‘Hun Sen is taking the piss’: Labor MP unloads on Cambodian dictatorPosted by: Piece Thing Matters | Posted on: October 23, 2019
Australia and the world made a promise to the Cambodian people, to stand up for human rights, peace and democracy. But 28 years on, the world has failed to keep its promise. Instead, Hun Sen’s regime has attacked human rights; killed democracy; given away the Cambodian people’s sovereignty; accumulated secret wealth overseas; and undermined prosperity in our region.
ប្រទេសអូស្ត្រាលីនិងពិភពលោកបានសន្យាជាមួយប្រជាពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរអោយក្រោកឈរឡើងដើម្បីការពារសិទ្ធិមនុស្ស សន្តិភាព និងប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ។ តែ២៨ឆ្នាំមកនេះ ពិភពលោកបរាជ័យក្នុងការរក្សាកិច្ចសន្យារបស់ខ្លួន។ ជាការជំនួសវិញ របបលោកហ៊ុន-សែន បានវាយប្រហារទៅលើសិទ្ធិមនុស្ស សំលាប់លទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ បោះបង់ចោលអធិបតេយ្យភាពដែនដីរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរ សន្សំទ្រព្យរាប់កោដិទុកនៅក្រៅប្រទេស និងបំផ្លិចបំផ្លាញសុខដុមរមនាក្នុងតំបន់។
‘Hun Sen is taking the piss’: Labor MP unloads on Cambodian dictator
WAtoday, By James Massola, October 22, 2019 — 4.30pm
Jakarta: Federal Labor MP Julian Hill has launched an extraordinary attack on Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen, declaring the dictator has sold out his country to China and warning the rising superpower is using the same tactics it used to militarise the South China Sea.
Mr Hill, whose seat of Bruce is home to one of the largest Cambodian-Australian populations, said that on the eve of the 28th anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords that ended Cambodia’s long and bloody civil war, democracy was dying.
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The MP recently spent a week in Cambodia on a self-funded study tour where he met with civil rights groups, union activists and the remnants of the now-banned political opposition.
“Australia and the world made a promise to the Cambodian people, to stand up for human rights, peace and democracy. But 28 years on, the world has failed to keep its promise,” he told Parliament.
“Instead, Hun Sen’s regime has attacked human rights; killed democracy; given away the Cambodian people’s sovereignty; accumulated secret wealth overseas; and undermined prosperity in our region.”
In a speech that goes much further than the Labor leadership has been willing to in criticising the links between China and Cambodia, Mr Hill said “I don’t mean this as anti-China rhetoric … must be honest and say that I do not see what Hun Sen has let China do in Cambodia as positive”.
“It [Chinese investment] may be couched as BRI [Belt and Road Infrastructure investment], but it shows all the signs of Hun Sen allowing the development of naval and air facilities to facilitate Chinese military planning. The same salami slicing tactics that the world saw in the South China Sea are at work.”
Sihanoukville, which has seen a huge amount of Chinese investment, is “like the fantasies about the Wild West of old. Casinos. Booze. Guns. Riches. Women”.
“Sihanoukville is the worst place I have ever been.”
China’s takeover of Sihanoukville is almost complete, despite base row
Hun Sen won all 125 seats in the parliament in elections in July 2018 and has banned the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party. Former leader Kem Sokha is under house arrest in Phnom Penh, other leaders including Sam Rainsy and Mu Sochua are in exile while many activists and politicians have been jailed.
Rainsy has recently threatened to return to Cambodia on November 9 to lead a popular uprising, prompting threats of violence and military intervention from Hun Sen, who has ruled the country for 34 years.
Against this back drop, Hill said Australia’s current approach to “just keep talking” to the Hun Sen regime was insufficient.
Hill said Australia should ramp up sanctions against Cambodia, get back into the “information game” through Radio Australia and short wave radio and push back by using our considerable soft power resources.
“You build diplomatic capital to achieve outcomes yet Australia can’t point to anything much – aside from a disgraceful refugee deal. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and DFAT need to get real. Hun Sen is taking the piss,” he said.
“It’s not good enough to say ‘all options are on the table’, but keep doing nothing … people will be entitled to ask, what were you doing, Prime Minister, when democracy was dying in Cambodia?”
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