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Cambodian Government Reacts to Senator Bill Frist's Resolution

A government high ranking official reacts right away with severe criticisms for U.S. senator Bill Frist on his resolution Wednesday submitted to the Senate floor for enactment on a number of measures about freedom, democracy and justice in Cambodia.

He appeals to Prime Minister Hun Sen's government to stop the campaign designed to violate democracy, the rule of law, and human righs.

Senator Frist also calls on the King of Cambodia to play a more active and constructive role in protecting the rights of all Cambodian citizens.

Senator Frist's statement on the floor of the U.S. Senate was made after five activists were arrested by the Cambodian government and imprisoned with criminal defamation charges against them.

Four activists were released on bail on January 17. The five activists released on bail are radio journalist Mam Sonando, union leader Rong Chhun, rights actisists Kem Sokha and Pa Nguon Teang, both with the U.S. funded Cambodian Center for Human Rights, and Community Legal Education Center's director, Yeng Virak, the first one to be released earlier.

Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith says that senator Bill Frist does not understand Cambodia's internal affairs. He says that the Cambodian government does not do what Mr. Frist accuses it of doing. He says that the Cambodian government IS the victim.

He adds that the whole world hates America, that senator Frist is ignorant, and that the American people should not vote for him any more.

Government's lawyer Suong Chantha says he has not decided whether or not to withdraw the lawsuit, but he says that he will look for measures for a compromise in the cases according to the court procedure.