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Cambodia coalition govt to stay int
Subject: Cambodia coalition govt to stay intact: official
Business Time July 10th
Cambodia coalition govt to stay intact: official
Foreign investments won't stop, he says, Hun Sen to brief diplomats
By Harish Mehta
oreign investment will not stop flowing into war-torn Cambodia as the
coalition alliance will stay intact, a senior Cambodian official
representing the coalition government said yesterday.
De facto leader Hun Sen will meet foreign diplomats today to brief them
on the situation, said Leng Sochea, deputy director-general in the royal
government's Ministry of Information.
Mr Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party forces overwhelmed the Funcinpec
Party loyalists of coalition partner Prince Norodom Ranariddh after two
days of fighting in Phnom Penh.
Cambodia's national assembly is also due to open a session this week, or
next week, and the council of ministers is already working, said Mr
Sochea. He told BT in a telephone interview: "There's no more fighting.
Foreign investments cannot stop, but if the government and the national
assembly cannot start functioning, investments may slow down. If we can
ensure democracy and security, investments will flow in."
He added: "The opening of the national assembly session may be delayed
by a couple of days as many deputies are currently abroad."
Cambodia has attracted more than US$2 billion (S$2.9 billion) in foreign
direct investments since enacting a liberal investment law in 1994.
Malaysian firms are by far the largest investors with project
commitments worth over US$1 billion, while Singapore firms have invested
in excess of US$300 million. Companies contacted said they were
monitoring the developments, but would not pull out as they expected the
situation to return to normal.
Mr Sochea said: "The coalition government is in control. There is no
more fighting between the two partners in the coalition, but some
fighting is going on between the Khmer Rouge guerillas and the royal
armed forces. Some trouble is continuing as hoodlums are rampaging, and
the army is mopping them up."
Mr Hun Sen said yesterday in a statement that the situation in the
country was much better, and expressed his apology and grief for the
people who were wounded and killed. He asked the international community
not to interfere in Cambodia's internal problems, and pledged that the
national assembly would enact an electoral law before August. Cambodia
is due to hold a general election next May, but unless law and order are
restored and voter confidence built up, an election will be impossible
When Prince Ranariddh returns to Cambodia, he will have to face charges
of illegally importing three tonnes of sophisticated weapons estimated
to have cost more than US$1 million.
Court charges were filed by the chief of the Military Court, following
the recent confiscation of the weapons at Phnom Penh airport consisting
of anti-aircraft guns and anti-tank weapons.
"THERE WILL BE NO REAL DEMOCRACY IF WE CAN'T GURANTEE THE RIGHTS OF THE
MINORITY ETHNIC PEOPLE. ONLY UNDERSTANDING THEIR SUFFERING AND HELPING
THEM TO EXERCISE THEIR RIGHTS WILL ASSIST PREVENTING FROM THE
DISINTEGRATION AND THE SESESSION." "WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING THEIR
STRENGTH, WE CAN'T TOPPLE THE SLORC AND BURMA WILL NEVER BE IN PEACE."
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