Police ‘ready to arrest’ Rainsy as CNRP arrive in Thailand

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The Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) vice-president Mu Sochua (front right) said on her Facebook page that she andother CNRP leaders had arrived in Thailand on Saturday. MU SOCHUA VIA FACEBOOK

Police and military officials confirmed their readiness to enforce the courts’ warrants to arrest Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), if he returns to the Kingdom as promised.

They said some CNRP leaders have arrived in Thailand while some were in other Asian countries. Arrests would be made whenever they crossed the border into Cambodia.

Rainsy said in an interview with Radio Free Asia (RFA) on Friday night that plans for his return would not be changed.

He said he would lead his supporters on foot into Cambodia on November 9, the 66th anniversary of Cambodia’s independence, despite the authorities announcing that they were ready to take all legal measures against him.

“Let’s say there are 10 per cent of two million people, which is 200,000 people. If 200,000 people gather to enter Cambodia, and we join hands with the local citizens, then [Prime Minister] Hun Sen will be in an uncontrolled state,” Rainsy claimed.

CNRP vice-president Mu Sochua said on her Facebook page that she and other CNRP leaders had arrived in Thailand on Saturday.

“The prisoners of the Hun Sen regime are gathering and are ready to return to Cambodia on November 9,” she claimed.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak said the authorities were ready to implement the courts’ warrants to arrest Rainsy and other CNRP leaders if they entered Cambodia.

“They are strengthening their activities and they may do it [enter Cambodia]. If they do it, we will also really do it [arrest them].

“Our task is to implement what we have set out. In all circumstances and at any cost, we have to protect the Constitution, the peace of our country and the government.

“The most important thing is to arrest those named in the warrants who are attempting to topple the government and create chaos in the country. By law, we are obligated to enforce the law and protect the peace,” he said.

Thai cooperation

Sopheak expressed hope that the Thai police would cooperate in arresting the CNRP leaders to prevent unrest.

“We have the right [to open or close border checkpoints]. We have not decided yet. We will have to check the real situation,” he said.

National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun reiterated the authorities’ readiness to The Post on Sunday but declined to provide details, citing confidentiality.

Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman Sok Eysan mocked the idea that Rainsy’s supporters would enter Cambodia in such large numbers. He said if they did, they would die in a stampede and some would tread on landmines.

Eysan said the Thai authorities would hand Rainsy over to the Cambodian authorities before he had set foot in the Kingdom because the two countries collaborated closely.

“The convict [Rainsy] said two million people will arrive from Thailand with him like a tsunami. If it was thunderous like a tsunami, they would be killed in a stampede.

“That means the convict won’t dare to enter Cambodia. Even people who haven’t yet crossed the border, people who are just near the border, some of them step on landmines and are killed in explosions.

“If the convict boarded an aeroplane to Thailand, he would be arrested and put into a sack and sent back to Phnom Penh,” he said.

Brigadier General Ek Sam Oun, the deputy Infantry Unit commander and the commander of Military Region 5, said his forces were also ready to arrest anyone attempting to orchestrate a coup to topple the government.

“This is the army’s work and we are ready. My forces don’t have any problems . . . we are ready to execute the warrants issued by the courts,” he stressed.