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Questions raised over migrant worker death

Questions raised over migrant worker death

Authorities are investigating the death of a Cambodian worker that took place on Monday outside a factory in Thailand’s Songkhla province, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said yesterday.

Koy Kuong told the Post that the Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok had informed him that authorities from both countries were investigating the man’s death and whether he had been murdered.

“We are working with the company to find out the reality of the incident,” he said, adding that there was uncertainty about whether others had been killed or injured. “We will solve it according to the law to find justice for the victim.”

Koy Kuong did not reveal the name of the company or details about the victim.

But Phan Chem, a representative of Cambodian workers at Siam International Food Co, a cannery in Songkhla province, said a 19-year-old worker from Prey Veng province had been killed and seven other Cambodian workers injured during a clash with Burmese co-workers outside the factory on Monday.

The Khmer workers at the factory had been in dispute with Burmese employees for some time, but Phan Chem thought their differences had been resolved.

“Materials in workers’ rooms had been destroyed [on Sunday and Monday],” he said.

Hundreds of workers had then clashed outside during a break, Phan Chem said.

“[The victim] had run and fallen in a hole and [other] workers caught up with him and stabbed him in the head,” he said.

A Khmer woman had gone missing after the incident, he said, but it was not clear to what extent she had been involved in the dispute.

Bun Na, an employee at the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok, confirmed to the Post that the embassy was investigating the incident, but would not comment in detail.

The Siam International Food Co declined to comment about whether such an incident had happened outside its factory.

“I have no information to tell you about this,” a woman who answered the company’s phone said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meas Sokchea at [email protected]

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