In a letter to CNRPPresident Sam Rainsy, Phnom Penh Governor Pa Socheatvong said thedecision aims to ensure security and order in the city. He saiddemonstrations during the past several days have turned violent,claiming lives and causing severe destruction to public and privateproperties, thus seriously affecting social security, safety and publicorder.
Following the authorities’ decision, publicsecurity forces dispersed demonstrators at the Freedom Park andremove all their possessions, including tents, at the site.
Earlier on Jan. 3, Phnom Penh authorities and representatives fromsix trade unions and the Office of United Nations High Commissioner onHuman Rights (UNOHCHR) in Cambodia met after closed doors on theon-going protests of garment and shoe workers.
The spokesperson of Phnom Penh administration, Long Dimanche said the meeting discussed measures to ease the tension.
UNOHCHR representative Wan-Hea Lee urged related sides to try and seeka solution to limit risk of violence, adding that the meeting was justan initial step with no solution being tabled for discussion.
Meanwhile, the trade unions called for the release of protestorsarrested on January 2 and an end of the use of armed forces against thedemonstrators.
In another related development,several independent political analysts in Cambodia sent a letter to KingNorodom Sihamoni, begging him to invite leaders of the ruling CambodiaPeople’s Party (CPP) and the CNRP to the negotiation table to end theinstability in the country.
Clashes between thearmed forces and protesting workers on January 3 left at least four deadand dozens injured. The workers have been demanding doubling theminimum wage from the current 80 USD to 160 USD.
The same day, the United Nations called on all sides in Cambodia to exercise restraint.-VNA
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