Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Unions in push for park rally

Unions in push for park rally

Unions in push for park rally

As the razor-wire came down from Freedom Park on Wednesday, a group of unions quickly filed a request to be the first people to hold a demonstration inside the park since it was put into lockdown in early January.

The letter, obtained by the Post yesterday, calls on Phnom Penh Governor Pa Socheatvong to allow six unions to hold the rally on International Youth Day on Tuesday.

Sar Mora, president of the Cambodian Food and Service Workers’ Federation, said that the demonstration would call for higher salaries, improved working conditions, a better quality of education and vocational training for the Kingdom’s youths.

“After Freedom Park, we plan to march to the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Education and the National Assembly,” he said. “We hope there will be no problem as there is no more tension with political issues.”

Heng Choeun, president of the Farmer Association for Peace and Development, said he expected about 600 young workers and students to join the gathering.

“I hope 100 per cent that we can use Freedom Park for the first time since it reopened as planned and that we will not have police or authorities stopping us like they have in the past,” he said.

The park has been off limits since the fatal violence and mass demonstrations of early January. Security forces broke up an opposition gathering at the park on January 4, violently ending consecutive days of demonstrating.

Officials had previously said its reopening was dependent on the closure of government investigations into the events, but as it opened on Wednesday, the results remained elusive.

Choeun said that if permission is not granted, the group would hold the demonstration in a separate location near Freedom Park.

City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche told the Post that officials will meet with the union representatives today to discuss their request.

But, he said, if the request is approved, the usual security apparatus will be out in force.

If people “express their freedom of speech or do something over there through the law, we will spread the armed forces or authorities to protect them and ease the traffic as we normally do”, he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Third Makro outlet planned for capital’s Chroy Changvar

    Makro (Cambodia) Co Ltd is set to invest $12.7 million in its third Cambodian outlet, this time in northeast Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, an area dotted with high-end residential developments, as shopping behaviours continue to evolve in tandem with economic growth. The Cambodian Investment