Cambodian trade unions urge garment workers not to join opposition's mass protest next week

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-10-20 9:01:42

A Cambodian trade unions leader on Saturday called on garment workers not to participate in the opposition party-planned mass demonstration next week against the results of July's election that handed victory to Prime Minister Hun Sen's ruling party.

"I would like to appeal to all workers in the garment industry to keep calm and do not engage in the opposition-planned protest next week," Som Aun, president of the National Union Alliance Chamber of Cambodia, told reporters.

"Distancing yourselves from the upcoming protest would contribute to helping the Cambodian government in maintaining peace, security and public order," he said.

Garment industry, the kingdom's largest income maker, employs some 510,600 workers in about 500 factories.

The opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Wednesday requested to the City Hall to hold a three-day protest from Oct. 23 with 20,000 to 50,000 participants at the capital's Freedom Park.

Among them, about 20,000 people will march to the United Nations office and several foreign embassies in Phnom Penh in order to submit a petition.

However, Phnom Penh Municipality spokesman Long Dimanche said the City Hall could allow only a maximum of 10,000 protestors -- the maximum capacity of the Freedom Park.

He said marching would not be allowed.

CNRP's lawmaker-elect Ho Vann said the opposition still stuck to its request -- between 20,000 and 50,000 people would rally at the Freedom Park, and some 20,000 of them would march to the UN office and embassies for a petition submission.

"Our petition is to call for the United Nations intervention in the country's political crisis after the disputed elections in July," he told Xinhua on Saturday.

He said on Oct. 23, the first day of the protest, which will coincide with the anniversary of the signing of the 1991 Paris Peace Accord, protestors will march to the UN office to submit a petition, and on Oct. 24 and 25, they will march to the embassies of France, Japan, the United States, China, Indonesia, the United Kingdom and Australia.

The country held a general election on July 28. The official results showed that the ruling party of Hun Sen won victory, but the CNRP refused to accept the results, claiming serious irregularities during the poll.

On Sept. 24, the Cambodian parliament, comprising the ruling party's 68 lawmakers, voted for the formation of a new government under the leadership of Hun Sen despite that the opposition's 55 lawmakers-elect boycotted the session.

CNRP's leader Sam Rainsy has announced that his party did not recognize the Hun Sen-led government, claiming that the newly- formed government was a violation of the constitution.

However, Hun Sen defended that his government is "legitimate" since it has been endorsed by the nation's King Norodom Sihamoni.

blog comments powered by Disqus