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Migrant workers flocking home for Khmer New Year

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Migrant workers return home ahead of the Khmer New Year via Banteay Meanchey province on April 10. BANTEAY MEANCHEY ADMINISTRATION

Migrant workers flocking home for Khmer New Year

In recent days, thousands of Cambodians working in Thailand have flocked home to reunite with their families for the Khmer New Year celebrations, one of the Kingdom’s biggest holidays. This year, it is scheduled to run from April 14-16.

Banteay Meanchey provincial authorities were cooperating with their Sa Kaeo counterparts and police at the Poipet-Klong Lek International Border Crossing to expedite the processing of returning workers.

“During the past few days, some migrant workers were trapped at the checkpoint with expired passports and documentation,” said, Yal Bun Pov, an officer from the Cambodian-Thai border liaison bureau.

He told The Post on April 10 that thousands of returning Cambodians were delayed as they awaited the verification of documents.

“Some workers have been stuck there for two days because their passports have expired, but we are working hard to make sure they will get to spend the holidays with their loved ones,” he said.

Pak Lumorng, a 35-year-old from Banteay Meanchey province’s Serei Saophoan town, works at a clothing store in Bangkok. She and her husband left the Thai capital on April 9 and travelled by taxi to the border. They were forced to spend one night there as the Thai authorities appeared to be overwhelmed – both by the number of returnees to the Kingdom, and by the challenges of those with expired or invalid paperwork.

“Fortunately, Cambodian authorities intervened to make sure my husband and I were taken care of promptly. They even helped us to arrange transport home,” she said.

On April 10, the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok issued heartfelt condolences to the families of the Cambodian workers who were killed and injured in a traffic accident in Thailand’s Chon Buri province, as many migrant workers return to Cambodia for the Khmer New Year.

According to the embassy, eight Cambodian workers were killed and seven others injured on April 8, when the van they were travelling in collided with a large container truck.

The embassy has not yet confirmed the identities of migrants involved, but confirmed that the injured workers were receiving treatment at a hospital in the Thai province.


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