Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Khmer Krom drop call for apology

Khmer Krom drop call for apology

Police clash with Khmer Krom supporters during a demonstration in front of the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh
Police clash with Khmer Krom supporters during a demonstration in front of the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday. Vireak Mai

Khmer Krom drop call for apology

Khmer Krom youth and other activists backed down yesterday on their demand that a diplomat apologise for saying the former Kampuchea Krom provinces belonged to Vietnam long before France’s official transfer of the land in 1949, but said they will keep protesting until the “true history” is recognised.

At a press conference yesterday morning, Oeur Narit, president of Youth for Peace, said that Vietnamese Embassy spokesman Trung Van Thong was no longer expected to formally apologise for the remarks he made in an interview with Radio Free Asia last month.

“In order to respect each other and the friendship of our neighbouring countries, we want to drop our demand for an apology from [Van Thong] . . . but we want Vietnam to accept that Khmer Krom land belonged to Cambodia for a long time,” he said.

Ren Chanrith, a coordinator with Independent Youth, said the groups would file petitions with seven embassies next Wednesday to pressure Vietnam into giving this recognition.

“We will tell those embassies, especially France, the US, Russia, China and England, about the rights abuses from the Vietnamese government to the Khmer Krom people, and we will urge them to put pressure on the Vietnamese government to respect Khmer Krom rights and freedom,” he said.

Another youth, Phou Tita, called on Vietnam to stop “defacing” Cambodian history, adding that if it continues to do so, “it is a thief”.

But Van Thong told the <>Post that he was “not interested” in their requests.

The press conference came a day after about 200 members and supporters of several Khmer Krom organisations gathered outside the Vietnamese Embassy to protest against Van Thong’s comments.

Several protesters and at least one security guard were injured in clashes during the protest. Afterwards, the embassy released a sharply worded statement saying that demonstrators interfered with Vietnam’s sovereignty and internal affairs.


  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • EU timber deal in firing line

    A committee of more than 20 national and international organisations filed a petition to the EU on October 10 to prevent it from signing a timber trade agreement with Vietnam, noting that the deal would be disastrous to the Kingdom’s forests. The petition claims Vietnamese timber

  • PM: Programme to recover Vietnam War missing back on

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced the resumption of the MIA programme to recover the remains of American service personnel missing after action on Cambodian soil during the Vietnam War. The programme was suspended for more than a year after the US government imposed visa

  • Kim Sok to keep up fight ‘for change’ from Finland

    Kim Sok, wanted by the Kingdom’s authorities for defaming the government, reiterated on Sunday his determination to continue helping to make “a real change” to Cambodian politics after receiving asylum in Finland, even as a government spokesman mocked the political analyst over the development.