Monday, May 11, 2009

Khmer Krom make themselves heard on the United Nations doorstep [-Good job, KK Brothers and Sisters!]

Place des Nations (Geneva, Switzerland). Vien Thach, president of the Khmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation in Europe, co-organiser of the demonstration attended by Khmer Krom who came from all over the world to make themselves heard (Photo: Laurent Le Gouanvic)

By Laurent le Gouanvic

Coming from Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, the United States, Canada, New Zealand or Australia, among others, over 200 natives of Kampuchea Krom, a region located in the Mekong delta, in Southern Vietnam, and once Cambodian territory, gathered on Friday May 8th in front of the United Nations Palace, in Geneva, Switzerland. The exceptional event was organised by the Khmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF) on the occasion of the very first hearing of the Vietnamese government by the United Nations Human Rights Council, under the Universal Periodic Review, a new mechanism meant to assess the human rights situation in each of the 192 member states of the United Nations. Interview, at the heart of the demonstration, with one of the main organisers, the president of the KKF in Europe, Vien Thach, who rejoices at a “historic day”.

On the morning of May 8th, the sky was favourable to the Khmer Krom cause, with an exceptionally sunny day in Geneva, Switzerland, and just enough wind for the blue-yellow-red flags of Kampuchea Krom to flap, along with the banners demanding the “right to self-determination”, “freedom of religion, expression and the press”, and the end of persecutions by Vietnam against “the indigenous Khmer Krom people”. The weather was also ideal to lay out mats on the Place des Nations, just in front of the eponymous palace, and make the demonstration a friendly gathering, with noum pang (sandwiches) being distributed and traditional dance shows. If some bemoaned having had to share the enormous square with another group of demonstrators, Vietnamese also calling for the respect of human rights and freedom of religion in Vietnam, the co-organisers – U.S. president of the Khmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF) Thach Thach, his counterpart for the European representation of the KKF Vien Tach, and representatives of NGO UNPO (Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization) rejoiced that they were able to bring their message to this international stage. Before going to the Palace of Nations, to attend Vietnam's hearing before the Human Rights Council, Vien Thach explained to Ka-set his expectations and the goal of the demonstration.

Ka-set: What are the violations of Khmer Krom's human rights you want to denounce with the United Nations?
Vien Thach: To give you the gist: First, the persecutions against Khmer Theravada Buddhism [practised by Khmer Krom as well as in Cambodia, Thailand and Laos most notably]; secondly, the grabbing of land belonging to Khmer Krom farmers; and thirdly, the falsification of Khmer Krom history by Vietnam. Our goal is to raise awareness in the international public on these issues and support the NGOs who support us, such as Human Rights Watch, whose [January 2009 report Ka-set: Vietnam: Human Rights Watch analysts denounce violations of Khmer Krom rights] on Vietnam focuses largely on this issue.

K7: What do you mean by “falsification of history”?
VT: The Vietnamese government refuses to acknowledge that we are an indigenous people in this territory. They write in official documents and manuals that we are refugees who came from Cambodia and settled in Vietnam, whereas we have been there and occupied these lands for a long time, even before the Vietnamese. The Khmer Krom are indigenous people. You must not forget that 21 provinces in Southern Vietnam actually used to be Khmer territory. But in 1949, France gave our territory to Vietnam instead of returning it to Cambodia. From then on, we have been persecuted because Vietnam has a culture that is very different from ours, different religious practices... We have a lot of trouble living with the Vietnamese.

K7: The demonstrators gathered today live in Europe, North America, Australia or New Zealand... Where does the information you report on persecutions and human rights violations against Khmer Krom come from?
VT: Our correspondents, compatriots who live there [Editor's note: in the Mekong delta], communicate information to us. That is one of the reasons why Vietnam does not dare to do us as much harm now. They have signed international human rights conventions, but that was first to receive money from donors... Until 2001, the Vietnamese government was not concerned in the least about Khmer Krom's fate. But the community of Khmer Krom throughout the world asked the international community to react and help these poor populations.

K7: Then, are you hoping to attract the attention of Vietnam's donors by demonstrating on the Place des Nations?
VT: Yes. Governments giving aid to Vietnam as well as international institutions, like the World Bank, must pressure the government of Hanoi. We are pursuing our efforts in that direction. The European Parliament, for instance, knows the situation quite well now. The deputies have even voted with a very large majority to condemn human rights violations in Vietnam.

