Local councilors from the City of Long Beach, California, have vowed to boycott a Khmer New Year parade in their district following a backlash over the invitation of Hun Manet, the prime minister’s son, to the event.
Some 200 Cambodian protesters packed out a Long Beach City Hall meeting on Tuesday. Many were given an opportunity to speak and called for the council to denounce and move to block Manet’s April 10 visit.
Councilman Dee Andrews was among several councillors to declare they would not attend the 10th annual parade in light of Manet’s participation, reported local newspaper the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal also sided with protesters, who have pointed to Hun Sen’s poor human rights record among reasons to bar his son, a West Point-trained military commander, from the parade.
“None of us will go to this parade,” she said.
According to reports, Mayor Robert Garcia, who will miss the event due to a scheduling conflict, called on people planning to protest Manet’s visit to remain peaceful.
Yesterday, the Cambodian-American Alliance, the group leading efforts against Manet, celebrated the outcome and said “hundreds” will demonstrate on April 10 in the city. Protests will also be staged in Massachusetts on April 15, and Washington state a day later.