The ruling CPP has ordered its provincial branches to instruct civil servants and citizens to sign petitions supporting a three-hour speech by Prime Minister Hun Sen earlier this week in which he defended the government’s work demarcating Cambodia’s border with Vietnam.
The letter, dated Wednesday and stamped “secret,” orders all provincial party leaders to create petitions to support Mr. Hun Sen’s speech, which was broadcast on Tuesday.
“First, manage, inspire and advise every circle, such as civil servants, armed forces, teachers, monks, vendors, workers, farmers, students and social organizations, etc., to make petitions galore to support the statement of [Mr. Hun Sen] on Cambodia’s maps and border issues broadcast on TVK on September 8,” the letter said.
“Second, whenever [the petitions] are ready, please His Excellency, disseminate those petitions widely on various forms of media or on social media such as Facebook, and you shall make one copy to send to the cabinet of the central committee as soon as possible so that the cabinet will be able to help disseminate the petition,” it continued.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan confirmed the authenticity of the letter, signed by CPP Secretary-General Say Chhum.
“There’s nothing wrong with the party issuing an order to instruct its members because it’s a part of the party’s work structure,” he said.
Mr. Eysan said that even before the order was released, a number of CPP supporters or members had already created petitions endorsing the prime minister’s remarks.
“But we want our members to make the supporting petitions at the same time to show that our party has strong unity and follows work structure perfectly,” he said.
In his speech, which followed months of claims by the opposition CNRP that the government has been complicit in Vietnamese incursions into Cambodia, Mr. Hun Sen reiterated that criticism of the government’s border work would no longer be tolerated.
“If opposition politicians continue using the sensitive border issue for their political gain, the new thing for the resolution will be to take legal action,” he said.