Group Petitions Against Sok An Long Beach Visit

Members of the Cambodian community in Long Beach, California are launching a petition against a planned appearance by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An at the official opening of “Cambodian Town” in Long Beach in April.

Officially named “Cambodia Town” in July, the Long Beach community will hold a ceremony to celebrate its new name during the annual Khmer New Year parade in April.

To mark the occasion the “Cam­bodia Town Delegation” presented a letter of invitation on behalf of Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster inviting Sok An to attend the opening ceremony, said Anthony Ly, editor of Long Beach’s Angkor Boraei News, which will issue copies of the petition on Jan 1. The petition accuses Sok An of stalling the passing of laws such as the anti-corruption law and the anti-human trafficking law, which was passed by the National As­sembly this month, and also refers to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government as an “abusive regime.”

“We collectively submit or signatures in protest of Mr Sok An’s ap­pearance,” the petition states.

Anthony Ly wrote by e-mail Fri­day that if the petition fails to stop Sok An’s visit, his group may dem­on­strate.

Phay Siphan, a spokesman for the Council of Ministers and a Long Beach resident, said December 28 that the allegations were false and Sok An not only plans to attend the New Year ceremony, but he will bring a delegation to the US to promote Cambodian culture and trade.

Anthony Ly and other supporters of the petition are part of a group of “destroyers” that do not contribute financially or culturally to the Long Beach Cambodian community, Phay Siphan said.

“They do nothing,” he added.


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