Rep. Arata speaks at Khmer Maine Dinner, receives award

PORTLAND – Assistant House Republican Leader Amy Arata (R-New Gloucester) was an honored guest at the Khmer Maine’s Annual Inaugural Dinner last night. In addition to speaking to the group, she received a “Friend of the Cambodian Community” Award for significant contributions toward a thriving, vibrant, and visible Cambodian community in Maine and Sponsoring the Joint Resolution Honoring the Cambodian Day of Remembrance.

Rep. Arata spoke of her experiences with friends in the Cambodian community and the importance of recognizing the horrifying hardships and genocide Cambodians endured under communism, noting:

“Most Americans are familiar with the Nazi genocide of the Jews, and all decent people condemn Nazis and recognize the evil they represent.  However, most Americans have no idea about the horrors imposed by Communists in Cambodia. According to one study, Communism is viewed favorably by 28% of Gen Z and 22% of Millennials.  How can this be, when Communism has led to poverty and murder everywhere it’s been tried?  Communism seduces the young with promises that are impossible to deliver.  It starts with envy that leads to hatred that leads to death.  The world needs to hear your stories, now more than ever.

This is why the Cambodian National Day of Remembrance is so important, and why I sponsored a joint resolution to honor it.  Many of my colleagues in the legislature had no idea that millions of people had been murdered in Cambodia.  Your presence in the State House was a powerful reminder that this wasn’t just a historical event in a faraway land; but that it happened to real living, breathing human beings like you.”

About Khmer Maine Khmer Maine is a nonpartisan, community organization working to improve the quality of life and the social and economic well-being of Cambodians in Maine through cultural exchange, community building and civic engagement. Khmer Maine also partners to support members of Maine’s Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander communities and strives for solidarity with Black and Indigenous communities in Maine.

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