03/03/2007 RFA – By Ouk Savbory Translated from Khmer by KKN Phnom Penh – Nearly 100 Khmer Krom Buddhist monks demonstrate peacefully at Wat Samaki Ransi in Kan Mean Cheay Phnom Penh on Friday evening to demand the Government of Viet Nam to stop defrocking Khmer Krom monks in Kleang Province (Vietnamese renamed to Soc Trang) and ask to reinstate monkshood to monks who were defrocked. Banners were raised and yell of demand were made to stop further threats of defrocking monks in Kleang province. The monks concern the Vietnamese authority do not obey right to practice their Buddhist religion. Venerable Yeung Sin, the head of the Khmer Krom Buddhist monk community said the 9 Khmer Krom monks were put in jail in Kleang Province after they were defrocked. “We try to preserve our customs, culture, tradition and literature but always faced with oppression by the Viet Nam communist government. We are in the 21st century, the century of most modernized the world ever seen but the Vietnamese socialist continues to deny freedom of religion and aim to eliminate Khmer Krom” said Venerable Yeung Sin. A monk states although they have received permission to stage the peaceful protest from the city authority, many Khmer Krom monks in other cities were denied to join in the protest. A Khmer Krom monk from Wat Botivadi who join the protest said in Buddhist temples where there are Khmer Krom monks, they were threatened with prosecution according to Buddhist laws which state monks are not permitted to participate in political activities. But demanding freedom for the world to hear about the sufferings of the Khmer Krom, he cannot help but come “It is very hard to come here and join the protest, I had to sneak my way to get here”. On the other hand, a monk from Wat Kan Loum name Im Virak said he was not prohibited from joining the protest but did not receive information in time for more monks to join. “Seeking permission to protest were done individually, there was no announcement made about the protest” said Venerable Im Virak. Minister in charge of observing human rights, Mr Chan Saveth said the permission to peaceful protest this Friday evening goes to show that Cambodia is a democracy but this is a very limited democracy because monks from other temples were not allowed to join. On top of that, the protest permission was only for one hour. The monks did not have enough time to express their concerns. Please note this demonstration taken place on Friday evening received the permission from the city authority after the permission to protest on the 27 February was unsuccessful.