After Sam Rainsy, exiled president of the leading party of the Cambodian democratic opposition (Cambodia National Rescue Party, CNRP) and honorary president of the Radical Party, announced his intention to return to Cambodia on Independence Day, the 9th of November, the 34-year-old government led by the former Khmer Rouge Hun Sen set into motion its resources instructing every lawyer, policeman and military man to neutralize the ex-president’s plan. In light of the politically motivated convictions carried out in the nation on several occasions, with accusations ranging from treason to defamation, Rainsy risks an immediate arrest as soon as he crosses the border. Through this initiative, the Cambodian leader wants to regain a dialogue and have a reconciliation with the oppressive regime which is now gravitating under the Chinese sphere of influence, having recently reached and even closer commercial and political-military relationship with Beijing.
Currently 28 people, including former local elected representatives of the CNRP and simple supporters of the opposition, are in detention for having publicly demonstrated, also through social networks, in favour of the CNRP or the return of Sam Rainsy to Cambodia. For this reason, it is necessary to propose a new non-violent dialogue to the Prime Minister Hun Sen and to give Cambodia a new chance to start a reconciliation process, all of this in the framework of the international treaties that commit the Phnom Penh government to respect the democratic rule of law. First and foremost, the 1991 Paris Peace Accords that ended the civil war and traced the path that led to the adoption of a democratic Constitution. This is the beacon that should guide Cambodia and the other countries of these Agreements and the principle that Rainsy wants to reactivate by putting at risk his freedom and his safety by returning to Cambodia on the 9th of November.
This is why we will be at Sam Rainsy’ side, with the Radical Party and with the highest possible number of parliamentary colleagues from different countries, when the leaders of the democratic opposition will present themselves on the Cambodian border. Escorting Rainsy on the 9th of November means escorting democracy and the rule of law giving it the chance to reach the heart of this tormented and too often forgotten South East Asian country.
Senator elected with the Democratic Party (PD), member of the General Council of the Radical Party
Secretary of the GCRL, member of the General Council of the Radical Party
Traduzione: Asia Jane Leigh