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Minister slams overseas opposition members

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
Minister Sar Kheng was reacting to critics. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday criticised opposition members speaking overseas against the government.

Mr Kheng was presiding over the annual meeting of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction yesterday in Phnom Penh’s Garden City Hotel when he made the comments.

His comments followed a request by Kem Monovithya, jailed opposition leader Kem Sokha’s daughter, for the UN to suspend Cambodia’s seat.

Mr Kheng said Ms Monovithya had little experience in politics and civil society despite her extensive studies.

“She simply cannot make this sort of request,” Mr Kheng said, noting that she was biased.

The minister added that if economic sanctions were to be put in place, or if Cambodia’s UN seat was to be suspended, it wouldn’t impact Prime Minister Hun Sen, but all Cambodians.

On December 19, a panel was held in New York City to discuss the situation in Cambodia.

Panellists included Ms Monovithya, Cambodian Centre for Independent Media head Pa Nguon Teang, and Human Rights Watch Asia Advocacy Director John Sifton. It was then that Ms Monovithya asked the UN to suspend Cambodia’s seat.

Mr Kheng said that such actions impacted national interests, were wrong and unconstitutional.

He added that such actions were pointless because the colour revolution attempt of the CNRP was defeated.

“I did not accuse Kem Sokha, it was him who showed his true colours,” he said.

Mr Kheng said Mr Sokha’s mistakes were twofold: first, he received a plan from a foreign power to topple the legal government through a colour revolution, drawing from examples in Serbia, and second, he received a policy for leading the government. Both of this points, Mr Kheng said, were against the constitution.

“Colour revolutions are usually successful in other countries, but it failed in Cambodia,” the minister said.

Mr Kheng said the opposition’s plan was to push the government and armed forces to use violence so they could expand their movement, but that it failed because the government used restraint.

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