NEWSLETTER April 2018

In April 2018, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) organised two screenings: one on the conditions of Maya women in Guatemala, attended by MEP Julie Ward, and another one on the dire situation of the Hmong in Laos, hosted by MEP Ignazio Corrao at the European Parliament. The UNPO also contributed to a report on Tibet on the occasion of the Universal Periodic Review of the People’s Republic of China. Three UNPO Representatives respectively participated in the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York, US and in the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy. Finally, the UNPO successfully convened two major events: a conference on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Berlin attended by high-level politicians and a large-scale march for the freedom of Uyghurs in Brussels that gathered around 2,000 people. On top of that, the UNPO warmly welcomed the Assyrian Confederation of Europe that now has a permanent office in our Brussels premises. 

To read more about that and learn more about our upcoming activities, download the April 2018 Newsletter here.

 

#2 Khmer-Krom Newsletter November-December 2018

UNPO releases the second issue of a series of newsletters dedicated to the ongoing struggle of the Khmer-Krom people. This newsletter contextualises the plight of the Khmer-Krom community in the scope of international trade, and also features an interview with the President of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation.

Read more about it by downloading the November-December 2018 edition of our Khmer-Krom Newsletter and follow our #Khmerkromtuesday campaign on social media.

#1 Khmer-Krom Newsletter September-October 2018

The UNPO releases the first of a series of newsletters dedicated to the plight of the Khmer-Krom. The content of the newsletter presents a historical perspective of discrimination faced by the Khmer-Krom, while focusing on the empowerment of the youth.

Read more about it by downloading the September-October 2018 edition of our Khmer-Krom Newsletter and follow our #Khmerkromtuesday campaign on social media.

 

PRESS RELEASE: HUMAN RIGHTS CONFERENCE

 

PRESS RELEASE

Human rights conference

70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Celebrate, Standup and Demand Fundamental Rights for the Indigenous Peoples in Viet Nam

The Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF) will host a one-day human rights conference entitled “70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Celebrate, Standup and Demand Fundamental Rights for the Indigenous Peoples in Viet Nam” in San Jose, California, on Saturday, December 8, 2018, from 9 am to 4 pm, to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the UDHR and continue raising the awareness of the current human rights violations against the Khmer-Krom who are the indigenous peoples of the Mekong Delta.

Every year on the tenth of December, people around the world celebrate the Human Rights Day which is the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. Unfortunately, the indigenous peoples in Viet Nam have not yet enjoyed the fundamental rights as enshrined in the UDHR, especially the right to freely celebrate the Human Rights Day.

As a member state, Viet Nam signed seven out of nine treaties with the United Nations and also signed to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN DRIP). Ironically, the Vietnamese government refuses to recognize the indigenous peoples in Viet Nam and label them as the ethnic minority. Lacking recognition, the indigenous peoples in Viet Nam have been facing human rights violations and assimilation that have raised serious concerns.

The human rights advocates, elected officials, scholars, and members of the civil society will be invited to speak at this conference to “promote, engage and reflect” on the UDHR, and also focus on discussing how to leverage the international human rights system to protect and promote the fundamental rights of the indigenous peoples in Viet Nam.

For more information and registration, please contact: info@khmerkrom.org

Provisional Panels and Panelists:

  • Panel 1: Advance Human Rights Enshrined in UDHR to promote and protect the fundamental rights of the Indigenous Peoples in Viet Nam
    • Dr. Joshua Cooper, Executive Director, Hawaii Institute for Human Rights
    • Representatives for the Indigenous Peoples in Vietnam:
      • Mr. Thong Kim To, Senior Advisor & former Chairman, KKF
      • Mrs. Siang Bacthi, Executive Director, Tai Study Center
      • Mr. James Her, Chairperson, Congress of World Hmong People
      • Mr. Kok Ksor, President, Degar Foundation
  • Panel 2: The Right to Self-Determination in the International Law
    • Senator Paul Strauss – United States Senator from the District of Columbia
    • Ms. Julie Duval, Program Officer, Unrepresented Nations & Peoples Organization (UNPO)
  • Panel 3: The Right to Freedom of Religion and Belief
    • (Tentative) Ms. Tina L. Mufford, Associate Director of Research and Policy, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)
    • Venerable TT Dhammo, Director of Religious Affairs, KKF
  • Panel 4: The Right to Receive  Information and Freedom of Speech
    • (Tentative) Mr. Phil Robertson, Deputy Director, Human Rights Watch Asia Division
    • Dr. John Kirk Boyd, Chief Executive Officer/Founder, Unite for Rights
  • Panel 5: Implementing the 2030 Agenda and Its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Contributing and Advancing to the full Realization of Human Rights
    • Mr. Sereivuth Prak, Executive President, KKF
    • Dr. Joshua Cooper, Executive Director of Hawaii Institute for Human Rights

