Starting about 8:00 AM this morning, between 350-400 representatives from communities, unions, associations, grassroot groups & NGOs gathered in front of the National Assembly to form a 200 meter “human chain” while wearing petition t shirts with 11,202 thumbprints collected from 24 provinces on International HR Day in Cambodia. All petition t -shirts were marked with key messages relating to land, labor, human rights & democracy.
Also on site were four “Friendship Trees”, four “Friendship Baskets” and hundreds of “Korean hats” carrying 40,000 petitions collected by Amnesty International volunteers from four countries- South Korea, France, Germany and New Zealand- to end evictions in Cambodia.
An hour later, about 100 reps moved closer in front of the NA to perform several times a land rights themed “Gangnam Style” dance demanding a stop to evictions and land grabs. It was followed by a display of all of the t-shirt petitions & other petition items which were laid out on the ground.
The group of dancers and other participants then continued to dance towards the NA gates while 3 key reps tried to negotiate entry to NA. The President of NA, Heng Samrin, accepted a group letter from Friends of December 10th but refused to accept any petition items. After another hour of negotiations and speeches from the organisers, 3 members of parliament from Human Rights Party and Sam Rainsy Party agreed to take the petition items in their cars and bring them to NA through another gate. The morning show ended about 11:30 AM with no reported problems or violence and only about 25-30 uniformed and under cover police on site.
Multiple videos and photos of today`s event are expected to be posted on articles, web sites, facebook and blogs during the next few days. A longer video showing some of the events that took place on Dec. 10th in between images of today`s Gangnam land dance will be available by Dec 24.
For more information, please contact:
Heng Sam Orn
Secretary General of IDEA
#216 St 271BIS, Sk. Toek Thlar, Khan Sen Sok
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