CPP President Appeals for End of Protests

CPP President Chea Sim called Sunday for an end to the demonstrations that have grip­ped Phnom Penh for the last three weeks.

Lamenting “the regrettable loss of lives…and injuries to demonstrators, including Bud­dhist monks,” Chea Sim blamed “some extremists” for inciting and beginning the violence of recent days.

In a rare two-page statement, he mentioned the many appeals for ne­gotiations from King Noro­dom Sihanouk, the government, the personal representative to the UN secretary-general, the international community and NGOs.

The CPP president, also chairman of the National Assembly, scolded “some politicians and Cambodian fellowmen [who] did not agree to end demonstrations.” He accused the politicians, apparently Sam Rainsy, of looking for “new poisonous means… to enlarge division among Cam­bodians.”

Chea Sim wrote the “democratic process” adopted by the opposition has gradually departed from the Constitution and “is plunging the nation into great confusion with the inevitable consequence of producing blood-letting, tear-shedding and destruction.”

In a surprising reference to the CPP-loyal supporters active in the capital on Saturday and Sun­day, Chea Sim also urged an end to “counter-demonstra­tions.”

He argued that the people’s will for democracy will not be met through marches, but only through negotiations among the leaders. The statement appealed to the people to avoid the demonstrations that “have been so un­wisely organized, motivated by hidden and dark agenda.” He did not elaborate.

Chea Sim urged “all the three distinguished leaders” to have concrete plans for negotiations and the formation of a new government. Neither Funcinpec’s Prince Norodom Ranariddh nor Sam Rainsy are named.

The CPP president warned that any further delay in endorsing the results of the election or delay in the opening session of the National Assembly “will bring pain and suffering to the innocent people of Cambodia.”


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