PM: Monk Tim Sakhorn Is a Rabble-Rouser

Prime Minister Hun Sen has weighed in on the case of de­frocked Khmer Krom monk Tim Sakhorn, currently imprisoned in Vietnam, reiterating previous claims that the monk was attempt­ing to cause a rift between Cambodia and Vietnam.

On July 3, retired King Noro­dom Sihanouk forwarded to Hun Sen a letter from Thach Setha, executive director of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Community, asking Noro­dom Sihanouk to intervene on be­half of Tim Sakhorn.

In a letter to the retired King dated Sept 28 and received Thurs­day, Hun Sen described Tim Sa­khorn as a rabble-rouser who had used his Ta­keo province pagoda to agitate for the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Federation—a US-based group outlawed in Vietnam.

Hun Sen claimed that Tim Sak­horn distributed KKKF bulletins, many of which were meant to incite disputes between Cambodia and Vietnam. “Tim Sakhorn is stubborn and did some activities without permission such as install a flag that is similar to [KKKF] flag, and instate monks without permission and convinced other Khmer Kampuchea Krom to join the [KKKF],” the prime minister wrote.

He also reiterated an earlier claim that Tim Sakhorn had signed a document asking to be taken to Viet­nam—a scenario that rights groups and relatives vigorously dispute. Hun Sen added that the government still does not know the charges leveled against Tim Sak­horn by Vietnam.

Thach Setha said Hun Sen’s response is inadequate. “We are all sad with his re­sponse,” he said. “Tim Sakhorn is Cam­bodian: The government should support Tim Sakhorn.”

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