Download PDF File in Khmer & English

KKF Chairman’s invitation to attend annual meeting

N° 39/KKF.Ch/18

Date: 24/09/2018

LETTER OF INVITATION

FROM

THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

Dear Venerables, KKF’s members, supporters, and friends:

I am pleased to invite you to attend the KKF’s 2018 Annual Meeting to be held:

On:     Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 7-8-9 December 2018

At:          Multicultural Center Hall

647 South King Road

San Jose, CA 95116

U.S.A.

It is an honor for KKF to have our Khmer-Krom community in San Jose to host this historical event in the heart of the Silicon Valley.

As in the agenda of previous annual meetings, the KKF’s leaders will update about the KKF’s 2018 activities and planning for the activities of 2019. Moreover, this annual meeting is more special.

There will be one day of this annual meeting (Saturday, 8 December 2018) to host as a one-day conference to invite the Human Rights advocates, scholars, and experts to speak at this conference. The speakers and panels will be broadcasted on VOKK and posted on the KKF’s website and social media.

We are looking forward to seeing you at this special annual meeting.

Sincerely yours,

Thach Vien

Chairman of the Board

For more information regarding the logistics of this annual meeting, please contact:

  1. Thach Chune – 408-613-6196
  2. Thach Toan – 408 – 314 – 6929
  3. Son Yoeng Ratana – 408 – 550-5060

Email: info@khmerkrom.org

There are two international airports to arrive at San Jose, California, U.S.A:

  1. San José International Airport (SJC) is located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the center of global technology innovation. This is a preferred airport for easy to pick up and drops off.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is an international airport 13 miles (21 km) south of downtown San Francisco, California and 35 miles north of San Jose. It has flights to points throughout North America and is a major gateway to Europe and Asia.

Download PDF File in Khmer & English

Political & Economic Situation in Southeast Asia: the Case of the Khmer-Krom People

PRESS RELEASE

International Conference

Political & Economic Situation in Southeast Asia: the Case of the Indigenous Khmer-Krom People

The Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF) together with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) organise a one-day international conference entitled “Political & Economic Situation in Southeast Asia: the Case of the Indigenous Khmer-Krom People” in Paris on 2 June 2018 from 9am to 5pm to raise awareness of the situation of the the Khmer-Krom. The conference will be hosted by French Senator André Gattolin and will take place in Palais du Luxembourg, 15ter rue Vaugirard, 75006 Paris, France.

Nowadays, the indigenous Khmer-Krom communities suffer under the lack of a fair and uncorrupted judiciary system to deal with land claims but also under the excessive use of force by the authorities particularly towards Theravada Buddhist monks, the poor implementation of their rights to freedom of religion, expression and self-determination, as well as tactics of coercion based on intimidation, imprisonment without a fair trial and torture. Although the Vietnamese government has incorporated key human rights standards in the national Constitution and ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the implementation of these human rights is severely lacking.

The conference will gather members of the Khmer community, scholars, elected officials and members of the civil society. While the morning session will feature panels focusing on contemporary human rights abuses in the Mekong Delta, Kampuchea-Krom, the afternoon session will focus on the international human rights system meant to protect and promote the fundamental rights for the Khmer-Krom. The event will be held in English.

Contact:  f.delemer@unpo.org,  info@khmerkrom.org.

Registration: Send your full name and ID number at:  a.gattolin@senat.fr

For detailed information, please visit: http://unpo.org/article/20747

2018 New Year Message From KKF Executive President

2018 Happy New Year Message from KKF Executive President

Friday, December 22, 2017

Dear KKF Members, Supporters, and Friends:

With the holidays upon us and the 2018 fast approaching, on behalf of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF), I would like to wish you and your family a wonderful holiday and wishing the New Year brings tremendous joy and good luck for you that take you to newer heights of success.