K7: You have mentioned the period when Kampuchea Krom was officially part of Cambodia. This historic reference features heavily on the banners and signs brandished during this demonstration. Does that mean you are hoping for this region to be integrated back to Cambodia?
VT: No, that is not really the issue today. Cambodia has never supported us. So, we want to manage by ourselves. Khmer Krom monk Tim Sakhorn, although he was the head of a pagoda, had taken refuge in Cambodia... And the Cambodian government defrocked him and sent him back to Vietnam, while it is absolutely contrary to the Cambodian Constitution to extradite a compatriot. We do not count on Cambodia. Our fellow citizens cannot take refuge in Cambodia without fearing to be sent back to Vietnam, to the police, in the conditions you can imagine...

K7: Would you be ready to call for the independence of Kampuchea Krom?
VT: It is a very important question. But there are still many things to do before thinking about it. We do not want to get ahead of ourselves. Our compatriots are poor and most of them live in the countryside. First, we have to give them education, improve their living conditions, ensure that they know human rights.
The Universal Periodic Review

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a new mechanism established in 2006 with the creation of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The UPR is meant to review the human rights situation in the 192 member states of the United Nations every four years. The ongoing process, under which Vietnam is currently being reviewed, is scheduled for completion by 2011. Ultimately, the goal is to equip the Human Rights Council with a universal mechanism recognised by member states, which will give it extra weight to enforce respect for human rights.


Anonymous said...

Indigenous rights outlined by UN,2007

A member of Papua New Guinea's Hagen tribe
Campaign groups say native tribes are under more pressure than ever
The United Nations General Assembly has adopted a non-binding declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples after 22 years of debate.
The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples calls on countries to give more control to tribal peoples over the land and resources they traditionally possessed, and to return confiscated territory, or pay compensation.

The General Assembly passed it, with 143 countries voting in favour and 11 abstaining.

Four nations - Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States - each with large indigenous populations, voted against.

Australia said it could not allow tribes' customary law to be given precedence over national law.

"There should only be one law for all Australians and we should not enshrine in law practices that are not acceptable in the modern world," said Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough.
Recently Australia had signed the Treaty of Indigenous rights.

Anonymous said...

If you voted for CPP (Cambodian People's Party):

Also known as:

Communist Party of Kampuchea
Khmer Revolution Party
Khmer Rouge Party
Khmer Krorhorm Party = គណបក្ស ខ្មែរ ក្រហម

You're support the killing of 1.7 million innocent Khmer peoples from 1975 to 1979 in Cambodia.

You're support the killing at least sixteen innocent men, women and children on March 30, 1997 Grenade Attack in Cambodia.

You're support assassination of journalists in Cambodia.

You're support political assassination and killing in Cambodia.

You're support attempted assassination and murder of Chea Vichea (leader of the Free Trade Union of Cambodia).

You're support corruptions in Cambodia.

You're support murder of Piseth Pilika (Apsara Dancer).

You're support Hun Sen Khmer Rouge Regime burn poor people's house down to the ground and leave them homeless.

Hun Sen, Chea Sim and Heng Samrin was a former Khmer Rouge commanders.

Now, Hun Sen, Chea Sim and Heng Samrin are Khmer Rouge leaders, since their leader (Pol Pot) is dead.

From 1975 to 1979, these Khmer Rouge commanders responsible for killing 1.7 million innocent Khmer peoples in Cambodia.

From 1980 to present, these Khmer Rouge leaders responsible for killing innocent men, women and children on March 30, 1997, assassinated journalists, political assassination and killing, murder of Piseth Pilika (Hun Sen's affaire) and attempted assassinate and murder of leader of the Free Trade Union in Cambodia.

When is the ECCC going to bring these three criminals to U.N. Khmer Rouge Tribunal?

Khmer Rouge Regime is a genocide organization.

Hun Sen Khmer Rouge Regime is a terrorist organization.
Hun Sen's personal Bodyguards Unit (Brigade 70) is a terrorist organization.
Hun Sen Death Squad is a terrorist organization.
Cambodian People's Party is a terrorist organization.

I have declare the current Cambodian government which is lead by the Cambodian People's Party as a terrorist organization.

Whoever associate with the current Cambodian government are associate with a terrorist organization.

Khmer Rouge Regime had committed:

War Crimes
Crimes Against Humanity
Overwork to Death
Assault and Battery

Cambodian People's Party Hun Sen Khmer Rouge Regime had committed:

Extrajudicial Killings
Grenade Attack
Drive by Shooting
Death Threat
Human Rights Abuses
Human Trafficking
Drugs Trafficking
Under Age Child Sex
Mass Evictions
Land Grabbing
Illegal Firearms
Illegal Logging
Acid Attacks
Steal Votes
Violate the Constitution

These are the Trade Marks of Hun Sen Khmer Rouge Regime.

Under Hun Sen Khmer Rouge Regime, no criminals that has been committed murder and all other crimes within Hun Sen Khmer Rouge's government have ever been brought to justice.

Terrorism in Cambodia.
Killing at least sixteen innocent men, women and children.
Hun Sen's personal Bodyguards Unit (Brigade 70) was the suspects and was order by Hun Sen.

An FBI investigation concluded that Cambodian government officials were responsible for the attack.

The U.S. Senate Foreign Committee concluded that Cambodian government officials were responsible for the attack.

Leader of the Free Trade Union of Cambodia
The Cambodian government attempted to assassinate Chea Vichea and Sam Rainsy on March 30, 1997 Grenade Attack.

The president of the Red Cross of Cambodia (Bun Rany) had order Hok Lundy to murder Piseth Pilika (Hun Sen's affaire).

Heng Peov hold position as the Police Commissioner of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Cambodian People's Party Hun Sen Khmer Rouge Regime had committed under age child sex.
Svay Sitha is a senior government official from Cambodian People's Party.
Svay Sitha had a sexual relationship with Tat Marina, that was only 16 year old.

Cambodian People's Party Hun Sen Khmer Rouge Regime had committed acid attack.
"On December 5, 1999, Tat Marina, age 16, was severely disfigured in an acid attack in Phnom Penh. The attack was allegedly committed by Khun Sophal, the wife of a senior government official, Svay Sitha, because she was angry her husband had a sexual relationship with Tat Marina. Neither Khun Sophal nor those suspected of being her accomplices in the attack were brought to justice. Intense media publicity compelled the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to issue an arrest warrant for Khun Sophal for attempted murder, but the police claimed that they could not locate her, although journalists reported that she was living at home as usual."
Source: Human Rights Watch

Cambodian People's Party Hun Sen Khmer Rouge Regime had committed torture and murder.
"On the night of January 16, 2003, a street youth named Prak Sitha was beaten to death at the Ministry of Interior (MOI) headquarters after he was arrested and detained by off-duty MOI officers on suspicion of theft. His body - bearing numerous injuries to the head, torso, arms, and legs - was dumped at a Phnom Penh pagoda the following morning by ministry officers, in violation of police regulations regarding deaths in custody. No criminal charges were filed in connection with this death. In December 2004, the case was cited by the UN secretary-general's special representative for human rights in Cambodia - who stated that Prak Sitha died at the ministry "following beatings by a known police officer" - as an example of a "consistent and continuing pattern of impunity" in Cambodia."
Source: Human Rights Watch

Hun Sen's personal Bodyguards Unit (Brigade 70) is a terrorist organization.
Hing Bunheang is a March 30, 1997 Grenade Attack suspect identified by the FBI.
Cambodian People's Party Hun Sen Khmer Rouge Regime had committed murder, again.
"On September 4, 2008, Mean Sokchea, a RCAF major working in Brigade 70, shot dead 21-year-old waitress Put Samphors at a restaurant in Kandal province. Mean Sokchea, in a drunken stupor, fired his gun and apparently mistakenly hit Put Samphors in the stomach. She was taken to a hospital but later died of her wounds. Mean Sokchea was detained by the police overnight but was then released, allegedly after intervention by Hing Bun Heang. Put Samphor's family received US$2,700 from Mean Sokchea, and the police told them that their daughter was shot while authorities were chasing robbers."
Source: Human Rights Watch

Hun Sen doesn't want the U.N. Khmer Rouge Tribunal Court to prosecute more than five Khmer Rouge leaders.
Because the Cambodian People's Party Hun Sen Khmer Rouge Regime are the Khmer Rouge leaders.
I have a question for Hun Sen Khmer Rouge's government.
Since Hun Sen Khmer Rouge's government likes to assassinate innocent Khmer peoples.
Does Hun Sen Khmer Rouge's government have any plan to assassinate the U.N. Khmer Rouge Tribunal 9 judges?

Information change without notice as it become available.

Anonymous said...

"attahi-atta nor-nearthor ,attahi-atta nor kati,tasma-saing yamak atta naing,sasa yaing phak taraing vak vea-ni-chho"

"Oneself is one's own protector,oneself is one's own refuge.Control,therefore,your own self as a merchant,a spirited charger."

Anonymous said...

Awesome job brohters/sisters KHmer Krom!!

This is very good news. We will get there. The horizon is await for our flay to fly on Khmer Krom soils soon.

We must fight! And continue to fight!

Anonymous said...

vietnam is controlling khmer leur, khmer krom and laos. Next focus for them would be "thailand".

sofar, vietnam is successfull in dividing khmer and khmer territories.

all khmer must rely this fact and give them alot of ressistance. The choices is in all khmer hands.

Anonymous said...

yes, great to make khmer krom voice heard all over the world, especially in the USA. god bless all khmer.