Wednesday, 19.3.2008: Sam Rainsy Party Commune Chief Was Arrested for Intimidation and Detention

Posted on 20 March 2008. Filed under: Week 552 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 552

“Important activists of the no-longer-opposition party, the Sam Rainsy Party [SRP], are worried about the arrest of a party member by the authorities over the accusation of intimidation and detention of Ms. Tim Norn [by SRP members] in order to prevent her from defecting to the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP]. The SRP commune chief of Pongro, Baray, Tuot [or Thoun or Suon – according to different sources] Saron, was arrested on the morning of 18 March 2008 by police officers, after Prime Minister Hun Sen announced on 17 March that police must deal with the intimidation cases in Kompong Thom and Takeo against SRP activists who had tried to prevent other SRP members from defecting to the CPP.

“A source from Kompong Thom indicates that the SRP activist, who was arrested on 18 March at 9:30, is Mr. Tuot Saron, the SRP council chief of Baray, who is also the Pongro commune chief. The arrest of Mr. Tuot Saron is a case of intimidation rather than the consequence of a defection to another party.

“Police officers in Kompong Thom said that the authorities are searching for more SRP activists who are said to have been involved in the illegal detention. Those activists include the following three: 1) Mr. Thorn Rithy, the SRP deputy commune chief, the chief of the working group of the SRP in Prasat Balang and Sandan, Kompong Thom, 2) Mr. Maen Vannak, and 3) Mr. Hour Sarath, as well as other accomplices who were involved in the illegal detention and the intimidation by phone. After hearing the plans of the police in Kompong Thom, those who were involved in the matter are on the run to hide themselves from the police.

“The police officers added that the activist who was intimidated and illegally detained is Ms. Tim Norn, who is living in Baray, Kompong Thom.

“The arrest of Mr. Tout Saron, the SRP chief of the council of Baray, who is also the commune chief of Pongro, Kompong Thom, came after Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered relevant authorities, police officers, and military police officers on 17 March 2008 to search for those who detained and intimidated citizens by telephone in order to prevent them from defecting to the CPP. Mr. Hun Sen said ‘They have not yet got power, but they have already started to prevent people from defecting to another party. They don’t have power yet, but they do such things already; they are so cruel.’

“Mr. Hun Sen added that as prime minister, he has to think of the safety of all citizens, regardless to which party they belong.

“Mr. Eng Chhay Eang, the secretary-general of the unreasonable opposition San Rainsy Party and a former addictive gambler, told journalists that the arrest of Tout Saron, the commune chief of Pongro, Kompong Thom, came after Prime Minister Hun Sen accused the SRP of intimidation. But Mr. Eng Chhay Eang said the arrest was because the former SRP Kompong Thom lawmaker Mr. Sok Pheng, who had defected to the CPP, could not persuade other SRP members to defect to the CPP with him. Therefore, he reported to Prime Minister Hun Sen that there was a case of intimidation against members who are trying to defect to the CPP.

“The unreasonable opposition party secretary-general Mr. Eng Chhay Eang said, ‘The ruling party uses its power to create such a problem. Who is the real intimidator? That is the ruling party itself.’ Also, Mr. Eng Chhay Eang asked the government to stop doing cowardly acts. He said the game should be played in an open manner, not like this. In Kompong Thom, six people from the SRP were voted to be commune chiefs, but none of them, including more than one hundred commune counselors, followed Sok Pheng who defected to the CPP. This is a shameful behavior of Mr. Sok Pheng, who made up the story to please the prime minister. The prime minister should not believe this story; and no action should be taken. Mr. Eng Chhay Eang continued to tell reporters that the arrest of the Pongro commune chief, of the SRP in Baray, Kompong Thom, is political and it is an intimidation for members who don’t want to defect. The arrest is only to frighten others.

“Civil society organizations are watching the arrest of the commune chief in Baray, Kompong Thom, and they are closely investigating this matter to find out if the arrest is a political intimidation, or whether Mr. Tuot Saron really intimidated other people by telephone.

