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City Hall considering May Day rally

Phnom Penh City Hall expressed uncertainty yesterday as to whether it would be able to allow a planned 3,000-person labour union rally on May 1, in observation of International Labour Day.

Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW) president Pav Sina yesterday said the thousands-strong demonstration will meet in the capital’s Freedom Park, before delivering petitions to the United States and European Union embassies. Petitions will ask for better monitoring of labour violations such as the excessive use of short-term contracts.

“We will give speeches related to workers’ concerns and the challenges of labour rights, as well as union freedoms,” Sina said yesterday. “Even if we are not allowed to, we still will; we do it every year, and it is our right to [demonstrate].”

City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche, however, said he would like to meet with CUMW officials before the rally, maintaining that while the law stipulates that a “peaceful demonstration” can include no more than 200 people, “we will ask [the Ministry of Interior] to approve more”.

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