Sam Rainsy

Cambodia is criminalising democracy

The sham trial of Kem Sokha, the leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), is underway in Phnom Penh. How the international community responds will send a powerful signal to Hun Sen, the world’s longest-serving prime minister, about his ability to continue to trample on Cambodia’s democracy and its people’s human rights.After Kem Sokha and I founded the CNRP, Cambodia’s first united democratic opposition party, in 2012, we quickly gained strong public support.

18 January 2020

Is pressure growing on Hun Sen?

Cambodia’s self-exiled opposition figurehead Sam Rainsy said Tuesday he had not given up on getting home after an initial bid to return was thwarted, and external pressure on strongman Hun Sen would force him to change course.Rainsy spoke to media in Malaysia after flying in at the weekend from France, where he has lived since 2015, as he sought to fulfil a vow to return home by Independence Day on Saturday.Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia since 1985, had denounced efforts by arch-rival Rainsy

13 November 2019

Kem Sokha freed from house arrest

Cambodia has freed a prominent opposition figure from house arrest more than two years after he was charged with treason, a court spokesperson told media on Sunday, after attempts by his colleagues to return to the country were thwarted.Kem Sokha was arrested in 2017 and accused of plotting to overthrow the government of strongman Hun Sen, who has ruled since 1985.He was sent to a remote prison, then confined to his house and the surrounding block and prohibited from talking to the m

11 November 2019

Exiled Cambodian opposition figurehead in Malaysia

Cambodia’s exiled opposition figurehead Sam Rainsy arrived in Malaysia Saturday as he sought to get home to rally his supporters against strongman Hun Sen, while security was ramped up at the kingdom’s borders and in Phnom Penh.Rainsy, who has lived in France since 2015 to avoid jail for convictions he says are politically motivated, had promised a dramatic return on 9 November, Cambodia’s Independence Day. But Hun Sen, who has ruled the poor Southeast Asian country since 1985, has r

10 November 2019

Cambodian opposition figures blocked from traveling

Exiled Cambodian opposition party leader Sam Rainsy was blocked in Paris on Thursday and his deputy detained in Malaysia as they tried to fly home despite arrest threats from Cambodia’s  leader Hun Sen.Both Rainsy and Mu Sochua had planned to meet up with other opposition supporters to mark Cambodia’s Independence Day on Saturday.“I am extremely shocked because the people need me in Cambodia,” Rainsy, archrival of Prime Minister Hun Sen, told journalists at Charles de Gaulle airport

8 November 2019

Thailand blocks Sam Rainsy’s Cambodia return

Thailand will not allow Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy to transit through the kingdom in a bid to return to Phnom Penh, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Wednesday.Rainsy, who has lived in France since 2015 to avoid jail for convictions he says are politically motivated, has promised a dramatic homecoming on 9 November, Cambodia's Independence Day.But Cambodia's strongman premier Hun Sen has said repeatedly that arrest warrants for his arch-rival have been sent to nei

7 November 2019

The fall and rise of Cambodia’s opposition

Nearly seven decades after Cambodia gained independence from France, its people are still struggling for the right to determine their future. But today, it is not an outside power that is stealing Cambodians’ autonomy, but their own authoritarian government, led by Hun Sen, the world’s longest-serving prime minister.

3 November 2019

Hun Sen fires arrest warning to arch-rival’s fans

Cambodia's premier Hun Sen on Wednesday threatened to arrest supporters of his nemesis Sam Rainsy if they mobilise for the opposition figurehead's much-trumpeted return from self-exile next month. Rainsy, who has lived in France since 2015 to avoid jail for convictions he insists are politically motivated, has promised a dramatic return on 9 November, Cambodia's Independence Day.Seeking to maintain his support base after years outside the country, Rainsy has urged supp

3 October 2019

The rising cost of Hun Sen’s rule in Cambodia

On 4 April, a group of international buyers’ associations from the garment, footwear, sporting, and travel goods industries sent a letter to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to express concerns over abusive labour practices and human-rights violations. Already, Cambodia’s tax-free access to the vast European Union (EU) market, granted under the EU’s Everything But Arms scheme, is in danger of being suspended over such violations.

14 April 2019

A hard test of mettle

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen recently revealed that he will be asking for a royal decree to grant permission for more than 100 senior members of the now-dissolved opposition party, Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) to re-enter politics based on “individual merit,” following a ban last year. The ban led to a controversial yet overwhelming win in the recent election on 29 July for Hun Sen and his ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP).

17 December 2018

The dangers of cornering Hun Sen

Soon after November rolled in, reports surfaced of a bet between Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen and Cambodian National Rescue Movement (CNRM) leader Sam Rainsy on the fate of former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) leader Kem Sokha, who is on bail awaiting trial on treason charges.

20 November 2018

Behind Cambodia’s new opposition movement

After the government disbanded the main opposition party, the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) last November, Cambodia’s opposition was thought to have quivered into nothingness, with no hope of a comeback. However, a resurgence is in the offing with the newly minted Cambodian National Rescue Movement (CNRM).From the get go, one thing is obvious.

24 January 2018