CITY Hall has refused to allow the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association to hold a rally at the old National Assembly building on Tuesday to mark World Teachers’ Day, officials said.
A letter signed by Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema on Saturday said the government preferred that CITA organise at its office rather than at the building – located near Wat Botum in Daun Penh district – because police would be busy protecting the pagoda during the Phchum Ben festival.
“The Phnom Penh Municipality insisted that the association organise the day at its office, which is located in Boeung Keng Kang 3 commune in Chamkarmon district,” said Koeut Chhe, City Hall’s deputy administrative director. He added that City Hall feared the event as proposed by CITA President Rong Chhun would “cause trouble to public security, safety and order”.
But Rong Chhun said he planned to go ahead with it anyway.
“I cannot accept the decision made by the Phnom Penh Municipality official,” he said.
“We will still be sticking to our stance of rallying in front of the old building of the National Assembly and marching in a procession on the day.”
He added that he expected about 250 teachers to mark World Teachers’ Day, which has been held each year on October 5 since 1994.
Kirt Chantharith, spokesman for the National Police, could not be reached yesterday.