Sam Rainsy to all Cambodians: The major national issues are borders and Yuon immigrants

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy (Photo: Sovannara, RFI)

27 July 2010
By Pech Bandol
Free Press Magazine Online

Translated from Khmer by Heng Soy
Click here to read the article in Khmer

In response to questions asked by Cambodians living throughout the world, including those who live in the American continent and in Europe (Austria, Finland, France, Norway), opposition leader Sam Rainsy – who is currently living in self-exile – told them that Cambodia is currently at the edge of a dangerous abyss due to border problems with Vietnam, as well as due to the illegal Viet immigrants.

You Saravuth, the former editor-in-chief of the pro-opposition Sralanh Khmer newspaper who had to flee Cambodia in 2006 stemming from a lawsuit initiated by Hun Xen’s nephew and who is currently living in Norway, indicated that during the video-conference meeting with Sam Rainsy on 25 July, the latter responded to numerous questions filed by overseas Cambodians on his personal situation, as well as the situation faced by Cambodia vis-à-vis her neighbors.

According to You Saravuth, Sam Rainsy discussed about his personal situation with the audience, including the restriction of freedom rights on regular citizens and opposition MPs by the government, the use of the court system to serve the interest of the rich and powerful so that these people can violate human rights and democracy. Sam Rainsy said that he is struggling to resolve these hot issues with the International communities, in particular with countries that are signatories to the 1991 Paris Peace Agreement on Cambodia.

Regarding the border issue, the situation is tense due to the encroachments from neighboring countries, in particular along the eastern borders with Vietnam. Because the Yuon government knows that the Phnom Penh regime is its puppet, the encroachments are still taking place. Cambodian territories where blatant encroachments can be observed are found in Svay Rieng, Takeo and Kanpong Cham provinces. Because the villagers dare to rise up to protest against the loss of their rice fields, Hun Xen’s regime went on to send them to jail, such was the case of Mr. Prum Chea and Mrs. Meas Srey. This situation creates fear among several Cambodian villagers living along the border who no longer dare to protest even though they know that the Yuons are encroaching on their rice fields, their only source of income. Sam Rainsy said that, up to now, he collected numerous map documents and testimonials which indicated that the Yuon indeed encroached on Cambodian territories through a blind eye by the Phnom Penh regime.

Regarding the illegal flow of Yuon immigrants to Cambodia, this is also a dangerous problem for Cambodia. Currently, there are more than 3 million Yuons living illegally in Cambodia. These Yuon communities receive close attention and support from the Yuon leaders, and they also being spoiled by the Phnom Penh regime as well.

This situation brings shame and major losses to the Cambodian interest, it is an act of national treason, of betrayal of the Cambodian people by the ruling CPP party. According to Sam Rainsy, the resolution of these problems can only be done through unity of the Cambodian people, the rightful owners of the country, and through an election change to salvage the country.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy left Cambodia in 2009 following the uprooting of border stakes along the Yuon border. These stakes were planted as part of Yuon encroachments on rice fields belonging to Cambodian farmers in Koh Kban Kandal village, Samrong commune, Chantrea district, Svay Rieng province. Because of this case, Sam Rainsy was sentenced in absentia by the Svay Rieng provincial court to 2-year of jail time in January 2010.

Regarding his return to Cambodia, opposition leader Sam Rainsy told overseas Cambodians that it will depend on the resolution from the International community and he hoped that democratic countries in the world will not allow Hun Xen to go on with his misdeeds.


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