Cambodian authorities are taking the matter into their own hands and have begun a campaign to get the word out about the alleged persecution of their language, the government announced Wednesday.
“We believe that if we use the right language, we can overcome the fear of this language, and this language is being used to intimidate Cambodian people,” said Hải Phan Thịm, a Cambodian member of Parliament.
He said the government wants to educate the public about the threat that the Vietnamese language is facing and that it will be a matter of time before it gets better.
The Cambodian government has issued warnings in English, but they haven’t been heard widely.
The government has been accused of censorship.
Phan Thưm said the Cambodian Communist Party has not done anything to help educate people about the danger the Vietnamese has faced, but he added that it’s not just a matter for Cambodian politicians to decide.
“If you talk about this in the political realm, you’re saying, ‘Oh, we’ve got to help you, so this is why we have to censor your language,'” he said.
Some Cambodian residents in Vietnam say the government has silenced their language.
They say the language is too important to be restricted.
When the government decided to remove a statue of a prominent Vietnamese man, locals said they weren’t allowed to use it.
The Cambodians have had a lot of success in pushing the government to speak out about their language and to make it easier for people to understand Vietnamese.
There are now more than 100 Vietnamese language schools in the country.