Cambodia requests ASEAN’s help to nab former CNRP leader Sam Rainsy: PM

Prime Minister Hun Sen. KT/Chor Sokunthea. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

PHNOM PENH, Sep 15, 2019, Khmer Times. Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday said the government will request all Asean member countries to arrest and extradite former CNRP leader Sam Rainsy and his supporters if they enter their territories. His call, made during a joint press conference with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith at Peace Palace, comes following reports that Mr Rainsy was spotted in Singapore and Malaysia last month, reported the Khmer Times.

“Someone has said that [opposition group] will use Laos’ territory in order to enter Cambodia,” Mr Hun Sen said. “I want His excellency Prime Minister [Mr Sisolith] to clarify to them about Asean and Laos’ principle that does not allow the use of Laotian territory against Cambodia or against any neighbouring countries.”

He added that the government will also send the copies of the Kingdom’s court arrest warrants against Mr Rainsy and his accomplices to all Asean member states.

“I would also like to clarify that not only Laos, but also the Thai government have already received copies of the arrest warrant. We will send copies to other Asean countries,” Mr Hun Sen noted.

In response, Mr Sisolith said the Lao government will not allow any Cambodian “convict” to pass through Lao territory.

“I would like to say that any convict of any nationality is banned from crossing Laos to destroy other countries. We ensure that such cases will not happen,” he said. “Cambodia is our friend; saying that Laos will provide a site for them to cross is not true and is aimed at destroying Cambodia-Laos relations.”

The court-dissolved CNRP has announced that Mr Rainsy will return to the Kingdom on November 9. He has been vowing to return in what he claims is a bid to restore democracy and human rights in the country.

In March, Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued multiple arrest warrants against Mr Rainsy and seven other people charged with conspiracy to treason and incitement.

The seven are Eng Chhai Eang, Mu Sochua, Ou Chanrith, Ho Vann, Long Ry, Men Sothavrin and Tok Vanchan.

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