Sam Rainsy’s Planned Return to Cambodia Sparks Fears of Political Violence

Political tensions are simmering in Cambodia. While most people are going about their everyday lives, there is an undercurrent of apprehension. Saturday is the day longtime opposition leader Sam Rainsy pegged as the date he planned to return to Cambodia, potentially ending nearly four years of exile.

Sitting recently in the shade of his Indian-made tuktuk, Sam Nimol was worried that things were about to get worse. The 31-year-old resident of Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district expected two scenarios: Either Sam Rainsy would come peacefully or there would be a negotiated resolution.

But if the outspoken politician is arrested, Sam Nimol worried, a confrontational situation could get violent, directly affecting people’s livelihoods.

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