Protesters will confront Hun Manet, the eldest son of Prime Minister Hun Sen, if he shows up in the United States next month, says the Cambodian-American diaspora group behind last month’s rally against the premier in California.
In a statement posted online, the president of the Cambodian-American alliance Touch Vibol said the group was “dismayed” and “distressed” that Manet – a lieutenant general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces – was invited as a special guest to the annual Khmer parade next month in Long Beach, California, and to Lowell, Massachusetts, where the mayor is set to host him, according to the statement.
“This news has strongly upset many Khmers in your communities, as well as others through North America,” reads Vibol’s statement, which is addressed to the two cities’ mayors, city councillors and Cambodian community leaders.
“We, along with the Khmer-Americans in both cities, respectfully urge you to reconsider this ill-advised and misleading decision to host a person strongly despised by the Khmer people. Your constituents are tormented by your decision and have made plans to boycott and protest any event that includes General Hun.”
Government spokesman Phay Siphan yesterday called the group “narrow-minded” and undemocratic, saying that Manet’s visit was to celebrate Khmer culture, not engage in politics.