Home > Local News > Hun Sen’s eldest son a key man in border fighting

Hun Sen’s eldest son a key man in border fighting

In the latest round of armed clashes
between Thailand and Cambodia, one man has been frequently mentioned in
the news – Major-General Hun Manet, who is the eldest son of Cambodian
Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Military sources said that Hun
Manet, 33, commanded the latest fighting around the Preah Vihear temple
area bordering Si Sa Ket province. According to some Thai military
sources, an unconfirmed report from Cambodia said Hun Sen’s son was injured during an armed clash on Sunday.
Hun
Sen had said earlier that his son – who was promoted to the rank of
major-general in January – was involved in border strategy and
negotiations with his Thai counterparts to ease the border tensions.
Some observers viewed the
latest border fighting as an attempt by Hun Sen to win acceptance for
Hun Manet, who is chief of the Cambodian defence ministry’s
anti-terrorism unit and deputy commander of his father’s bodyguards.

“Hun Sen wants to promote his
son, who is a West Point graduate, to become the army commander. He
sent his son to the border to wage a war,” said Sondhi Limthongkul, a
co-leader of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, which has been
staging a protest outside Government House demanding decisive
government action against the Cambodians over the chronic border
conflict.
A security source, who requested anonymity, said Hun
Manet appeared to have a strong desire to prove his worth to win
acceptance from the Cambodian military following criticism over his
promotion to become a two-star general in early January at a relatively
young age
.
Hun Manet is the eldest of Hun
Sen’s six children. He graduated from the US Military Academy at West
Point in 1999 and later earned a doctorate in Economics at Britain’s
University of Bristol. That was a far cry from his 59-year-old father,
who joined the Khmer Rouge movement as a teenager and received limited
secondary education.
With Hun Manet’s promotion to a
senior military rank, observers say it is now far less likely for a
coup d’etat against his father, who has ruled Cambodia for 26 years and
says he will rule until the day he dies.
Many Cambodians think Hun Manet
is being groomed by his father to take over the reins of power in the
future. “The question is whether Hun Manet will be accepted by all the
military’s high-ranking officials and factions within the [ruling]
Cambodian People’s Party,” said Son Soubert, a prominent political
commentator and adviser to Cambodia’s King Norodom Sihamoni.
Hun Sen defended his son’s
promotion as in accordance with the rules. “He joined the army in 1994.
He has been in army for 16 years, and there is promotion within the
army ranks,” the Cambodian leader said in a speech broadcast on
national radio following his son’s promotion.
 
The Nation
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Categories: Local News
  1. Anonymous
    March 31, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    A several uneducated Vietnamese here in this website tried to make Khmers people look bad. All Vietnamese communists listen to me. From now on, you have to keep your stupid mouth shut because we all have known you well mad dog.

  2. Anonymous
    March 31, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    How come he got a high rank so quick?
    many Cambodian students earned their scholarship to study abroad, did Mr. Hun Manet have that?

  3. Anonymous
    April 3, 2011 at 9:28 am

    King Norodom Sihanouk and his son should support PM Hun Sen, Hun Sen's son, and all khmers people on this Earth. I believe that King Sihanouk and his son had earned BA or Master degree but their heart are too honest. I meant, they are too kind and nice. That's why the Vietnamese communist and Thai people tried to use and take advantage of their kindness. Khmers people had lost so much land just because of the King of Khmers. However, PM Hun Sen has not abstained Bachelor or Master degree because he was born and raised up during the war time. Moreover, I believe that PM Hun Sen has ability to deal with Thai people and Vietnamese communist because he is able to reach their mind and knows what they want. He is fine, but if anyone who wants to invade and fight then he will be waiting for them. Everything will be all right.

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