On 12 November 2015, Samdech Techo Hun Sen issued a verbal clarification on response to destructive attack on culture of dialogue by opposition leader. CNV has made a selected English translation and published here followed:
Esteemed Buddhist monks, compatriots,
As you already have known, last night I had been forced to respond immediately to leader of opposition party who incited grave insult on ruling party, the Royal Government, and me personally. It was like a drop of water that spilled water from the glass. After I posted my response on my Facebook account, there has been reaction from leader of the opposition party, HE Sam Rainsy, son of a traitor. He said, “he apologized if he brought suffering on anyone” but he also added words “politicians must have morality.” His junior staff posted certain things on Facebook too. I would like to take this opportune moment to have your attention in looking back to the beginning of the issue.
In an electoral campaign in 2008, Sam Rainsy himself went to local communities, when he pointed to pictures of three dignitaries – Samdech Chea Sim, Samdech Heng Samrin and me saying “”the three are thieves who sold out the country and the one in the middle is the worst.” I was that one. I wish to pose a question to HE Sam Rainsy and those blamed me for using impolite words whether insulting us, Samdech Chea Sim and Samdech Heng Samrin, who are old enough to be his fathers, included, as thieves selling the country were words of political morality?
Apologies from HE Sam Rainsy
What else did Sam Rainsy do to me? I do not want the problem to arise. However, I must share the truth so you understand that I have come to a point that reserving him anymore understanding is impossible. Here is the letter that Sam Rainsy wrote to me in 2006. At that time, he asked me for an apology on various things he did wrong to me. I may read this part of the letter for you – on 30 June 1997, in front of the National Assembly, accusing Samdech Prime Minister to have attempted lives … and others, etc. From this time on, I would change my attitude to end all problems and avoid such problems from happening […] This letter conveyed his apology in 1996. He wrote letter to offer his apologies one after the other and here is the one on 29 October 2015.
Last night I posted it for information to Buddhist monks and people. In the same day, about two hours later, I sent him a note of thanks. From 29 October 2015 through to 10 and 11 November, it was a short span of time from when HE Sam Rainsy presented me his apology should he had made any mistake to reopening attack on me. I have come to a consideration that it was a drop of water that spilled the rest in the glass.
Son of Traitor Sam Sari
I have the need to uncover and call him clearly son of the traitor of the country. I may ask everyone, HE Sam Rainsy himself included, not to blame me for using such nasty term. If you need to do so, you may accuse Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk as the matter occurred in the past. Fresh News will circulate writings by Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk in the Cheat Niyum Press (Nationalism) issue 1, 2 and 3, in which he described treacherous acts of Sam Sari. There were also letters exchanged on abnormal actions of Sam Sari with his second wife in the UK and for which he was sued for abuse on woman … In the past, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there was a section called Sam Sari Affair. I would not dare call Sam Sari “HE traitor” or “Sam Sari the patriot.” HE Sam Rainsy should be clear that were there no rehabilitation for his father from anyone supreme institution, you will go on to be son of a traitor. Your Excellency called me a traitor, insulted me and other leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party to have sold land to foreign countries or be foreign puppets. However, let me share with you that neither me nor any other leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party have fathers of such disgrace. For me, these terms are hard to listen to in this modern time, but I have no right to change history.
Cannot Put Blame on Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk
HE Sam Rainsy and his supporters should in fact reserve me justice. They talk moral but they abuse me and other leaders. I just say it after what was written by Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk. I did not create the word “Sam Sari the traitor.” I hope Your Excellency would be a leaf that flies away from the tree. Do not do what your father did. For it is in your blood, using rude and immoral terms on me and other leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party, you have no hesitation. Excellency, you may remember that from now on, if there were no rehabilitation for your late father, your late father will go on to be Sam Sari the traitor and he is your father.
