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Cambodia: Police open fire on protesters, 3 dead (video included)

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Three dead after special military unit deployed against garment workers. Workers armed with sticks, rocks & Molotov cocktails. 

CAMBODIAN POLITICS

Three dead as Cambodian police open fire on protesters

(AFP) 

Cambodian workers clash with military police during a garment workers' protest to demand higher wages in front of a factory in Phnom Penh on January 3, 2014 (From Reuters video)

Phnom Penh — Cambodian police opened fire on protesting garment workers Friday, leaving at least three people dead, as the kingdom's strongman premier faced growing public anger on the streets of the capital.

Workers armed with sticks, rocks and Molotov cocktails clashed with rifle-wielding police in the Veng Sreng factory district of Phnom Penh, according to an AFP photographer.

Police fired warning shots in the air and then fired at the protesters, the photographer saw.

"Three people died and two were injured," Phnom Penh deputy police commissioner Chuon Narin told AFP.

One blood-soaked worker was seen lying on the ground while another was rushed away by motorcycle after what was the latest in a series of violent clashes between security forces and textile workers demanding higher wages.

Prime Minister Hun Sen faces a growing challenge to his nearly three-decade rule from protesting garment workers and opposition supporters demanding that he step down and call a new election because of alleged vote fraud.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy denounced the crackdown.

"It's an unacceptable attempt to break not only a worker strike but the whole worker movement as well as the democratic movement which is developing in Cambodia following the July elections," he told AFP.

Rights activist Chan Soveth of local rights group Adhoc, who was at the site, said as many as 10 strikers were badly injured.

Security forces "used rifles and other things to crack down on the strikers," he said. "They beat them on their heads."

Military police spokesman Kheng Tito said the crackdown came after nine policemen were injured by stones and slingshots.

He said two protesters were arrested.

"We were afraid about the security so we had to crack down on them," said Kheng Tito.

"If we allow them to continue the strike it will become anarchy."

Disputes over wages and safety conditions are common in Cambodia's multi-billion dollar garment industry which supplies brands like Gap, Nike and H&M.

The sector employs about 650,000 people and is a key source of foreign income for the impoverished country.

The workers are demanding a minimum wage of $160 per month.

The latest clash came a day after a special military unit was deployed against garment workers, leaving several injured in a move described by rights activists as a "disturbing new tactic" by the authorities.

Soldiers were seen brandishing metal pipes, knives, AK47 rifles, slingshots and batons at the scene of Thursday's protest, according to local rights groups.

The use of the special military command unit to suppress the protest "is unprecedented and signals a disturbing new tactic by authorities to quash what have been largely peaceful protests" , the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) said in a statement.

There have been daily rallies in Phnom Penh against Hun Sen's government recently, with an estimated 20,000 or more opposition supporters taking to the streets on Sunday.

The opposition party has boycotted parliament since a disputed July election. It plans a major three-day protest starting from Sunday.

Parliament in late September approved a new five-year term for Hun Sen, in a move decried by the opposition as a "constitutional coup" .

Hun Sen -- a 61-year-old former Khmer Rouge cadre who defected and oversaw Cambodia's rise from the ashes of war -- has ruled for 28 years, and has vowed to continue until he is 74.

Last month he ruled out holding a new election and rejected opposition calls for him to step down.

Copyright © 2014 AFP. All rights reserved.  

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Vocabulary:

activist: someone who takes part in activities that are intended to achieve political or social change, especially someone who is a member of an organisation - นักกิจกรรม

alleged: claimed to be true although not yet proven; claimed to have done something wrong but not yet proven - ที่ถูกกล่าวหา

anarchy: a situation in which people are behaving in a way that ignores normal rules and laws, and are unable to be controlled - สถานการณ์ที่สับสน, อนาธิปไตย, ภาวะที่ไม่มีรัฐบาล

approved: given official agreement or permission - ได้รับการรับรองแล้ว

armed: carrying a weapon - ติดอาวุธ

arrested: caught by the police and taken to a police station because you are believed to have committed a crime - ถูกจับกุม

attempt: when a person tries to do something or achieve some goal, makes an effort to do it - ความพยายาม

authority: a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ

baton: a stick used as a weapon by a police officer or soldier - ตะบอง

beat: to hit someone violently several times - ตี, เคาะ, หวด, ตบ, เฆี่ยน

boycott: a refusal to take part in an activity or to buy a product as a way of expressing strong disapproval - การคว่ำบาตร

brandish: to hold or wave something, especially a weapon, in an aggressive or excited way - กวัดแกว่ง (อาวุธ)

cadres: a smaller group of people within a large organization such as the army or a political party -

capital: the most important town or city of a country, usually where the central government operates from - เมืองหลวง

challenge: something that needs a lot of skill, energy, and determination to deal with or achieve - สิ่งที่ท้าทาย, การท้าทาย

clash: a fight between groups of people - การปะทะกันสองฝ่าย

commissioner: the head of a particular police force in some countries - ผู้ตรวจการณ์

constitutional: correct or allowed according to the constitution - ถูกต้องหรืออยู่ในขอบข่ายที่ระบุไว้ในรัฐธรรมนูญ

continued: happening or existing for a period of time without interruption - ซึ่งติดต่อกัน, ซึ่งต่อเนื่องกัน

coup: the seizure of power in a country by a group of people, usually members of the armed forces - รัฐประหาร

crack down: to start dealing with someone or something much more strictly - เข้มงวด การปราบปรามหรือลงโทษอย่างรุนแรง

crack down on: to start dealing with someone or something much more strictly - จัดการ, ลงมือปราบปราม

crackdown: strong action that someone in authority takes to stop a particular activity - การใช้กำลังสลายผู้ประท้วง

