Happy New Year, 2009

The 2008 is ending and also is one of the hardest years of work, Great Spirit and unity. We started from day one after our year end meeting from the West coast to the East Coast of Canada; from the East coast United States to the Central and West coast. From Europe to Inland, Cambodia and the east of the world, New Zealand whiles recently the Australia’s best conference.Read in Khmer During this special occasion, the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation Board of Directors would like to wish our people back home, Cambodia and abroad with the very best. “The Long March to the Motherland” “We, Khmer-Krom, are held together by a spine of great Khmer’s spirit, common rights, responsibilities and common knowledge so that we truly feel we are one people. Our communities — our people — are our greatest national asset.” National unity is a core value of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation. Our unity matters not only to Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation, but also to the Khmer people. We have travelled extensively throughout the world and information float from inland in the last few years, sharing the ideas and vision of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation and listening to them describe their vision for our Khmer-Krom’s future. We have seen that, no matter where we live, or what country and language we speak; we are united in our shared hopes. The Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation has always stood for the Khmer-Krom’s best national dreams, and has never stopped fighting for our common future. As leaders, we work hard to build a stronger Federation, with clear objectives, goals and vision. Khmer-Krom wants Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation to defend our Human Rights, protect our culture, language, religion, environment and our heritage. Above all, Khmer-Krom wants Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation to protect our identity. With these common goals, Khmer-Krom united from inland Cambodia and all around the world. Their vision is Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation’s vision, and we would continue to promote, protect them vigorously and lead to our destiny “Self-determination”. Facing the Future Since 2006, Khmer-Krom has witnessed a series of remarkable events on the international stage. In difficult times, and with human rights crisis at hand, the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation has responded quickly to change the circumstances by offering stability and leadership to our people. We are honoured to be Leaders of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation. We share a common commitment to renew and unite our peaceful struggle movement. Starting right now, and in the weeks and months ahead, Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation will work together to unite and prepare for our future. As we said during our international conferences in The Hague, 2006 and Canberra, Melbourne, 2008: “We are not looking for a road to failure. We are looking for a road that takes us out of our Human Rights crisis, oppression and the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation is responsible for the trip on that road with the Khmer-Krom interest in mind. The Vietnamese Government has to understand the extent and depth of our suffering — the justified and righteous freedom of the Khmer-Krom and the way we have been treated in the present day. The Vietnamese leader seems to misunderstand the very nature of the Khmer-Krom, and they better start understanding it quickly.” We have a lot of work ahead of us and we need to start right away. We are asking for your help because we cannot do this alone. We need your ideas, we need you to volunteer, and we need your donation to make our work over the coming months possible. Let’s make sure that person by person, community by community, we unite to carryout our movement and bring our greatest strength back. We have to keep the pressure on the Vietnamese Government and be prepared to fight back when ever our rights is being violated, but Khmer-Krom also expect us to be constructive and rise to the challenge of the recent oppression they are facing. We will need all of your advice in the weeks ahead, but we can tell you that we are excited for the opportunity to lead and inspired by the goodwill in our Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation. Thank you for the thousands of messages that have poured in. If we do not reply to them all, please do not take it personally and we hope you understand. “June, 04, 2009 is the 60th anniversary of the unjust treaty; we must be strong and united” May our Lord Buddha bless our people, Thach Ngoc Thach

Hanoi prohibits visit by Euro MP Marco Pannella and Italian Senator Marco Perduca to Vietnam

Transnational Radical Party PARIS, 23 December 2008 (VIETNAM COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS) – Prominent Member of the European Parliament, Marco Pannella, and Italian Senator Marco Perduca, were prevented from boarding a plane from Phnom Penh to Saigon today to visit Vietnam. They were scheduled to visit Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam leader Thich Quang Do today before travelling to Hanoi to meet Vietnamese officials and members of the National Assembly on 24-25th December. The trip followed an invitation extended by a delegation of members of the Vietnamese National Assembly during an Inter-parliamentary meeting at the EP in Strasbourg last week. Mr. Pannella, a member of the EP Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, and Senator Perduca, who are both members of the Italy-based Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty, had obtained regular visas to enter Vietnam. Yesterday, however, after they arrived in Phnom Penh to meet with members of the Cambodian Parliament, the Italian Embassy in Hanoi informed them that the Vietnamese government had “received several letters and messages of protest concerning the visit”, and were “not in a position to guarantee the personal security” of the two men. They decided to continue the trip nevertheless, beginning with a meeting with UBCV leader Thich Quang Do at the Thanh Minh Zen Monastery at 2.00pm today. However, as they prepared to leave for the airport, they received a fax informing them they could not take the flight and would “not be permitted to enter/exit Vietnam any more. Marco Pannella told Quê Me President Vo Van Ai by phone: “We were told that the news of our arrival had triggered off a surge of protests from people in Vietnam who considered us as “enemies of Vietnam” and that the Vietnamese government feared for our security. Can you imagine it, the powerful Communist regime is afraid of a meeting between two non-violent members of parliament and Thich Quang Do, the symbol of the worldwide resistance movement against tyranny. They are so afraid that they cannot guarantee our security. What an admission of the regime’s impotence! I am determined to visit Thich Quang Do, and sooner or later I will succeed”. When Vo Van Ai informed Thich Quang Do of the visit’s ban, the UBCV leader sent a letter to Marco Pannella and Senator Perduca to thank them for their concern for the UBCV, and deeply regretting that they were not allowed to meet. Thich Quang Do wrote: “The Communists are devious and dishonest. They make promises that they never keep. We have a saying in Vietnam: “Don’t listen to what the Communists say. Just look at what they do. I am sad, and I am ashamed to be Vietnamese.” Euro MEP Marco Cappato wrote to EP President Hans Poettering to express his deep concern about Hanoi’s attitude, especially “given the upcoming renewal of the EU-Vietnam [Cooperation] Agreement”. Marco Cappato authored an EP Resolution on Vietnam adopted in October 2008 calling for concrete mechanisms to monitor human rights in the new EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. Among other human rights concerns, the Resolution called specifically for the release of Thich Quang Do and the reestablishment of the UBCV’s legal status.

