Hun Sen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
His Excellency
Samdech Hun Sen
MP
Hun Sen.jpg
Hun Sen at the 2010 World Economic Forum.
34th Prime Minister of Cambodia
Incumbent
Assumed office
30 November 1998
Monarch Norodom Sihanouk
Norodom Sihamoni
Preceded by Ung Huot
In office
14 January 1985 – 2 July 1993
President Heng Samrin
Chea Sim
Norodom Sihanouk
Preceded by Chan Sy
Succeeded by Norodom Ranariddh
Second Prime Minister of Cambodia
In office
21 September 1993 – 30 November 1998
Monarch Norodom Sihanouk
First Prime Minister Norodom Ranariddh
Ung Huot
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Position abolished
Member of Parliament for Kandal
Incumbent
Assumed office
1 May 1981
Leader of the Opposition
In office
2 July 1993 – 21 September 1993
Prime Minister Norodom Ranariddh
Deputy Sar Kheng
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Sam Rainsy
Deputy President of the Cambodian People's Party
Incumbent
Assumed office
17 October 1991
President Chea Sim
Preceded by Office established
Minister for Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of Kampuchea
In office
December 1987 – 1990
Preceded by Kong Korm
Succeeded by Hor Namhong
In office
7 January 1979 – December 1986
Prime Minister Pen Sovan
Chan Sy
himself
Preceded by Ieng Sary
Succeeded by Kong Korm
Personal details
Born Hun Bunal
(1952-08-05) 5 August 1952 (age 62)
Stueng Trang, Kampong Cham, Cambodia
Nationality Cambodian
Political party Cambodian People's Party
Spouse(s) Bun Rany (m. 1976)
Children Kamsot (1976–deceased)
Manet (b. 1977)
Mana (b. 1980)
Manith (b. 1981)
Mani (b. 1982)
Mali (b. 1983; adopted)
Parents Hun Neang
Dee Yon
Religion Theravada Buddhism
Signature
Military service
Allegiance Flag of the People's Republic of Kampuchea.svg Cambodia
Service/branch
Years of service 1970–1999[1]
Rank General
(prev. Major)
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Cambodian Civil War (WIA)
Awards Grand Order of National Merit

Hun Sen (Khmer: ហ៊ុន សែន; born 5 August 1952)[2] is the 34th and current Prime Minister of Cambodia, Deputy President of the Cambodian People's Party (CPP), and Member of Parliament (MP) for Kandal. He has served as Cambodia's premier for more than 25 years, making him the longest serving head of government of Cambodia and one of the longest serving leaders in the world. From 1979 to 1986 and again from 1987 to 1990, Hun Sen served as Cambodia's foreign minister. His full honorary title is Samdech Akeak Moha Sena Padey Decho Hun Sen (Khmer: សម្តេចអគ្គមហាសេនាបតី តេជោ ហ៊ុន សែន; meaning "Lord Prime Minister, Supreme Military Commander Hun Sen").[3] Born Hun Bunal (Khmer: ហ៊ុន ប៊ូណាល់; shortened to Hun Nal), he changed his name to Hun Sen in 1972 two years after joining the Khmer Rouge.

Hun Sen rose to the premiership in January 1985 when the KPRP-dominated National Assembly appointed him to succeed Chan Sy who had died in office in December 1984. The position would be held by Hun Sen until the 1993 elections when the latter lost an election bid. Refusing to relinquish power and after negotiations with the Funcinpec Party, Hun Sen jointly served as Prime Minister with Norodom Ranariddh until a 1997 coup. Ung Huot was then selected to succeed Ranariddh. In 1998, he would lead the CPP to victory in the elections but had to form a coalition government with FUNCINPEC. Hun Sen has since been elected consecutively and is currently serving in his fifth prime ministerial term, and vows to rule until he is 74.[4] He is also one of the most senior MPs, having been first elected in 1981.

