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April 30, 2008
Senate resolution honors Khmer Rouge survivor
A resolution to honor the life and work of a Cambodian photojournalist and human rights advocate has passed in the Senate.
Senate Resolution 515 –– sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and co-sponsored by 11 additional senators, including Jack Reed –– refers to Dith Pran as a modern day hero; an exemplar of what it means to be an American citizen as well as a citizen of the world.
Pran documented many of the atrocities by the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia in the late 1970s. He also coined the term “killing fields” -- the title of a feature film released in 1984 -- to refer to the concentrations of dead bodies he saw as he made his way from Cambodia to Thailand.
“From his efforts to help foreign journalists escape from a collapsing Cambodia, to his own struggle to escape the Khmer Rouge’s killing fields, to his tireless work on behalf of genocide victims worldwide, Dith Pran showed a never ending commitment to human rights and dignity,” Whitehouse said in a statement.
“On behalf of Rhode Island’s Cambodian community, I’m proud that the Senate has honored Dith Pran, and I hope this resolution will help his message endure.”
Rhode Island is home to one of the largest Cambodian refugee populations in the country.
Pran, who died March 30 in New Jersey, sought refuge in the United States in 1980 and eventually became a citizen. He founded the Dith Pran Holocaust Awareness Project to educate the world about what he witnessed in Cambodia.
Read the text of the resolution online.
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 12:16 PM | Permalink
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