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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Unions plan to protest Thai occupation of disputed border areas

Unions plan to protest Thai occupation of disputed border areas

Hundreds of patriots expected to demand Thailand's withdrawal from Preah Vihear, a day before the next round of border talks

Another round

Hor Namhong plans to meet his Thai counterpart Tej Bunnag on Monday in the Thai resort town of Hua Hin. Despite the foreign ministers’ earlier accord to recommend “re-deployment” of troops, Thai sorties into disputed territory continue.

THE Cambodia Confederation of Unions announced on Wednesday that it would hold a peaceful demonstration in Phnom Penh on Sunday to demand the withdrawal of Thai troops from disputed border areas near Preah Vihear temple.

The announcement was made in a letter to Municipal Governor Kep Chuktema and stated that at least 300 people would gather at the former National Assembly building and march through the city.

Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association (CITA), said the purpose of the demonstration was to bring Cambodians together to show their desire for the withdrawal of Thai forces and to urge the government to seek the intervention of the UN Security Council to resolve the dispute.

"The delay in taking action will only give the Thais an opportunity to stay longer on Cambodian lands," said Rong Chhun, a signatory of the letter announcing the protest.

He said that he expected thousands of factory workers and civil servants would attend the demonstration to express their outrage over what they view as an invasion by Thailand.

The demonstration is to come a day ahead of a scheduled meeting between the two countries' foreign ministers. A previous meeting failed to produce a resolution.

Sin Bunthoeun, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, questioned the need for a rally. "It isn't necessary because the government is working to resolve the dispute peacefully." But he added that the demonstrators have every right to express their concern.



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