CNRP’s Sunday ‘tsunami’

Sun, 22 December 2013
Meas Sokchea and Daniel Pye
The Phnom Penh Post

An estimated 100,000 plus opposition supporters take to the streets on Sunday demanding Prime Minister Hun Sen resign and call fresh elections. Hong Menea

An estimated 100,000 plus opposition supporters take to the streets on Sunday demanding Prime Minister Hun Sen resign and call fresh elections. Hong Menea


A crowd of more than 100,000 demonstrators took to Phnom Penh’s streets yesterday, calling for new elections or the resignation of Prime Minister Hun Sen in the biggest outpouring of support for the Cambodia National Rescue Party since opposition leader Sam Rainsy returned from self-imposed exile in July.

“We will not stop the protests if our demands are not met,” CNRP vice president Kem Sokha told the crowd at Freedom Park before the march. “I would like to appeal to all of you to stick to nonviolence during the rally.”

Estimates of the size of the crowd varied widely, with Rainsy writing on his Facebook page that “about 500,000” people had joined the march. “A political tsunami has started in Cambodia,” Rainsy told supporters before the rally began.

Even the government, which usually provides conservative figures of attendance at opposition protests, recognised the scale of yesterday’s demonstration.

Long Dimanche, Phnom Penh Municipality spokesman, said he estimated that about 100,000 people took part in the march.

“We are watching the people who are joining the rally. We estimate about 100,000 people joined the demonstration, not 500,000 as the CNRP has claimed,” he said, adding that the “inflated” figure of 500,000 included mostly bystanders and people stuck in the traffic.

Rally-goers were in high spirits as they left Freedom Park at about 2:45pm and headed south along the arterial Monivong Boulevard.

An opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party supporter eggs on the crowd as an estimated 100,000 plus people march through Phnom Penh
An opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party supporter eggs on the crowd as an estimated 100,000 plus people march through Phnom Penh at a demonstration on Sunday.

After more than an hour spent at a standstill, the march continued, turning right onto Mao Tse Toung Boulevard, then north past Olympic Stadium and back to the park.

In a good-humoured jab at the powers that be, one demonstrator dressed as Santa Claus held aloft a placard comparing Prime Minister Hun Sen to a Christmas turkey.

“I want to wish Hun Sen to have a Merry Christmas and step down,” he said.

A significant contingent of monks, increasingly visible at post-election rallies, joined yesterday’s demonstration. The monks have been warned repeatedly by Cambodia’s Great Supreme Patriarch Tep Vong that taking part in the rallies could lead to defrocking.

Rainsy raised the issue of monks becoming politicised after the rally yesterday evening.

“I have received information that the authorities plan to ill-treat monks, because they are concerned that the monks will protest at every pagoda,” he claimed.

The CNRP has said it plans to block several major roads into the capital as part of the daily protests, which enter their ninth day today, and the temporary blockage of one of the city’s main thoroughfares came under fire from the authorities yesterday.

“The road users were held hostage,” City Hall’s Dimanche said. “We understand they [protesters] have the right to exercise their freedom, but they are violating others’ rights.”

National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith said that while it was the right of people to demonstrate, if public order was affected, armed police may be forced to intervene.

“Holding peaceful demonstrations is the right of people stated in the law,” he said. “But if the demonstrations seriously affect public order and security…it will be necessary to take action to guarantee social stability.”

Thousands of Cambodia National Rescue Party supporters fill Freedom Park during a demonstration in Phnom Penh
Thousands of Cambodia National Rescue Party supporters fill Freedom Park during a demonstration in Phnom Penh.

The opposition maintains that protests will continue daily until a new election is called or Hun Sen steps down. But in an address to the nation on Friday, the Cambodian People’s Party leader dismissed calls for his resignation.

“I would like to confirm that there will be no new election, because no one can dissolve parliament,” he said in the speech, adding that he had “done nothing wrong” and therefore did not need to resign.

He also slammed the CNRP decision to block roads in the capital.

“[Blocking roads] does not affect the royal government, or institutions of the state; it affects people; it is an illegal act,” he said. “Blocking of roads is the blocking of our blood. The royal government has remained calm to respect the rights of people to hold peaceful demonstrations. But the government will not agree with any…illegal act.”

Kem Sokha responded to Hun Sen’s speech after yesterday’s rally.

“[Hun Sen] said that he has not done anything wrong. If he says this, come to meet with people here [at Freedom Park] so that people can tell him about his mistakes.”
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY KHOUTH SOPHAK CHAKRYA

Copyright © 2013 The Phnom Penh Post. All Rights Reserved.Web design by IConsulting


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18 Responses to "CNRP’s Sunday ‘tsunami’"

  1. Terminator III says:

    It is time to step down, Mr. dictator ! There is nothing greater than the peole’s political potential.

  2. Terminator III says:

    This is very impressive, our people are in the high spirit of forcing a long time dictator out of the power.

  3. Terminator III says:

    This time, if any violent crackdown really happen to the demonstrators, our people will not hesitate to fight back. Just wait and see ! Government forces deserve the rights to use fire arms against the people, we are the people also deserve the rights to pick up arms and fight back.

  4. បរិមី ព្រ:វិហារ says:

    There is no need to use armed forces, CPP has very strong civilians to force yours! You said that you reserve your right to pick up arms to fight back, this means you and your team is ready and prepare to not persuade this cause base on the democratical right, however you wish to arm and fight, this means that you are going to meet the Waterloo. CPP will welcome you and your team on any game which you want to choose and compete.
    We can see how Sam Ransy is a lier, in his facebook said that there was a half million people join the demonstration on Sunday while experts said around 40,000 to 50,0000 people only, this is a big lier and cheating outside world.

