Rong Chhun: Authorization or not, the demonstration against Abhisit will go on
Sourse: KI Media,
Translated from Khmer by Socheata
June 11, 2009

On Wednesday, Rong Chhun, President of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, declared that the meeting for the march starting from in front of the old National Assembly building to be held on Friday, the day when Abhisit Vejjajiva, Thailand PM, will visit Cambodia, will take place even if the city hall does not authorize it.

Rong Chhun said that he sent a letter to inform the Phnom Penh city hall already about the planned meeting to express the people’s opinion and the ensuing march. He said that even without the authorization from the city hall, “we must hold [this demonstration against Abhisit] because this is an issue that affects the nation as a whole, and this no longer an individual issue.”

Chea Mony, President of the Free Trade Union of Workers in the Kingdom of Cambodia (FTUWKC), also declared that he will join the demonstration. He said that this is an occasion for Cambodian people to express their opinion about Thailand’s aggression on Cambodian territories, as well a show of the expression of opinion to the Thai authority. He said that, even with the prevention from the city hall, “we will hold [this demonstration] because this is our national interest, and the city hall should protect those who come to express their opinion on 12 June.”

Group to Protest Thai Premier’s Visit
Source: By Heng Reaksmey, VOA Khmer
Original report from Phnom Penh, 10 June 2009

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva will make an official visit to Cambodia Friday, but he won’t receive a warm reception from everyone.

The Cambodian Confederation of Unions plans to hold a protest of Thai incursions into Cambodia along the disputed border, following nearly a yearlong military standoff near Preah Vihear temple.

“We want the Thai prime minister to remove troops from Cambodia and keep the situation the same as it was on July 15, 2008,” said Rong Chhun, head of the confederation.

Phnom Penh authorities say they will not allow a protest. “Such a demonstration cannot resolve a border dispute,” Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema said.

Thai Embassy officials declined to comment on the protest. Abhisit is scheduled to visit senior leaders, including Prime Minister Hun Sen and King Norodom Sihamoni.

Thailand and Cambodia are in a standoff over a small stretch of disputed border that was sparked by the inclusion of Preah Vihear temple as a Unesco World Heritage site under Cambodia in July 2008.

At least three soldiers on each side have died in ensuing skirmishes, with hundreds of troops entrenched along the border.

Thai-Cambodian relations are particularly volatile. Cambodian mobs looted and burned the Thai Embassy and Thai businesses in 2003, following unconfirmed rumors a Thai actress had said Angkor Wat belonged to Thailand.