… To rehabilitate your father’s reputation from being a traitor, I would have to lay the blame on Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk. I could not do that. Therefore, history of this leader turned traitor is the truth to stay. You called me a traitor, Samdech Chea Sim and Samdech Heng Samrin thieves who sold the nation … was that a moral of yours? You compared me to Gaddafi. You mentioned while applying dialogue culture that to catch a thief there is a need to get close to one. Was it moral of politicians? You may want to give me a clear answer and appropriate dissertation … We all are getting old and should know how to speak correctly with and respect one another.
CPP Afraid of Elections Loss
… Lately, Your Excellency said in reversal that the Cambodian People’s Party is afraid of losing the elections to have no courage to organize one and to destroy it even. I should remind Your Excellency about a visit in 2013 of a delegation of ICAPP led by current Vice President of Indonesia and former Speaker of the Philippines to see you at your headquarters. You told them “to join the elections but not recognize the result of the elections.” ICAPP then asked what if you were to win the elections. It is not the first time that you used that language. Now it is not even time for elections yet, you already agitated people in the country and in foreign countries that the Cambodian People’s Party is aware of its loss and would not want to have an election. You had better have your evidence or you could be offended for making false accusation. I will review legal way and please do not blame me if law demands action on you.
I myself have sought assistance from Japan, Australia, and EU on electoral reform. We did the job together with regard to putting together an electoral mechanism and amendment of the Constitution. We are now putting into practice the process of registration using new identification cards. Why do we do that? It is a requirement for communal/sangkat elections in mid of 2017 and national elections in 2018. I wish you were careful in making statement that infringes upon the ruling party and the Royal Government. We may take legal action should you go on abusing it repeatedly. You once fled the country. With your request for forgiveness, I already forgave you twice. If necessary, should you continue quit such act, legal mechanism will not forgive you.
Appropriating Election Victory of Myanmar Opposition
… Victory of the opposition party in Myanmar is worth praising. We congratulate the smooth elections though there was violence in the campaigning period. However, you must remember that Myanmar never has elections in 25 years. It is the first contested by many parties. In Cambodia, we had five elections already. You should understand the difference. Myanmar and Cambodia are not similar. In Myanmar, they reserve 25% of seats in the parliament for military. In Cambodia, we reserve no quota for anyone. All must contest democratically.
… Why did you appropriate victory of Ms Aung San Sukyi as yours in Cambodia? I do not understand. Previously, you appropriated some victories of color revolutions in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and lastly Ukraine, while claiming that people’s power was close to be in Cambodia. You always made use of toppling in countries in Middle East and Europe for political revolution in Cambodia. However, when things in those countries turned out to be bloodshed and war, you seemed to stay quiet. Nonetheless, you have appropriated victory of Aung San Sukyi as your own and appealed to international community to help you with transfer of power in 2018. Do you hope to win? It is a daydream.
Right Vs Right
… Let me affirm that your case has not yet closed. You mobilized workers to join demonstrations, inflicted violence causing death, damages of property – people’s and those of the state. You, HE Kem Sokha and others have yet to answer to all these. I am not threatening. It is a legal matter. You talk of impunity but you are abusing it … I hope your supporters and you are watching this clarification. When you talk to me about moral, do you have enough to share? I repeated what was said, by Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, and documented over fifty years ago about Sam Sari the traitor. Words that you call us “the three thieves” came out of your mouth. I wish you did not dream of seeking a pardon anymore.
… As Prime Minister, I would not want to speak like this. I wanted peace, political stability, security, social order that is foundation of socio-economic development and poverty alleviation. The opposition party always looks for gain from political instability and wishes for political instability by means of instigating anger in me and/or inciting so and so problems, for instance demonstrations in New York and Paris. I said it clearly if there was no demonstration organized by the opposition parties in New York and Paris, there would not be demonstration in Phnom Penh. It is equal political right. I appeal to supporters of the Cambodian People’s Party, the Royal Government to be prepared to respond to ill actions of the opposition and their supporters. It is not inciting ants to fight but applying right versus right, law versus offense and armed forces against act of overthrowing. It is way for power management … I would seek understanding from our compatriots for the need to make this clarification in addition to what I already posted in writing last night./.