Now that we are a few days into the New Year, it’s good to look ahead and think about what this year may bring us. But, we need to reflect what we had done in 2017. First and foremost, I would like to say thank you to our KKF members who have worked tirelessly around the world to ensure that the fundamental rights of our voiceless Khmer-Krom in Kampuchea-Krom are protected and promoted as enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN DRIP).

2017 was quite a year for all of us at KKF. Regardless of the obstacles that KKF faced, the KKF leadership team had managed to conduct activities successfully around the world. Below are links to the summary of KKF activities in 2017:

Even KKF had achieved a successful mission in 2017, but the New Year comes with greater challenges and obstacles. It is important for us to use our time wisely and move forward as decisively and swiftly as we can in 2018. That will only be possible with your continued support, dedication, and teamwork. We will continue operating KKF as a team under the leadership of the members of the KKF Board of Directors and most importantly to ensure that no one is above the law. 

Every New Year gives us the perfect chance to start something new and fresh. Working as a team in the KKF family, we will continue to work hard together to ensure our people back home could enjoy the freedom as we are living abroad. Happy New Year 2018!

 

Sincerely Yours,

 

Sereivuth Prak

Executive President

 

Continue reading “2018 New Year Message From KKF Executive President”

Open Letter to the President of Vietnam – Mr. Tran Dai Quang Appeal to Return the Sacred Land to the Temple

Open Letter to the President of Vietnam – Mr. Tran Dai Quang 

Appeal to Return the Sacred Land to the Temple 

Pennsauken, 17 April 2017 

Embassy of Vietnam 

Att.: Mr. Tran Dai Quang, President of Vietnam 

1233 20th St NW, Suite 400 

Washington, DC 20036 

 

Dear Mr. President: 

 Recently, there was disturbing news on the social media regarding a land dispute between a Khmer-Krom temple and local Vietnamese families who built their houses illegally on the Khmer-Krom temple’s lands. The Khmer- Krom Buddhist followers in the Mekong Delta anonymously contacted our Internet Radio, Voice of Kampuchea-Krom, to express their concern and to ask for help in appealing to your government to return the sacred land that has been confiscated from the Khmer-Krom temple. 

The confiscated land belongs to the Khmer-Krom temple, named “Me Pang”, located at the 4th commune, Phong Phu village, Cau Ke district, Tra Vinh province (p 4, Xã Phong Phú, Huyn Cu Kè, Tnh Trà Vinh). The temple was built on this land before 1975 and later moved to a new location where currently the temple is located. Even though the temple is not located on this land, the Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks and villagers in this commune have continued to organize Buddhist ceremonies every year on this land. 

During 1993 and 1994, there were some Vietnamese families asking the temple if they could temporary build shelters to live on the temple’s land. They promised that they would move out when the temple needed the land back. Since the temple did not need to use the land yet they agreed for them to living there temporarily. One of those families is the family of Mr. Phan Van Cua who later secretly bribed the local government to get the land title without the consent of the temple. The temple has been filing complaints with the court of Cau Ke district for almost a decade, but the court keeps denying justice for the temple. The court keeps using tactics saying that the temple does not have the land title to claim ownership. Using same tactic, the other Vietnamese families living on the temple’s land now refuses to move out as well. 

As indigenous peoples practicing Theravada Buddhism and living on their homeland in the Mekong Delta for thousands of years, our people believe that our temple’s land is the sacred land and that no one can take away their temple’s land. The Khmer-Krom temples’ lands in Mekong Delta have never had a land title. The court of Cau Ke district has been using the tactic to demand the temple land title in order to resolve the dispute. This clearly shows that the court is against the belief of the Khmer-Krom and violates Article 24.2 of Vietnam Constitution: “The State respects and protects freedom of belief and of religion”. 

In this regard, we would like to urge you to help to investigate this issue to find justice for our Khmer-Krom temple. Hopefully, the temple will be able to get back the confiscated lands to organize the ceremony peacefully without disturbing the people living on the temple’s land. 

 

Regards, 

 

Venerable TT Dhammo 

KKF Director of Religious Affairs 

Sacred Land Must Be Returned - Open Letter