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Ethnic minorities: Indigenous cultures celebrated

Ethnic minorities
About 300 people from ethnic minorities were among 1,500 who gathered yesterday to celebrate the annual World’s Indigenous People Day in Preah Sihanouk and Stung Treng provinces.

The celebration aims to raise public awareness of the rights of ethnic minority peoples.

“The rights day was held to celebrate ethnic minorities publicly, while also expressing concern over such issues as land disputes and the loss of culture and tradition,” Pheap Sochea, president of the Cambodian Ethnic Minorities Association, said yesterday.

Rights group Adhoc marked the day by urging the government to protect indigenous people “potentially damaging” land concessions, in a statement released on Monday.

“Ethnic minorities throughout the country are seriously suffering from the loss of land, forest, culture and tradition,” Rous Han, a representative of Indigenous Rights Active Members network, said.

Chhit Sam Ath, executive director of NGO Forum, urged the government to suspend economic land concessions in ethnic territories until collective land titling is implemented.

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