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Lu Laysreng: Funcinpec should forget the 1997 coup

Monday, July 5, 2010

By Khmerization

Source: CEN

Lu Laysreng (pictured middle), First Vice-President of Funcinpec Party, said Funcinpec party should forget the 1997 coup which saw it was deposed from powers when Second Prime Minister Hun Sen launched a decisive coup against the Funcinpec's First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh and caused the deaths of over 100 senior Funcinpec officials and military officers, reports Cambodian Express News.

On the 13th anniversary of the coup, which lasted two days from 5-6 July, Funcinpec had organised a Buddhist ceremony at its central headquarter to commemorate the spirits of those tragically died and brutally executed during and after the coup. However, Mr. Lu Laysreng said Funcinpec should just forget about the event because it will not bring any benefits to the party. "We should forget about this event. In my opinion, there is no benefits (to keep commemorating it), but instead we will lose a lot of benefits and we should not keep remembering it. We should instead build up ourselves and bring back former members who have left our Funcinpec home to reunite under the Funcinpec roof. Furthermore, we should not remember this event under this sort of circumstances", he said.

The opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP), which has also commemorated the 1997 coup on 5-6 July 2010, said the 1997 coup was a plan carved up by foreigners who ruled Cambodia since 1979. Mr. Kong Korm, Vice-President of the SRP, said that foreign rule only ended in 1991 when the Paris Peace Accords was signed on 23rd October 1991. Since its inception in 1995, he said, the SRP has also experienced foreign induced destruction which see its president Sam Rainsy being exiled until today.

Mr. Tith Sothea, spokesman for the government's Quick and Press Reaction Unit, said the SRP is commemorating the event for its political gains. He further added that the government sees the 1997 coup as a measure taken to rid of extremist elements that cause political instability and destroy forces that conspired with the Khmer Rouge forces to topple the legitimate government.

The royalist Funcinpec Party won the first democratically-held election 1993. But the defeated Cambodian People's Party (CPP) bullied its way into powers, forcing the royalist Funcinpec to share powers. However, the relationship between the CPP's Second Prime Minister Hun Sen and Funcinpec's First Prime Minister deteriorated and had degenerated into an irreconcilable differences which led Mr. Hun Sen to launch a successful coup against Prince Ranariddh. More than 100 of Prince Ranariddh supporters were killed in the crossfires or were brutally tortured and then executed.



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