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Hun Sen Accuses Sam Rainsy of Serving Foreign Interests

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen smokes during an inauguration in Kandal province.
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen smokes during an inauguration in Kandal province.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has warned the opposition party not to personalize a conflict against him and accused its leader of serving Thailand's interest.

The accusation came after 26 Sam Rainsy lawmakers filed a petition last week to summon the premier to explain on the alleged military training to Thai red shirt protesters inside Cambodia.

“Do not turn it into a conflict with Hun Sen,” Hun Sen said on Monday at a public forum. “[You] have a problem with the law. It’s a legal matter, but [you] have tried to turn it into a dispute against me.”

Sam Rainsy has been sentenced to 12 years in jail on charges of falsifying public documents, disinformation and destruction of border markers in Svay Rieng province.

“I never take a personal issue as a big one,” Sam Rainsy told VOA Khmer by phone from France. “I only file complaints against the Vietnamese in order to protect Cambodian territorial integrity. Cambodian people have fallen victims to the culture of impunity in the past 20 or 30 years. The powerful have a bad habit of killing people at will. I must work to end this impunity for the sake of people’s peace.”

Sam Rainsy announced last Saturday through a video conference to his supporters that he had filed complaints to the courts in the US, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands -- alleging Hun Sen of collusion in a number of violent incidents in Cambodia.

Sam Rainsy accused Hun Sen of being responsible for the 1997 grenade attack on the opposition rally; extrajudicial killings in the aftermath of the 1997 coup against it coalition partner Funcinpec; the killings of non-violent demonstrators and monks in 1998; and atrocities against civilians along the border during the civil war in the 1980s.

In September Sam Rainsy launched a campaign to mobilize international support to pressure the Cambodian government to bring him back into the country. But Hun Sen insists that the opposition leader must at least serve two third of his punishment.