Union Set to Gather in Memory of Chea Vichea

The Free Trade Union of Workers in the Kingdom of Cambodia on Wednesday asked the Phnom Penh municipal government for permission to hold its annual memorial for the assassination of Chea Vichea.

The union’s popular founding president was gunned down on January 22, 2004, outside the city’s Wat Langka in a case that has never been solved, but is believed by many to have been politically motivated.

The union’s deputy director, Mann Senghak, said he submitted a request to City Hall on Wednesday to gather about 150 people at the site of the murder and the nearby statue of Chea Vichea but had yet to receive a reply.

He hoped the event would put pressure on the committee reinvestigating the case.

“We are very disappointed because the committee has not done anything noticeable. It is completely quiet. It was just created to give the victim’s family hope,” Mr. Senghak said.

Deputy Phnom Penh governor Khuong Sreng said City Hall had yet to decide on the request.

Though the government has repeatedly prevented participants in the annual event from marching, he said it had never barred them from gathering.

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