Jakarta, Nov. 14, 2019 Exiled Cambodian opposition leader, Sam Rainsy, arrived in Indonesia on Thursday after reports that he was barred from entering amid attempts to return to his home country.
“@RainsySam safely landed in Jakarta this morning. Will meet Indonesian MPs,’’ tweeted Mu Sochua, deputy of the outlawed opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), of which Rainsy is acting president.
Indonesian authorities have denied reports that Rainsy, who had been scheduled to arrive in Jakarta on Wednesday afternoon from Malaysia, had been barred entry into the country.
“There has been no order to bar entry for the person.
“Sam Rainsy is not in Indonesian territory,’’ Indonesian immigration spokesman, Sam Fernando, said late Wednesday.
Rainsy tweeted late Wednesday that he missed his flight and was instead scheduled to arrive in Jakarta on Thursday morning.
Rainsy, who lives in self-exile in France, has been trying to return to Cambodia with other opposition figures to launch what he described as a restoration of democracy there.
Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen, has called the plan a coup attempt and has threatened to arrest Rainsy.
Rainsy’s attempt to enter Cambodia via Thailand failed last week after he was blocked from boarding a Thai Airways flight in Paris.
The Cambodian Ambassador to Indonesia, Hor Nambora, stormed into a Jakarta hotel where Sochua was holding a news conference and threatened to arrest her.
The Cambodian embassy in Jakarta also requested Indonesian authorities to arrest Sochua, calling her a fugitive.
The CNRP was dissolved by the nation’s Supreme Court in 2017, ahead of 2018 elections, swept by Hun Sen’s ruling party.
Edited by Halima Sheji/Abdulfatah Babatunde