a Facebook post on Monday in which he criticised protesters abroad and accused them of “psychological warfare”.

“Cambodia’s choice is to serve the interest of Cambodia, not serving other Western countries and those people living there . . . Any protest outside the country has no impact on the decisions of Cambodia,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia’s image problem

    In opening remarks at a recent event, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luy David said information can be a double-edged sword. He told a European Institute of Asian Studies (EIAS) briefing seminar that the media has unfairly presented

  • PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

    Delivering a campaign speech from his home via Facebook Live on Thursday, caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had carried the country through danger in its latest mandate. He was specifically referring to the threat of a “colour revolution”

  • Kingdom's trade deal with EU questioned before poll

    A European Union (EU) mission met with senior government officials at the Ministry of Interior on Tuesday as the 28-member bloc monitors an agreement under which Cambodian goods reach the crucial European market tariff-free. Some 10 commissioners are in the Kingdom as part of a seven-day

  • A new carrier takes off in capital

    Cambodia Airways, the latest passenger airline to enter the Kingdom, launched its first domestic flight on Tuesday. Flight KR801, carrying 145 passengers, left the Phnom Penh International Airport at 9:50am and landed in Siem Reap at 10:35am in an Airbus A319. Cambodia Airways marketing and branding