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US Cambodians Aid Republican Convention

A number of US-Cambodians living in Minnesota have struggled to help the Republican Party in the weeks ahead of the national convention.

Many of these supporters said they hoped to generate more interest in Cambodia and the future of their communities by helping the party.

The Republican Party's national convention, which will be held from Sept. 1 to Sept. 4, will select its presidential candidate, and potentially his running mate. Sen. John McCain is expected to take the nomination. The Democratic convention will be held between Aug. 25 and Aug. 28, in Colorado.

Path Suykry, president of National Cambodian Republican Coalition, which has representative in 11 US states, said he had helped his party by gathering support in Cambodian communities, campaigning, and participating in rallies.

A Republican Party win in November's election could mean more support for Cambodian issues, he said.

No matter the party of choice, Cambodians should be sure to alert their politicians to their needs, he said. And everyone who can vote, should.

"For me, living here in the US for more than 30 years, all Cambodians should vote," he said. "We must utilize the freedoms and rights."

Minnesota resident Kong Khon said he was helping the Republican Party over the last six or seven months.

Kong Kon was a McCain supporter because of the senator's work for Cambodian human rights and democracy.

"If we help them, they will help us back when we have a problem," he said.

Another Cambodian resident of Minnesota, Chat Hangsa, said he had helped the Republicans by stumping for the party at the pagoda and at church.

He was not sure whether McCain would be able to help Cambodia, but the visit of his wife, Cindy McCain, to Cambodia in July was welcome.

"She expressed sympathy with the poor rubbish-collecting chidren in Stung Meanchey, and it showed our country is so poor," he said. "So we want the Us to help promote better living for Cambodia."