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City bans pair of marches

City Hall has banned street marches for World Teachers’ Day and World Housing Rights Day, ordering participants to confine their activities to Freedom Park instead.

“Through this request, there would be too much celebration. We cannot allow the marching because it could lead to traffic jams and damage the social order,” spokesman Long Dimanche said.

World Teachers’ Day and World Housing Rights Day occur on October 5 and 6, respectively. Planners for both expressed disappointment in the ruling, but the housing rights march organisers say that they will obey it.

Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association, said he planned to march with 600 people to the Ministry of Education and the offices of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet to call for higher teacher salaries.

“We still maintain the peaceful march,” he said.

Meanwhile, Thach Setha, head of the Khmer Krom Association, said that their latest demonstration, a five-day protest starting on October 4, would weave through the city.

Organisers and participants are holding fast to their demands that Vietnam rectify comments made by its Phnom Penh embassy spokesman – since removed – that the Khmer Krom’s traditional homeland in Southern Vietnam had long been part of Vietnam, and not Cambodia.

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