Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Officials, activists spar at event

Officials, activists spar at event

Officials, activists spar at event

110811_2
Chut Vutty (second right), director of the Natural Resource Protection Group, speaks to police in Srae Veal Khang Kaeut Village, in Kampong Thom Province’s Sandan district yesterday.

Local officials accompanied by armed police attempted to stop a seminar on human rights and protection of natural resources at a pagoda in Kampong Thom province yesterday morning, organisers of the event said.

They said police surrounded Natural Resources Management Group director Chut Wutty and villagers, primarily ethnic Kuy villagers, who had travelled to the pagoda in Sandan district’s Dang Kambit commune from three provinces to learn about human rights.

The seminar followed another at the pagoda on Tuesday that drew about 70 villagers. It also ran into resistance from local authorities, a statement from the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights said.

Lim Savuth, a seminar organiser with CCHR, said commune chief Chhoy Mab and police tried to prevent Tuesday’s forum and after failing to do so they monitored it closely. The commune chief returned yesterday morning with more police and attempted to stop the seminar again, he said.

Commune officials are trying to clamp down on freedom of expression, seminar participant Minh Ny said.

Local officials, however, denied trying to stop the seminar and said its organisers had failed to inform them about it. Chhoy Mab said that when he arrived he asked to see a letter of permission but organisers responded rudely.

“I just wanted good cooperation. They came without telling us before hand,” he said, adding that it was not unusual for police to be armed.

District governor Sim Vanna said he never opposed meetings but expected organisers to follow procedures and notify authorities in advance.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all