Cambodia

Minority Group Wants Lawmaker To Partake in Apology Rites

An ethnic minority Cambodian boy, left, stands next to his mother at a village in Mondul Kiri 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 Mondul Kiri province some 265 kilometers (165 miles) northeast Phnom Penh, file photo.
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An ethnic minority Cambodian boy, left, stands next to his mother at a village in Mondul Kiri 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 Mondul Kiri province some 265 kilometers (165 miles) northeast Phnom Penh, file photo.
Kong SothanarithVOA Khmer
PHNOM PENH - Members of the Phnong minority group who were insulted by a ruling party lawmaker last month say the parliamentarian must take part in a local ceremony in order to make amends.

Chheang Vun used the word “Phnong” to insult a group of opposition lawmakers  during a National Assembly session, implying that they were ignorant. His remarks have angered advocacy groups for minority rights and the lawmaker has since apologized before the Assembly, saying he had not intended to insult the community.

But Phnong leaders say they need him to come to their home province of Mondolkiri to take place in rituals that would excuse him in front of their ancestors.

“The lawmaker must apologize as quickly as possible,” Nak Ven, a community leader for the Phnong, also called the Bunang, told reporters Tuesday. “This is not a punishment or to dishonor him, but for reconciliation.”

Chheang Vun, who is traveling in Italy, could not be reached for comment.
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Yearlong Political Deadlock Endsi
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22 July 2014
Cambodia’s political deadlock has ended. For nearly a year, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has refused to join the government, calling for electoral reforms in a system it says was deeply flawed. Following nearly five hours of meetings between top opposition officials and Prime Minister Hun Sen, that deadlock has ended. The two sides finally reached agreement on a formula for selecting the National Election Committee, which the Rescue Party has said was biased toward the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. Hun Sen and Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy emerged from talks Tuesday smiling and shaking hands. “Victory,” Hun Sen told reporters after the meeting. “You can all applaud.” (Heng Reaksmey, Phnom Penh)

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