Rival Tuk-Tuk Associations Agree to Truce

Daun Penh district governor Kuoch Chamroeun on Monday negotiated a truce between two rival groups of tuk-tuk drivers who clashed violently earlier this month in a dispute over passengers.

On March 2, members of the Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA) fought with members of the Cambodia for Confederation Development Association (CCDA) over passengers in front of Phnom Penh’s railway station in Daun Penh district.

E Sophors, left, and Vorn Pao, who head rival tuk-tuk associations, shake hands following a meeting at the Daun Penh district office on Monday to settle a dispute over passengers in front of the Phnom Penh railway station earlier this month. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
E Sophors, left, and Vorn Pao, who head rival tuk-tuk associations, shake hands following a meeting at the Daun Penh district office on Monday to settle a dispute over passengers in front of the Phnom Penh railway station earlier this month. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

What began as a verbal argument escalated into a violent brawl, with tuk-tuk drivers beating each other with metal pipes and chains.

On Monday, Mr. Chamroeun presided over a meeting attended by the two associations that ended in a truce, as the presidents of both groups signed an agreement to “forget” the March 2 brawl and not fight in the future.

If members of the associations do argue, the agreement states that the presidents of the associations must be called in to mediate the situation “immediately.”

CCDA also agreed to withdraw a police complaint it had filed over the brawl.

“We don’t want to give a bad name to our country to foreigners that always take tuk-tuks,” Mr. Chamroeun said during the meeting. “We want the two associations to stop competing with each other, because sometimes it leads to fighting.”

Officials from Phnom Penh's Daun Penh district preside over a meeting between rival tuk-tuk associations at the district office on Monday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
Officials from Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district preside over a meeting between rival tuk-tuk associations at the district office on Monday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

Vorn Pao, president of IDEA, said after the meeting that he did not have high hopes the agreement would stop CCDA from picking fights with his members.

“I think although an agreement has been made with the district governor, [the CCDA] will still discriminate against us because they are supported by the government,” said Mr. Pao, whose association is aligned with the opposition on many issues.

During Monday’s meeting, however, CCDA president E Sophors denied any government association and demanded that IDEA stop suggesting as much.

“I hope the association [IDEA] stops smearing and accusing me of being supported by the government,” he said. “I only received donations last year from the ILO [International Labor Organization] amounting to $1,000.”

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