CNRP Warns of More Protests – Garment Sector Disagrees

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PHNOM PENH: 13 March 20124 (Khmer Times) – CNRP leader has taken on the demonstration path yet again. He has warned that all negotiations with the ruling CPP will stop if  there is no agreement on reform of members of National Election Committee (NEC).
“We will stop the negotiation … It is useless because it is a delay in order to lie to foreign countries to get funds,” Rainsy,  said in the  newly-created Thbong Khmom province.
“We have to talk about the keys for change to National Election Committee,” he said. “We will resume talk if there is change to the National Election Committee”.
Rainsy added that the  CNRP will lead the protest after stopping negotiation with Cambodian People’s Party. “We have nothing other than protest. Protest is our last choice,” he added.
Rainsy’s protests plans were however given a temporary blow when labor unions and associations announced that they  have suspended their strike plan scheduled for March 12 following the request by garment workers, according to a union leader.
The suspension came after the meeting between the union leaders from a coalition of 18 labor unions and associations today.
Ath Thon, president of the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), said the workers requested to delay the strike to April 17 after Khmer New Year. Cambodia celebrates annual Khmer New Year from 14-16 April.
The unionists previously planned to hold the strike on March 12 to seek the release of the 21 detained protesters arrested in violent crackdowns, and to demand wage increase to $160 per month for garment and footwear workers.
The CPP and CNRP failed to issue joint statement in their meeting on Monday this week after the CNRP wanted to redefine the role of the NEC and the appointment of NEC members to be approved by a two-third majority of the members of the National Assembly.
Despite failure of the joint statement, the two parties plan to meet again on March 17 for further discussion.
Rainsy has also told a foreign media  that in Cambodia, any election is a distortion of the will of the people, and that is why: “  we don’t accept the result of elections, which have been rigged and marred by countless irregularities”,  failing however, to provide substantiated evidence to justify his claims.
He had also openly stated to The Nation that he wanted to learn from the protestors approach in Thailand.
In the same interview, he had  had alleged that since the beginning, when he hadI committed  to fighting for justice in Cambodia and to oppose the current regime: “ I have been aware I have only three possible fates: being killed, being jailed or being forced to into exile. I have experienced the first two, but I’m aware that all three possibilities can arise anytime.
He also claimed that he could  get killed at anytime but  dismissed this with “I am too busy” comment.
Rainsy however declined to comment on why he wanted to continue having negotiations while putting  pressure on the Government with threats of protests and also whether he intended to call on the garment sector  to back his cause.
He has also failed to reveal or explain with some clarity on his main  challenge of  managing public expectations and many suspect that he does not have one.

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