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Sunday, 29 November 2009

Opposition distributes 50,000 leaflets about border dispute

28 Nov 2009
By Pen Bona
Radio France Internationale
Translated from Khmer by KI-Media
Click here to read the article in Khmer

Opposition activists were and are distributing Sam Rainsy's message attacking PM Hun Xen's government for causing the loss of Cambodian territories to the benefit of Vietnam. At the same time, SRP MPs are asking the government to make available to the public documents regarding the legal aspects of the border resolutions with Vietnam. The latest report indicated that one SRP activist has been detained for the distributions of these leaflets.

Numerous SRP activists in the entire country are currently distributing leaflets about the border problems to Cambodians. The SRP leaflets contain the message issued by Mr. Sam Rainsy to the people of Cambodia, dated 19 November 2009. The content of the message blames Hun Xen's government for leading a dangerous policy involving border problems. In the same message, Sam Rainsy also accused Hun Xen of turning the public attention to the western border with Thailand while ignoring the danger along the eastern border with Vietnam.

Yim Sovann, SRP MP and SRP spokesman, indicated today that his party plans to distribute 50,000 copies of Sam Rainsy's message to Cambodians at various places all along the country. According to Yim Sovann, the goal of this distribution is to inform the people about the border problems [and the loss of Cambodian territories] to the benefit of neighboring countries.

At the same time, SRP MP Son Chhay wrote a letter to PM Hun Xen asking the government to issue documents about the legal aspects taken by the government to resolve border disputes with Vietnam. Son Chhay's letter was forwarded by Heng Samrin to the government on Thursday, but so far there is no answer from the government yet.

Government officials could not be contacted to comment in this issue as of today, however, reports have indicated that the authorities have prevented and arrested a number of leaflet distributors and brought them in for education so that they stop taking such action again. Opposition leader Sam Rainsy was accused by the top three leaders of the ruling party (Xen, Xim and Xamrin) of instigating problem for political gain, and of disturbing the government work in its resolution of problems with Thailand.

The determination of the opposition party to distribute these leaflets is a new issue that increases further political tension in the country. The opposition's action takes place after Sam Rainsy's political immunity was lifted at the beginning of November.


timothy chhim's blog said...

This issue was raised again and again during the past national elections. Most people have been aware of the problems.

Raising this issue with proper authority and with Cambodian King maybe more effective than distributing leaflets to general public at this time. It may be misconstrued as an act of public incitement against the the Cambodian government and against Vietnam; hence tention continues...

Anonymous said...

Your comment about inciting the public is correct, but who are the proper authority to raise with? The ruling CPP conducted border negotiations, border surveys and border demarcations in secrecy with Vietnam. When Rainsy went public with the border violations he was stripped of his parliamentary immunity. Rainsy wrote the letter to ex-king Sihanouk who then wrote a letter to the Cambodian government, Hun Sen, Chea Sim and Heng Samrin replied that not one inch of Cambodian territories had been lost.

Distributing leaflets might cause tensions, but it is the effective way to publicize the issue of national importance.