Representatives of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Coordination Committee and the Students’ Movement for Democracy have accused City Hall of bias after being denied permission to hold demonstrations before Prime Minister Hun Sen’s meeting on Wednesday with Vietnamese First Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
Hun Sen and Nguyen Tan Dung are scheduled to discuss the signing of a controversial border pact.
Ir Channa, Students’ Movement for Democracy deputy secretary-general, said that while the municipality denied his group’s request, City Hall has recommended that the Interior Ministry give permission to pro-government student groups for demonstrations against opposition party leader Sam Rainsy.
“It is injustice,” Ir Channa said, adding that the group will hold the protest without permission as renewal of the 1985 border pact will cause Cambodia to lose at least 40,000 square km to Vietnam.
The group has declined to give the protest’s location because they fear authorities will attempt to suppress the event.
The Khmer Kampuchea Krom Coordination Committee was also denied permission to march from its office in Russei Keo district to the Vietnamese Embassy in order to press for greater freedoms for ethnic Khmers living in Vietnam, Kim Vanchheng, the committee’s executive director, said Sunday.
“The Phnom Penh Municipality is biased to another group, and has abused our freedom to demonstrate,” Kim Vanchheng said.
In a letter dated Saturday, Phnom Penh Municipal Deputy Governor Mam Bun Neang suggested that the committee petition the Vietnamese Embassy instead of holding a public march.
“There is another movement that has asked permission to hold a demonstration against [Sam Rainsy], and we are afraid that there will be confrontation between demonstrators that authorities cannot control,” Mam Bun Neang wrote.