Accessibility links

Breaking News

Rainsy Says Hun Sen Wants No Opposition in Cambodia

Sam Rainsy, the leader of Cambodia's main opposition party, grants VOA an exclusive interview.

"We have not seen such a repressive action by this government since the coup [in 1997]," Rainsy said in an exclusive interview at VOA shortly after his arrival in Washington, D.C. "Hun Sen is taking steps to eliminate all meaningful opposition."

Rainsy and two of his top party members were stripped of their parliamentary immunity on February 3 and forced to leave the country. He and his wife, who is a member of the Cambodian National Assembly, told VOA that they were in the United States to seek support for a response to the repression of his party and the country's democratic movement.

Rainsy charged that Hun Sen is misappropriating millions of dollars in international development funds to support his government, and he called on the "Donor Group" of nations that includes the USA, Japan and the EU to investigate.

"Donors are entitled to see that their assistance is effectively used but, unfortunately, this is not the case in Cambodia," he said. "In order for international assistance to be effectively used, we need democracy; transparency; rule of law; accountability; and checks and balances. These require a vibrant opposition."

''If the Cambodian government eliminates the opposition, there will be no democracy, there will be no governance and, therefore, donors will waste money given to Cambodia,'' Rainsy told VOA.

Read the full text of the English interview at and hear the Khmer interview at

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages, including Khmer.

For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 401-7000, or E-Mail