Funcinpec Wants T-Shirt Probe

What’s in a party name and logo? A potential political flap. Funcinpec party officials have accused an unidentified political group of illegally printing as many as 20,000 fake Funcinpec T-shirts to create confusion and undermine party president Prince Norodom Ranariddh’s possible political comeback.

Thieng Vannarong, Funcinpec’s information officer, said party officials fear the fake T-shirts will be worn by demonstrators opposing the deposed first prime minister, especially if he returns to Cambodia. He said the fake T-shirt has the Funcinpec logo, which includes the prince’s picture, and a slogan conveying Funcinpec’s support of national interests.

Funcinpec’s genuine T-shirt has only the logo and the words “Funcinpec,” he said. “The T-shirt printing is completely illegal because we have never given permission at all,” he said.

Education Minister Tol Lah, Funcinpec’s secretary-general, has called for an investigation. An adviser to Second Prime Minister Hun Sen said last week that he doesn’t believe that non-Funcinpec people have printed T-shirts.

“Only Funcinpec people could do that,” said the adviser, who requested anonymity. Funcinpec party officials said they haven’t determined who is responsible for the shirts.

Interior co-Minister You Hockry (Fun) said last week that he couldn’t speculate about who printed the shirts.

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