Hun Sen was 32 years, 162 days old when he became prime minister, making him at that time the world's youngest head of government. One of the world's longest-serving leaders, with a reputation as a 'wily operator who destroys his political opponents',[5] Hun Sen is widely viewed as a dictator that has assumed authoritarian power in Cambodia using violence and intimidation and corruption to maintain his power base.[6][7][8] Hun Sen has accumulated highly centralized power in Cambodia, including a 'praetorian guard that appears to rival the capabilities of the country’s regular military units.'[9]The former Khmer Rouge commander has consolidated his grip on power through a 'web of patronage and brute military strength'.[10]

Early life[edit]

Hun Sen was born in Kampong Cham, and was the third child of six children to a peasant family. His father, Hun Neang, was a resident monk in a local Wat in Kampong Cham province before defrocking himself to join the French resistance and married Hun Sen's mother, Dee Yon in the 1940s. Hun Neang's paternal grandparents were wealthy landowners of Teochew Chinese heritage.[11][12] Hun Neang inherited some of his family assets and led a relatively comfortable life, as they owned several hectares of land until a kidnapping incident forced their family to sell off much of their assets.[13] Hun Sen left his family at the age of 13 to attend a monastic school in Phnom Penh. When Lon Nol usurped power from Sihanouk in 1970 during a bloodless coup, Hun Nal gave up his education to join the Khmer Rouge.[14] Two years later, Hun Nal changed his name to Hun Sen. In 1974, Hun Sen met his future wife Bun Rany. He was wounded his left eye in battle[15] and had it later removed in 1975, on the day before the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh.[16] The following year, Hun Sen married Bun Rany.[17]

Political career and premiership[edit]

With U.S. President Barack Obama at the Peace Palace, Phnom Penh, on 19 November 2012.

Hun Sen came to power with the Khmer Rouge and served as a Battalion Commander in the Eastern Region of Democratic Kampuchea (the state name during the Khmer rouge government). In 1977 during internal purges of the Khmer Rouge regime, Hun Sen and his battalion cadres fled to Vietnam.[18][better source needed] Hun Sen became one of the leaders of the rebel army and government that the Vietnamese government sponsored when they prepared to invade Cambodia. When the Khmer Rouge regime was overthrown, Hun Sen was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Vietnamese-installed People's Republic of Kampuchea/State of Cambodia (PRK/SOC) in 1979. As the de facto leader of Cambodia, in 1985, he was elected as Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Prime Minister, after the death of Chan Sy. As Foreign Minister and then Prime Minister, Hun Sen played a pivotal role[citation needed] in the 1991 Paris Peace Talks, which brokered peace in Cambodia. During this period Prince Norodom Sihanouk referred to him as a "One eyed lackey of the Vietnamese".[19]

In 1987, Amnesty International accused Hun Sen's government of torture of thousands of political prisoners using "electric shocks, hot irons and near-suffocation with plastic bags."[20][21][22]

In a very bold move after the UN monitored elections he refused to step down from the post and negotiated a transitional government agreement that allowed him to remain as co-prime minister but he retained the chairmanship of the CPP.[citation needed] From 1993 until 1998 he was Co-Prime Minister with Prince Norodom Ranariddh. In 1997, the coalition was shaken by tensions between Ranariddh and Hun Sen. FUNCINPEC began to discuss with the remaining Khmer Rouge rebels (with whom it had been allied against Hun Sen's Vietnamese-backed government during the 1980s), with the aim of absorbing them into its ranks.[23] Such a rallying would have rebalanced the military power between Royalists and CPP.

In response, Hun Sen launched the 1997 Cambodian Coup, replacing Ranariddh with Ung Hout as the First Prime Minister and himself still as the Second Prime Minister until the CPP's victory in the 1998 election and thus becoming the country's sole Prime Minister in 1998. During that year the media broadcast him as the Strong Man of Cambodia which he later said was premature, and that the July 1997 coup was merely the government taking action against the paramilitary anarchy that was sponsored and brought to Phnom Penh by Norodom Ranariddh.[24]

In an open letter, Amnesty International condemned the summary execution of FUNCINPEC ministers and the "systematic campaign of arrests and harassment " of political opponents.[25]

On 6 May 2013, Hun Sen declared his intention to rule Cambodia until he is 74.[26][27]

The controversial and widely disputed elections of July 2003 resulted in a larger majority in the National Assembly for the CPP, with FUNCINPEC losing seats to the CPP and the Sam Rainsy Party. However, CPP's majority was short of the two thirds constitutionally required for the CPP to form a government alone. This deadlock was overcome and a new CPP-FUNCINPEC coalition was formed in mid-2004. When Norodom Ranariddh was chosen to be Head of the National Assembly and Hun Sen became again sole Prime Minister of Cambodia.

