The Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia (FTUWKC) has applied for permission from the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration to conduct a wreath laying ceremony for the late Chea Vichea, former president of the organisation.

According to a January 2 letter by Touch Ser, FTUWKC president, the union intends to place the wreath at the statue of Vichea that stands outside the newsagent near Wat Lanka where he was shot dead in 2004. The ceremony is proposed for January 22, marking the 19th anniversary of his death.

The letter, addressed to Phnom Penh Municipal Governor Khuong Sreng, said leaders and members of the union – as well as family and friends – had been granted permission to conduct the ceremony in previous years.

“To commemorate the memory and precious merits of Chea Vichea, an outstanding hero of the workers, we will gather to lay a wreath in honour his memory on January 22, 2023 at 8.30am,” it added.

Ser said she had submitted the letter to the Phnom Penh Municipal administration, but had not yet received a response, as the it had only just reached the administration.

She added that it was normal for the authorities to take some time to discuss all applications before a decision was made, but believed that her group would be allowed to conduct the small ceremony.

“I am happy to discuss the event with the administration, but as long as there are not too many people in attendance, they will allow it to go ahead,” said Ser.

City Hall spokesman Met Meas Pheakdey could not be reached for comment on January 3.