Cambodian leader rejects opposition protest threats

Cambodia's leader has responded angrily to threats of nationwide demonstrations by the opposition, saying they could sink any chances of resolving political differences through negotiations.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech to graduating students Monday that the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party should speak politely and make a positive gesture if they want to ease tensions.

The opposition complains that it is being harassed by politically influenced courts, forcing party leader Sam Rainsy to stay in exile to avoid jail and his deputy Kem Sokha to take refuge behind supporters at party headquarters, where armed state security forces have been staging shows of strength. Kem Sokha says the party is considering calling for nationwide protests to force the government to ease the pressure.