CNRP Plans to Summon Hun Sen for Questioning

CNRP lawmaker Um Sam An, who has helped lead the opposition’s recent campaign to reveal Vietnamese incursions into Cambodian territory, said Tuesday that he plans to summon Prime Minister Hun Sen to the National Assembly for questioning over the issue when sittings resume next month.

Along with fellow CNRP lawmaker Mao Monyvann, Mr. Sam An has for the past month led trips to areas along Cambodia’s eastern border in Tbong Khmum, Ratanakkiri and Svay Rieng provinces where villagers say Vietnamese soldiers and civilians have encroached on their land.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy has said the trips are part of an effort to have the controversial 2005 supplemental border treaty with Vietnam re-examined, and the CNRP has been pushing for the release of the maps the government uses in enacting that treaty.

Following the government’s refusals to release the maps, Mr. Sam An said the party has no choice but to summon Mr. Hun Sen—along with Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and border committee chairman Var Kimhong—to come before a full session of the National Assembly.

“We have requested the government give us the map but the government has repeatedly denied us, and there is no clear answer regarding the border issues, which we cannot accept,” said Mr. Sam An, who as a student leader in 2005 protested against the border treaty with Vietnam.

“The reason for our plan to summon them is because, firstly, they declined to give us those maps and, secondly, because Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday sent me some answers that did not address my concerns,” he added.

Mr. Sam An said that he would ask the government leaders to reveal the names of two villages traded to Vietnam to allow Cambodia to retain the village in Kompong Cham province that National Assembly President Heng Samrin calls home.

“[Mr. Hun Sen] did not tell me the names of the villages and their locations and just stated that he already explained it in the National Assembly in 2012, but at that time he didn’t name the villages that were swapped,” he said.

Mr. Sam An said it was impossible—according to his copy of the 1952 map that the government says it uses as the basis for land swaps and demarcation with Vietnam—for Mr. Samrin’s village to have been inside Vietnam, and thus to have required such a swap.

National Assembly spokesman Chheang Vun said the Assembly’s standing committee would meet next week—following Friday’s funeral proceedings for late CPP and Senate President Chea Sim—to schedule next month’s agenda for sittings.

According to the 2005 treaty with Vietnam, Mr. Kimhong, Cambodia’s head of the joint border committee, has the prerogative to negotiate changes to the 1952 border where a strict adherence to the line would require the forced relocation of existing Cambodian or Vietnamese communities. Yet the opposition has accused the border committee of frequently cutting Cambodian communities into Vietnam in its talks, or otherwise being too amenable to ceding territory.

Mr. Kimhong declined to comment on the border issues Tuesday but indicated he may honor a summons to the National Assembly. “I’m busy at a meeting right now but I will wait to see their letter of summons,” he said.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan provided a similar answer regarding the likelihood of Mr. Hun Sen and Mr. Namhong, who are themselves members of the National Assembly, answering questions in parliament about the border.

“It’s fine if they do it in accordance with the National Assembly’s internal rules and the Constitution,” Mr. Eysan said. “If they don’t comply with the law, it will be impossible.”

Yet Mr. Eysan also challenged Mr. Sam An and Mr. Monyvann to provide their maps to the government first.

“The government has done the [border] work correctly. And for the matters of them accusing the government of using a fake or incorrect map, we want them to show us the real one, so then we can verify it,” Mr. Eysan said.

In his letter to Mr. Sam An on Friday, Mr. Hun Sen denied the government had ever knowingly swapped land to Vietnam that was being lived on by Cambodians.

“The government has no principle to take the villages, farmland and residential villages being occupied and cultivated by Cambodian citizens to give to Vietnam,” the prime minister wrote.

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