KATHMANDU, Oct 7: UN Human Rights Envoy to Cambodia Prof Surya Subedi has taken a strong exception to the scathing criticism of him by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, saying it was unbecoming of a person of the prime minister´s stature to “descend to the personal level”.
In a statement on Sunday, Prof Subedi, who is currently working as UN Human Rights Rapporteur to Cambodia, defended his report presented last month that said a series of Cambodian land dispute´s "indicate an increasingly desperate and unhappy population."
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday lashed out at Subedi for what he called writing “untrue” reports about his country, while suggesting to Subedi to worry about his home land instead.
While stating that there is room for improvement in Cambodia, Subedi said his job is to identify the shortcomings that exist in the system and offer his recommendations to address the issues. "I do not wish to descend to the personal level and do not wish to have a dialogue with him [Hun Sen] or anybody in the government through the media," he said.
According to a news filed by AFP news agency, Hun Sen in his speech in Phnom Penh also criticized Nepal saying the author of the “untrue” writing is a national from a country that “has already abolished monarchy” and "at this hour…has no constitution“´ "Hopefully, he will go and help his own country. That would be better than helping Cambodia," the report quoted Hun as further saying.
Prof Subedi clarified that he was working in his professional capacity in Cambodia and that he expected others to do the same. "I am not representing Nepal in Cambodia. I am a professor of international law, a barrister and human rights advocate. I am an independent expert working on behalf of the UN with a view to helping the people of Cambodia," Subedi said in the statement.
Subedi also said that though Nepal does not have a full-fledged constitution now, it has a democratic interim constitution and that parties are trying to write a new constitution with a view to strengthening democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
"Nepal has a liberal democracy where the judiciary is independent and people do not go to jail for criticizing the government. The civil society is vibrant and the government in Nepal respects and listens to the representatives of the civil society," he said.