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SRP to Challenge City Hall as NRP Set to Protest Courts


A Sam Rainsy Party official said Thursday residents displaced by recent development in Phnom Penh will gather to demonstrate in front of City Hall Friday, while members of the Norodom Ranariddh party said they had set a date to protest the municipal court.

Displaced residents want municipal authorities to disclose development plans that have pushed 4,000 families out of their homes around Beng Kak Lake in the capital, SRP parliamentarian Son Chhay said.

They will hold a sit-in demonstration that will continue until the city's leaders agree to see them, he said.

"It is important to see the government being accountable for its action," he said. "This is a way to remind local officials to accept parliamentarians' roles and to cooperate on their country's problems as common affairs."

Not every displaced person would demonstrate, he said, but representatives would be there of their own volition.

An increasing number of being are being displaced, separated from running water, schools and other basic necessities, as Cambodia develops. Phnom Penh has seen a high number of displacements in recent years.

As Son Chhay was readying for his demonstration, members of the Norodom Ranariddh Party said they had set a date for a demonstration at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

The court is scheduled to hold a case against the party's president, Prince Norodom Ranariddh, on March 13 in charges stemming from the sale of the headquarters of his old party, Funcinpec.

Party spokesman Muth Chantha said the party plans to hold a demonstration on March 14.

Party members from 24 cities and provinces, meanwhile, have signed a petition asking the prince, who is not in the country, to stay away from the proceedings, party secretary-general Nhek Bun Chhay said.

Officials from Phnom Penh and the Ministry of Interior did not respond to requests for interviews.

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