Self-exiled Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who had promised to return Saturday to Cambodia from Paris to mark the country’s 66th Independence Day, landed in Malaysia Saturday, but he did not return to Cambodia, after months of speculation and escalating tensions here.
Rainsy, the acting president of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, had said he would return to restore democracy in the country. He had called on Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand to join him during his planned crossing of the border from Thailand to Cambodia. The Thai government, however, has indicated it is unlikely to let Rainsy even into Thailand on “national security” concerns.
Shortly after his announcement, tensions escalated in the country, with many opposition supporters either arrested or seemingly pressured to “confess” to crimes or to openly denounce the CNRP.