Wishes from KKF President as Year 2006 closes its final chapter. Happy New Year!!! The 2006 is finally ending and so comes the closing of this year’s agenda. We are proud of our work, of the results and the benefits for our Khmer-Krom people as a whole. The fifty campaign stops around the globe made 2006 the best year of our struggle. We have learnt to share our thoughts; experiences and ideas of our Khmer-Krom’s future. We must not let our people lose hope. We, KKF, would like to appeal to all Khmer and Khmer-Krom worldwide to continue their support for our cause, to unite, brave and proud of being Khmer. We need a great nation; not a great hero. We want a Khmer-Krom voice; not a single individual, group or single organization voice but one united Khmer-Krom voice. Working Together: One Khmer-Krom, Two Khmer-Krom and Every Khmer-Krom We, KKF, have asked to share individual thoughts, respect others for the sake of our Khmer-Krom people. It is about moving from an “individual or me, myself” mentality to “We, all of us”. We must take our individual skills and learn to incorporate them into a team environment. One Khmer-Krom, Two Khmer-Krom and every Khmer-Krom together can become greatest and effective non-violent movement. We do not to look around very far, for example, His Excellency Judge Abdul G. Koroma of the International Court of Justice and Professor Rodolfo Stavenhagen, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples, encouraged and educated us about the various mechanisms available to achieve our goal of self-determination. We, too, are making great strides in breaking down the psychological and organizational barriers that result from “me or individual” thinking. Even though we have much more to do, we have achieved remarkable milestones by the effective use of work teams and implementing new approaches to reengineer processes, thus gaining recognition worldwide. In 2000, we began gathering KKF leaders around the globe for a leadership training held in St.Peterburg, Florida. The result of that the leadership training has seen KKF as it is today, a organization filled with youths, women and seniors alike proud to be Khmer-Krom and to participate and get involve with KKF. We are moving from just a simply organization representing Khmer-Krom to one that is deeply valued and respected by others. Of course, well-integrated teamwork exemplifies the successful transition from “me” to “We” thinking. We must apply our energies and use our passions in cooperation to plan for our success. And we need every Khmer-Krom to take part in this historical work. The Japanese proverb once said “None of us is as smart as all of us” is true. And other way is to consider is: One Khmer-Krom, two Khmer-Krom and every Khmer-Krom together we win. We require all Khmer-Krom to become self conscious on how they can help and support our struggle. We want to see them put Khmer-Krom first, then themselves and their organization after. We want to see our Khmer-Krom become wise, educated and to understand their rights and their duties. After all, we do not want to see our Khmer-Krom people become “YES MEN”. We all know that “Yes men” tell us what they think we want to hear rather than what they really want. We want our people to tell what they need to know in order to fulfill the goals of Khmer-Krom, the KKF’s goal. 2007: What’s next? KKF will continue ahead with our struggle to pursue self-determination, not only a Khmer Krom goal but the goal of the international community as well. We must never lose our hope or not let it slip away. Do not for one second think that the Vietnamese government will give us freedom unless we fight for it. We have to double our work in 2007 to gain the world’s attention and to place our Khmer-Krom issue amongst the world issues. The KKF needs your financial support, strength, ideas, thoughts and what you think that is best for Khmer-Krom. During this special occasion, we would like to wish you all the very best for the holidays. May our lord Buddha bless your family with good health, happiness, prosperity and long life. T.Thach
16 Dec 2006 By Sophorn Radio Free Asia Translated from Khmer by Heng Soy The International Khmer-Kampuchea Krom Federation in Cambodia had reacted anew on Thursday to condemn the Vietnamese authority in Khleang province (Soc Trang in Vietnamese) in Kampuchea Krom land (South Vietnam) for the arrest of a student from Kampuchea Krom university, brutally beating him, and grossly violating his human rights. The International Khmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation in Cambodia issued a statement on 14 Dec which indicated that Dith Sothy, a Khmer-Kampuchea Krom student was arrested by the Vietnamese authority on 09 Dec 2006, he was also tortured because he was searching information on the Internet. Uy Sopheak, the secretary-general of the International Khmer-Kampuchea Krom Federation in Cambodia, stated his condemnation on the Vietnamese authority which constantly violates the rights of Khmer Kampuchea Krom people, and also tortures them. He called on all countries in the world, as well as International organizations which are now operating in Vietnam and Kampuchea Krom, to investigate the case, and come up with a resolution with the Vietnamese authority which is always violating the rights of Khmer Kampuchea Krom people who are the rightful land owner, and also those of other ethnic minority people currently living in Vietnam. Uy Sopheak said: “We are condemning the Vietnamese government which is seriously violating on the determination of Khmer Kampuchea Krom people.” Thach Sang, vice-president of Friends of Khmer-Kampuchea Krom association, said that since the International Khmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation was recognized by the International community in The Hagues (Netherland), the Vietnamese government has intensified its pressures on Khmer Krom people. Thach Sang is condemning the inhumane treatment and the serious human rights violation perpetrated by the Vietnamese authority on Khmer Kampuchea Krom people, and he is asking the Vietnamese to immediately put to an end and stop from now on all human rights violation on Khmer Krom people. The Vietnamese embassy could not be contacted this Friday. Thach Sang said: “The Vietnamese government has exerted pressure and is bringing hardship on Khmer Krom, especially in Preah Trapeang and Khleang provinces (Tra Vinh and Soc Trang in Vietnamese).” The Khmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation claimed that on 12 Dec 2006, the Vietnamese authority in Preah Trapeang province (Tra Vinh), brought a large number of policemen to surround the Champa Borey pagoda, and arrested Venerable Monk Chau Sy who was accused by the Vietnamese authority of preserving documents dated from 2004-2005 involving the International Khmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation. Venerable Monk Chau Sy was then taken to the Preah Trapeang police station for questioning.
