Freedom Fighters Blamed for Leaflet Drop

Officials are blaming an ob­scure group of Cambodian expatriates for leaflets found scattered in five districts in Phnom Penh Wednes­day morning that call for an uprising against the government. 

More than 200 leaflets allegedly produced by the Cambodian Freedom Fighters, an anti-communist Cambodian group based in the US, were found by police around 5 am in Prampi Makara, Tuol Kok, Daun Penh, Mean­chey and Chamkar Mon districts, Seng Vanna, chief of staff at municipal police headquarters, said Thursday.

Yim Symony, Prampi Makara district police chief, said officers quickly collected the leaflets, which accused the government of being a Vietnam­ese communist puppet-regime and told people to rise up against it.

The leaflets carried the name of the Cambodian Freedom Fighters and bore the group’s insignia—crossed US and Cam­bo­dian flags. They were distributed at Wat Phnom, Chbar Am­pou market, and near the Olym­pic Market.

According to Yim Symony, the anti-government literature was signed by the group’s Cam­bodian-American leader, Chhun Yasith, a former member of the Sam Rainsy Party.

“Although we know clearly whose name is on the leaflets, our police need to investigate this matter more,” Yim Symony said.

Opposition party leader Sam Rainsy said he knows nothing about the leaflets. “I had nothing whatever to do with that,” he said. “It is totally contrary to my philosophy.”

The discovery of the leaflets comes after an investigation launched last week into the Freedom Fight­ers’ activities in the former Khmer Rouge stronghold of Pai­lin. Authorities say the group is responsible for allegedly firing a B-40 rocket Oct 17 onto the grounds of the home of Pailin Governor Y Chhien, a former Khmer Rouge commander.

Chea Chandin, Pailin’s deputy police chief and Ieng Vuth, first deputy governor, said last week that the attack came five days after the discovery of a document by the Freedom Fighters that warned something was about to happen in Pailin.

Sou Sameth, deputy military commander for Military Region 5 in charge of Samlot district in Battambang province, said last Friday that around 10 former Khmer Rouge soldiers were found some weeks ago with propaganda from the Cambodian Freedom Fighters. However, former Khmer Rouge officials in neighboring Malai district in Banteay Mean­chey province said Monday the Pailin attack had no political motives.

(Additional reporting by Kevin Doyle and Jody McPhillips)



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