The US State Department on Friday welcomed news that opposition leader Sam Rainsy has received a royal pardon, allowing for his return to Cambodia ahead of the July 28 elections. But in a Friday media briefing, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also urged Cambodia to continue reforms to ensure a credible election, including the implementation of 18 separate recommendations made by the UN’s special rights envoy to Cambodia, Surya Subedi. Pin Sisovann, Washington.
More than 1,000 Cambodian-Americans and their supporters held a demonstration of Friday in front of the White House in Washington, calling on US President Barack Obama to help ensure free and fair elections in Cambodia later this month and to continue to push for human rights and democracy in Cambodia. Protesters came from at least 10 states across the country and included not only Cambodian-American citizens, but Buddhist monks, Khmer minorities from Vietnam and Montagnards. VOA Khmer's Sok Khemara reports.
Despite the ability to unify and create Cambodian Town, the Cambodian American community in Long Beach, Calif., still lacks representation at the city level. Steve Vibol Meng, former president of the Cambodian Coordinating Council , speaks with VOA Khmer’s Im Sothearith on issues ranging from gang engagement to business success experienced by Cambodian-Americans in Long Beach.
Cambodian Americans from many states held a fundraising event in Philadelphia on June 1 in support of the Cambodia National Rescue Party. Kem Sokha, vice president of the party, was in attendance to update the US-based supporters of the opposition’s plans for the July 27 election. VOA Khmer’s Im Sothearith discusses the party’s plans and its criticism of the ruling party’s development policies with Kem Sokha.
Cambodia’s Royal Ballet performed in New York earlier this month for the first time in decades. The performance, part of the Season of Cambodia arts festival, was not just a pleasure for Americans to see, however. It also brought pride to many Cambodians who fled their home country and ended up as far as Canada and the United States. VOA Khmer’s Poch Reasey reports from New York.
Cambodians have been settling in the United States for more than 30 years. Yet there are few real success stories in business. But there are exceptions, like Timothy Chhim, president of the Chamber of Commerce for Nanuet, New York. Chhim recently visited Washington for a business conference, he told VOA Khmer in an interview that's because many of them fail to think big, take risks and go after what they want. (Sok Khemara, Washington)