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Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen Shows Off His Beach Bod to Celebrate Ramadan

Heads of state tend to use social media to proliferate flattering images of themselves. Not Hun Sen.

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California on June 2, 2016. Protesters who oppose Donald Trump scuffled with his supporters on June 2 as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee held a rally in California, with fistfights erupting and one supporter hit with an egg. / AFP / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Heads of state tend to use social media to proliferate flattering images of themselves. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen — who is obsessed with Facebook, if the frequency of posts to his account is any indicator, and who almost certainly purchased many of his followers from click farms — violated that axiom Monday in an eccentric Ramadan greeting that included three photos of him wading in the ocean wearing a sodden white tank top.

“I want to show that our country is peaceful everywhere, and leaders can travel to work or recreation without fear of terrorist attack,” he wrote beneath the photos. “Greetings fellow countrymen, especially Muslims, on the first day of Ramadan.”

Almost all Cambodians are Buddhist, but some 1.9 percent of the country’s population of 15.7 million is Muslim. Many Cambodian Muslims belong to the Cham ethnic group, which the Khmer Rouge persecuted heavily until it fell in 1979.

Photo credits: Hun Sen/Facebook

Benjamin Soloway is an associate editor at Foreign Policy. @bsoloway

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