Hun Manet, the prime minister’s eldest son and the head of the CPP’s foreign outreach committee, was again met by angry protesters during his latest trip abroad, this time to Melbourne.
Having previously faced protests during a visit to the U.S., protesters in Australia focused their ire on the July murder of political analyst Kem Ley, which many believe was a state-sponsored attack.
About 200 protesters, many wearing black T-shirts emblazoned with Kem Ley’s face and holding banners with slogans, including “Beast Go To Hell,” shouted at Lieutenant General Manet as he entered a restaurant with supporters in Melbourne.
The protest was led by Cambodian-Australian politician Hong Lim, who was banned from entering Cambodia in August for referring to the government as a “beast” during an interview. He urged CPP supporters to raise the death of the Kem Ley over dinner.
“As we all are Khmer, please, brothers and sisters who go to eat the offering, ask [Lt. Gen. Manet] who killed Kem Ley. Please answer,” he shouted to a backdrop of “Manet is a traitor” chants.
About 100 ruling party supporters held a counterdemonstration, waving banners at the restaurant’s entrance.
The prime minister’s son’s globe-trotting has proven controversial. During a visit to the U.S. earlier this year, politicians in Lowell, Massachusetts, called off meetings in the face of public pressure.
In Long Beach, California, the general was not only met by protesters, but also an attempt to serve him a subpoena. Process server Paul Hayes says that Lt. Gen. Manet’s bodyguards assaulted him as he attempted to deliver the document, and a legal case is pending.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan branded the demonstrators in Australia as “extremist.”
“It’s a democratic country, so there are multiple opinions, and as we have seen there were opponents and supporters holding two separate protests,” he said. “It’s normal to have extremist protesters as we also have supporters to…give us justice.”