CNRP Gives Notice of Rally in Siem Reap

The opposition CNRP on Monday delivered a letter of notice to provincial authorities of its plans to hold a rally in Siem Reap City to mark International Human Rights Day next Tuesday, a party official said.

Ke Sovannaroth, the head of the CNRP’s Siem Reap working group, said that the notice was hand-delivered to provincial authorities in the afternoon.

“We handed the notice to the provincial authorities at 2 p.m., but have still not heard back from them,” Ms. Sovannaroth said, adding she was confident that authorities would allow the event to proceed.

“We believe that the authorities will allow us to do this since it is the December 10 International Human Rights Day and the law enables us to [rally].”

A copy of the letter states that the event will be led by CNRP leaders and will take place outside the main tourist areas of Siem Reap City.

“The CNRP will hold the December 10 Human Rights Day under the presence of His Excellency Sam Rainsy, president of the CNRP, and His Excellency Kem Sokha, deputy president of the CNRP,” the letter states.

“The ceremony will be held on December 10, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. on the southwest corner of Angkor Pyung Yu,” the letter adds, referring to a large public park on the outskirts of Siem Reap City.

The letter requests the cooperation of Siem Reap provincial governor Khem Bunsong in providing security and maintaining order during the event.

Mr. Bunsong said Monday that provincial authorities had not yet discussed the CNRP’s plans, which were first announced on November 24.

“We have not received the letter yet but when we receive the letter we will discuss it with them further,” he said.

At the time of the first announcement, Mr. Rainsy raised the prospect of CNRP leaders and supporters marching from the rally site to Angkor Wat.

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann said the party had still not formally discussed the details of the rally.

“We have not decided yet. We will wait for Mr. Sam Rainsy and Mr. Kem Sokha to return and then we will make the decision,” Mr. Sovann said, adding that he expected 5,000 to 6,000 people to turn out to the rally.

Mr. Rainsy is currently in Europe and Mr. Sokha is in the U.S., both on fundraising trips for the CNRP.

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