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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Former Khmer Rouge Head of State in Court for Genocide Hearingi
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30 July 2014
Cambodia's former Khmer Rouge president, Khieu Samphan, arrived in court on Wednesday (July 30) for an initial hearing on charges for genocide, crimes against humanity, and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Khieu Samphan was at the apex of power within the Khmer Rouge, a regime responsible for the deaths of around 1.7 million Cambodians during their time in power from 1975-79. The former official, along with regime head Pol Pot's deputy, Nuon Chea, is already on trial for crimes against humanity associated with the forced evacuation of the capital Phnom Penh and the executions of soldiers. This second round of hearings centres around a far broader list of charges, and will likely have a greater significance for many survivors of the regime. (Reuters, Phnom Penh.)

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