In August 2013, Hun Sen announced he would continue with his aim to form a new government, even if the main opposition tried to block the process. The news came after both sides claimed victory in the 2013 general elections.[28] Also in August,in New York, a major, but largely unnoticed, demonstration held in front of the United Nations (UN) on August 19 by Cambodians and Buddhist monks was a crucial prelude to planned mass demonstrations in Phnom Penh later in September 2013 by opposition groups protesting the July elections and Hun Sen's response. Cambodians in the United States, Canada and elsewhere, joining hundreds of Buddhist Monks, to peacefully protest in front of the United Nations in New York City in opposition to Hun Sen's deployment of tanks and military and security forces in Phom Phenh and what they believed was his unwillingness to share political power with opposition groups and seriously address earlier voting fraud and election irregularities from the July 2013 election.[29][30]

After the 2013 election results, disputed by Hun Sen's opposition, one person was killed and others injured during protests in Cambodia's capital, where a reported 20,000 protesters gathered, some clashing with riot police.[31] Following the opposition's two weeks in a row protests, in response, Hun Sen declares he will not step down from his position, nor will there be a re-election; further adding he was elected constitutionally.[32]

On 7 September 2013, tens of thousands of Cambodians, along with Buddhist monks and opposition groups, including Sam Rainsy's Cambodian National Rescue Party held peaceful mass demonstrations in Phnom Penh to protest the July 28 elections results which they claimed were flawed and marred by voting irregularities and potential fraud. The groups asked the United Nations to investigate and claimed that the elections results were not free and fair.[33][34]

On 3 January 2014, military police open fired at protesters, killing 4 people and injuring more than 20.[35] The United Nations and US State Department have condemned the violence.[36][37] US Congressman Ed Royce responded to the report of violence in Cambodia by calling for Hun Sen to step down and said the Cambodian people deserve a better leader.[38]

In June 2014, there were rumors that Hun Sen had suffered a stroke and is receiving treatment in Singapore.[39] On 10 June 2014, Hun Sen made a public appearance and claimed he has no health problems. He warned that if he were to die prematurely, the country would spin out of control and the opposition could expect trouble from the armed forces, saying he is the only person who can control the army.[40] On 18 June, it was reported that Hun Sen is in a sick condition during a state visit to Bangladesh and had to cancel high-level meetings with Bangladeshi cabinet ministers,[41] but this was denied by government ministers.[42]

Corruption and political violence[edit]

Some political opponents of Hun Sen accuse him of being a Vietnamese puppet. This is due to his position in the government created by Vietnam while Cambodia was under Vietnamese military occupation and the fact that he was a prominent figure in the People's Revolutionary Party of Kampuchea (now known as the Cambodian People's Party), which governed Cambodia as a one-party state under Vietnamese military occupation from 1979 until elections in 1993. Hun Sen and his supporters reject such charges, saying that he represents only the Cambodian people.

Hun Sen's government has been responsible for the sale of 45% of the total landmass in Cambodia - primarily to foreign investors - in the years 2007-08, threatening more than 150,000 Cambodians with eviction. Parts of the concessions are wildlife protections or national parks even,[43] and the landsales has been perceived by observers, to be the result of government corruption. Already thousands of citizens had fallen victims of forced evictions.[44]

Hun Sen was implicated in corruption related to Cambodia's oil wealth and mineral resources in the Global Witness 2009 report on Cambodia. He and his close associates were accused of carrying out secret negotiations with interested private parties, taking money from those who he would then grant rights to exploit the country's resources. The credibility of this accusation has been questioned by government officials and especially Prime Minister Hun Sen, himself.[45]

Mr Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has placed bans on public gatherings, driven opposition supporters from the site of former protest meetings 'Freedom Park', and deployed riot police to beat protesters and detain union leaders.[46]

Control of media[edit]

Hun Sen and his political party, CPP, have for the most part of their rule held near total dominance over the mainstream media. Bayon Television is owned and operated by Hun Mana Hun Sen's eldest daughter. Apsara TV is joint-owned by Say Sam Al, CPP Minister of Environment and son of Say Chhum, CPP secretary and the son of CPP Deputy Prime Minister Sok An. CTN, CNC and MyTV are all owned by Khmer-Chinese tycoon, Neak Okhna Kith Meng, one of the State's "Okhna".[47] Okhna is a title granted by the Prime Minister or the Royal Family to high profile businessmen, and signifies a very close friendship. Okhna are regularly summoned by the Prime Minister to provide funding for various projects.[48]

CPP officials claim that there is no connection between the TV stations and the state, despite the obvious prevalence of Nepotism. However, CPP lawmaker and official spokesman Cheam Yeap once stated “We pay for that television [coverage] by buying broadcasting hours to show our achievements,”[49] indicating that those TV stations are pro-CPP because they have been paid for by the state for what is effectively advertising.

