The publication committee of the Khmer Writers’ Association is collecting copies of all of the Khmer-language publications printed between 1960 and 1975 in order to reprint selected works and make them available for distribution as a means of promoting national literacy in Cambodia.

Lek Chumnor, the director of Khmer Book Publishing and vice-president of the Khmer Writers’ Association, told The Post on March 28 that his association will first publish four books this year including a novel published in 1972 written by Im Chhum and the novel Mealea Duong Chet written by Nou Hach.

“The purpose of this publication is to disseminate outstanding [Khmer-language] works so the public can get to know them and learn from them. It’s also to promote and encourage literacy in Cambodia in a way that is broadly based on books written in a standardised [Khmer] language,” he said.

He said the books selected to be republished would depend on the quality of the writing and their overall merit as literature and that the reprinted books will be distributed through bookstores, public libraries and national institutions.

Chumnor said he expected that republishing many of these works from 1960 to 1975 will have broad public support because some of them are already being taught as part of Cambodia’s school curriculum.

He noted that his association’s long-term goal was widely promoting the establishment of a national Khmer-language body of literature through the publication of books that would all follow a standardised language format and guidelines.