06-09/12/2006 Speech by Mr. Thach Ngoc Thach Ladies and Gentlemen: I’m honored to be here. My name is Thach Ngoc Thach, the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation president. I’m glad to see many women attend this conference. Thank to the RTP for campaigning to have women to get involved. I have attended many conferences before; but this one is more women participated. We thanks the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group (ALDE) and the Transnational Radical Party (TRP) for organizing this great conference. We would like to provide the background report from Mekong Delta (southern Vietnam). Whereas the Khmer-Krom who dares not to speak for his or her legitimate rights on the religious persecution and explicitly eco-social deprivations, and their lives contemporary under human rights oppression and can’t express without scrutiny by the Vietnamese authority. I will give this report the “Ongoing Human Rights violations against the indigenous Khmer-Krom” submit to Mr. Chairman right after my speech. Examples:
- Watching KKF VCD at United Nation on Permanent Forum on the Indigenous Issue is prohibited.
- Reading KKF newsletter, listen to Khmer music, Radio Free Asia, Voice of America, Voice of Kampuchea Krom and contact outside world are banned.
The crimes initiated by the Vietnamese government against Khmer-Krom continue at a rampant rate. For instant, the Khmer-Krom was imprisoned, while others mysteriously disappeared and the Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks continue to oppress on the religious faith. Moreover thousands of the Khmer-Krom were fleeing and seeking refuge in Cambodia. We have discussed and shared experiences and we can see these experiences are not new to all of us. We have discussed for years on how to get result quick and better to stop the oppression and help the suffering people. The question is to us and to the Europe parliament to help promote “Democracy” and “Human Rights”. We can not import “Democracy and Human Rights to the grass root to the suffering people unless people know what Democracy and Human Rights are, and can exercise their rights. We have many suggestions on how to help flow the communication system and so people can start to hear, to learn, to stand on their own feet. Freedom of speech, we are talking at this conference and we have heard great suggestion, solution; but what we do not talk much is how to implement and a start a Democracy network from European Parliament, ALDE, TRP, UNPO and No Peace Without Justice to the people. Khmer-Krom Refugee in Cambodia: Khmer-Krom has escaped to Cambodia because of the communist Vietnamese government’s oppression and systematic driving us out of our homeland by taking our land, property and destroys our culture…etc. January 18th, 2006, the European Parliament Resolution on Cambodia # 12 “ Calls on Cambodia Authorities to fully implement the 1953 UNHCR Convention both with regards to the protection og the Montagnard refugees, refraining from illegal forced deportation to Vietnam, and to granting refugee status to the ethnic Khmer-Krom escaping from Vietnam”. Thank you to the TRP for this resolution! Almost a year now, Cambodian government has not initiated the resettlement program nor made no effort to register to legalize them as the Cambodian citizenship as they claimed. Today many Parliament members attend this conference, we urge you to follow up the European Parliament resolution on Cambodia. The Khmer-Krom escape to Cambodia does not to reunite with Cambodian Family or is the same blood line. It’s because of the Vietnamese government. There are no Human Rights as we all discuss here “Freedom of speech”. We are 99% farmer and if they took our land how can we survive “Land is our life”. Khmer-Krom Buddhist monk were disrobed, jailed and killed. We can not promote democracy by enrich the corrupt government; but direct to the people who are mistreated. How can the democracy be promoted when we, the world, please with one party, one rule government for life. What is the democracy and freedom if only the rich, the high ranking, the top leader family can do, or receive a high class reception? Allow their family travel freely; get all kind of education. We can talk, share experiences of human rights violation and we know that there are million of story untold; but what we are here today would like to appeal to the European Parliament TRP, UNPO and ALDE jointly follow up the EU Resolution on Cambodia on Khmer-Krom Refugee and gross Human Rights violation on Khmer-Krom in Vietnam. Thank you very much and I hope and also my people in Kampuchea Krom (southern part Vietnam or Cochin-china) soon meet the European parliament at their front door. Finally, my Khmer-Krom refugee in Cambodia hopes to hear from you as well. Thank you Mr. Chair