A demand for television and radio licences was one of 10 opposition requests adopted by the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) at its "People’s Congress” in October 2013.[50]

Personal life[edit]

Hun Sen is married to Bun Rany. They have 6 children: Kamsot (deceased), Manet, Mana, Manith, Mani, and Mali (adoptive). Hun Manet is a 1999 West Point Academy graduate and obtained his PhD in Economics at the University of Bristol. In 2010, Manet was promoted Major General in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and became the Deputy Commander of the Prime Minister's Body Guard headquarters. All three of Hun Sen's sons play big roles in his regime.[51] His older brother, Hun Neng, is a former governor of Kampong Cham and currently a member of parliament.

Although Hun Sen's official birthday is 4 April 1951, his true birth date is revealed to be on 5 August 1952.[2]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "PM Turns Over Commander-in-Chief Post". The Cambodia Daily. 29 January 1999. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Samdech Hun Sen" | Cambodia New Vision cnv.org.kh. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  3. ^ Khmer-English Dictionary (Headley, 1997)
  4. ^ Vandenbrink, Rachel (6 May 2013). "Hun Sen Says He Will Stay in Power Until He's 74". Radio Free Asia. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  5. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australia-asks-cambodia-to-take-asylum-seekers-amid-violent-crackdown-20140223-33amf.html Retrieved February-25-2014
  6. ^ Brad Adams (September 18, 2012). "Speak Truth to Cambodia's Dictator". The Financial Times. Human Rights Watch. Retrieved September 29, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Tenth out of Ten". The Economist (Banyan, Asia). November 17, 2012. Retrieved September 29, 2013. 
  8. ^ Marshall, Andrew R.C. and Thu, Prak Chan (September 18, 2013). "Analysis: Punished at the polls, Cambodia's long-serving PM is smiling again". Reuters. Retrieved September 29, 2013. 
  9. ^ Thomas Fuller (January 5, 2014). "Cambodia Steps Up Crackdown on Dissent With Ban on Assembly". The New York Times. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  10. ^ http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/b01c354e-13f2-11e4-8485-00144feabdc0.html#axzz38lhRbUJK Retrieved July-29-2014
  11. ^ Forest (2008), p. 178 "Sino-khmer originaire du district de Krauch Chmar 140, Hun Sèn descend par ses grands-parents paternels d'une famille de propriétaires terriens qui paraît correspondre au stéréotype du Chinois - téochiew ? - implanté en zone rurale, c'est-à-dire aisée mais sans pouvoir administratif. Par sa mère, il descendrait inversement d'une tête de réseau....."
  12. ^ Time (Magazine), Volume 136 (1990), p. 329 Beijing has not softened its hostility toward Hun Sen, but there are subtle signs that China may yet shift its position. Some officials now mention that Hun Sen's grandfather was Chinese, seeming to hint at the possibility of a new....
  13. ^ Harish C. Mehta (1999), p. 15-6
  14. ^ Harish C. Mehta (1999), p. 11, 21
  15. ^ Caroline Green and Lon Nara (December 6, 2002). "Disabilities are not sins, Cambodia's disabled say". The Phnom Penh Post. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  16. ^ Mehta, Harish; Julie Mehta (2013). Strongman: The Extraordinary Life of Hun Sen. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions (Time Publishing Limited). ISBN 9789814361293. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  17. ^ Harish C. Mehta (1999), p. 32, 35
  18. ^ David Robert Jr. (7 December 1989). "Cambodia's Hun Sen Is Himself Khmer Rouge" (Readers Opinion). The New York Times. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  19. ^ Shenon, Philip (15 November 1991). "Joyous Sihanouk Returns to Cambodia From Exile". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  20. ^ unknown (4 June 1987). "Cambodia is Said to Torture Prisoners". The Boston Globe. HighBeam Research. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  21. ^ Amnesty International (June 1987). Kampuchea: Political Imprisonment and Torture. London. 
  22. ^ Cambodia Criticizes Amnesty International Report The Associated Press. 6 June 1987
  23. ^ Kamm, Henry (1998). Cambodia. New York: Arcade Publishing, Inc. pp. 237–240. ISBN 1-55970-433-0. 
