Cambodia PM takes aim at US over 'double standards'

Hun Sen says US quick to criticize protest-related rights issues in Cambodia, but downplaying protests after Trump’s win

Cambodia PM takes aim at US over 'double standards'

World Bulletin / News Desk

Cambodia's prime minister has highlighted what he said could be double standards on the part of the United States government and its ambassador in Phnom Penh, saying America has been quick to criticize protest-related human rights issues in Cambodia, but has apparently been failing to acknowledge the magnitude of post-election rallies back on its own soil.

The Cambodia Daily quoted Hun Sen as having given a speech at the opening of a Coca-Cola factory in Phnom Penh on Monday, which was also attended by the U.S ambassador to Cambodia, William Heidt.

In the speech, he referenced a spate of protests that erupted across the U.S. in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential win last month.

He urged Heidt to “look at your country, not just talk about others,” adding that if what has been happening in the U.S. isn’t wrong, then the same should be said for Cambodia.

He also said the U.S. media has been downplaying the size of the protests, insisting: “It is not small.”

In February, the Phnom Penh Post quoted U.S. Embassy spokesman Jay Raman as saying that the U.S. wanted the Cambodian government to ensure that “no one is threatened, punished, or harmed in Cambodia” if an anti-Hun Sen rally took place in California at that time.

A bill put before the U.S. House of Representatives in May by Congressman Alan Lowenthal referenced a violent crackdown on protesting garment workers in Cambodia in 2014, as well as a number of other recent violent episodes that included the beating of two opposition lawmakers during a protest last year.

That bill called on the Cambodian government “to respect freedom of the press and the rights of its citizens to freely assemble, protest, and speak out against the government”.

Hun Sen’s comments also come a few days after the press office of the Council of Ministers released a video, titled Samdech Hun Sen Deals a Strong Blow to the United States of America and European Countries Surrounding the Color Revolution and the Middle East Wars, which opens with the intro music from John Lennon’s Imagine.

In it, Hun Sen says in a taped speech that “electoral propaganda in the U.S. could be something to study” and that “foreign friends involved in the Middle East… should not be embarrassed and be prepared to take responsibility” for issues that have erupted in the region.

“I do not meddle in the affairs of America,” he added.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Aralık 2016, 15:56