Cambodia’s Hun Sen Calls For Unity Against ‘Great Power’ Interference

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Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at a meeting in the National Assembly Building in Phnom Penh, April 2016.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at a meeting in the National Assembly Building in Phnom Penh, April 2016.

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen called on Wednesday for the Cambodian people to “stand up” against what he called meddling in the country’s internal affairs by the United States and other nations, urging citizens to unite in defense of Cambodia’s sovereignty.

Addressing over 20,000 garment workers from 11 factories in the Por Senchey district of the capital, Phnom Penh, Hun Sen rejected charges by the U.S. and the European Union that he and his ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) have violated human rights.

“How many different standards exist in this world?” Hun Sen asked.

“Powerful countries always invade countries that are weak, and the smaller countries can defend themselves only by relying on the law to maintain peace, stability, and security,” he said. “Do we have any rights, or is it only the powerful countries that have the right to do whatever they want?”

“Unlike them, I have no weapons of mass destruction. So I urge our people to stand up to protect peace and for the sake of future development.”

Hun Sen’s public call to defend Cambodia’s sovereignty comes amid intensified criticism of CPP efforts to dissolve the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in advance of national elections scheduled for next year.

Speaking to RFA’s Khmer Service, Cambodia-based political analyst Lao Monghay said, “It isn’t surprising that Hun Sen is using the word ‘sovereignty’ to deflect international criticism.”

“Even during Cambodia’s genocide from 1975 to 1979, a senior member of the Khmer Rouge regime sent an official letter to the United Nations, telling them not to interfere in Cambodian affairs at a time when the government was killing many people and abusing their rights,” he said.

Right to monitor

Both the United States and countries in the European Union were signatories to the 1991 Paris Peace Agreements that ended Cambodia’s war with Vietnam and established a democratic framework for the country’s future, Lao Monghay said.

"So they have the right to monitor the progress of respect for human rights and the exercise of democratic principles in Cambodia.”

Speaking in Phnom Penh on Wednesday,  Hun Sen said that government moves to dissolve the CNRP, which made important gains in local elections in June, won’t eliminate all opposition to his 32-year rule.

“I want to make it clear that if one party is dissolved, another five will replace it. Two to six such parties will already come into existence soon,” he said.

Cambodia’s Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the opposition party this week to prepare a legal response to complaints by minor Hun Sen-aligned parties calling for the CNRP to be dissolved.

Hun Sen has specifically targeted the CNRP for destruction because it poses the most effective threat to his continued hold on power, Lao Monghay told RFA.

“But he can do whatever he wants, because he has the power. The court is just his puppet.”

Reported and translated by Sarada Taing for RFA’s Khmer Service. Written in English by Richard Finney.

Comments (7)


Too right other countries will "meddle" in Cambodia's affairs when the country's leadership are behaving like despots and trampling unconscionably on civic and human rights. Self-anointed leaders like Hun Sen need to understand that neither human rights obligations nor human rights concerns stop at geopolitical boundaries.

When the Allies overthrew the Nazis and liberated the remaining inmates languishing in European death camps, I suppose they were just "meddling" in another country's internal affairs, were they, Hun Sen?

Nov 05, 2017 09:33 PM

Anonymous Reader

Khmer-Rouge must disappear from the face of the earth. They killed their own people and continue to do in a more violent way. Those who side with these same Khmer-Rouge at the parliament are nothing but tools to serve the one-eyed pirate and his family to exploit Cambodia more than ever. The pictures of these monsters must be shown to all cambodians, near and far, inside or outside the country, and when comes the time they can get rid of these killers they will not fail to do to do so in a very proper way. Go go Cambodia, go go Cambodians !

Oct 17, 2017 03:51 AM

Anonymous Reader

Dear Cambodians , you were great people in the world history. You suffered during the Khmer-Rouge part of your history with at least 2 million deaths. By using tricks, one of them has survived and is ruling over your country. His name is Hun Sen. His place is not at the top of your country, on the contrary he must stand trial like the ones now in prison. WAKE UP Cambodians, WAKE UP Cambodia. We must get rid of commies wherever they are in Cambobia, in Vietnam or in Laos.We fell once now we WILL rise back together. Long live democratic Cambodia, long live democratic Indochina.

Oct 14, 2017 10:16 AM


from ភ្នំពេញ

Cambodia’s Hun Sen Calls For Unity Against ‘Great Power’ Interference
Mr. Prime Minster, you are wrong on calling
to the people to stand up again Democratic
world. You were with the free world for
about 35 years, and if you wants to return to Khmer rouge-era it meant you've betrayed the international community that
your government was born from democracy.
You said your country, your people suffered a lot and it deserve to be better than the Khmer rouge regime but in fact you created suffering for this country and its people. look at the people's wailing over their land that the rich grabbing from them. The country's jurisdiction is with the rich and powerful men. The lower class were left in the cold. It is real, don't deny it.
You and your members always say other don't understand the situation in Cambodia or they favour the opposition.
They are not bias they say the truth.
thank you

Oct 13, 2017 05:59 PM

Cambodian people

What Hun Sen doing now is bad for the country, but just for his own interest.
He want to rule the country all his life. I am sad to have this kid of bad guy leading the country.

Oct 12, 2017 08:17 AM

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