The Second Anniversary of peaceful demonstration for religion freedom in Kleang (renamed Soc Trang) province, Kampuchea krom. “A day of prayers – Khmer Krom Religious Rights Day on 8th of February, 2009” It is a sad reality but the Khmer Krom people continue to be systematically persecuted, detained, tortured and in the worse case killed because they express their political or religious views. Around this time, on the 8th February 2007, over two hundred Khmer Krom Buddhist monks organized a peaceful demonstration demanding religious freedom in Khleang (renamed Soc Trang) province. On 22nd February 2008, the Vietnamese authorities responded by detaining and defrocking nine Khmer Krom Buddhist monks.
- Ly Hoang, aged 22, from Wat Sam Rong, Khleang province.
- Ly Tang Thong, aged 23, from Wat Sam Rong, Khleang province.
- Ly Thanh Suoi, aged 28, from Wat Teok Praiy, Khleang province.
- Thach Xuan Hien, aged 21, from Wat Ta Meon, Khleang province.
- Tang Phien, aged 22, from Wat Ta Meon, Khleang province.
- Ly Suong, aged 21, from Wat Teok Praiy, Khleang province.
- Kim Muon, age 22, from Wat Ta Sek, Khleang province.
- Thach Thuong, aged 28, from Wat Teok Praiy, Khleang province.
On 10 May 2007, five defrocked Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks (Venerable Danh Tol, Venerable Kim Muol, Venerable Ly Suong, Venerable Ly Hoang, and Venerable Thach Thuong) were trialed at a Vietnamese court with no lawyers assigned to defend themselves. They were imprisoned for almost 2 years. Between 8th February 2007 to 10th May 2007, nineteen Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks in Tra Vinh and Soc Trang provinces in the Mekong Delta were arrested, defrocked and imprisoned for possessing human rights documents and/or for participating in a peaceful demonstration requesting religious freedom. In Cambodia, Ven. Eang Sok Theon was murdered after the peaceful protest in Phnom Penh. Venerable Tim Sakhorn, Head monk in Phnom Dinh, Takeo province was defrocked and sent to Kampuchea Krom. He was jailed against his will. In this coming date of February 08, 2008, the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF) would like to appeal a one day prayer entitled, “Khmer-Krom Religious Rights Day” to condemn the injustice actions of the Vietnamese authorities against peaceful monks and more importantly, remember our most respected Buddhist monks who put their lives on line to demand basic freedoms to express one’s religion and beliefs.
- Khmer Krom Religious Rights Day is a nonviolent day of action around the world
- Khmer Krom Religious Rights Day is a peaceful day to unit for freedom
- Khmer Krom Religious Rights Day is a day to pray for peace
Please come together to pray for peace, freedom and strength and unity amongst us all to put an end to the suffering of our people. Sincerely, Thach N Thach