The Ministry of National Defense issued a statement asking Cambodians to pay no heed to former opposition leader Sam Rainsy’s urgent request, via Facebook on Friday Jan. 25, that the armed forces disobey the Prime Minister’s orders.
Chhum Socheat, spokesman for the Defense Ministry, said on Saturday (Jan. 26) that the ministry strongly condemns Mr Rainsy’s instigations against the legitimate government. “The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) respect and strictly obey the Prime Minister’s orders and recommendations of January 24, to thwart traitors’ attempts to create a colour revolution and destroy the peace of the Cambodian people.”
Furthermore, the RCAF is prepared to arrest Mr Rainsy. “The RCAF asks all not to follow Sam Rainsy’s appeals. We consider every activity supporting Sam Rainsy as being illegal, and are obliged to take actions that maintain security, social public order and peace for the nation.”
Hun Sen said at the 20th anniversary of the Royal Cambodian Army (Jan.24) that they could arrest Sam Rainsy: “…there is an arrest warrant from the courts, please arrest him. No need to wait for a command from me. No need to ask me, … I’ve said it many times – just follow the law.”
An excerpt from Sam Rainsy’s Facebook page: “This dictator has recently instructed the armed forces to arrest me when I return to Cambodia this year, and to violently crack down on democrats and patriots who will rise up to peacefully demand positive change through democratic means, meaning genuine, free and fair elections. I call on the armed forces not to … shoot at innocent citizens when instructed to do so by Hun Sen. I call on each soldier who has a gun … to use it to defend himself, our people and our country’s territory.”