“According to the latest report, uniformed police and plaincloth police surrounded the SRP head office in Kompong Thom, in order to arrest those who were accused to have been involved in intimidation and illegal detention.

“According to other informal sources, the arrest of the Pongro commune chief Mr. Tuot Saron is also related to other high-ranking officials who are SRP members. Police are investigating to identify those who are involved in intimidation.

“The public understands that the arrest of the SRP commune chief in Baray on the morning of 18 March 2008 can be a tactic of the ruling party, to intimidate those who belong to other parties, so that some of those people understand that they have to defect.” Chuoy Khmer, Vol. 2, #67, 19.3.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 19 March 2008


Areyathor, Vol.14, #1316, 19-20.3.2008

  • H.E. Tioulong Saumura [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh and wife of Mr. Sam Rainsy – allegedly] Involved in Abducting and Detaining a Person [Sam Rainsy Party female activist from Kompong Thom, in order to prevent her from joining the Cambodian People’s Party]
  • Some Staff Members of Sralanh Khmer Do Not Follow Mr. Thach Ket [the publisher who has joined the Cambodian People’s Party]


Chakraval, Vol.16, #2763, 19.3.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Party Commune Chief and Vice-President of Sam Rainsy Party in Kompong Thom Arrested on Accusation of Abducting a Person
  • Samdech Euv [former King] Issues Message Supporting Samdech Hun Sen and the Cambodian People’s Party


Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #67, 19.3.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Party Commune Chief Was Arrested for Intimidation and Detention
  • Hun Sen Recalls 18 March [1970] When Lon Nol Conducted a Coup to Overthrow Samdech Euv [the Father King], but He Does Not Dare to Recall the Cambodian People’s Party Which Conducted a Coup on 5-6 July [1997]
  • Businesspeople Increase Prices of Goods – One Liter of Gasoline Costs Riel 4,900 [approx. US$1.20], Giving Opportunity for Hun Sen to Make Political Business


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1596, 19.3.2008

  • Monarchy in Cambodia Belongs to All of Us [says Prime Minister Hun Sen recalling the military coup by General Lon Nol in 1970]
  • Fire on a Bus [after collision with a truck transporting gasoline] Kills 22 Students in Iran


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #6, 19-21.3.2008

  • Gold in Northeastern Cambodia: One Tonne of Gold Mineral Soil Contains 3.44 g of Gold [according to research by Southern Gold]
  • Khmer Laborers Abroad Earn and Send More Than US$3 Million Home per Month [according to An Bun Hak, director of an agency for choosing laborers to work abroad]
  • Violent Demonstrations Occur throughout Tibet against Chinese Control
  • Experts Push China to Cancel “One-Child” Policy


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6300, 19.3.2008

  • 18 March [1970] Is Date When Coup Was Conducted to Abolish the Monarchy; We Got Back Something Lost 38 Years Ago [says Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • Japan Starts Investments Gradually in Cambodia


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3416, 19.3.2008

  • [Secretary-general of Sam Rainsy Party] Mr. Eng Chhay Ieng Considers Arrest of Mr. Tuot Saran [chief of Sam Rainsy Party council in Baray, Kompong Thom, chief of Pongro Commune] to Be a Political Threat
  • Sam Rainsy: Why Is Corruption, Which Makes the State Lose US$500 Million Every Year, Not Cared about? [but Hun Sen calls for being thrifty on the use of electricity]
  • Lawyer [Kao Sopha] Asks Federal Bureau of Investigation to Release Hambali Report Involving His Three Clients


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4544, 19.3.2008

  • Rebirth of the Monarchy Was Not because of the King’s Desire for the Throne [but because of the people’s will – says Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • European Union Has Funds of US$3.8 Million for Non-State Actors [for development in Cambodia]
  • Thailand Lacks Pork; It Prohibits Export of Pigs

Have a look at last week’s editorial

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