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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Protest to target Thai PM's visit

Protest to target Thai PM's visit

Union members to demonstrate against Thai border incursions.

AT least 150 trade union members have threatened to picket today's state visit by Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to protest what they said were recent border incursions by Thai troops.

Municipal officials held meetings Thursday with representatives of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCU) and the Free Trade Union (FTU), warning them that they would face consequences if they protested without the approval of the Ministry of Interior, said CCU President Rong Chhun.

"We know that the local authorities will try to take measures against us, but we will try our best to move ahead with this peaceful demonstration demanding that Thailand stop its ambitious invasions of Cambodia," he said Thursday.

Rong Chhun said the protesters would march peacefully to the National Assembly and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs  to send a message to Abhisit to withdraw his soldiers from Cambodian territory and return them to their bases by July 15.

He said they would also call on Thailand to pay compensation for the damage of a market near Preah Vihear temple that occurred when during  clashes April 3.

FTU President Chea Mony said an attempt to crack down on the demonstration would indicate that the government had no political will to resolve border issues with Thailand.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said Wednesday that Abhisit was scheduled to meet with King Norodom Sihamoni and senior officials from the ruling Cambodian People's Party, adding that he hoped border issues would be addressed.

"Our two countries are facing problems with a border conflict, and I hope that the border issues will be the topic of discussion between the two prime ministers," he said.

He said Abhisit would preside over a ceremony marking the return of seven Cambodian artefacts stolen by smugglers.

Municipal Police Chief Touch Naruth could not be reached for comment after Thursday's meeting. 

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