A Change of Guard

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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Hundreds of police posted near CNRP rally for Sokha

Police gather at an assembly point near the CNRP headquarters in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district yesterday morning. Hong Menea

Hundreds of police posted near CNRP rally for Sokha
Wed, 15 June 2016 ppp
Meas Sokchea and Ananth Baliga

As CNRP acting president Kem Sokha once again refused to heed a summons to appear in court yesterday, government forces and Sokha’s supporters amassed in the capital just streets away from each other.

Hundreds of riot and traffic police – equipped with guns, shields, batons and truck-mounted barriers – were deployed on Hun Sen Boulevard, only a few streets away from the CNRP’s headquarters where hundreds of CNRP supporters had congregated in anticipation of an attempt to arrest Sokha.

However, Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak cited increased traffic on National Road 2 and protection of the CNRP supporters as reasons for the heavy police presence.

Sopheak denied that police were there to arrest Sokha.

“Crowding [around the CNRP office] is why we deployed the police. If anyone throws a grenade then what do we do? We were defending this [CNRP] group,” he said.

Last month, following Sokha’s refusal to appear in court, police had attempted to arrest him but were deterred by party supporters outside the CNRP headquarters. Sokha has been holed up in the building ever since.

Meanchey district authorities yesterday issued a statement saying that the gathering – including a tent – outside the headquarters had been disrupting traffic and was illegal. The tent would have to be taken down within a week, it said.

Speaking to supporters at the party’s office on National Road 2 yesterday, CNRP lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang said that the group had congregated only to monitor the situation, reiterating that there were no intentions to hold a march.

“We would like to tell the authorities not to worry, the supporters here will not march anywhere,” Chhay Eang said.

Supporters gather in front of the CNRP headquarters yesterday morning in Phnom Penh, where acting party leader Kem Sokha has been holed up for nearly three weeks. Hong Menea

Following yesterday’s court hearing, Sam Sokong, one of Sokha’s four lawyers, said they had informed the judge of the legal rationale behind Sokha’s refusal to respond to the court’s summonses. “Our client is protected by Article 80 [of the constitution], and our client’s immunity has not been suspended or stripped,” Sokong said.

A one-party vote in the National Assembly allowed for the prosecution against Sokha to continue under a constitutional loophole, but did not strip his immunity.

Sokong added that the investigating judge had given no indication of whether their request to drop the case would be upheld or not.

However, court spokesman Ly Sophanna said the four lawyers appearing in place of Sokha was “useless”.

“Lawyers cannot answer instead of their client who is the accused man,” Sophanna added. “Therefore, there is no use for lawyers to appear before the investigating judge.”

He said the investigating judge would continue to take action based on judicial procedures.

Later in the day, CNRP lawmaker Mao Monyvann decried the charges, and asked supporters to keep vigil at party offices.

However, following his speech, supporter numbers thinned to less than 100, with the police deployment also leaving Hun Sen Boulevard.


Anonymous said...

Yes, Cambodia has laws.
They are Dictator & Traitor Hun Sen's laws
a la Hanoi !

Anonymous said...

The supporters will get tired and thin out eventually. CPP is winning. CNRP must change strategy or lose all.

Anonymous said...

According to http://www.khmer440.com/chat_forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=54045&start=132
Kem Sokha has already fled CNRP Headquarter. CPP is playing game with CNRP, making empty threats to arrest Kem Sokha, causing the supporters to waste time protecting the Headquarter without Kem Sokha inside.

Basically, CPP is giving ropes to CNRP to hang itself then swoop in to destroy CNRP. That's how CPP will win in the next election with CNRP destroyed. CNRP must do something quick and stop falling into CPP's trap.

Anonymous said...

Ah Kwack Hun Ker Sen,

Is over 30 years in power not enough for you and your penis?

In this world, every thing has limit. If you keep pushing too far, you might get lost in hell like your best friend Ghadafi.

Anonymous said...

Hun Sen is so outrageous about people who said Hun Manet is not his own son.

Hun Sen Euy !!

This news has surfaced on the internet a few years ago. Stop acting stupid that you have never heard this news before.

Now you are accusing those people who speculated this news are CNRP's leaders and members. Your ulterior motive was to smash the CNRP to avoid an inevitable CPP's loss in this next election.

Any Khmer or any person can post that news - Hun Manet is not your son - on the internet anytime they wanted. You should stop blaming the CNRP because it will spontaneously expose your fear of losing this next election.

In effect, Hun Sen and the CPP knew that the CNRP had actually won a landslide in the 2013 election. The CPP cheated the election by ordering Ah Heum Khiev Kanharith to declare that the CPP was the winner.

Despite the CPP's recent successive attacks, the CNRP is still remarkably strong.

In brief, the root cause of the current political tension in Cambodia is largely stemmed from Hun Sen's worry that the CPP is going to lose this next election and this time the CPP cannot self proclaim itself as the winner like it did in 2013. Therefore, the solution for Hun Sen to stop the CNRP is either breaking the CNRP apart or making the election impossible.

Bun Thoeun

Anonymous said...

All of us should happy because the harder Hun Sen push CNRP the more chance we're get more help from world community.

Anonymous said...

[ ..we're get more help from world community.]

don't hold your breath ... world community will only pay lip service and nothing concrete will come out of it...

Anonymous said...


I'm not 0315, but most Khmers would agree with this poster.

The international community by itself is not as potent as the signatories of the Paris Peace Accords..
Now if you think the Khmer people don't need the help ofnthe Signatories, then YOU yourself have problems.

Anonymous said...

The International Community will not help CNRP because guys like Bun Thoeun has been inciting the young and students to challenge the CPP.

Students and the youngs belong in the school. Old most must do the fighting at the front line, not the youngs and students.

Anonymous said...


You don't know what you're talking about !