A young boy was injured in a clash between goods porters and
border police in Poipet Wednesday morning, during a demonstration over a new
private export fee.
More than 100 porters gathered in front of the Poipet border
checkpoint Wednesday morning, angered by a new policy that forces them to pay
150 riel per kilogram to a private company in order to pull their goods to Thailand for
Porters said the fee, which was instituted Monday and is
enforced by state border police, was unfair, especially because they already
have export licenses from the government.
Pheak Vutha, 14, said he was kicked by a border policeman
during the heated demonstration after encouraging other porters to bypass the
police and cross the border.
“When I joined the demonstration with my mom, I shouted,
‘Here, we should go! We should go!’” he told VOA Khmer by phone Wednesday. “And
when the border police heard that, they were angry with me and took me to the
border police post, and [the policeman] kicked me two times with his boots. Now
I’m hurt on my head and my body, and I appeal for the Cambodian government to
withdraw [the policeman] who kicked me.”
The new fee is being charged by Chhouk Lon Enterprise Export
Import, whose owner, Lim Tang Por, said Wednesday he had a license from a
former Bantey Meanchey provincial governor.
He denied porters’ claims was a relative of Prime Minister