Khmer Krom organisations have denounced what they see as discrimination on the part of Vietnamese authorities, after pagodas in the neighbouring country’s An Giang province were urged to adopt new official stamps only written in Vietnamese.
During a press conference at Phnom Penh’s Samaki Rainsy pagoda yesterday, the chairman of the Board of the Association of Khmer Kampuchea Krom, Taing Sarak, said the stamps had been introduced in early April.
Sarak said that 27 out of 37 pagodas in Svay Torng district had adopted the new stamps, while 10 had refused. Previously, stamps were also written in Khmer.
“The goal is the elimination of the Khmer language, step by step, on the part of the Vietnamese government, and we have to react to that,” he said.
Speaking at the press conference, Samaki Rainsy pagoda chief Thach Hasom Arng said the Khmer Krom organisations and their supporters would not rest until the new stamps were withdrawn.
“If the Vietnamese authorities do not change the seal, we will keep demanding,” he said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh could not be reached for comment yesterday.