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Cambodia: Unions mark 4th anniversary of fatal protests demanding higher wages; while govt. label unions as revolutionists

"Amid government talk of ‘revolution’, unions let anniversary of fatal Veng Sreng protests pass unmarked", 4 January 2018

Vorn Pov says he was only trying to ease tensions between protesting garment workers and security personnel outside the Yakjin garment factory on Phnom Penh’s Veng Sreng Boulevard ...

… authorities launched one of the most violent crackdowns in recent Cambodian memory, with security officials firing live ammunition at protesters, killing four individuals. Another worker, last seen with bloody chest wounds, has been missing ever since and is presumed dead…

“We did not organise any event this year as the political situation is not looking good, and the political climate is heated. It is preventing us from doing any gathering,” he said.

“In the current situation, all NGOs or organisations don’t want to do any gatherings at any public spaces as they have a lot of concerns about our security.”

Indeed, with the government having retroactively branded the protests part of an opposition-led insurrection against its rule, there are no plans this year to mark the events at Veng Sreng – arguably the biggest tragedy in the history of the country’s labour rights movement since the assassination of unionist Chea Vichea ...

As the president of the informal worker association IDEA, Pov was among the tens of thousands who took to the streets … demanding a wage increase for the country’s garment sector…

The president of the Coalition of Cambodian Farmer Community, …, but was instead named as attempting to start a “green revolution” in a leaked National Police document about colour revolutions…

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