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Lawmaker To Apologize To Minorities in Assembly Session

  • VOA Khmer
  • Heng Reaksmey

An ethnic minority Cambodian boy, left, stands next to his mother at a village in Mondolkiri province some 265 kilometers (165 miles) northeast Phnom Penh, file photo.

An ethnic minority Cambodian boy, left, stands next to his mother at a village in Mondolkiri province some 265 kilometers (165 miles) northeast Phnom Penh, file photo.

Chheang Vun says he had not meant to “look down” on the Phnong people, also known as the Bunong, who live in Mondolkiri province.

PHNOM PENH - Ruling party lawmaker Chheang Vun says he plans to make a formal apology to a minority group whose name he used to insult opposition parliamentarians earlier this month.

He had used the word “Phnong,” the name of an ethnic minority from the northeast of the country, to demean opposition party lawmakers during a debate on a law on nuclear proliferation, causing a walkout on the Assembly session by 20 lawmakers and an outcry from minority activists.

Chheang Vun says he had not meant to “look down” on the Phnong people, also known as the Bunong, who live in Mondolkiri province.

Yun Mane, who heads the Cambodia Indigenous Youth Association, said a public apology at the National Assembly was “good, but not enough,” because his use of the slur has angered many people.

The lawmaker should hold a gathering in the home province of the Phnong to apologize personally, she said.
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