GN: According to some community people I have spoken with and this press release from the National Cambodia-America Alliance,
the invitation to General Hun Manet to participate in a parade and meet with City Official during an Upcoming Visit has caused
concerns and widened further a split in a community already divided.
Cambodian-Americans across the United States Furious with General Hun Manet’s Upcoming Visit
Dear Mayors, City Councilors and Cambodia Town Committee Members,
The Cambodia-America Alliance has received disheartening news about your city’s intent to welcome Lieutenant General Hun Manet, the eldest son of the entrenched Khmer dictator Prime Minister Hun Sen. We are dismayed that Cambodia Town committee members have invited General Hun as a special guest to the annual Khmer Parade in April.
We are equally distressed to learn that Mayor Kennedy of Lowell, MA,is also hosting him at about the same time. These news have strongly upset many Khmers in your communities, as well as others throughout North America. It is disturbingly reminiscent of the controversy revolving around Deputy Prime MinisterSok An’s 2008 invitation. We find it hard to accept that international human rights organization along with US State Department reports have shown worsening human rights violations since Sok An’s invitation and yet the cities of Long Beach and Lowell are preparing to welcome a military figure of from the Hun Sen regime.
We hope you can understand the long hard road our people have travelled since the first wave of refugees made their way to America. The fortunate ones who survived the Killing Fields and made it here were finally given a real chance and opportunity to
experience liberty, freedom and justice, the hallmarks of democracy. CambodianAmericans who’ve truly embraced and believed in those ideals have tirelessly, with all their hearts and with all their might, supported and participated in movements to raise
awareness of the many injustices and atrocities committed by Hun Sen and his ruling party.
Unless they’ve cheapened their moral values, no respectful persons would advocate for such a deceitful and ruthless regime. Doing so constitutes an affront to everything this country stands for and a total disregard for those who came here to
enjoy the very things denied by General Hun and his father’s ruling party.
An American citizen and Long Beach resident, Meach Sovanne has been arbitrarily detained without due process under politically motivated charges. Deranging is the willingness of some in America who have accepted blood money and benefits from this regime. Last week, the General’s youngest brother, Parliamentarian Hun Many, reiterated their father’s threat of civil war should the ruling party lose their votes in the next election. It is disturbing to know that some local leaders and elected officials have become subservient to this regime since we’ve been working very closely with US legislators and the State Department to encourage democratic reforms and social justice in Cambodia.
Our organization was created with the purpose of elevating the moral imperative of the Khmer communities and pushing them forward with democratic ideals fought for and established by the Founding Fathers who would be ashamed right now of this
invitation. It is an affront to the guiding principles which have made America the beacon of hope and justice for many around the world. Those who directly facilitated this visit and extended the invitation should be embarrassed for misrepresenting the
Khmer communities in Long Beach and Lowell, along with an apology for the poor lapse in judgment and selfish endeavors. This regime is subversively attempting to disrupt the American way of life and intimidate the people. It is with much contempt that such an oppressive authority like General Hun is invited to our two most populated Khmer communities, let alone our beloved America.
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 decisions and have made plans to boycott and protest any event that includes General Hun. The Cambodia-America Alliance will support our communities in their time of need and we will continue to vehemently speak for the oppressed of which you’ve unwittingly neglected. We hope
Long Beach’s and Lowell’s elected officials can appreciate and ingratiate themselves with the people’s concerns.