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Border protests denied despite growing concern over financial implications for vendors

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Police enforce strict measures at Rong Kluea Market, where Cambodian vendors used to sell their produce, in Aranyaprathet, Thailand. Supplied

Banteay Meanchey provincial governor, Um Reatrey has rejected the Cambodian Informal Economic Workers Association (CIEWA) right to protest at the Poipet border with Thailand to demand its reopening.

Chief of CIEWA, Din Puthy, had sent a letter to the Bantay Menchey governor to ask for the right stage a protest from June 1 to June 7, which would involve around 1.500 protesters and 100 carts at the Poipet-Khlong Luk border.

However, Mr Reatrey, replied saying the provincial administration would not allow the association to prepare the protest because mass gatherings are not allowed under current COVID-19 containment measures.

The closed Thai-Cambodian border is the subject of contention in the Poipet area. Supplied

He said that the provincial authorities asked Thailand to allow 20 Cambodian vendors if they could cross to Thailand to allow them access to the markets to sell their produce. According to Mr Reatrey, Thailand denied the request.

Mr Puthy, however, said his association asked that all Cambodian vendors be allowed to cross the border to sell in Thailand, beginning June 1.

He also said that if Thailand does not open its border, the association has asked the provincial authority to close the border to Thai trucks and not allow them into Cambodia.

“Cambodian vendors, who usually sell their goods at Rong Kluea market, are very concerned as they cannot access the market and a lot of their stock is perishable.

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