|Season's greetings: Ethnic artists perform a traditional dance to celebrate the Chol Chnam Thmay in Can Tho. The festival, which falls annually in mid-April, is one of the most important of the year for the Khmer people. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong
CAN THO (VNS) — Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh delivered his best wishes to the ethnic Khmer community on the occasion of their New Year festival, Chol Chnam Thmay, at a get-together held by the Steering Committee for the Southwestern Region in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho yesterday.
At the event, Ninh, who is also head of the committee, praised the achievements the region gained in 2012, including economic growth of nearly 10 per cent, an average per capita income rise by VND6 million (US$285), and reduction of poor households by over 3 per cent.
However, a section of the Khmer community is still disadvantaged, he noted, asking ministries, sectors and local authorities to pay more attention to supporting them.
Deputy head of the committee Nguyen Phong Quang said the region was home to about 1.3 million Khmer people, accounting for 8 per cent of its population.
Over the past years, the committee has mobilised VND867 billion to help poor people in the region. The sum was used to fund the construction of 12,000 houses for poor Khmer households and 5,000 scholarships for disadvantaged students gaining outstanding academic results.
The Chol Chnam Thmay, which falls annually in mid-April, is one of the most important festivals of the year for the Khmer people. It is usually held at pagodas and sees people wish and pray for a lucky new year. — VNA/VNS