Calls for freedom and more unity among Khmer Kampuchea Krom have become the main demand during gatherings worldwide to mark the 60th anniversary of the loss of Kampuchea Krom (lower Cambodia now part of Southern Vietnam).
Sunday’s meeting in New Jersey is another call to reiterate Khmer Kampuchea Krom’s commitment to fight for self-determination.
“Today is a historical day to commemorate bitter experience and to try to stop colony on Khmer Krom. This is our primary call,” Ven. Thach Berong, head monk in charge of Khmer Kampuchea Krom Federation’s inter-religious affairs and one of the organizers of the gathering, told VOA Khmer by phone.
Ven. Thach Berong added that more than 100 activists coming from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Washington D.C. will get together to show their “unity to the national and international community that Khmer Krom are committed to stop any ambition to annex more Cambodian land by foreign forces”.
“We are devoted to protecting our national soul, safeguarding Khmer culture and civilization, and ensuring that Khmer Krom people have rights to self-determination,” said Ven. Thach Berong.
The commemoration is also attended by a visiting president of the Human Rights Party from Cambodia.
“The difficulty of the Khmer Krom people is those of mine because I am also Khmer,” Kem Sokha, president of the Human Rights Party told VOA Khmer for his decision to attend the gathering.
French colonist awarded Kampuchea Krom to Vietnam on 4 June 1949. Currently many Khmer Krom people are living in sheer poverty.