Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Opposition faithful march on

Heng Chivoan
Meas Sokchea and Daniel Pye
The Phnom Penh Post, 17 December 2013

Thousands of demonstrators turned out at the capital’s Freedom Park yesterday for the second day of anti-government protests this week.

After a few hundred activists and protesters spent the day in the park, entertained by singers and musicians, the crowd swelled to several thousand by late afternoon in anticipation of the arrival of Cambodia National Rescue Party leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha.

Following brief opening remarks, the two party chiefs led the crowd in a one-hour rally through the streets, for the first time calling on supporters to drive their motos or tuk-tuks rather than walk.

“Marching by riding motorbikes will prove that [demonstrators] demand a new election,” Kem Sokha told reporters before the march. “This is the force of demands of the youth.”

Along the way, demonstrators continued the refrain, “Hun Sen, step down”, which was met with a varied response from the bemused tourists, frustrated commuters and largely supportive locals who lined the route.

Despite speculation from critics that the protest movement would run out of steam if daily demonstrations were called, enthusiasm to continue the rallies was high yesterday.

CNRP youth activists said they were confident that the movement would continue to draw increasing support.

“It’s really sure that the protesters will come more and more, because the word will spread, especially on Saturday and Sunday, because people don’t work,” Choeng Rameth, 28, a CNRP youth activist from Kandal province, told the Post.

Another activist, Eng Ratanak, also from Kandal province, said that young people were no longer afraid of the authorities.

“We need time, time to heal. Only time will tell if this is a success or not. It’s not like 1998. We are not worried about a crackdown anymore . . . We cannot live with this deadlock,” he said. “In Thailand, they protest because they want Thaksin’s relatives out of the country.

“We don’t want Hun Sen out of the country, we just want rid of the corrupt dictatorship government.”

Sann Seakkin, national head of the CNRP youth activists, told the Post that there was support for the protest movement from within the security forces.

“We have spies; we have a network in the CPP. We know especially about low-ranking officers. Look at the police.… They want change as well,” he said.

The government has yet to move against the demonstrators, and rumours that police were en route to Freedom Park last night proved untrue at press time.

But it remains to be seen how the authorities will deal with what appears to be a movement that will not go away quietly.

“We cannot allow anyone or any group to abuse the public interests.… We will take appropriate action to respond to what is happening,” Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said yesterday.


Anonymous said...

Same opera chant...Nothing else.

All the protesting has no result, I don't see anything going to change anytime soon. The leader of the protester are to weak, if they are strong there should be 100 thousand to a million of the protester in the streets right now. I see no blood spill, no death and it getting boring. They should give up now before the peoples turn againt the leader of the protester, because the leader are too weak, no result, no real goal to accomplish. People only support you if you give them what they want, if not those leader should be worry that they will turn back againt them.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Said...

Common their Khmer patriot!!! it's time to topple HUN SEN from power and kick out his million year friendship Vietnamese people out of our Country...DOWN WITH VIETNAM INDOCHINA FEDERATION!!!..

Anonymous said...

អស់ពីបាតុកម្មច្រៀងរាំ ទៅដេីរហាត់ប្រាណ !
ពេលនេះជិះម៉ូតូព័ទ្ធក្រុង ! តេីចង់ធ្វេីអីបន្ទាប់ទៀត ?
ហេតុម្តេចបានជាវង្វេងមិនព្រមស្គាល់ផ្ទះហ៊ុន សែន ?

Anonymous said...

With or without Rainsy Khmer will live and move forward with the rest of the world. Rainsy please leave those poor Khmer alone, you have nothing to give them but leaded them to no where. Those poor Khmer slept in cold, rain and dirty place. They will get sick, cannot work to support their family and their life will ne miserable because of the leader like you that have no clue what you doing. Cambodia is not in the state of war, people are free to do what ever they want and work to support their family. I know most of Khmer are poor, the current government are corrupt, and that is your job to work with the government to change all that. We got to work together as Khmer love Khmer you don't turn Khmer again Khmer, don't advocate hate for other group of people, if you are a true leader you would understand. But if you only do this for your own fame and power you will not succeed, and you will judge by history as a traitor like all those before you.

Anonymous said...

Excellent to see all Khmer citizen united and make their voices heard. Hun Sen must step down to allow proper reforms to allow Cambodian and Cambodia to be rescue immediately. To allow Cambodia to advance itselt and less dependance on donated funds.

Anonymous said...

There is no advocate of hate of Khmer against Khmer, this policies is CPP and by Khmer Vietming. Khmer love Khmer and over the 28 years how many time have the Khmer people work collaboratively with the CPP to make improvement and change. Look at the results, more land evictions, increase in corruption, increase in impunities even CPP MPs Cheam Yeap hit and run and the lost of life Yeap had NOT have his day in court or being fine and put to prision for his illegal acts. In addition the deforestation and illegal logging many try to work with the CPP government take Chut Wutty he end up being killed and no real killers was captured and put in prision. Look at the encroached borader territoty from Vietnam CPP did nothing but to give away our land, sea rights to neighbouring countries. Also how about the protection of our national treasure. they are build by Khmer but the profits and proceed goes to Vietnamese companies. How about the no crontrol of the Vietnamese inflow of immigrants who come into Cambodia freely and take our jobs and suck on our resouces, they should be capture and place in detention centres and process properly if they want to live in Cambodia. How about the NEC cheating and stealing of people votes and voice in the recent election. So CPP has been a government that never does anything or reform anything and when they reform is to protects the CPP officials, MPs and their families interests and the of Vietnam and their illegal immigrants. So CPP Mps will never reforms and there is no room left for Cambodian to keep this party as a government. But we have to recognised CPP has been an effective government at borrowing money and begging for money to funnel and filtered them into their own account at the costs of all Cambodian citizen. So Hun Sen must go...we dont want you and we dont need you anymore.

Anonymous said...

People who want to die for Khmer please go ahead die right now, I'm begging just die right now. And will make stupa for your sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

A person that advocate hate like RAINSY is working for YOUN. you can see right now he use khmer again khmer that mean it play in the hand of YOUN. In the past it was Pol Pot who want all YOUN out of Cambodia and you see what happen. Those YOUN use them the kill 1.4 million khmers. Right now Rainsy do the same thing, but this time he will fail.