Social media maven and political provocateur Thy Sovantha, the subject of recent leaks allegedly involving Prime Minister Hun Sen and his middle son, announced on Facebook on Saturday that she was parting ways with two of her associates.
Ms. Sovantha rose to social media fame as an activist with the opposition CNRP in 2013, but fears that she was a CPP plant appeared to be justified when she turned against the party earlier this year and helped lead a campaign shaming deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha over accusations of marital infidelity.
Thy Sovantha rides in a car with fellow social media provocateur Phe Sovannarith, in an undated photograph posted to her Facebook page.Her relationship with Phe Sovannarith, a CPP-aligned social media activist who aggressively promoted his Facebook page around the 2013 election, raised suspicions that her allegiance to the CNRP was a ruse. She later partnered with Srey Chamroeun, who claims to be a university student, in a campaign attempting to sully the reputation of Mr. Sokha.
Over the weekend, she announced her separation from the two and said she would file lawsuits against them for leaking her private conversations online.
“I, Thy Sovantha, wish to disconnect from Srey Chamroeun’s and Phe Sovannarith’s groups,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “We are preparing a complaint and to cooperate with authorities to arrest those individuals for being demeaning and posting personal documents.”
Over the course of a week late last month, private conversations apparently involving Ms. Sovantha were leaked online, the first purportedly showing a Facebook conversation with Hun Manith in which they discuss plans to protest against Mr. Sokha, and the second allegedly showing a Line conversation with the prime minister, called “grandpa,” who promises $1 million in exchange for efforts to break apart the CNRP.
Neither Major General Manith nor Mr. Hun Sen have publicly commented on the authenticity of the conversations.
Mr. Chamroeun, who was unknown in political circles before he started leading protests against Mr. Sokha, said by telephone on Sunday that he was not worried by Ms. Sovantha’s pledge of legal action, but declined to comment on any specific leaks or posts.
Mr. Sovannarith could not be reached.
In a message posted to his Facebook page on Thursday, Mr. Chamroeun appeared to admit to being involved in the leaks.
“I, Srey Chamroeun, decided to release some documents related to Thy Sovantha during this period,” the post said.
“Thy Sovantha has a strong grandfather behind her. I will show this evidence and documents one by one until the end,” it added, daring people to arrest him. “I will not be afraid.”
sokhean@cambodiadaily.com
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