Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Seventy petition the Swiss president



Seventy petition the Swiss president

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Swiss President Alain Berset. Facebook

Seventy petition the Swiss president

The Cambodian diaspora in Switzerland on Wednesday sent a petition to Swiss President Alain Berset, requesting his government not to sanction Cambodia or support such action, a letter posted on the Foreign Affairs website said.

The petition, entitled Petition for peace, stability, and development in Cambodia, was signed by about 70 people.

“Cambodia will suffer a severe economic crisis if any sanctions were to be imposed by the Swiss federation. There is no doubt that those who would suffer the most are low-income and other vulnerable Cambodians, such as farmers,” the petition reads.

“So, we would like to appeal to the Swiss federation not to place any sanction, including economic sanctions or support any sanction or other sanction actions initiated by allied countries or the countries that oppose the royal government of Cambodia, which would benefit only a handful of opposition groups but would affect the lives of millions of Cambodians, especially workers and farmers,” the letter continued.

The letter said there were no restrictions on the freedom of the press, but instead Cambodia provides full rights to the media – radio, TV, newspapers and social media – including pro- and anti-government ones.

“Even though they report negatively about the royal government of Cambodia, they still can operate there,” the letter said. The group praised the Swiss government for contributing to the development in Cambodia and warned that any economic sanctions on the Kingdom would result in a civil war.

Last year, the government forced the closure of 30 radio stations that broadcast content from Radio Free Asia, Voice of America and Voice of Democracy.

Chum Sonry, spokesperson for Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Thursday, echoed the sentiments of the petitioners.

“Our people in Cambodia and abroad don’t want to see any sanctions because such actions will affect their living conditions. It affects the labourers and their families,” Sonry said.

Cambodia recently sent a delegation to the European Union (EU) to clarify the political situation in the Kingdom. But as of Thursday, no information on their efforts has been forthcoming, he said.

Meanwhile, an EU delegation is due to arrive soon in Cambodia for a fact-finding mission to study the Kingdom’s compliance with its human rights duties as enshrined in the Everything But Arms (EBA) import arrangement, in which some Cambodian products are granted duty-free status.

CPP spokesperson Sok Eysan said he welcomed the EU fact-finding delegation and was optimistic about their future findings.

“We welcome the EU delegation. If they come to Cambodia, they will see that the real situation in the Kingdom is not like the propaganda from the outlawed rebel group,” Eysan said.

He was referring to the Cambodia National Rescue Party, which was dissolved by the Supreme Court in November.

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said the EU may impose sanctions on the Kingdom, but he doubted that the bloc would remove Cambodia from the list of countries that benefit from EBA.

“I don’t think the EU would end or suspend EBA. It could adopt targeted measures and impose selective sanctions on those it sees as being responsible for the present situation in Cambodia, and perhaps their close associates who directly benefit from the EBA and/or have commercial links with the EU."

“These selective sanctions would be sufficiently effective, and yet least hurt those working in the export sector,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Howard Johnson opens in Sihanoukville

    New York Stock Exchange- (NYSE) listed hotel franchiser Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Inc (WH) has opened its first hotel in the Kingdom – the Howard Johnson Plaza by Wyndham Blue Bay Sihanoukville, WH said in a February 18 press release. WH said the new 36-storey property in Sihanoukville’