Cambodia to deport Chinese woman over royal photos
PHNOM PENH (AFP) – A Cambodian court Tuesday ordered the deportation of a Chinese factory
manager who nearly caused a riot among workers by ripping up photographs of recently deceased former king Norodom Sihanouk.
Wang Zia Chao, 43, was also handed a one-year suspended sentence for “intentionally damaging the photos” of the revered royal and told to pay a two million riel ($500) fine, judge Seng Neang at Phnom Penh municipal court said.
Wang expressed remorse for destroying the two photos on Monday after becoming annoyed that staff at the Top World garment factory had interrupted work to look at them, but she told the court she was unaware who was depicted in the images.
“If I had known… I would not have done it. I feel regret for the mistake and I would like to say sorry for everything,” Wang said.
Monday’s incident so infuriated the factory workers that police had to be called in to calm down a 1,000-strong crowd.
Wang was handcuffed and forced to make a public apology at a shrine to the revered royal. She was also fired from her job as chief of a production unit.
Unlike neighbouring Thailand, Cambodia does not have strict legislation against insulting the monarchy and prosecutions are extremely rare.
Sihanouk, who steered Cambodia through decades marked by independence from France, civil war, the murderous Khmer Rouge regime and finally peace, died of a heart attack on October 15 aged 89.