March 15, 2005
The Honorable Laura Richardson
Office of Councilwoman Laura Richardson
Sixth Council District
333 West Ocean Blvd., 14th Floor
Long Beach, California 90802
We, the Cambodian community in Northern California,
have become aware that the Cambodian community in
Southern California plans to have a New Year parade on
April 17, 2005. If the parade actually happens, it
would be a first in California.
We are delighted to learn that you endorse and
plan to participate in a parade on behalf of the
Cambodian community in California. However,
We wish to raise awareness that 17th of April
is a dark day for Cambodia and its people those
scattered around the world and those left in poverty
and sickness in our Homeland. It is the day when the
communist Khmer Rouge befell Cambodia into a killing
field where more than one million of its citizens were
slaughtered. To knowingly select this day as the day
celebration would indicate ignorance, at best.
However, the Cambodian New Year celebration is a
cultural event that celebrates our ancient dance,
and religious traditions. It is this date that should
receive a united support from the culture for which it
represents. Clearly, planning this parade to be held
the current scheduled date is controversial, if not an
insult, and divides the community.
Your endorsement and participation in this event is
important. We ask you to help convince the event
committee to change the date from April 17 to some
other date. In that way, the whole Cambodian
community and others who support us can participate
and celebrate our contributions to America.
If the committee finds no other suitable date, we wish
to see you withdraw your endorsement and participation
as a protest. Thank you for your consideration.
VP of Cambodian American Resource Agency