Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy has vowed to rally supporters in Tokyo and Brussels ahead of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visits to Japan and Belgium.
Mr Rainsy yesterday on Twitter encouraged Cambodians living in Japan and Belgium to hold protests against Mr Hun Sen’s government on Sunday in Tokyo and on October 19 in Brussels.
Mr Rainsy said the first protest will be held during Mr Hun Sen’s arrival for the 10th Mekong-Japan Summit, while the second is to be held as Mr Hun Sen attends the Asia-Europe Meeting and marks the 27th anniversary of the Paris Peace Agreement in Brussels.
“Protestors are expected to gather at 10am in Shinjuku Chuo Park, raising their banners that say ‘Hun Sen is not our Cambodian Prime Minister, we do not accept the government [who won] a sham election,’” he said.
Government spokesman Phay Siphan yesterday criticised the planned protests and said that supporters of Mr Rainsy are a minority group aiming to create problems.
“I do not think that it would give any positive result for them; the protests are uselessly conducted by small groups of people when compared to Cambodians who support the government,” Mr Siphan said. “I think the protest would make it clear that more people support Prime Minister Hun Sen.”
Mr Hun Sen’s visit to New York over the weekend was met with both support and opposition from Cambodians living in North America.
Mr Rainsy also called for protests in New York to meet Mr Hun Sen, but failed to appear himself after cancelling his attendance due to scheduling issues.
On Monday, the government responded to those who protested during Mr Hun Sen’s visit to the UN General Assembly.
In a statement, the government said no organisation is authorised to control the sovereignty of Cambodia. The protests were nothing more than a creation of events to invade the sovereignty of Cambodia, the statement added.
Mr Hun Sen on Monday declared his mission to the UN a success and thanked his supporters.
While there, he met with about 2,000 Cambodians living in the US and Canada, addressing them in a meeting during which he cautioned them against Mr Rainsy’s underhand tactics.
Mr Hun Sen told his supporters that Mr Rainsy and other former opposition members cannot be trusted, as they make promises to people that cannot be kept, like offering government positions in exchange for donations.
Mr Hun Sen added that Mr Rainsy continues to call for protests against him, but his gatherings with supporters always outnumber the demonstrations.