Cambodian PM makes TV address after two opposition lawmakers assaulted

October 29, 2015 5:38 am 

PHNOM PENH, Oct. 28 — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen delivered a rare televised address on Wednesday evening after two opposition lawmakers were badly beaten this week by an unidentified group of people.

Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmakers Nhay Chamroeun and Kong Sakphea were dragged from their cars while leaving the parliament and assaulted on Monday at noon by a small group of people, just an hour after a demonstration was held to demand CNRP deputy leader Kem Sokha to step down as the parliament's first vice president ended.

In an 11-minute speech, which was broadcast on the state-run National Television of Cambodia, the prime minister ordered the competent authorities to launch an investigation into the case in order to bring the perpetrators to justice.

"We cannot forgive the perpetrators who committed this violence. Even though they are the supporters of the (ruling) Cambodian People's Party (CPP), the supporters of the government, the supporters of the opposition party, or whoever, we have to arrest them for legal punishment at any cost," he said.

"In Cambodia, there is only one standard, wrong-doers will be punished in accordance with the law," he added.

Hun Sen said Cambodia is a democratic country, people have rights to stage demonstrations, but the demonstrations must be held in peaceful manners.

He appealed to the people involved, including the two ill-fated lawmakers, to cooperate with the authorities in order to find the identity of the attackers.

The prime minister also called on the compatriots to stay calm in this matter.

According to Hun Sen, parliament president Heng Samrin has provided USD 10,000 to each of the two injured lawmakers for medical treatment expenses.

Thousands of protesters rallied outside the parliament on Monday morning to urge Kem Sokha to resign from the post of the parliament's first vice president. They accused Kem Sokha of inciting unrest and racial hatred.

Kem Sokha has become the parliament's first vice president after the CPP and the CNRP struck a political agreement on July 22, 2014. Under the deal, the CNRP ended its 10-month long boycott of the parliament following the 2013 elections in exchange for parliamentary power sharing and electoral reform.

In the elections, the CPP won 68 parliamentary seats against 55 seats for the CNRP in the 123-seat parliament. (PNA/Xinhua)

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