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Letter: Homeland for the Cham

Dear Editor,

After reading David Lempert's commentary on October 10 ("A homeland for the Chams"), I must express concern over the severe lack of cultural recognition the Cham receive from governments and Unesco.

Also troubling are US policies targeting Chams for their supposed affiliations with radical Islamic charities. While some concerns could be real - especially after the 2003 arrests at Om-al-Qora school - the US must take caution not to alienate this vulnerable ethnic group and, in the process, further legitimise one of the world's most corrupt governments.

In southern Thailand, shortsighted policies and incompetent security forces unfairly targeted moderate Malay Muslims, helping to foster a thriving militant movement. Let's not re-enact those mistakes in Cambodia.

Geoffrey Cain

Phnom Penh

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