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Khmer Krom to talk census at forum

Khmer Krom activists are planning a public forum at Freedom Park on September 6 about the recent census of ethnic Vietnamese Cambodians.

Thach Setha, executive director of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Community, said the forum would provide an opportunity for criticism of the recent issuing of official documents to Vietnamese Cambodians.

Setha claimed many had only lived in Cambodia for two years and had paid 250,000 riel ($62.50) for the documents.

The activists have been demanding an apology for two months from a Vietnamese Embassy spokesman who said southern Vietnam, known by many Cambodians as Kampuchea Krom, had been Vietnamese long before France ceded it to that country in 1949.

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng was invited to the forum in a letter yesterday to “clarify” the census, Setha said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said he had not received the letter yet, but that he supported the forum as being in line with democratic principles.

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