08 March 2011


Plug pulled on 3rd Cambodia screening

Can you stop it? I am a businessman and I need to run my business for a long time.
-- restaurant supervisor

Photo by: Heng Chivoan
A third attempt to show Who Killed Chea Vichea? to garment workers in Cambodia was blocked on Tuesday March 8, this time by management of the restaurant where the union federation was screening it. Two previous attempts to screen the movie have been broken up by riot police.

A restaurant employee told Voice of America that local authorities called the restaurant and ordered the screening halted. Also on Tuesday, the governor of Phnom Penh barred a coalition of women's groups from holding a gathering to celebrate International Women's Day.

The audience at the restaurant did get to see the first 25 minutes though, according to The Phnom Penh Post.
Representatives of the Free Trade Union -- which Chea Vichea headed at the time of his assassination in 2004 -- gathered today along with officials from the opposition Sam Rainsy Party and the embassy of the United Kingdom in an attempt to screen the 2009 documentary Who Killed Chea Vichea? by American director Bradley Cox. 
... Gathering at Daun Penh’s New World restaurant, those attending the screening got about 25 minutes into the film before the power in the building was cut off and restaurant security ordered a halt to the proceedings.
 “Can you stop it? I am a businessman and I need to run my business for a long time,” restaurant supervisor Ny Sin told Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions.
(Full article here or here)

Video coverage from RFA:

On March 10 the Post reported that authorities denied ordering the electricity cut to halt the screening of Who Killed Chea Vichea?.
Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, said yesterday that a power outage could be to blame for the failed screening. He warned the FTU against using electricity problems to provoke authorities and start a Tunisian-style uprising.
“Do they want to do as Tunisia?” said Khieu Sopheak. “Be careful about closing the door to beat the dog.”
In January, Prime Minister Hun Sen made a speech in which he threatened an unnamed critic. "I would like to send you a message that if you provoke or foment a Tunisia style-revolt, I will close the door to beat the dog* this time,” Hun Sen said, as reported in the Post.

“This guy, if he enters Cambodia, will face arrest. This guy has a bald head. This guy says Cambodia should look to the style of Tunisia: if you dare to gather [the people] to do that please come, don’t say such silly words … I will beat you on the head.”

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