  5. Phoung Tran says:

    The CNRP will end its protest soon and its leaders will be arrested for violating the LAWS!!! Hahahahahahhaha……………………

  6. Anonymous says:

    Arm force under PM , they back to point PM step down in his power.
    They work hard to protect the country and get less salary. Now, all they know Nepotism and Corruption and destroy rainforests……….more than 30 years in PM regime most people poorer and poorer , they’ll him to step down soon.

  7. 123456 says:

    This is just a vapor!

  8. United Khmer says:

    Big round of the applause to our hero youth and demonstators! Your contribution will counted and will result in your demand soon. Keep going, we strongly support you from far distance with spirit and finance. “New Year Comming Soon, so does New Leader, New Way of rulling Cambodia.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Phoung Tran = Croc Viet, your leader gone soon.

  10. ការពិត says:

    សមយ័ឥឡូវគេមិននិយមប្រើអំពើហឹង្សាទេពីព្រោះបណ្ដាប្រទេសទូទាំងសាកលលោកសុទ្ធតែបានដកបទពិសោធន៏រកឃើញថាការបង្រ្កាបបាតុកម្មដោយដោយប្រើកំលាំងបាយពិតជាគ្មានផលល្អឡើយ។
    ដូចជាបច្ចុប្បន្នបាតុកម្មនៅប្រទេសថៃប្រទេសអ៊ុយក្រែនជាដើមការស្វែងរកផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬការចចារគ្នា
    គឺជាវិធីសាស្រ្តដែលល្អបំផុតសំរាប់សេចក្ដីសុខរបស់ប្រជាជនជាពិសេសសំរាប់អ្នកនយោបាយខ្លួនឯង
    ផ្ទាល់តែម្ដងមិនថាអ្នកនោះស្ថិតនៅក្នុងអំណាចឬនៅក្រៅអំណាចឡើយ។

  11. anonymous says:

    dictator law and cpp law is agaist people will. thecpp and the dictator stealling people votes grabe land from people selling property satate ,gave tral island to veitname and never give people justic ,all thi evil group have to obay people will otherwise people wont forgive them .stand up brother and sister figth agaist evil and dictator

  12. CHEA says:

    SPIRIT OF PHREASVIHEAR. AND PHOUNG TRAN. I DO NOT UNDERSTANDING WHAT YOU SAID Mr VEITKONG SHOULT NOT GIVING ANY COMMENT.THIS IS CAMBODIAN PROBLEM NOT YOUR.IF YOU LIVE IN CAMBODIA JUST STAY SAFE.IF YOU ARE PART OF CAMBODIAN YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND YOUR SHELF. ARE YOU DEFT AND BLINE JUST LIKE Mr HUN SEN TOO. THAT YOU CAN NOT SEE WHAT GOING ON IN CAMBODIA IF YOU RICH YOU GOT TO LOOK AT THE POOR. YOU CAN NOT BE SAFE IF THE POOR HAVE NO FOOT TO EAT.IF JION HAN WHITH DITATOR ONE DAY THEY WILL FINE OUT.OR YOU CAN TELL Mr HUN SEN TO SELL CAMBODIA BEFOR IT’S TOO LATE. PEACE FOR ALL CAMBODIAN

  13. Sen-Gaddafi says:

    Congratulations that the CNRP was able to call for a massive rally yesterday which we have never seen before. A storm in a clay pot that the CPP called is not starting to explode in the city and expected to be expanded a whole country very soon. If Hun Sen wants to be a hornorable man please step down from the power now otherwise you will be punished by people at the end. You no need to refuse that you would never do any mistakes in the past people have seen your mistke very clear in their eyes and those mistakes enable people to invite you step down from power. If you still refuse against the willingesss of people your futur will be the same as Sadam Hushen or Moahma Gaddafi for sure.

  14. Phoung Tran says:

    The government forces have the right to shoot bang, bang, bang, if the protesters cause HARM to the stability and peace of CAMBODIA……………………….They will run like HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Sen-Gaddafi says:

    Congratulations that the CNRP was able to call for a massive rally yesterday which we have never seen before. A storm in a clay pot that the CPP called is now starting to explode in the city and expected to be expanded a whole country very soon. If Hun Sen wants to be a hornorable man please step down from the power now otherwise you will be punished by people at the end. You no need to refuse that you would never do any mistakes in the past people have seen your mistke very clear in their eyes and those mistakes enable people to invite you step down from power. If you still refuse against the willingesss of people your futur will be the same as Sadam Hushen or Moahma Gaddafi for sure.

  16. ភ្នែកទោល says:

    អាកំពូជចោរយួនម្នាក់ខាងលើនេះកុំមកទីនេះឲ្យសោះ អាកំពូជថោកទាប ខ្មែរស្អប់ពួកអាហ្អែងណាស់។

  17. CPP CRIMINALS says:

    I ah tah kwack will not step down. I Hun Sen is a psychopath so is my son Hun Manith, and all of my ministers in the CPP.

    Here is a clinical definition of a psychopath like ah ta kwack has – no feelings of right and wrong, has no understanding of conscience, has no feeling of others sufferings, all psychopaths do is amoral things, hurt, manipulate, and oppress their environments to feed their greed and selfishness.

    Therefore, Hun Sen and his family members and ministers that are afflicted with a psychopathic traits are unfit to lead any institution, they must be remove from their power and place in mental health facilities for ongoing treatment.

    Have said this, please don’t believe anything coming out of the Cambodia Psychopaths Party.

    Next post I will tells ways to best treat psychopath and win over their ways.

  18. Phoung Tran says:

    We want to be the Ministers for life!
    We want big $$$$$$$$$ for our families!