Prime Minister Hun Sen and Kentaro Sonoura ,Special Advisor to Japan’s Prime Minister, met at the Peace Palace on March 23. They discussed Cambodia’s current political position in general and the possibility of reopening contacts to the CNRP and Sam Rainsy.
After the meeting the Prime Minister’s aide, Sry Thamrong, told reporters that Mr Sonoura asked the premier about the political situation in Cambodia and the possibility of negotiating with those ex-CNRP politicians banned from the political theatre for five years.
Mr Sonoura stressed that Japan’s interest in this matter is not to be seen as interference, but rather as a desire for clearer understanding between friendly nations.
The PM’s attaché pointed out that Hun Sen has spent three-fourths of his life working to unify the country and has granted pardons to Sam Rainsy twice.
Despite the premier’s efforts to have his and Mr Rainsy’s family get together and calm the waters, Mr Rainsy continued to attack the premier, insult his family, incite soldiers to defy orders, and try to overthrow the government.
“Samdech [Hun Sen] recognized that Samdech failed to establish a dialogue with Sam Rainsy,” Mr Thamrong said, and that there will be none in the future. Furthermore, the premier said that Cambodian law has no provision for pardoning those politicians, and the Supreme Court’s decision in this matter is final.
Mr Thamrong went on to say that the political situation is better in Cambodia than in other countries in the region, but no one criticizes them because these countries are economically stronger. And although the government merely enforces its laws, it comes under fire for doing so.
He stated that “Mr Sonoura promised to cite this reasoning when he reports back to Japan’s premier, Shinzō Abe,” and that Mr Sonoura still expects his country to support the Kingdom in matters of governance, law enforcement and maintaining peace.