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May 23, 2017

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Cambodia PM hits out at UN human rights envoy

PHNOM PENH -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday lashed out at a U.N. human rights envoy for writing "untrue" reports about the Southeast Asian nation, saying he should worry about his homeland Nepal instead.

The attack follows a scathing report by Surya Subedi last month that said a series of Cambodian land disputes "indicate an increasingly desperate and unhappy population."

While Hun Sen did not accuse Subedi by name, the strongman premier said the author of the "untrue" writings was a national of a country that "has already abolished the monarchy" and "at this hour ... has no constitution."

"Hopefully, he will go and help his own country. That would be better than helping Cambodia," Hun Sen said in a speech to graduating students in Phnom Penh.

Subedi was born in Nepal, where the monarchy was abolished in 2008. The nation's parliament was dissolved earlier this year after politicians failed to draw up a constitution by an agreed deadline.

Hun Sen's remarks appear to be the strongest yet against the Oxford-educated law professor, who became U.N. special rapporteur for human rights in Cambodia in 2009 after his predecessor resigned amid a war of words with Phnom Penh.

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