Rainsy Urges Migrants in Korea to Attend Events

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy on Friday urged Cambodians living in South Korea to attend CNRP events being held in Seoul this weekend, despite a warning from the Cambodian ambassador on Thurs­­day that people should stay away.

In a video posted to his Face­book page on Thursday, Ambas­sador Suth Dina said a “concert” or­ganized by the opposition party was simply a front for provoking racial discrimination, and warned migrant workers against attending.

“The concert preparation [is] to cover up the political ill intentions of any opposition party…and for op­position leaders to use the event to send messages to provoke racial discrimination,” Mr. Dina said.

“Therefore, as a Royal Govern­ment ambassador to the Republic of Korea, I would like to advise brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, female and male mi­grant workers, students, and citizens of both sexes: Please do not take part in, or go near the place of the political concert, or what could be called an on-site demonstration,” he said.

Mr. Dina said illegal migrant workers were most at risk, and would be returned to Cambodia immediately if caught at the event. He also noted that the migrants only had jobs in South Korea in the first place due to the efforts of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

In a video posted on Kem Sokha’s Facebook page on Friday, the deputy opposition leader stood alongside Mr. Rainsy as he urged ex­patriates to join two CNRP events in Seoul over the weekend, al­though they did not say a concert was planned.

“Please invite nieces and neph­ews who do not yet know about the meeting to join in the CNRP’s meetings scheduled for Saturday in Gimhae and Sunday in Soufun,” Mr. Rainsy said.

A 30-year-old migrant worker in South Korea, who requested ano­nymity for fear of reprisals, said the Cambodian Embassy in Seoul had informed migrant workers that they needed to renew their vi­sas at the embassy this weekend, a tactic she believed was designed to keep them away from the opposition events.

“The Cambodian officials from the Cambodian Embassy to Korea just told us to renew or extend our visas for employment this weekend, because they knew the CNRP leaders would be here in Korea this weekend,” she said, adding that the embassy is not usually open on weekends.

“Many of my friends decided to go and get new employment passports because the embassy officials said that this weekend is the deadline, so my friends cannot go to join the party meetings,” she said.

Mr. Dina hung up on a reporter when contacted yesterday.

[email protected]

Related Stories

Latest News

The Weekly DispatchA weekly newsletter from The Cambodia Daily delivering news, analysis and opinion to your inbox. Published every Friday at 11:30am. Sign up today.