  24. ^ "Hun Sen's profile". The Cambodia Daily News. 28 November 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  25. ^ Secretary General Pierre Sane (July 11, 1997). "Open letter to Second Prime Minister Hun Sen". Amnesty International. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  26. ^ NEOU, VANNARIN (7 May 2013). "Hun Sen Reveals Plan to Win 3 More Elections, Retire at Age 74". The Cambodia Daily. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  27. ^ Thul, Prak Chan (6 September 2013). "As protest looms, Cambodia's strongman Hun Sen faces restive, tech-savvy youth". Reuters UK. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  28. ^ Prak Chan Thul (2 August 2013). "Defiant Hun Sen says to form government despite Cambodia poll row". Reuters. 
  29. ^ Businesswire, Businesswire.com, Washington, D.C., 5 September 2013, "Cambodia, Buddhist Monks’ Rally at United Nations: Prelude to Upcoming Phnom Penh Demonstrations" http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20130906005612/en/Cambodia-Buddhist-Monks%E2%80%99-Rally-United-Nations-Prelude#.UwKmi4Xc1F8
  30. ^ Center for Public Policy Analysis, http://wwww.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org, 5 September 2013, Press Release: "Cambodia, Buddhist Monks’ Rally at United Nations: Prelude to Upcoming Phnom Penh Demonstrations"
  31. ^ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/cambodia-protest-clashes/814406.html Retrieved September-16-2013
  32. ^ "Hun Sen says he will not resign or call election" http://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/hun-sen-says-he-will-not-resign-or-call-election-49554/
  33. ^ Thul, Prak Chan (8 September 2013). Martin Petty and Michael Perry, ed. "Cambodia opposition rallies in push for poll probe". Reuters. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  34. ^ unknown (6 September 2013). "Cambodia, Buddhist Monks’ Rally at United Nations: Prelude to Upcoming Phnom Penh Demonstrations". Businesswire. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  35. ^ "Workers, Police Clash, Leaving 3 Dead in Cambodia". VOA. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  36. ^ http://khmer.voanews.com/content/us-state-department-condemn-violence-on-protestors-in-cambodia/1823211.html
  37. ^ http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=46869&Cr=protest&Cr1=#.UspHjahfvuU
  38. ^ Sok Khemara (7 January 2014). "US House Foreign Affairs Chair Calls for Hun Sen to Step Down". Voice of America. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  39. ^ "Government Denies Rumors of Hun Sen Stroke". The Cambodia Daily. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  40. ^ "Cambodian PM Says Opposition Will Rue His Death". Associated Press. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  41. ^ "Hun Sen Sick, Cancels High-Level Meeting in Bangladesh". The Cambodia Daily. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  42. ^ "កម្ពុជាច្រានចោលព័ត៌មានរបស់បង់ក្លាដែសពីសុខភាពលោកហ៊ុន សែន" (in Khmer). Voice of America. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  43. ^ Note: See Botum Sakor National Park for example.
  44. ^ Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark (April 26, 2008). "Country for sale". The Guardian. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  45. ^ Country for Sale Global Witness
  46. ^ http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2014/06/labour-activism-cambodia Retrieved June-05-2014
  47. ^ http://www.cambodiadaily.com/elections/oppositions-demand-for-tv-access-crucial-futile-44423/
  48. ^ Brinkley, Joel (2011). Cambodia's Curse. New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN 9781586487874. 
  49. ^ http://www.cambodiadaily.com/elections/cnrp-launches-online-tv-to-break-cpps-media-stranglehold-46710/
  50. ^ Ponniah, Kevin (7 November 2013). "CNRP has view to TV licence". The Phnom Penh Post. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  51. ^ http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21581773-united-opposition-takes-aim-one-asias-strongest-ruling-parties-not-quite-usual-walkover Cambodia’s election: Not quite the usual walkover

Further reading[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Chan Sy
Prime Minister of Kampuchea
1985–1989
Position abolished
New office Prime Minister of Cambodia
Served alongside: Norodom Ranariddh

1989–1993
Succeeded by
Norodom Ranariddh
New office Second Prime Minister of Cambodia
Served alongside: Norodom Ranariddh/Ung Huot

1993–1998
Position abolished
Preceded by
Ung Huot
Prime Minister of Cambodia
1998–present
Incumbent