EU lawmakers call for political resolution in Sam Rainsy’s case

Saturday, March 20, 2010

EU MPs meet with opposition MPs at the Sam Rainsy Party headquarters (Photo: SRP)
EU MPs meeting with Cambodian MPs from all four parties represented at the National Assembly (Photo: Ly Meng Huor, RFI)

19 March 2010
By Ly Meng Huor
Radio France Internationale
Translated from Khmer by Komping Puoy
Click here to read the article in Khmer

EU lawmakers who are currently visiting Cambodia asked the government and the National Assembly led by the CPP to seek a political solution so that opposition leader Sam Rainsy can return back to Cambodia. The request was made so that Cambodia can earn more confidence from the international community.

That was the topic raised by EU MPs during a meeting forum with Cambodian MPs from the CPP, the SRP, the HRP and the Nationalist parties in the morning of 19 March 2010.

At the joint parliament forum, Ivo Belet, a member of the EU Parliament, indicated that the Cambodia government and National Assembly (NA) would receive additional confidence from the international community only for looking for a way to allow opposition leader Sam Rainsy to return back to Cambodia.

During today’s meeting with 9 EU Mps who came to visit Cambodia for 3 days, starting from 18 March, the EU lawmakers raised about the fundamental issue of democracy whereby NA committees must include opposition voices, as well as respect the freedom of expression etc… The EU lawmakers’ visit to Cambodia at this time is to seek up to date information on the various evolution of Cambodia’s politics and economics.

However, as soon as the EU MPs were done raising this issue, Sek Bun Hok, a CPP MP and deputy chairman of the NA law and justice committee, pushed the EU lawmakers to seek actual truth in Cambodia.

Sek Bun Hok pointed out that Sam Rainsy’s case is purely a legal case. Sam Rainsy committed a crime (uprooting border stakes) and violated the law, Sek Bun Hok claimed, therefore, the NA lifted his immunity and the lawsuit against Sam Rainsy is merely the application of the Cambodian law.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy who is currently in France will face arrest and jailing should he return back to Cambodia. He was sentenced by the court to 2-year of jail time for uprooting border stakes along the Cambodian-Vietnamese border.

In a separate meeting with SRP MPs in the afternoon of 18 March 2010, the EU delegates indicated that the presence of opposition leader Sam Rainsy is truly important for the upcoming 2013 general election.

However, CPP MP Cheam Yiep indicated that Cambodia does not lack Sam Rainsy nor democracy. Even without Sam Rainsy, Cambodia can still ratify laws as usual.


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