K Thom Authorities Prevent NGO Workshop

Authorities in Kompong Thom province yesterday forced a pagoda to withdraw its invitation to host a workshop about forest protection, continuing their pressure on two NGOs that provide community legal education in the province, a monk and NGO worker said. Chin Neth, chief monk at Wat Kiribotaram in Sandan district’s Dang Kambit commune, said the district Cult and Religion chief instructed him to cancel a workshop by the Cambodian Center for Human Rights and the Natural Resource Protection Group that was planned at the pagoda on Sept 7 and Sept 8 unless he was granted permission from commune authorities. Dang Kambit commune chief Chhoy Mab, who had sought the NGOs’ suspension, yesterday maintained that the workshops were “incitement” and said the groups were “rude” for failing to inform “authorities at all levels of hosting the event.”