Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Protests result in little

Protests result in little

Khmer Krom supporters and Buddhist monks march through the streets of Phnom Penh yesterday during a rally
Khmer Krom supporters and Buddhist monks march through the streets of Phnom Penh yesterday during a rally. Hong Menea

Protests result in little

A five-day protest aimed at demanding an apology from Vietnam for comments made by a former embassy spokesman wrapped up yesterday. But while the rallies brought petitions, flag-burning and even an alleged death threat, it seemed to bring demonstrators no closer to their goal.

This week’s protests are just the latest action to be taken since ex-spokesman Trung Van Thong said in early June that the former Kampuchea Krom provinces in the Mekong Delta belonged to Vietnam long before being officially ceded by colonial power France in 1949.

Yesterday, hundreds of protesters gathered in Freedom Park and marched along the streets, handing out petitions calling for a boycott of Vietnamese products. Outside of the Vietnamese Embassy, demonstrators set fire to flags in what they said was a show of anger at the lack of apology.

One of the protesters, Roeun Nen, said she was disappointed that the days of action had brought no tangible result.

“I will continue protesting until an official apology is made publicly,” she said.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said the protests had done nothing in fracturing the relationship with Vietnam.

But Thach Setha, president of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association, said that despite not receiving an apology or government support, the protests had been a success as they had avoided violence and attracted more participants.

“Cambodians now dare to do something against the yuon government to ask them to apologise,” he said, using a word for Vietnamese often seen as derogatory.

Setha also accepted responsibility for the flag burning.

Earlier in the day, Setha said he received an anonymous phone call from someone speaking Vietnamese who threatened to kill him if he did not stop protesting.

But he vowed to continue leading demonstrations until Vietnam apologised.

City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche said that while authorities had taken a tolerant approach to the five-day demonstration, the activities of those involved had been closely monitored.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY ALICE CUDDY

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’