By Tim Johnston
Published: October 22 2009 03:00 | Last updated: October 22 2009 03:00
Advocates of free speech say a law passed yesterday by Cambodia’s legislature limiting the size of demonstrations is the latest example of increasing intolerance.
The parliament – dominated by the Cambodian People’s party of Hun Sen, prime minister – passed the law with the aim of ensuring “public order and national security”. It limits public demonstrations to a maximum of 200 people.
Demonstrations are a popular form of protest in Cambodia. The opposition, outnumbered in parliament, uses them to make political points, but they are also a last resort for groups of impoverished farmers and slum dwellers who say they are the victims in land disputes with developers and allies of the government.