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Cambodia calls for calm as protests banned after deadly clash

English.news.cn   2014-01-04 21:47:16            

PHNOM PENH, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Cambodian Ministry of Interior on Saturday called for the people to stay calm as all forms of demonstrations were prohibited so as to restore social security and public order after a deadly clash on Friday.

"The ministry urges all the people to keep calm and avoid joining any illegal activities that could have adverse effects on national peace, stability, development and harmony," said the ministry in a statement.

"To ensure security and public order, demonstrations or marches are temporarily banned until the security situation is ensured and returned to normal," the statement said.

In regard to the police's operation to remove hundreds of pro- opposition's demonstrators from the capital's Freedom Park on Saturday morning, the statement said the operation had been conducted peacefully without any clash.

"The authorities have dispersed the protesters, who have illegally gathered and possessed the Freedom Park, and have demolished all illegal makeshift tents on the park," the statement said.

National Military Police spokesman Kheng Tito said the authorities just chased protesters away from the park and no one was injured or arrested.

"Now, we take control of the park, no more protest is allowed," he told Xinhua.

The protesters, led by the country's main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), had held the park since mid-December to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Hun Sen and a re- vote after the July's disputed election.

The CNRP on Saturday issued a statement, informing its supporters to suspend a demonstration that was planned on Sunday.

The dispersal of the pro-opposition's protesters came after a garment protest on outskirts of the capital Phnom Penh on Friday turned violent, leaving four strikers shot dead, 26 injured and 11 arrested.

Keo Remy, a spokesman of the Council of Ministers' Press and Quick Reaction Unit, said Saturday that the opposition party must be responsible for the violence that claimed lives and caused severe destruction to public and private properties in recent days.

"We have evidence to prove that the opposition has incited violent protests," he said in a press conference.

Political row between Hun Sen's ruling party and Sam Rainsy's opposition party has persisted since July's contested election.

The poll results showed Hun Sen's party won a majority of votes with 68 parliamentary seats against 55 seats for Sam Rainsy's party, but the opposition refused to accept the outcome, claiming serious irregularities and has boycotted parliament since then.

The opposition had held protests since Dec. 15 to demand the resignation of Hun Sen and a re-election.

Since Dec. 25, Sam Rainsy, along with his accomplices, had incited thousands of garment workers to join an anti-government protest by promising to double their minimum wage to 160 U.S. dollars if his party comes to power.

The garment sector, the kingdom's largest foreign exchange earner, generated five billion U.S. dollars in revenue a year. Since Wednesday last week, all 900 factories have been closed for security and safety fears after striking workers had blocked roads and destroyed factories' properties.

The Ministry of Labor on Friday said outlawed garment protests have frightened employers, employees and other people, and adversely affected investment climate in the country.

"The Ministry would like to call for the Cambodia National Rescue Party and six trade unions to immediately stop inciting workers to commit violence, road blockades, and destruction of factories' properties," said a Labor Ministry statement.

Related:

Cambodian army voices backing for gov't as protests escalate

PHNOM PENH, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) on Friday voiced its support for Prime Minister Hun Sen's government as anti-government protests have intensified in recent weeks. "The RCAF vows to support the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen in the fifth term government,"the Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

The current government is legitimate since Hun Sen's ruling party won an absolute majority of vote in July's election, the statement said. "Under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen, Cambodia will continue enjoying happiness, peace, development and prosperity," it added. Full story

U.S. condemns violence in Cambodia, urges restraint

WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Friday condemned violence in Cambodia and urged all sides to exercise restraint after police opened fire on striking workers, killing three.

"We condemn violence as a means to achieve political or other objectives and urge all sides to exercise maximum restraint and show respect for the rule of law," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters at a press briefing. Full story

 

Editor: Fu Peng
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