Government to seek ban on individuals from hurting Cambodia’s interests

Cambodian Interior Ministry will seek amendments to the Constitution to ban individuals from doing “anything which will impact national interests”, The Phnom Penh Post Online reported on Friday.

Speaking at an annual review of the Ministry of Land Management in place of Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday, Interior Minister Sar Kheng said that amendment covering national interest could relate to opposite leader Kem Sokha’s daughter, Kem Monovithya, who, according to Kheng, likened Cambodia to Afghanistan, Iraq , Libya, Egypt and Syria.

He also said that Monovithya suggested that the United Nations suspended Cambodia’s seat at the UN.

“How can she do that?” he asked, adding that the UN allowed the Khmer Rouge to retain its seat despite the fact that the group killed almost two million people.

Kheng also chastised Monovithya for seeking sanctions against Cambodia.

But Monovithya accused the government of openly targeting her in recent weeks.

“Despite these threats and risks, I along with millions of Cambodians who want positive change, have no choice but to push back at this authoritarian regime,” she said.

Chak Sopheap, director of the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights said any amendment to the charter should respect the fundamental principles upon which Cambodia is based.

Independent legal analyst Sok Sam Oeun said Kheng’s proposed amendment would be both vague and abnormal.  “What does it mean to harm the nation?” he asked.