Netizens in Cambodia Draw Parallels Between Myanmar’s Coup And PM Hun Sen Power Grabs — Radio Free Asia

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Netizens in Cambodia took to social media Tuesday in the wake of a army coup in regional neighbor Myanmar to lambast their nation’s authorities for its personal authoritarian rule and to attract comparisons between the takeover and strikes by Prime Minister Hun Sen to solidify energy.

On Monday, Myanmar’s army, the Tatmadaw, dissolved parliament in a cold coup that gave it management of the nation. Aung San Suu Kyi, the pinnacle of the democratically elected authorities and whose ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) received in a landslide of 2015 and 2020 elections, was taken into custody together with different social gathering leaders.

The putsch, which noticed General Min Aung Hlaing declare a one-year state of emergency, drew condemnation from Western governments and the United Nations, though neighboring nations reminiscent of China and Thailand supplied extra tepid responses, suggesting that the scenario quantities to inside affairs.

Hun Sen, who has dominated Cambodia with an iron fist for greater than three many years, issued the same assertion on Monday, saying he was “not interested” in the scenario in Myanmar.

“In Yangon, the president and advisors were arrested, but Cambodia won’t comment on the internal issues of other countries that are members of ASEAN or other sovereign nations,” he stated, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

“Myanmar is our friend in ASEAN. We only broadcast the news; we don’t comment on it.”

The coup and Hun Sen’s feedback led to a barrage of feedback on Facebook by Cambodians who drew parallels to life in their very own nation, which Hun Sen has dominated since 1985.

Some posted pictures juxtaposing Hun Sen with Min Aung Hlaing, and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha—a retired Royal Thai Army common officer who has led Thailand since orchestrating a army coup towards the federal government in 2014.

After dropping U.N.-backed elections in 1993 and threatening to guide a secessionist motion, Hun Sen served as Cambodia’s Second Prime Minister alongside Prince Norodom Ranariddh till he staged a violent coup in 1997 and took over management of the nation.

Critics of the Prime Minister have referred to newer occasions in Cambodia’s political historical past as a type of comfortable coup.

Cambodia’s Supreme Court dissolved the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in November 2017, for an alleged plot to overthrow the federal government. The ban of the CNRP marked the start of a wider crackdown by Hun Sen on the political opposition, NGOs, and the unbiased media that paved the way in which for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) to win all 125 seats in parliament in the nation’s July 2018 common election.

Noting similarities

In a publish on Tuesday, Cambodian Facebook consumer Vin Da stated that superpower democracies ought to “clean dictators off the face of the earth” as a result of they steal energy from voters. His feedback have been echoed by Facebook consumer Hay Vanna, who wrote that individuals who love democracy “don’t need coups.”

Another Facebook consumer named Ly Ratanak Raksmey famous that the youth of Myanmar had dared to face as much as dictators forward of the 2015 transition from junta rule to a democratically led authorities and urged Cambodian youths ought to “follow in their footsteps.”

Netizens famous the similarities between the Tatmadaw coup and Hun Sen’s actions 1997 and 2017, whereas others urged that, as a result of Hun Sen had himself “grabbed power,” he was too “ashamed” to touch upon the scenario in Myanmar.

Responding to feedback on social media, CPP spokesperson Sok Ey San advised RFA’s Khmer Service that the ruling social gathering’s continued maintain on energy following the 2017 poll bore little resemblance to the coup in Myanmar as a result of Hun Sen’s authorities was “formed by elections.”

“Cambodia never had a coup—the opposition party acknowledged their guilt and was dissolved by the Supreme Court, so that is why they fled the country,” he stated.

But political commentator Kim Sok advised RFA that each the Tatmadaw and Hun Sen’s social gathering had solidified energy through “coup.” He stated Cambodia’s ruling social gathering is holding an “ongoing coup against the country” to stay in management.

“Criticism [from Facebook users] reflects Cambodia’s reality,” he stated.

“Hun Sen and Myanmar’s military leadership is the same. [Hun Sen] didn’t get power from the elections.”

Reported by RFA’s Khmer Service. Translated by Samean Yun. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

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