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

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that

  • Man in quarantine dies of ‘overdose’

    The Ministry of Health on Thursday said a Cambodian migrant worker who died while being isolated at a quarantine centre in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district may have died from syncope or overdose of tablets. In a statement, the ministry said the 21-year-old

  • Ministry set to reopen 20 schools in August

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will allow 20 high-safety-standards schools to reopen next month despite new cases of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha wrote in a Telegram message on Wednesday that the schools are in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.