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.