The director of the popular Bee-hive Radio station was turned away when he attempted to deliver donations to troops at Preah Vihear temple, he and officials said.
Mom Sonando is the latest opposition-allied figure to be denied access to the temple, where Thai and Cambodian troops have been facing off for more than seven months. Thirty-four CPP lawmakers were allowed to visit the temple and distribute donations on Feb 15, but previous opposition delegations have all been turned back.
Srey Dek, RCAF commander at the temple, said he was absent when Mom Sonando arrived and did not know about his donation. However, he said troops would not accept politically motivated gifts.
“We will receive proper donations, and we will not receive im-proper donations,” he said.
Mom Sonando—who is not affiliated with any one political party—arrived at the temple Friday even-ing with a generator, a water pump, 500 meters of electric wire and food donated by his listeners and Cam-bodians abroad, he said.
“The soldiers were happy when they saw those things, but their leaders did not allow them to re-ceive them when they found out the donation came from Mom Son-ando,” he said. The whole was worth about $1,400 and was purchased based on soldiers’ requests.
Mom Sonando said he was told that no visitors were allowed in the evening for security reasons. When he returned Saturday morning, he was again turned away, this time told that the military situation was still too tense, he said.
Mom Sonando showed up with 10 buses full of people and was turned away for security reasons, said Hang Soth, secretary-general of the Preah Vihear Authority. He cited unspecified military preparations and declined to comment further. Hang Soth also declined to explain why the CPP lawmakers were allowed to visit, but not Mom Sonando or opposition politicians.
Mom Sonando said he gave the food and equipment to a pagoda in Oddar Meanchey province’s Chup Kaki village instead.