The plight of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom people is the subject of a new musical compact disc that is being distributed for free in Phnom Penh.
The CD, which contains 14 songs that detail the alleged killing of Khmer Krom hero Sann Koy and the alleged torture of Khmer Krom at the hands of Vietnamese, was produced by Thach Setha, the president of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Coordination Community.
The disc is intended to enhance “patriotic conscience toward the Khmer Kampuchea Krom,” Thach Setha said.
Many Cambodians consider the Mekong Delta region of southern Vietnam to be Cambodian territory, and thousands of ethnic Khmers continue to live in the area.
The song “Spill the Tea from the Cup” includes the lyrics:
“The Vietnamese have buried Kampuchea Krom while they are alive in order to make cookers to boil their tea.”
Thach Setha, who is a Sam Rainsy Party senator, said he and his deputy president, Sann San, composed the songs and printed more than 3,000 CDs at a cost of about $3,000.
The funds were provided by members of the Khmer Krom community in the US.
“The second step will be to compose another CD,” Thach Setha said.
Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said the CD could cause problems for Khmer Krom living in Vietnam.
“If the Vietnamese government knows that the Khmer Kampuchea Krom hates them, how can they provide [them] with jobs?” he asked.
Officials at the Vietnamese Embassy could not be reached for comment on Monday.
But Thach Setha said his intention was not to encourage Khmer Krom to take revenge or to discriminate against Vietnamese people. He also said he would like to produce a historical movie about the Khmer Krom, but is in search of funding, which he hopes to solicit from Khmer Krom in the US.