||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (February 2012)|
|Hun Sen speaking at the World Economic Forum in East Asia (2010)|
|Prime Minister of Cambodia|
30 November 1998
Chea Sim (Regent)
|Preceded by||Ung Huot|
14 January 1985 – 21 September 1993
Alongside Norodom Ranariddh:
2 July 1993 – 21 September 1993
|Preceded by||Chan Sy|
|Succeeded by||Norodom Ranariddh
Alongside Norodom Ranariddh as Second prime minister:
24 September 1993 – 30 November 1998
5 August 1952 |
Peam Koh Sna, Indochina
|Spoken style||Samdach Akeak Moha Sena Padey Decho Hun Sen
"The Great Lord Protector Hun Sen"
|Informal style||Samdach Hun Sen
"His Excellency, Hun Sen"
Hun Sen (Khmer: ហ៊ុន សែន; born 5 August 1952) is the Prime Minister of Cambodia and leader of the Cambodian People's Party (CPP), which has governed Cambodia since the Vietnamese-backed overthrow of the Khmer Rouge in 1979. Since the restoration of multi-party democracy in 1993, the CPP has been in a coalition with the royalist Funcinpec party.
His full honorary title is Samdech Akeak Moha Sena Padey Decho Hun Sen (Khmer: សម្តេចអគ្គមហាសេនាបតីតេជោ ហ៊ុន សែន). The title "Samdech" was attached to his name in 1993 by King Norodom Sihanouk, though this does not give him additional powers. He has a glass eye, the result of a wound sustained during the Khmer Rouge offensive against Phnom Penh in April 1975. Hun Sen is the second longest serving leader in Southeast Asia and is one of the longest serving prime ministers in the world, having been in power through various coalitions since 1985.
Early life 
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. 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. 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. Two years later, Hun Nal changed his name to Hun Sen. In 1974, Hun Sen met his future wife Bun Rany. He was wounded in the left eye, which was later removed, in 1975 on the day before the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh. The following year, Hun Sen married Bun Rany.
Political career 
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. 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 in the 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".
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."
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. 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 collaborate with the remaining Khmer Rouge rebels (with whom it had been allied against Hun Sen's Vietnamese-backed government during the 1980s), aiming to absorb them into its ranks.
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 was merely, the government taking action against the paramilitary anarchy that was sponsored and brought to Phnom Penh by Norodom Ranariddh.
The 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.
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 land to foreign investors in 2007-08 resulting in the forced eviction of thousands of residents from their homes.
Hun Sen was implicated in corruption related to Cambodia's oil wealth and mineral resources in Global Witness 2009 report on Cambodia. He and his close associates were accused of carrying out secret negotiations with interested private parties and taking money from those who he would grant rights to exploit the resources. However, the credibility of this accusation has been questioned by government officials and especially Prime Minister Hun Sen, himself.
As of 2012, the minister has arrested two innocent women, Yorm Bopha and Tim Sakmony, for protesting against the forced eviction at the Boeung Kak Lake along with many other activists. The two are facing charges that are not related to the protest.  Cambodia's people are also trying to send out a message to U.S. President, Barack Obama. Eight villagers of Phnom Penh were arrested for painting "SOS" and plastering Obama's picture on their rooftops. Police deemed their actions as illegal. Earlier in the year, the villagers were told to leave their homes so that a nearby airport will be able to build a larger runway and security buffer zone. For nearly 30 years, powerful companies have been able to forcibly evict people without accountability or judicial oversight.
Personal life 
Hun Sen is married to Bun Rany. They have six children, 3 sons and 3 daughters: Manet, Mana, Manit, Mani, Mali and Malis. The youngest, Malis was adopted. 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.
Although Hun Sen's birthday is officially celebrated on April 4, 1951, he had revealed that his actual date of birth was August 5, 1952. He had apparently lied about his date of birth to appear older when joining the Khmer Rouge in his youth.
See also 
- Premier's Biography at the Royal Government of Cambodia Homepage; accessed 24 May 2009.
- 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....."
- 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....
- Harish C. Mehta (1999), p. 15-6
- Harish C. Mehta (1999), p. 11, 21
- Harish C. Mehta (1999), p. 32, 35
- Cambodia's Hun Sen Is Himself Khmer Rouge - New York Times
- http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-8013822.html Cambodia is Said to Torture Prisoners, Boston Globe, June 4, 1987
- http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/54/060.html Open letter to Second Prime Minister Hun Sen, Amnesty International, 11 July 1997
- Cambodia, a country for sale, April 2008, The Guardian
- Country for Sale | Global Witness
- Clamor for Activists’ Freedom, October 2012, Radio Free Asia
- Cambodia Arrests 8 For Painting SOS, November 2012, The Washington Post
- The Cambodia Daily, April 5, 2007
Further reading 
- Alain Forest (2008), Cambodge contemporain, Indes Savantes, ISBN 2846541930
- Harish C. Mehta and Julie B. Mehta. 1999. Hun Sen: Strongman of Cambodia. Singapore: Graham Brash Pte Ltd. ISBN 981-218-074-5
- Elizabeth Becker. 1986, 1998. When the War Was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge. New York: Public Affairs. ISBN 1-891620-00-2
- Biography of Hun Sen Cambodia New Vision ~ newsletter of cabinet of Cambodia's Prime Ministerial office
|Prime Minister of Kampuchea
|New office||Prime Minister of Cambodia
Served alongside: Norodom Ranariddh
|New office||Second Prime Minister of Cambodia
Served alongside: Norodom Ranariddh/Ung Huot
|Prime Minister of Cambodia