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Cambodian PM Hun Sen threatens to 'beat up' protesters outside ASEAN-Australia Summit
Updated about 9 hours ago

 Cambodia PM Hun Sen has threatened to boycott the ASEAN-Australia Summit if there is pressure from member states. (Reuters: Samrang Pring)

 

RELATED STORY: Emails from Australian 'spy' show no evidence of Cambodian plotRELATED STORY: Bishop intervenes to help Australian filmmaker held in Cambodia on espionage chargesRELATED STORY: Calls for Australia to withdraw funding as Cambodia opposition party dissolved

 

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has threatened to "beat" protesters if they burn his image at a summit of South-East Asian leaders in Sydney next month.

 

 

Hundreds of Cambodians living in Australia are expected to rally against Hun Sen when he attends the ASEAN-Australia Summit on March 17-18.

 

 

"I want to remind those who plan to demonstrate against me that my visit is an honour for their government," Hun Sen said in a speech, according to translated subtitles.

"If they burn my effigy … I will pursue them to their houses and beat them up.

But instead of backing down, protesters are saying thanks for the idea.

"We didn't plan to burn Hun Sen's effigy, but he is the one who reminded us yesterday," Cambodian-Australian Melbourne resident Va Malina told the Phnom Penh Post.

 

 

Hong Lim, the member for the Victorian state seat of Clarinda and who was born in Cambodia, told the Post that Australians were entitled to peacefully protest.

"The whole irony is that this event he's coming to attend is about Australia and ASEAN jointly fighting against terrorism … and the terrorist Hun Sen is threatening to bring terrorism into Australia," Mr Lim said.

'No Hun Sen, no ASEAN'

 

Hun Sen also warned he would boycott the ASEAN-Australia Summit or veto any joint statements if there was pressure from the member states, according to the Phnom Penh Post.Hun Sen was referring to an apparently leaked private phone call between members of the now-banned main opposition party, Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), who said the Cambodian Government would face pressure from the United Nations, Australia and ASEAN countries.

 

 

"If there is no Hun Sen, there will be no ASEAN," the Phnom Penh Post quoted him as saying in a speech to Cambodian garment workers.

"I'll just give the reason that in 2018 I cannot go abroad because I am busy with the election" scheduled on July 29.

"This means Australia won't be able to hold the meeting. If there is no consensus it is impossible."

 Opposition leader Kem Sokha has been in jail since September. (Reuters: Samrang Pring)
Cambodia's democratic aspirations have been dealt a crushing blow last year, with the country's Supreme Court dissolving the main opposition CNRP last year and jailing of its leader Kem Sokha, who had been charged with treason.

 

 

Chief Judge Dith Munty, who is a senior ruling party member, announced the nine-member court's unanimous ruling last November.

He said 118 opposition party members would also be banned from politics for the next five years, and the verdict could not be appealed.

 

 

Meanwhile, Australian filmmaker James Ricketson, accused of espionage in Cambodia, has been in pre-trial detention since his arrest in June, 2017, prompting Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to the Cambodian Government to express concern about the case.

Mr Ricketson is facing spy charges after flying a drone over a political protest in the capital Phnom Penh last June.

If convicted, he could be jailed for 10 years but he denies the charges.

 

 

Last week, former opposition leader Sam Rainsy said Mr Ricketson was a scapegoat and his arrest was designed to frighten and deter foreign journalists from writing critical reports of Hun Sen's Government.

ABC/AAP

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Parrothead

We, as foreigners, have NO business voicing opinions about politics, discussing politics with others, or even thinking about the politics of Cambodia. It does not concern us and we should leave it alone. Period. 

 

Obviously, some people wish to challenge this. I, however, am happy merely living my life in Cambodia.

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Oz Jon
Posted (edited)

We, as foreigners, have NO business voicing opinions about politics, discussing politics with others, or even thinking about the politics of Cambodia. It does not concern us and we should leave it alone. Period. 

 

Obviously, some people wish to challenge this. I, however, am happy merely living my life in Cambodia.

 

Probably VERY wise for foreigners living in Cambodia to avoid expressing any political/human-rights opinions. (probably so for Cambodians too, it seems!)

 

But certainly NOT so for Australians/Cambodians living in Australia .. they have every right to protest against what they see as political/human-rights abuses in Cambodia  (or anywhere else, for that matter)... like most Western countries, Australia values and upholds freedom-of-speech.

 

Many Australians are understandably angered about the lengthy detention of an Australian journalist/filmmaker on ridiculous "spying" charges... simply doing his job of reporting and photographing in Cambodia. (which has Constitutional free-speech provisions, I understand?).

 

And ethnic Cambodians living in Australia (along with the US and EU countries) are unsurprisingly upset by the arrest of an opposition leader and the banning of an opposition party - that is outrageous political behavior, rightly condemned.

Edited by Oz Jon
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Oz Jon
Posted (edited)

If PM Hun Sen comes to Australia for the ASEAN -Australia Summit, he will have plenty of opportunity to explain to Australia (and the world) why a long detention of the Australian photographer, banning a Cambodian opposition party and opposition leader are all constitutionally valid, reasonable and proper things to do.

 

The Australian press (with world press connections) will fall over themselves with offers of interviews.... provided he promises not to "beat them up" - Lol!

Edited by Oz Jon

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Parrothead

 

 

If PM Hun Sen comes to Australia for the ASEAN -Australia Summit

 

It will be interesting, I'm sure.

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Oz Jon
Posted (edited)

Cambodian Australians of all ages have put fear aside and gathered in Sydney to protest against human rights abuses in their homeland, despite their leader's threat to "beat them".

Hundreds rallied in Hyde Park ahead of the ASEAN-Australia summit this weekend which Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is in town for.

Last month he issued a warning to anyone planning to demonstrate against him during his trip: "If they burn my effigy ... I will pursue them to their houses and beat them up".

Late last year Hun Sen used the courts to dissolve Cambodia's main opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party, ahead of elections scheduled for later this year.

The party's leader, Kem Sokha, was jailed for treason and many of the party's other senior figures fled the country, including Vice-President Mu Sochua.

Ms Sochua told the ABC recently, "democracy in Cambodia is dead".

9557958-3x2-700x467.jpg

 

No reports of anyone being "pursued to their houses and beaten up"!

 

but plenty of serious discussion of human rights and democracy in Cambodia on Aus TV and radio.

 

source:-

<http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-16/cambodian-community-rallies-against-hun-sen-visit-to-sydney/9557798>

Edited by Oz Jon
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