A US politician has asked the US Embassy in Bangkok to issue a tourist visa to Nhiek Bun Chhay so the resistance commander can travel to the US.
In a March 9 letter, US Congressman Dana Rohrbacher stated the reason for Nhiek Bun Chhay’s visit was to “meet with members of Congress regarding the current situation in Cambodia.”
According to the visa request, the Cambodian-American Coalition for Democracy would pay for the general’s round-trip air ticket and all expenses. Rohrbacher did not say how long Nhiek Bun Chhay would stay in the US.
The California lawmaker is an outspoken critic of the Cambodian government. In February, he asked the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific to suspend Cambodia’s Most Favored Nation trading status because of drug trafficking and the events of July 5 and 6.
This month, the Phnom Penh Military Court sentenced Nhiek Bun Chhay to 24 years for illegally buying and transporting weapons and colluding with the outlawed Khmer Rouge. Formerly first deputy chief of RCAF general staff, he has been leading resistance forces on the Thai border since early July.