VIETNAM PROHIBITS ITALIAN MEP AND MP VISIT

23/12/2008 Transnational Radical Party Press Release Phnom Penh, 22 of December 2008 We publish here below the letter with whom the vietnamese travel agency Vungtau Intourco Hanoi informs about the denial of the permission to enter Vietnam to Marco Pannella and Marco Perduca – italian MEP and MP from the Nonviolent Radical Party, transnational and transparty – both stopped this morning in Phnom Pen airport, Cambodia. In the same hours, the Government in Hanoi was stating that the entry visa was not denied and that on the day of december 24th meeting are regularly scheduled with the vice-President of the Foreign affairs Committee in the vietnamese National assembly. Pannella and Perduca have constantly been keeping the vietnmese embassy informed, promptly forwarding to them the details of their schedule, travel programe and hotels, directly from the official travel agency of the italian Senate. “Dear Mr. PANNELLA GIACINTO MARCO and party, First of all, we Vungtau Intourco Hanoi would like to extend our warmest greetings and best wishes to you and your colleagues. Further to the request of the Vietnamese Embassy in Roma – Italy regarding to visa application, we have applied the legal pre-approval as entry visa to Vietnam for purpose of tourism (as C1 form) from 18 December 2008 to 18 January 2009 for you and participants with the details information as bellows: Perduca Marco, Mecacci Matteo, Pannella Giacinto Marco. According to the Vietnamese government Law and rule, when you are issued entry visa for travelling, you must supply your tour program and details schedule. However, until now we could not contact you and vice verse. Under the law, we have had to announce appropriate authorities of Vietnam to refuse your entry visa. Therefore, we would like to inform you above for acknowledging and you will not be permitted to enter/exit Vietnam any more. Thank you very much for understanding and kind co-operation. Kindest regards, Pham Xuan Nhat (Mr.) – Director”

VN blocks entry of Euro MPs

Written by Brendan Brady Phnom Penh Post Wednesday, 24 December 2008 Khmer Krom advocates barred from flight to Ho Chi Minh City EUROPEAN government officials visiting the region to advocate for greater cultural and religious freedoms for Khmer Krom were stopped from boarding a flight Tuesday to Ho Chi Minh City from Phnom Penh’s International Airport. Marco Perduca, an Italian parliamentarian, and Marco Pannella, a parliamentarian with the European Union, were both on an unofficial visit as members of a global human rights and democracy advocacy group, the Non-Violent Radical Party, which has consultative status with the United Nations. The last-minute rebuff was especially surprising, they said, because the foreign minister and parliamentarians from Vietnam had agreed to meet them in Hanoi today. “I think there are some disagreements in the government,” Pannella, who is the advocacy group’s president, said, suggesting that some Vietnamese officials may have been behind the denial. “There are parts of the government that fear demonstrations” from ethnic Khmers in Vietnam would be provoked by their visit, he said. He said the Italian government was trying to contact Vietnamese officials to resolve the problem. As they were about to board their flight, airport authorities presented them with a vaguely composed fax from a Vietnamese state tour agency claiming they had not followed a rule requiring that “when you are issued (an) entry visa for traveling, you must supply your tour program and details schedule”. They noted that the travel agency that sent the fax, Vungtau Intourco Hanoi, had not previously been involved with their travel plans, and their visas were valid until the middle of next month. They had planned to meet Tuesday with Khmer Krom leaders in Ho Chi Minh City to discuss rights violations against their community including the arrest of activists. Officials with the Vietnamese embassy in Phnom Penh could not be contacted on Tuesday.