daily: happening, done or produced every day - แต่ละวัน, ทุกวัน

decade: a period of ten years - ทศวรรษ

decry: to strongly criticise somebody/something, especially publicly - วิพากษ์วิจารณ์อย่างรุนแรง

defect: to leave a political party, organisation, or country and go to another one - ย้ายพรรค

demand: the need and desire of people to buy goods - อุปสงค์

demand: a very firm request for something - ข้อเรียกร้อง, การเรียกร้อง

denounce: to criticise someone or something severely in public - ประณาม, ติเตียน

dispute: a serious disagreement - การโต้เถียง, ความขัดแย้ง

disputed: involved in a disagreement - มีความขัดแย้ง

disturbing: making you feel extremely worried or upset - ที่ขุ่นเคืองใจ

election (n): the process of choosing a person or a group of person for a position, especially by voting - การเลือกตั้ง

fire: to shoot a weapon - ยิง

former: of or in an earlier time; before the present time or in the past - อดีต, แต่ก่อน

fraud: the crime of intentionally deceiving someone or cheating in order to gain an advantage or benefit - การฉ้อโกง การหลอกลวง เล่ห์เพทุบาย

garment: a piece of clothing - เสื้อผ้า, เครื่องแต่งกาย

ground: the surface of the earth - ผิวดิน, ผิวโลก, พื้นดิน, พื้น

injured: hurt in an accident or attack - ได้รับบาดเจ็บ

largely: mostly -

latest: newest; most recent - ] ล่าสุด, See also: ทันสมัยที่สุด, เกิดหลังสุด

local: in this country (Thailand) -

major: very large or important - สำคัญมาก

military: connected with soldiers or the armed forces - ในทางทหาร,เกี่ยวกับทหาร

Molotov cocktail: a simple bomb consisting of a bottle filled with a liquid that you can set on fire and then throw (the writer is comparing the bottles of alcohol to a Molotov cocktail, saying in this situation they are very similar, i.e., very dangerous) -

movement: a group of people who share the same aim and work together to achieve it - การเคลื่อนไหวเพื่อวัตถุประสงค์ทางการเมือง

open fire: to start shooting at something with guns -

opposition: of a political party that is not part of the government - ฝ่ายค้าน  

oversee (past form: oversaw): to watch or organise a job or an activity to make certain that it is being done correctly - คุมงาน,ควบคุม

parliament: the group of people who are elected to make and change the laws of a country; the building where members of parliament meet. - รัฐสภา

peaceful: calm and quiet and not involving any violence - สงบ, ซึ่งมีระเบียบ, เงียบสงบ

premier: prime minister - นายกรัฐมนตรี

protest: a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something - ชุมนุมประท้วง

protester: someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง

public: the public; all people; the people in general - มหาชน, ประชาชน

quash: to stop something from continuing - ปราบ, กำจัด (ข่าวลือ, กรต่อต้าน) ยกเลิก

rally: a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something - การชุมนุม

recently: not long ago - เมื่อไม่นานมานี้, เมื่อเร็วๆ นี้

reject: to not accept something - ปฏิเสธ ไม่ยอมรับ

rifle: a large gun with a long barrel that you hold against your shoulder to fire - ปืนยาว, ปืนไรเฟิล

right: a moral or legal claim to have or get something or to behave in a particular - สิทธิ

rights groups: an NGO organization that monitors and reports on violations of human rights -

rise from the ashes: when something is built again after being destroyed -

rule out: to stop considering something as a possibility - ประกาศว่าเป็นสิ่งที่เป็นไปไม่ได้

rushed: taken somewhere very quickly - ด้วยความเร่งรีบ

scene: site; a place where something happens or happened - สถานที่เกิดเหตุ

security: protection; systems providing for safety from attack, harm, or damage - ระบบรักษาความปลอดภัย

security forces: members of the military (army, navy, air force, and similar organizations) or police -

shot: shooting a gun one time - การยิง

signal: to be a sign that something exists or is likely to happen - ส่งสัญญาณ

site: a place where something happens or happened - สถานที่เกิดเหตุ

slingshot (catapult): a device which can throw objects at a high speed - ูหนังสติ๊ก

soaked: very wet - เปียกโชก

spokesman: a person who speaks on behalf of a group or an organization - โฆษก

statement: a formal written/spoken account of events that a person who has seen a crime or who has been accused of a crime gives to the police - คำให้การ

step down: resign or leave from a high position or job - ลาออก, ลาออกจากตำแหน่ง

strike: a period of time when an organized group of employees of a company stops working because of a disagreement over pay or conditions - การหยุดงานประท้วง

strike: a sudden attack - การโจมตี

striker: a football player whose job is to stay near the opponent’s goal and to score goals - การบุกในกีฬาฟุตบอล

supporter: a person who helps and supports a person, organization or idea - ผู้สนับสนุน

suppress: to prevent something from growing, developing or continuing - อดกลั้น, ยับยั้ง, ระงับ

tactic: a planned way of doing something - ยุทธวิธี

take to the streets: when large number of people go out and do something on the streets (such as protest) -

term: a period of time a politician, government or other official holds their job - ช่วงเวลาการดำรงตำแหน่งหรืออำนาจ

textile: involved in making woven or knitted cloth - สิ่งทอ, ผ้า

unacceptable: that you cannot accept, allow or approve of - ซึ่งไม่สามารถยอมรับได้

unprecedented: never having happened before - ที่ไม่เคยเกิดขึ้นมาก่อน

violent: involving or caused by physical force that is intended to hurt or kill somebody - รุนแรง, ร้ายแรง, สาหัส

wage: an amount of money that you earn for working, usually according to how many hours or days you work each week or month - ค่าจ้าง

warning: an action or statement telling someone of a possible problem or danger - การเตือน

wield: to hold a weapon or tool and be able to use it - ติดอาวุธ

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