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Opposition Threatens Second Strike

The opposition will hold another public demonstration in coming weeks if the government fails to check the rising cost of goods, party president Sam Rainsy said Monday.

The party held a demonstration of about 300 people April 6, but Sam Rainsy said he would lead a larger one in late April or early May through the main streets of the capital.

Cambodians have been feeling the sting of inflation in recent months, with the cost of goods, including rice, as much as doubling.

The government has sought to curb the rising prices by enacting a partial ban on the export of rice, injecting government subsidized rice into the market and lifting a ban on pig and pork from Vietnam.

Sam Rainsy said Monday he would hold a demonstration with or without permission from municipal authorities and accused the police of barring supporters from the April 6 rally.

Police have denied those allegations.

“I will inform Phnom Penh Municipality about the demonstration,” Sam Rainsy said. “Even if the Phnom Penh municipality does not permit it, [the party] will still hold that demonstration.”

Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Man Chhoeurn said decisions over demonstrations were not officially his to make, but he warned that the Sam Rainsy Party should first seek permission before demonstrating.

“If he does not do in the right way, we have difficulty understanding this,” Man Chhoeurn said. “It is better that [he] should ask for permission.”