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Hun Sen says Kingdom’s peace ‘fragile’

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times Share:
Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany attend a Kan Ben event yesterday. KT/Khem Sovannara

Prime Minister Hun Sen over the weekend said that peace in the Kingdom is fragile due to interferences from powerful countries, including Western countries, in Cambodia’s internal affairs.

Mr Hun Sen delivered his message to coincide with the International Day of Peace on Saturday.

In a three-page letter obtained yesterday, Mr Hun Sen said peace is very important for the Cambodian people.

“The unpredictable complexity of global situation, especially the superpowers’ [countries] competition in political, economic, and military interests has threatened regional and global peace,” Mr Hun Sen said in the letter.

“At the same time, Cambodia’s peace is fragile due to threats and continued interferences in internal affairs, especially from the superpowers and some Western countries,” he added.

Mr Hun Sen said that since Cambodia was liberated from Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime in 1979, the Kingdom has experienced peace, especially following his win-win policy in 1998.

“Even when the Kingdom is under pressure from the threat of being sanctioned, through the use of excuses of democracy and human rights, the Royal Government of Cambodia still stays together with the people in all circumstances,” he said.

“We have solidarity, [we are] united to protect our nation and maintain our independence, freedom of democracy, neutrality and prosperity,” he added. “We are here to protect the peace and stability at any cost.”

Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, yesterday agreed that the Kingdom’s peace is being challenged by the tension between the US and China.

“The peace in the Kingdom, and also in the world, is fragile due to the influence from the competition between the superpowers, like the US and China,” Mr Phea said.

He added that the appeal from former opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who is calling people and the army to join him to overthrow the government, is also contributing to the fragility.

Mr Rainsy, who is currently in exile, has been vowing to return in order to restore democracy and human rights in the country. He has promised to return on November 9.

Last week, the CNRP announced a budget to support soldiers who defect from the government and ensure safe passage for Mr Rainsy upon his return to the Kingdom.

The Justice Ministry on Friday said that the planned return of the former CNRP leader is tantamount to a coup by an illegal group attempting to topple the government, which is a serious crime that affects national security.

“The Ministry of Justice has found out that the return of Sam Rainsy is not for the sake of democracy and human rights, but a plan to topple the Royal Government through incitement of hatred among people and armed forces under the image of a violent movement,” the ministry said in a press release.

Justice Ministry spokesman Chin Malin pointed out that the planned return is an act to cause serious crime.

“The plan to overthrow the Royal Government of Cambodia is a serious crime punishable under Articles 451 and 452 of the Penal Code, which carries a prison sentence of 15 to 30 years, and that if the perpetrator is a public servant, the sentencing must be life-time imprisonment,” he said.

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