US Congressman Calls for Hun Sen’s Resignation
By | January 7, 2014

The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs condemned Friday’s violence in Cambodia when military police shot dead five protesters, and called for Prime Minister Hun Sen to step down.

“Hun Sen has brought Cambodia to the brink,” Republican congressman Ed Royce said in a statement posted to the committee’s website on Sunday.

“No longer content to marginalize the opposition, the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) is now killing peaceful protesters, and has issued warrants for both Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha, both who have been forced into hiding because of the CPP’s crackdown,” he wrote.

“It’s time for Hun Sen to end his three-decade grip on power and step down. The people of Cambodia deserve better,” said Mr. Royce, whose district covers part of Long Beach, California, home to the largest Cambodian population in the US.

While Mr. Rainsy and Mr. Sokha have been summoned to appear in court on January 14, on allegations of inciting protests, warrants for their arrest have not been issued, contrary to the congressman’s claims. Also, Friday’s protests on Veng Sreng Streets were not peaceful, and involved dozens of youths throwing stones and crudely-made Molotov cocktails at the military police, who responded with live rounds killing five demonstrators.

It is not the first time Mr. Royce has voiced his support for the opposition CNRP. At a CNRP fundraiser in the U.S. attended by the party’s Vice President Kem Sokha in December, Mr. Royce also called for Mr. Hun Sen to step down, citing land grabs, corruption and fraud in the July 28 election.

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a statement Monday saying that France was following the situation in Cambodia closely.

“[France] deplores the violence which resulted in the death of several persons and reiterates its commitment to the freedom of peaceful demonstration,” the ministry said.

“It is essential that political dialogue can resume quickly in order for the different parties to work together for the proper functioning of the institutions, in a spirit of calm and restraint.”

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It’s dinnertime at My Furry Place. Dogs of all shapes and sizes follow the whiff of brown rice and beef liver into the kitchen of Elma Placido, the owner of this pet sitting business in Phnom Penh. In an adjacent room, about eight cats are perched on any bit of furniture they can find.

One man was killed and two were seriously injured in Kandal province on Tuesday night after a fight broke out during a Khmer New Year party at a local pagoda, police and local officials said.

Along Phnom Penh’s industry-heavy Veng Sreng Street on Wednesday, garment factories lay idle in observance of Khmer New Year. The dorms around them were empty, save for the few workers who could not afford the bus ticket home for the holiday, which ended Wednesday.

Thirty-nine years after the Khmer Rouge took power on April 17, 1975, tribute is being paid afresh to survivors and victims of the regime with a new series of exhibitions planned at Phnom Penh’s Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former Khmer Rouge prison.

Security guards at the center of a yearlong land dispute between families in Phnom Penh’s Boeng Kak community and the Khun Sear Import Export Company on Wednesday accused the families of attacking them during a late-night Khmer New Year drinking party.

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