Chea Sophara Voices Concern About Planned Textile March

A Phnom Penh garment union has sent a letter to Governor Chea Sophara informing him of a planned three-day demonstration beginning May 1. But the governor said he is worried about providing security for the demonstration because the union workers are planning to march to a number of places.

The Free Trade Union of Work­ers in the Kingdom of Cam­bodia plans to assemble about 5,000 people to rally at the Oly­mpic Stadium and make nine specific demands to the government, according to a union statement and the letter to Chea Soph­ara. The demands range from pay raises to fuel price cuts, and the union plans to march to eight different government offices and international bodies, including the US embassy, municipal court and the National Assembly.

“I’m afraid they request too many points…and go to too many places,” Chea Sophara said Thurs­day after reading the letter. “I’m worried about this situation.”

He said so many people march­ing makes it difficult to provide security. Some po­lice abuses were re­ported during similar garment demonstrations in Febr­uary in Phnom Penh. Chea So­phara, however, denied Thurs­day the police were involved in brutality, saying they had specific orders “not to allow police or anybody to make violence.”


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