Commemorating Kampuchea-Krom Day

On June 4 1949, the French colonial government illegally transferred the control of Cochin-China (Kampuchea-Krom) to Emperor Bao Dai of Viet Nam. Sixty years on, Khmer Krom suffers in the hand of the Vietnamese government from oppressions, genocide, human rights abuse and their Vietnamization policies. This year on the June 13, the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation will commemorate the lost of our land in Paris, France, the place where one signature changed the life of 8 millions Khmer Krom until now. If you would like to attend this special event, please use the contacts below: E-mail: giap.tran@khmerkrom.org or europe.fkk@gmail.com Telephone: 856-655-3838

UNPFII: Indigenous women

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Fourth Session New York, 16-27 May 2005 Item 4(c): Indigenous Women Statement by Sothy Kien, representative of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation Madame Chair My name is Sothy Kien. I am honored to be here at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to make the world aware of the injustices of the Khmer Krom women. Khmer Krom people make up one of the largest indigenous peoples occupying South Vietnam along the Mekong Delta. In 1949, this land that once belonged to the Khmer Empire was unjustly handed over to the Vietnamese Government, along with its inhabitants. Since then, the Khmer Krom have been treated with disrespect with a systematic destruction of our culture, cosmology and collective rights. Among the people of Khmer Krom, the women face the most hardship. We face a dastardly double discrimination. We are discriminated for simply being a Khmer Krom women living in Vietnamese society. Instead of helping to eliminate this discrimination, the Vietnamese Government has aided and added to the daily discrimination.. The suggested recommendations should be taken by the UN and the Vietnamese Government in order to correct these injustices. 1. We ask the Vietnamese Government to invite the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women to conduct investigations into the discrimination against Khmer Krom women. 2. We recommend the UN to request the aid of World Health Organization in conducting health studies focusing on Khmer Krom women and to implement programs creating greater access to health information and prevention. 3. We ask the Vietnamese Government to establish a suitable and affordable health care system for Khmer Krom women and their children as many cannot afford the high costs of health insurance. We implore the UN Special Rapporteur on Health to visit and measure the progress of policies and practices. 4. We ask the Vietnamese Government meet the MDG 4 on maternal health by creating and funding public health facilities focusing on prenatal care for Khmer Krom women including free check ups and vaccination especially in the provincial regions. 5. We ask the UN to create and implement IFAD-Funded Projects focusing on Khmer Krom Indigenous women. 6. We ask the UNICEF and UNESCO to assist our women to secure public education in MDG 2. Approximately more than 75% of Khmer Krom women are estimated to be uneducated due to their economic status. For example, no Khmer Krom women are in the political arena. They are not treated with the same respect or given the same opportunities as Vietnamese citizens. 7. We ask the UN and its agencies to work in collaboration to create jobs and equal opportunities for Indigenous Khmer Krom women in Viet Nam. Too many are forced into the inner-cities with low paid wages and poor working conditions. Others are forced into female trafficking rings, believing that it was the only option left in a country where women’s rights, especially Indigenous women rights are not recognized. 8. On a final note, concerning reproductive rights and personal self-determination, the government dictates that Khmer Krom women are only allowed two children. We demand the revocation or cancellation of this discriminatory legal measures. Lastly, on behalf of all indigenous people present at this forum, I would like to say to their respective governments that Indigenous peoples are humans too. While some Governments are in denial of their past actions, they have everything to gain by recognizing and accepting their indigenous peoples. As Indigenous peoples, we have nothing but our dignity, honesty and the will to live as a free individual without all the discrimination attached. Thank You.

