Published on Monday, 17 May 2010 09:39
Published on Saturday, 15 May 2010 03:59
By Lenny Thach, HR Advocacy “The Three Khmer-Krom Buddhist Monks want to see Vietnamese government respect the human rights, religious freedom and Buddhist Education in Kampuchea-Krom (Southern Vietnam today)”. - Former Defrocked Monks Picture (left to right): Ven. Tim Sakhorn, Ven. Danh Tol, Ven. Kim Muol Today, members of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation and three KK Buddhist Monks had a busy schedule at the Nation’s Capital, Washington DC. The first meeting was with Scott Busby, the National Security Council official in charge of human rights and refugee issues held in the Wilson Room of the White House Conference Center. Next stop was to the U.S State Department where they met with Peter J. Kovach, Director Office of International Religious Freedom and Sara Colm from Human Rights Watch. A meeting with UNHCR Officers and U.S Congressman Staff gave the KKF Delegations the opportunity to raise the issues of the Khmer Krom refugees, human rights, religious freedom and Buddhist education in Vietnam. The meeting with the US Congress was a collective effort by KKF to try to improve human rights, religious freedom and Buddhist education in Vietnam and Cambodia. The three KK Buddhist monks, Kim Moul, Tim Sakhorn and Danh Tol gave a brief report on Vietnam over the past few years, reaffirming that the situation back home remains very fragile. They expressed their concerns about recent events in Mekong Delta River, the human rights situation and other issues such as religions freedom and Buddhist Education. The KKF’s delegation and three KK Buddhist monks were happy that they were able to conduct talks with the US Officers without fear or restrictions, unlike in Vietnam. The monks were able to make US Officers understand and appreciate how Vietnam treats its indigenous peoples of the Mekong Delta. They spoke about the Vietnam government’s discrimination against the Khmer Krom people and Buddhist monks and how human rights, religious freedom and Buddhist education structure remains restricted and controlled. Mr. Thach Thach, KKF President also took the opportunity to raise issues such as the ongoing land-rights disputes and the exploitation of peasants’ land by the Vietnam Authority in Ang Giang Province for concessions to private interests Kampuchea-Krom in 1978. He also spoke about the lack of the freedom of expression, assembly and Buddhist education. In his meeting with the US Officers, Mr. Thach Thach, reaffirmed and encouraged Vietnam government to engage in constructive dialogue with the Khmer Krom people back home and abroad at meetings such as the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples last April. He encouraged Vietnam to open transparency in order to make both side living in peace and improve the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, including land rights, freedom of expression, Buddhist education and religious freedom.
Published on Tuesday, 27 April 2010 00:21
- We urge the Permanent Forum to review problems of poverty and land rights, and to reassure that developments are not at the cost of indigenous peoples and free prior informed consents are consulted with indigenous communities. We urge governments to stop forced relocation and grant legal recognition to the ownership and control over our lands and customary resources.
- We highly recommend the Permanent Forum to work closely with UNICEF to empower future indigenous leaders, such as developing capacity building, leadership training, youth entrepreneur development, and youth counseling projects for indigenous youths, in addition to an intergenerational Youth Preparatory Meeting for the Permanent Forum.
- We request action plans and strategies to be discussed in the Permanent Forum for the reduction of education gap between indigenous and non-indigenous. And call for greater supports for indigenous education, at academic, policy, and financial levels. We want an education that will help end discrimination of the indigenous people, and promote respect of our culture, language, rituals, and traditional knowledge.
- Grant access to the Permanent Forum based on our indigenous nations rather than on states, and restore the mislabeled and misclassified indigenous youth whose bloodline is mixed due to colonization by establishing a Multi-Indigenous Youth Caucus.
- Call for the Permanent Forum to expand their membership by adding a position to be filled by an Indigenous Youth, selected by Indigenous Youth, to represent Indigenous children and youth of the world by the next session of the Forum in 2011.
- The governments should have legal system to protect and represent indigenous people. In 2007 the Vietnamese Government arrested, defrocked, and imprisoned these three former Indigenous Khmer-Krom monks who are standing behind us today. We recommend that the Government, especially Vietnamese Government, respect the freedom of religion and have the legal system to protect victimized people.
Published on Monday, 26 April 2010 00:56
Published on Thursday, 22 April 2010 20:58