The majority of Khmer people in the south concentrate in nine Mekong Delta localities of Soc Trang, Tra Vinh, Kien Giang, An Giang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Vinh Long, Hau Giang, Can Tho. There are also Khmer people living in Ho Chi Minh City and southeastern localities.
During the festival, Khmer people conduct many traditional rituals such as pagoda visiting and Buddha bathing, aiming to pray for favorable weather conditions and good luck for family members, as well as showing gratitude to parents and ancestors.
Addressing the event, PM Phúc extended his New Year wishes to the Khmer community, which number around 1.3 million.
He underscored that Vietnam is a united country with a large number of ethnic groups. The Party and State always pay special attention to ethnic minority groups, including the Khmer.
He said that the Government has prioritized resources for many national schemes designed to support the disadvantaged groups, including ethnic minority people, such as the sustainable poverty reduction programs and the new-style rural area building programs.
The Government leader expressed his delight at improvements in the living conditions of the Khmer community, as well as in education and human resources quality.
The political system in Khmer-inhabited areas has been reinforced with increasing number of Khmer officials. The solidarity among religions and ethnic groups has been promoted, while political security and social order and safety have been ensured, he noted.
However, the PM pointed out that the socio-economic infrastructure system in the southern region in general and Khmer areas in particular has yet to meet development requirement. The income and livelihoods of for part of community, especially those in remote and mountainous regions, have been unstable.
The human resource quality has yet to meet the requirements for industrialization and modernization, he said, adding that there are still activities of abusing religions to harm solidarity among Khmer people.
He requested ministries, sectors and regional localities to actively carry out policies related to ethnic and religious affairs, meeting aspiration of the groups.
The PM asked authorized agencies to promote the popularization of policy and legal regulations among Khmer people, while creating favorable conditions for religious activities of the group.
On the occasion of the Chol Chnam Thmay, local authorities should offer timely support to poor households, thus ensuring all Khmer people enjoy a warm festival, the PM said.
On the same day, the PM visited the Soc Trang provincial Association for Solidarity of Patriotic Buddhist Monks and Pali school, as well as offered incense at Khleang pagoda in the province.