KKF Theravada Buddhist Committee speaks at International Buddhist Conference

Picture 1:Ven. Thach Berong and 96 KKF Theravada Buddhist Committee Delegates join the Intl. Buddhist Conference View the speech by Venerable Thach Berong during the the International Buddhist Conference on the United Nations Day of Vesak Celebrations in Bangkok, Thailand. 4 – 6 May 2552/2009 Speaker: Venerable Abbot Thach, Berong Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation’s Theravada Buddhist Committee San Jose, California, U.S.A. ———<><><><><>——— Honorable Buddhist Sangha, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen: My name is Venerable Rong Be, a Khmer Krom Buddhist monk who is currently living in San Jose, California, U.S.A. I am truly honored and grateful to the Supreme Sangha Council for giving me the wonderful opportunity to speak on behalf of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation‘s Theravada Buddhist Committee, which represents millions of Khmer Krom indigenous populations in the Mekong River Delta of southern Vietnam, during this special celebration of the United Nations Day of Vesak in Bangkok, Thailand. Ninety five percent of Khmer-Krom citizens, who have inhabited in the Mekong Delta or Kampuchea-Krom, have practiced Theravada Buddhism from generation to generation for almost two thousand years. Presently, there are approximately over 25,000 Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks and more than 560 Khmer Krom Buddhist temples scattering all over the south-western part of today Vietnam. Each of these temples is surrounded by the Khmer Krom villages and their rice fields. The monasteries and the famers are the backbones of our unique national identity. They safeguard the Khmer language, culture, tradition, custom, foods, character, and personality. Buddhist teaching -love, compassion, honesty. – is the moral standard for the conduct of Khmer-Krom people. Traditionally, most of the Khmer Krom young men have been ordained into becoming the monkhood at least for a period of times during their grown up lives. By committing themselves to follow the principles of Lord Buddha’s teachings, these people are greatly considered by their communities as the honorable and respectful persons who have possessed with such a high standard of moral value, strong discipline, and good educations which make them to become a better, more matured, and humble gentlemen. It is such a noble mission in their life time which makes their families, relatives, and friends very proud of them also. In this most auspicious occasion marking the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha, let us, as religious and community leaders, work together to lead noble lives, to practice loving-kindness and to bring peace and harmony to humanity. This wisdom and light that flashed and radiated under the historic Bodhi Tree, more than 2500 years ago, is of great significance to human destiny. It illuminated the way by which mankind could cross, from a world of superstition, or hatred and fear, to a new world of light, of true love and happiness. The heart of the Teachings of the Buddha is contained in the teachings of the Four Noble Truths, namely, The Noble Truth of Dukkha or Suffering

  • The Origin or Cause of Suffering
  • The End or Cessation of Suffering
  • The Path which leads to the Cessation of all Sufferings

    All of these aforementioned reasons that make our Khmer-Krom indigenous populations to become the peace-loving, gracious, friendly, patient, strong, and determined persons. We can get along well with other people regardless of their different racial, ethnic, political, ideological, and religious backgrounds. And these wisdoms are the important factor that keep our Khmer-Krom people as well as people around to be always inspired and enlightened by this Fourth Noble Truth explains the Path which leads to the cessation of suffering, or the so-called Noble Eightfold Path. And these Noble Eightfold path avoids the extremes of self-indulgence on one hand and self-torture on the other. It consists of Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration. May Lord Buddha bless all of you with peace, prosperity and harmony. Thank you very much. Picture 2: Ven. Thach, Berong in the conference at Buddhamonthon, Bangkok, Thailand Picture 3: Ven. Thach, Berong and KKF Buddhist Monks at United Nation Hall in Bangkok, Thailand Picture 4: Ven. Thach Berong about to give speech at International Buddhist Conference in UN Hall Picture 5: KKF Theravada Buddhist Committee Delegates and Tibetan Buddhist Monk at Mahachulalongkon University

  • Khmer Krom Meeting in San Jose – May 17

    The Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation has the honour to announce an event to remember our sad and bitterness history and to commemorate and pay respect to the soul of the over two millions Khmer and Khmer Krom victims of genocide. Click here to read in Khmer Events and topic for discussions: – Invite monks to perform prayers for the Khmer victims of genocide – Speech by John D Ciorciari (PhD), expert on Khmer Rouge and a professor at Stanford University – Discussions about the situation of Khmer Krom during the Khmer Rouge genocide regime – Report of the event and outcome of the Khmer Krom protest in Geneva, Switzerland by the president of the KKF Mr. Thach Ngoc Thach – Questions and answers regarding the Khmer Rouge – Questions and answers regarding present and future plan of the KKF. The KKF extend this invitation to all compatriot to come and join us for this special event. Date: Sunday 17 May 2009 Time: 9AM to 3PM Place: Wat Khemrangsay 1594 Cunningham Ave. San Jose, CA 95122 Sincerely, Thach Ngoc Thach President Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation

    Human Rights in Viet Nam: 500 Indigenous Khmer Krom Make Themselves Heard at the United Nations

    On 08 May 2009, Viet Nam’s human rights record was examined for the first time by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). While the country’s participation in the new Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism is an important step, words are outweighed by facts. Disappearances, censorship, institutionalised discrimination, cultural “homogenisation”, lack of fair justice, lack of religious freedom, lack of freedom of association, marginalisation of indigenous peoples are all abuses which characterise current-day Viet Nam. On this historic occasion, 500 indigenous Khmer Krom traveled to Geneva to make themselves heard. Staging a massive 10-hour demonstration outside the UN and organising a side-event inside the UN, right next door to the Human Rights Council, Viet Nam’s indigenous Khmer Krom called upon the international community for action. A disappointing Universal Periodic Review The sharp contrast between Viet Nam’s self-congratulatory UPR report and those prepared for the Council by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) denotes a sad truth: while the regime has officially accepted to participate in this process, it has chosen not to take a critical look at its human rights record. This is an eloquent manifestation of the country’s approach to cooperation with the United Nations. While the documents of the OHCHR and the submissions of human rights NGOs pointed to institutionalized human rights abuses in numerous fields, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh dismissed them as “unfounded reports” and rejected “allegations of ill will about democracy and human rights in Viet Nam”. In his opening statement, he reasserted that “it is the consistent policy of the State to respect and guarantee human rights”, adding that “the protection and promotion of economic, social and cultural rights in Viet Nam have made significant progress”. The commitments made by Viet Nam on this occasion were not without reservations and consisted mainly of promises to fulfil their obligations under the treaties to which the country is already a party (an implied obligation of any country ratifying a treaty), to consider joining a number of key human rights instruments and to envisage inviting some of the Council’s special procedures to Viet Nam (the ones whose work focuses on poverty, education, development and debt – but not the ones working on religion, freedom of expression, racism or the independence of judges). The country’s report and the Vice Minister’s statement therefore raised very serious questions on Viet Nam’s intentions to collaborate with the United Nations in the field of human rights. Indigenous Khmer Krom take the streets… and the Palais Gathered outside the UN on Geneva’s Place des Nations from 8AM till 6 PM, 500 indigenous Khmer Krom called upon the international community for action to protect human rights in Viet Nam. After joining hands in a human chain circling the Place des Nations, indigenous Khmer Krom performed a Visak Bochea (Buddhist rite) and read a letter addressed to High Commissioner for Human Rights N. Pillay [see attachment]. Buddhist monks deplored the lack of religious freedom in Viet Nam and denounced specific persecutions targeted at Khmer Krom Buddhists. In parallel, a Khmer Kampuchea-Krom delegation held a side-event inside the UN in which the situation of Viet Nam’s indigenous peoples was discussed. Chairing the meeting, Hawaii Institute for Human Rights Director Joshua Cooper underlined Viet Nam’s elusion of indigenous peoples in its UPR report and stressed that only state-controlled NGOs had been consulted in its preparation. Human Rights Watch’s Geneva representatives presented the findings of their latest report on indigenous Khmer Krom in Viet Nam and expressed great concern at the current situation. Khmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation President Thach Ngoc Thach added that much remained to be done but rejoiced both in the mobilisation of indigenous Khmer Krom around the world. Already looking ahead to the upcoming meeting of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Thach Ngoc Thach explained that his movement’s peaceful work for human rights was “today’s demonstration was a landmark, but we will go on, we will not stop until the discriminations against our people do not stop, we will not stop until human rights are guaranteed in Viet Nam. There is only one thing to do: resist, insist, persist”.