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CNRP told to raise funds privately

Coming on the heels of the imprisonment of 11 of its activists, the arrests of three more and the rejection of an agreement to hold elections earlier, the Cambodia National Rescue Party has now been ordered to cease fundraising for its recently approved television station in public spaces.

In a letter dated Monday, Phnom Penh City Hall said the CNRP had to end its street-side fundraising drive for the station, which it began in late June.

It went on to suggest that the Phnom Penh branch of the party organise fundraising events for the forthcoming Sun TV only on private property.

Long Dimanche, City Hall spokesman, said the CNRP had carried out the fundraising without permission from the authorities.

“Everyone sees that the CNRP set up tables in public places, on pavements, without the proper permissions.… We do not want it to become a model for other people to emulate,” he said. “Also, it is a political action, which cannot be conducted alongside a road.”

He added that there was no intention of using force to end the public fundraising events.

Ou Chanrith, a CNRP lawmaker and spokesman, said that following an internal meeting of the party, the order from City Hall would be followed.

“We agree to stop using public places for fundraising, but we still think it is unreasonable to say that this activity harms public order and the security of the city,” he said.

Since the drive began, Chanrith said, more than $500,000 has been raised.

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