Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - City rejects May Day location



City rejects May Day location

Workers and labour activists gather at Freedom Park last year to take part in a march through Phnom Penh to mark International Labour Day
Workers and labour activists gather at Freedom Park last year to take part in a march through Phnom Penh to mark International Labour Day. Heng Chivoan

City rejects May Day location

Phnom Penh municipal authorities has rejected a request from more than 10 unions to hold an International Labour Day event at Freedom Park on May 1, but the unionists have said that will not stop them from marking the occasion.

City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche said yesterday that authorities would not allow the unions to hold the event at Freedom Park – the capital’s designated protest space, which has been off limits to demonstrators since the government simultaneously cracked down on garment sector and opposition party protests in early January. He appealed to the groups to use their own offices instead.

“We do not agree with their request to celebrate International Labour Day at Freedom Park, because there are many organisations and institutes that want to use that place as well that we have refused,” Dimanche said, adding that the city had conveyed that message to unions in a meeting on Thursday.

“We told them to do it at their own offices, a private place or their factories. But we will not allow them to do it at a public place and we have temporarily banned the use of Freedom Park,” he said.

The unions’ request would now be passed on to the Ministry of Interior.

Yang Sophorn, president of the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions, said yesterday, however, union leaders were standing firm on holding their event at the park.

“We are still keeping our stance to do [this] at Freedom Park on International Labour Day, and our unions will have another meeting again before making a final decision,”
she said.

In previous years, labour unions had been allowed to celebrate the occasion at public places, including Freedom Park, Sophorn noted.

“Our rights and freedoms are crumbling [at this time], because as we know, on previous occasions, the government has allowed us to do or [express] our rights at public places . . . But this year is very different,” she said.

Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said yesterday that the unions had planned to march from Freedom Park to the headquarters of the Cambodian People’s Party and Cambodia National Rescue Party, respectively.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants

  • Time to Rise by rapper, chapei legend is viral hit with ancient-modern mix

    Kong Nay is known internationally as the master of the chapei dang veng, a traditional Cambodian instrument resembling a long-necked lute or guitar with two nylon strings that he was already playing professionally by the age of 15. Nay is sometimes referred to as the Cambodian