Cambodian security tight for Sam Rainsy's return

Cambodian security tight for Sam Rainsy's return”

Exiled Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy was blocked in Paris Thursday from boarding a plane destined for Thailand, from where he had hoped to return home.

Sam Rainsy, the former leader of the banned Cambodia National Rescue Party, has been in self-imposed exile for four years.

Sam Rainsy had vowed to return from exile in France to Cambodia on Saturday to lead a movement to force long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen from office.

"We do not want to let them to use Malaysia as a base for struggle in other countries", Mahathir told reporters.

His return could be thwarted by Thailand, whose prime minister said on Wednesday he would not be allowed entry en route to Cambodia.

A Thai Airways employee says exiled Cambodian opposition politician Sam Rainsy was not allowed to board a flight from Paris to Bangkok because his booking was not valid.

"I will never give up", Rainsy said as he got into a taxi to leave the airport Thursday, and insisted he would seek "an alternative flight to be able to leave for Thailand today". He said a booking in Sam Rainsy's name had been made for a new flight on Saturday. The photo also showed his booking reference and ticket number, opening the possibility that it could be changed online by a third party.

Sam Rainsy told reporters on Thursday at Charles De Gaulle Airport that the Thai flag carrier "said they had received from very high up the instruction to not allow me to board".

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen recognizes this and has enlisted the help of friendly governments that border his country to ensure a land crossing is impossible from Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.

"They want freedom, they want justice for the Cambodian people". Instead, they have to live with constant threats of carnage which have been heightened in recent weeks by government propaganda in the form of documentary that compares the CNRP with Islamic State warning Cambodia could be the world's next Aleppo if Sam Rainsy has his way.

The detention comes shortly before Europe is expected to issue a decision on whether or not to pull Cambodia's preferential tariff status due to its deteriorating rights situation, a move that could devastate its economy.

Sochua was recently detained by the Immigration Department at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). "The ultimate impact depends on what transpires from here".

The CNRP was dissolved in the lead-up to last year's elections in Cambodia, which saw Hun Sen's party win all seats in a process Western governments described as not credible. But he's also contending with growing unrest from skyrocketing micro-finance debt that has left millions of people at risk of losing their homes.

"We welcome the Malaysian authorities' decision to allow Mu Sochua, as well as Cambodian youth activists Keith Ngoeum and Seang Leang Heng to enter the country", the former Philippine member of parliament said, adding that they should not have been detained in the first place. In a letter published on social media on Wednesday, Sam Rainsy pleaded with Gen Prayut to grant him safe passage through Thailand. Democracy will be reinstalled in the near future.

Why are Thailand and Malaysia on Phnom Penh's side?

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