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Senate President Requests Cooperation with Vietnam Over TikTok Insults

Phnom Penh, May 19, 2024 — The President of the Cambodian Senate, Hun Sen, has called for cooperation between Cambodian and Vietnamese authorities to investigate insults directed at him on the social media platform TikTok. The comments, posted by a Vietnamese-language account, have prompted concerns over their origin and intent.

In a Facebook post on the night of May 19, 2024, Hun Sen expressed his surprise and dismay at the derogatory remarks made against him. He questioned whether the comments originated from within Vietnam, from Vietnamese nationals abroad, or from Vietnamese-speaking individuals in Cambodia, including the Khmer Krom community.

"I'm not sure if this is Vietnam, Who are the Vietnamese in Vietnam or the Vietnamese abroad, some against the Vietnamese government or the Vietnamese living in Cambodia or the Khmer Krom who have a small account and can type Vietnamese and can read Khmer?" Hun Sen wrote. "With such uncertainty, the only solution is research collaboration. I ask the Cambodian authorities to cooperate with the Vietnamese authorities to investigate the composition of those who came to insult me."

While Hun Sen did not directly accuse Vietnamese leaders of orchestrating the insults, he emphasized the need for thorough investigation to prevent any potential separatist activities. He stressed that this cooperation would help clarify the situation and address any misunderstandings.

This incident is not unprecedented. In 2016 and 2017, during heightened tensions over the South China Sea dispute, Hun Sen faced similar online abuse from over 2,000 Vietnamese individuals, including a district party secretary. At that time, the Cambodian leader addressed the matter with Vietnamese party secretary-general Nguyen Phu Trong, and then that such thing seem to be quiet.

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