Manekseka Sangkum: Well, for a start the other political parties [and the main Opposition in particular] are too stressed out by all these lawsuits lodged against them?! And don't say you didn't know what Mr Om Yengtieng has been up to ...
PM Warns Against ‘Politicizing’ Drought, Attacks Opposition
Khmer Times/Mom Kunthear
Thursday, 28 April 2016
“We have not seen any action from the other political parties to distribute water to our people, even after the government ordered them to do a campaign to distribute water throughout the country,”
Prime Minister Hun Sen once again appealed to citizens to help distribute water to those suffering from the worst drought in over 50 years, during a speech at a graduation ceremony yesterday.
Mr. Hun Sen also warned against “politicizing” the national crisis, saying the drought was a natural disaster and not the result of rampant deforestation.
“Please, do not exploit the drought for your own political gain,” he said. “It is not only Cambodia, but all the region. When the country was affected by floods, they accused the government of deforestation. In India, there are many people who died due to the drought and they are doing a campaign to distribute the water as we are doing,” he said.
The prime minister also urged all television channels to broadcast news about the drought in other countries in order to contradict accusations that the drought in Cambodia is a result of deforestation.
After warning other political parties not to “politicize” the crisis, Mr. Hun Sen urged them to “show their muscles” to receive votes by helping the Kingdom’s people.
“We have not seen any action from the other political parties to distribute water to our people, even after the government ordered them to do a campaign to distribute water throughout the country,” Mr. Hun Sen said.
The ruling party’s efforts to provide water to those in need will continue until everyone has enough, he said.
Mr. Hun Sen also addressed the issue of heat during his speech, saying over 300 cattle died from high temperatures in Stung Treng province’s Seem Pang district.
“More than 300 cattle died, of which 236 were buffalo and 65 were cows. Buffalos are faster to die than cows because they need to soak in water and they often use ponds or rivers,” he said. “We have to help villagers who have a difficult time finding sources of water. We cannot let people die of thirst.”
Keo Vy, cabinet chief and a spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management, said that it is common for cattle and poultry to die from excessive heat, but he had not yet finalized the official number of animal deaths in the Kingdom due to the drought.
“We are making a report about people affected by drought – how many people are receiving water and the amount of animal deaths. We are collecting information from the provinces and we will complete the report next week,” Mr. Vy said.
Sourn Serey Ratha, president of the Khmer Power Party, responded to Mr. Hun Sen’s call to transport water to citizens. He said delivering made the ruling party look good but did not translate into effectiveness. The government would be responsible for deaths caused by the drought, he said.
“If the government lets someone die due to lack of water, it is a serious mistake that shows the government’s lack of leadership... they should step down,” Mr. Serey Ratha said.
“In order to avoid water shortages, the leader has to protect water sources by protecting forests, natural lakes and by creating reservoirs to store rain water,” he added.
The Health Ministry also addressed the country-wide heat wave yesterday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng called on people, especially children and the elderly, to be cautious.
A break from the heat could arrive this weekend, according to the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, which forecast that temperatures could fall to between 34 and 39 degrees Celsius. It also warned of lightning during storms forecast to hit several provinces including those in the Northeast as well as Tboung Khmom, Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Preah Vihear, Sieam Reap, Koh Kong, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng.