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KKF Secretary General Rebuttal To Vietnam's Article, "Human Rights for development of ethnic minorities"

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By Hua Son

KKF Secretary General

First and foremost, the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF) is a legitimate not-for-profit and the non-governmental organization (NGO). It is the nonviolent civil rights movement which inspires and trains emerging Khmer-Krom leaders. We base our strengths upon the legacy of Khmer-Krom heroes, and the legacy of respected world leaders. The KKF provides the forum and the platform for the Khmer-Krom Youth the skills and the opportunities to speak up, to champion and to win positive changes for their communities.

We are not a “force” hostile to the Government of Vietnam (GVN). The KKF helps to raise awareness of and to speak up for what the voiceless Khmer-Krom people want and hopefully to work with the GVN to stop and eliminate the human rights violations. The GVN should promulgate and recognize the Khmer-Krom people as the Indigenous Peoples and respect their human rights.

The mission of KKF is, through the use of peaceful measures and international laws, to seek freedom, justice, and the right to self-determination as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNUDHR) and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) for the Indigenous Khmer-Krom Peoples in Kampuchea-Krom (Mekong Delta region). The Khmer-Krom people are entitled to the equal protections under these international laws. The Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation also seeks to improve the quality of life for Khmer-Krom people and their families.

The article under the title “Nhân quyền vì sự phát triển của các dân tộc thiểu số“ published by the Nhan Dan on 12/12/2013 with respect to the Khmer-Krom was distorted and misinformed in several respects:

The Khmer-Krom people are not ethnic minorities as classified by the Government of Vietnam. They are the Indigenous Peoples as defined and recognized by the United Nations.

The Khmer-Krom people and their descendants have been living, nurturing and cultivating on their ancestral land of Kampuchea-Krom since the first century. Their cultural identity, socio economic well beings and language are established long before the arrival of ethnic settlers, are separate and distinct from all other ethnic minority groups. The practice of colonialism and neo-colonialism is alive and continues to exist. This practice can only strengthen and prove that the people of Khmer-Krom are the Indigenous Peoples.

Contrary to the published policies and announcements, the GVN continues discriminations, intimidations, arbitrary arrests, imprisonments and harassments against the Khmer-Krom people and Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks.

While the GVN claims and promotes the “pilot” bilingual education, and the cultural shows, the educational and cultural contents often distorts the true historical facts of the Khmer-Krom people.

We respectfully request that the Government of Vietnam:

  • Immediately and unconditionally releases Venerable Lieu Ny, and Venerable Thach Thuol.
  • Immediately and unconditionally releases Mr. Thach Phum Rich, and Mr. Tra Quang Tha.
  • Immediately and unconditionally releases Mrs. Ly thi Danh, Mrs. Lam thi Loan, Mr. Ly Minh Hai, and Mr. Tang Phola.
  • Allow the Khmer-Krom Theravada Buddhist Monks to freely organize as an independent religious association and to freely conduct religious activities in general.