concerned to read in the Centre for Social Justice advertisement of
December 19 that, once again, the organisation's executive director
apparently holds the view that human rights in Cambodia are a matter
relevant only to the Khmer.
There are many people living in
Cambodia who are not considered to be Khmer - those of mixed
Vietnamese-Cambodian or full Vietnamese parentage, for example - but
whose rights deserve as much respect as those of the ethnic majority.
it would have been appropriate to repeatedly use the term Cambodian
rather than Khmer in the speech at the Wat Ounalum. Any individual can
take Cambodian nationality, but it is virtually impossible for someone
who is ethnically Vietnamese to ever be regarded as ethnically Khmer.
would expect more sensitivity about this matter from both the executive
director and the board of this particular NGO and, whatever their
personal opinions are, to ensure inclusive rather than exclusive terms
I wonder if any of the 500 diplomats, human rights workers
and others involved in the field picked up on the irony that the theme
of the meeting was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
to: [email protected] or P.O. Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
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