Cambodian officials say at least three people are dead and several are wounded after police opened fire on a crowd of people during a labor protest in the country's capital.
The violent clashes have East Texans with ties to the country concerned. Not only are the worried about their homeland, they are also worried about the children they help sponsor in a Cambodian orphanage.
Protests over a minimum wage increase and a call for new elections in Cambodia , are being met with violent force by the country's government. East Texan Channary Pullen, a native of Cambodia , worries about her family back home, calling her mother practically every night.
"Oh she just told me about the people that work at the factory, they were trying to get a raise. Yes I'm worried! Worried right now," she says.
Another concern, husband Dewayne is a member of the Longview Vietnam veterans association, which sponsors an orphanage near Phnom Penh.
"I mentioned to our late president William Perkins that we were going to go visit an orphanage and he wanted to know can we help , and I said I don't know , he said we need to help," Dewayne says.
The chapter has been helping children who live in staggering poverty for the last four years.
"The kids will break your heart. We buy rice, noodles, food. We even help them with their homework," Pullen says.
They make yearly trips to Cambodia , visiting family and the kids, and worry about the political unrest.
"My impression of this is , we've never seen that when we go. We know occasionally it happens. We are concerned about all the kids there," says Dewayne.
"This is not the first time, I've see it before when I was there," Channary says.
The clashes have become increasingly more violent, and the Pullen's hope for a peaceful resolution, and that those they care about , don't get caught in the violence.
The Pullen's are planning on traveling to Cambodia in march to visit the orphanage.
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