We have been promised that, on November 9, Sam Rainsy and the other exiled, senior leaders of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) – the main opposition party that was forcibly dissolved in late 2017 – will make a climatic return to Cambodia.
On October 22, Sam Rainsy, the party’s acting-president, again appealed to Cambodians living in Thailand to join him in a non-violent march across the border, which, he hopes, will force Prime Minister Hun Sen either back to the negotiating table or to step down. And their heroic return will see the liberation of Kem Sokha, the party’s president, who has been detained on treason charges since September 2017, he reckons.
But things haven’t started too well. Mu Sochua, a CNRP deputy president, was turned away from entering Thailand in late October. Bangkok was clearly trying to avoid an international censure; by turning Mu Sochua away, it didn’t have to face of the question of whether it would arrest her on behalf of the Cambodian government.