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

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be