Sam Rainsy: PM’s VN Deal Unacceptable

Rekindling the contentious is­sue of Cambodia’s disputed borders with Vietnam and breathing new life into the border agreement controversy that prompted Prime Minister Hun Sen to jail sev­eral critics late last year and early this year, Sam Rainsy on Sunday said he did not recognize the prime minister’s border agreement with Cambodia’s neighbor.

Sam Rainsy, leader of the party that bears his name, made his comments following a Buddhist ceremony in Doung village, located in Svay Rieng province’s Ro­meas Hek district, where several Cam­­bo­dian homes are situated on un­demarcated border land claimed by Vietnam and Cambo­dia.

“I believe that villagers have lost their lands,” Sam Rainsy said by telephone from Doung village.

“SRP has not supported the sup­plemental treaty,” he said, add­ing that he did not recognize the agreement reached between Hun Sen and the Vietnamese gov­ern­ment that was later ratified by the National Assembly and sign­ed by King Norodom Siha­mo­ni.

Sam Rainsy added that King Si­hamoni had no option but to sign the treaty in December. “The King has no power” to oppose it, he said.

Senior CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said that Sam Rainsy’s comments were made for purely political reasons.

“He wants to increase his own popularity,” Cheam Yeap said.

Once the government finishes in­stalling boundary marks be­tween Cambodia and Vietnam in 2008, no one will complain, he add­­ed.

When he returned from negotiating the border agreement in Vi­et­nam on Oct 12, Hun Sen threatened to sue anyone who dared to criticize the deal. Several leading ac­tivists were arrested for making comments critical of the deal, which the prime minister branded as defamatory.

Sam Rainsy, who had been out of Cambodia for more than a year, during which time he was found guilty of another in­stance of de­faming the prime min­ister, re­turned in early Feb­ruary after reaching a deal with Hun Sen.



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