CPP officials reacted strongly Tuesday to Sam Rainsy’s venomous anti-government rhetoric, but said they won’t fall into the “trap” of responding to it with violence.
The officials also said that the Sam Rainsy-led demonstration obviously is breaking the law by continuing its demonstration without authorization, but that the government would be cautious in taking action.
They added there is a certain irony that the alleged democracy lover now is conducting himself with little regard to the democratic principle of respecting the will of the people.
“He is trying to turn the demonstration to protest the election to an open appeal to overthrow the government,” CPP spokesman Khieu Kanharith said. “Sam Rainsy is expecting to create some violence that would disrupt the government and the country and get [support] from the international community. That’s why we don’t fall into the trap.”
Tea Banh, co-minister of Defense, echoed that sentiment. “Let Rainsy do the demonstration and let him do it forever, but we’re not going to get sick or get a headache over it,” he said.
“People already know who loves the nation,” Tea Banh added. “Rainsy is not a real democracy man. If he was, he wouldn’t do this to make trouble in the society. I am very sorry to see a person like him who claims he knows democracy and says he is a nation lover but instead he devastates democracy by not respecting the will of the people.”
That statement refers to the CPP winning an election that the UN Joint International Observer Group deemed sufficiently credible to reflect the will of the people. Sam Rainsy is claiming the CPP won at the July 26 polls because of pre-election intimidation and electoral fraud.
Sar Kheng, co-minister of the Interior, said Tuesday he was discussing ways to end the opposition’s sit-in, but also maintained he doesn’t want violence.
“If something happens, they will always blame the government,” Sar Kheng said. “We support democracy and the right to express one’s opinion. But some people boast of respecting democracy but then act against it,” he said, in reference to Sam Rainsy’s tactics.
Sar Kheng also noted that the international community deemed the election sufficiently free and fair, and that the loser now should wish the winner well. “We should focus on people who are facing the food shortage in various provinces. It’s profitless to hold the demonstration.”
Ke Kim Yan, RCAF chief of general staff, said soldiers and military officials are banned from joining the demonstration. He said that any soldier seen violating the order will be demoted.