VN President Welcomed With Cheers, Jeers

Vietnamese President Tran Duc Luong arrived Monday morning for a three-day state visit and was greeted by tens of thousands of cheering students along the road from Pochentong Air­port into town—and about 100 protesters, who claim they were harassed by police.

Tran Duc Luong was met by King Norodom Sihanouk, and the two greeted members of parliament and the diplomatic corps before leaving in a motorcade.

Tran Duc Luong and the King went to the Royal Palace for the afternoon and met with Prime Min­ister Hun Sen, Senate Pres­ident Chea Sim and National As­sembly President Prince Noro­dom Ranariddh.

Reporters were denied access. According to Tran Duc Luong’s schedule, signing ceremonies planned for several agreements were planned. One agreement will protect either country’s in­vestments in the other country; another deals with trade in border areas. Still another is between the two na­tions’ foreign affairs min­istries, and one more deals with bilateral cooperation.

The protesters, members of the Student Movement for Dem­oc­racy, demonstrated by the road in Prampi Makara district.

Um Sam An, group president and a psychology student at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, said police confiscated 10 posters and a Cambodian flag.

As the demonstrators chanted and marched toward the passing motorcade, police blocked their way with a truck and hit students with batons. Five suffered minor injuries, Um Sam An said.

“We demand of Vietnamese President Tran Duc Luong to stop immediately the invasion into Cambodian territory and in­tim­idation of Khmer people living near the Cambodia-Vietnam border,” Um Sam An said. “The Viet­namese must respect the Cambo­dian borders drawn up by the UN in 1964 and demarcated by the 1991 Paris Peace Accords.”

He urged the King to reject border agreements made by Hun Sen and Vietnamese leaders in the 1980s while Cambodia was occupied by the Vietnamese.

Um Sam An said he hoped that the protest would receive some at­tention.“We successfully dem­on­­stra­ted our will, even though the po­lice disturb us everywhere in the city,” he said.

After visiting temples, monuments and a hospital this morning, Tran Duc Luong will fly to Siem Reap this afternoon. He returns to Hanoi Wednesday.

 

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