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Demonstrations Planned for Hun Sen’s New York Visit

A group of US Cambodians plans to stage a demonstration against the government on Friday, while Prime Minister Hun Sen is visiting New York for a US-Asean summit.

The protest comes as Hun Sen is expected to hold talks with Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva over an ongoing border dispute and while they and other Asean leaders are scheduled to meet with US President Barack Obama.

Michael Duong, the main organizer of the demonstration, said the government has failed to implement certain accords within the 1991 Paris Peace Agreement that would have shored up the border and prevented disputes.

Both sides have troops amassed along the border where each claims ownership of a 4.6-kilometer stretch of land west of Preah Vihear temple. And opposition lawmakers have said villagers have lost land in recent years to Vietnamese encroachment.

Demonstrators were expected from Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Philadelphia and New York, organizers said. The Cambodian Embassy in Washington declined to comment Friday.

Duong said demonstrators plan to protest other issues, including land grabs, evictions, deforestation, and corruption in oil and gas.

“Mostly, those in power make decisions within their group of a few people and share the benefits among themselves,” he said.