|Opposition Leader Sam Rainsy (Photo: VOA)|
LOWELL -- A Cambodian opposition leader and two other members of parliament will be in Lowell Saturday to discuss ongoing human-rights abuses in Cambodia .
Sam Rainsy, leader of the Sam Rainsy Party and generally considered the main rival to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, will appear with fellow SRP legislators Tok Vanchan and Tioulong Sumura, Rainsy's wife, on Saturday, from 5 p.m. to midnight at the Sunny Da Restaurant, 450 Chelmsford St.
Rainsy, formerly a member of the Cambodian National Assembly, has most recently been living in self-imposed exile in Australia . In March, the Cambodian Supreme Court upheld Rainsy's conviction on charges of inciting racial discrimination and uprooting border markings with neighboring Vietnam .
Shortly after the court's ruling, the National Assembly released a statement revoking Rainsy's "rights, privileges and membership as member of parliament."
The conviction upheld by the Supreme Court carries with it a two-year prison sentence and, when combined with an unrelated 10-year sentence for publishing a false map of the border with Vietnam .
Since 2009, Rainsy has maintained he was leading demonstrations on the Cambodian-Vietnamese border to protest what he believes is Vietnamese encroachment on Cambodian land.
A Rainsy Party spokesman criticized the National Assembly decree as a political move by a parliament dominated by MPs from Hun Sen's ruling Cambodian People's Party. In the past, the Rainsy Party and the NGO Cambodian Center for Human Rights have asserted that Rainsy's convictions were an attempt to keep him from participating in Cambodia 's 2013 national election.
Hun Sen, 59, has held power in Cambodia for a quarter-century and, according to some, has vowed to remain in power until he is 90 years old.
Rainsy plans to discuss those issues, as well as what he calls ongoing human-rights abuses in Cambodia , suppression of the Cambodian media and the future of the country.
For more information, email Chhan Touch at email@example.com.