3rd December 2007 A reporter from the Khmer program of RFA has interviewed Mr. Thach Ngoc Thachon his upcoming trip to Belgium for the TRP Council conference and the issues that will be brought up including appeals to the European Parliament Members for support as well as the cases of the Khmer-Krom refugees in Cambodia. Mr. Thach was also asked to comment about the recent influx of arrests made by the Vietnamese authorities against Khmer-Krom individuals and couples caught in procession of KKF materials including the controversial DVD on the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2005. Click here to listen to his response
Mr. Thach Ngoc Thach, KKF President, Mr. Giap Tran, KKF Treasure and Mr. Vien Thach, KKF Vice President of European Affairs will be heading to the city of Brussels, Belgium to participate in the Transnational Radical Party (TRP) General Council held this upcoming Wednesday 6th until 9th December 2006. Hosted by the TRP, this conference will be attended by some of the most distinguished members and organizations around the world including TRP President Mr. Sergio Stanzani and the President of the Senate of the Party, Mr. Marco Pannella. Members of the Alliance of Liberals and-Democrats for Europe, Italian Minister for European Affairs and International Trade will also take part in this conference. A member of the TRP, KKF will continue their tireless international campaign into the administrative center of the European Union. This conference signals the final destination for KKF in this calendar year as they conclude by doing what they do best, representing an active voice on behalf of millions of indigenous Khmer Krom people living under oppression in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam in this ‘extraordinary’ conference.
Letters of Inspiration Every Khmer-Krom individual would agree to some extent that now is a changing time for our struggle movement to pursue Self-Determination. After many years of investigating and campaigning on how to pursue and fulfill our visions, we now have many different ideas and strategies on how to get back what have always belonged to us, Khmer-Krom. Even though a change in our struggle abroad appears to be essential, Khmer-Krom inland is actually the main core movement. Many of us – probably a majority – feel that it is necessary for us to be “working together”. Unity we want! But the question remains, how do we unite and what for? The Khmer-Krom people have indicated their request to have just one movement. There lies to the reason why KKF was adapted from the former Khmer-Krom Council to this worldwide organization. We have promoted the idea of a larger, broadly-based and collective idealism from Khmer-Krom inland and abroad. It was to be new in almost every sense of the word. It was not intended to be controlled by one individual or a group of peoples, but act as an organization that is free to represent all Khmer-Krom equally. Khmer-Krom inland and abroad has been proud to have KKF represent them and in fact, it only fair that a BIG movement such as KKF would represent all. It does not mean the other organizations have to break up theirs, only that they work under the umbrella of KKF. United we stand! There is nothing wrong which one is the lead of the organization, which one is represent Khmer-Krom. KKF has represented our people proudly worldwide. We are not asking to abandon or discredit any organizations rather it is about reality and the nature of success “To win is to be UNITED”. One might wish that two or more struggle movements would be democratic and have achieved faster than one. Realistically, it is great if we have our own country or our land; but we are not. It’s just a movement. Remember that the Vietnamese government uses these strategies to break our struggle from the past to today. To light the candle of our ancestor’s vision, all of us, not one or not two but as a greater organization. It will be the ultimate test of our vision to pave the necessary steps to achieving self-determination. The grassroots of our struggle are our people inside; not abroad. For those of us living abroad, we are just representing on their behalf and are now well known internationally. KKF has earned recognition and respect from international organization worldwide. As U.S. President Harry S. Truman said; “Men make history, and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” If our answer is “YES”, our people will applaud and show their support. If our answer is “NO”, our history will ensure that this once in a life time opportunity will be lost and we will be cursed by our ancestor. “OUR PEOPLE WILL NOT FORGIVE US IF WE ARE UNABLE TO UNDERSTAND OUR ANCESTOR’S VISION.”