Cambodians who go to the polls for July’s parliamentary elections will face two major choices, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, and the new opposition, the Cambodia National Rescue Party. The new opposition party represents a combination of two former party leaders, Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha, both of whom were in Long Beach recently. And as VOA Khmer’s Cheang Sophinarath reports, organizers there say some challenges remain.
A group of Cambodian-Americans gathered in front of the White House in Washington on Wednesday, to demonstrate against what they say is a poor election process in Cambodia. The showing in Washington coincided with a similar protest in Phnom Penh Wednesday, demanding election reforms ahead of July polls. More than 100 Cambodians from across the Eastern seaboard gathered in front of the White House, calling for election reforms and a cut to military spending to the Cambodian government. (Sok Khemara, Washington)
As Cambodian-Americans prepare to celebrate the Khmer New Year, different communities must pick different weekends to celebrate in April. Sok Sovannarorth, of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, shares her New Year’s plans with VOA Khmer’s Men Kimseng.
Across the country this weekend, Cambodian-Americans welcomed the Year of the Snake. At the Wat Buddhikaram temple in Silver Spring, Md., Cambodian residents welcomed others from the community in celebrations. Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett called the Khmer New Year celebrations "a major annual event" demonstrating how Cambodian-Americans "continue to make significant contributions to enhance the quality of life" in Maryland. VOA Khmer's Im Sothearith reports from the temple.
Many of California's 100,000 Cambodians welcomed the Year of the Snake this weekend. That includes the city of San Bernandino, east of Los Angeles. The city has struggled financially since the 2008 crisis. And many here are hoping now for a prosperous New Year. Thousands of Cambodians now live in this city, which filed for bankruptcy last year. This year, they want to see a change. (Cheang Sophinarath, San Bernadino)
A Cambodian play called "Maktheung" was featured along with popular games and other art performances for Khmer New Year celebrations at the Buddhikaram Temple in Silver Spring, Maryland, last week. The play depicts the value of loyalty, love and justice. VOA Khmer's Im Sothearith speaks with organizer Ben Bao about the importance of justice and its application to Cambodia today.