KKF Board Members Visited Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

March 10, 2013– On a Sunday sunshine afternoon, it was a perfect weather in the “Lone Star State” of Texas, Khmer-Krom community of Metropolitan of Dallas-Fort Worth organized a special event to extend a warm welcome to the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF) delegation on their campaign for the long struggle on religious rights and the freedom of the Khmer-Krom people in Mekong Delta (Kampuchea Krom).

Two senior members of the KKF Board of Directors, Mr. Tran Manh Rinh and Mr. Tran Giap traveled from Philadelphia, and with special guests Mr. Trieu Chiem from New Jersey and Mr. Huynh Sang from San Jose, CA.

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Vietnamese Authority Threatens to Defrock Venerable Ly Chanda

Vietnamese Authority Threatens to Defrock Venerable Ly Chanda

According to VOKK broadcasted on March 7, the Vietnamese government threatens to defrock Venerable Ly Chanda at Prey Chop Temple, Lai Hoa commune, Vinh Chau district, Soc Trang province.

Venerable Ly Chanda is one of the Buddhist monks who is helping to organizing teach Cambodian language and Buddhism for the Buddhist monks in his temple. Unfortunately, the Abbot of Prey Chop temple, Venerable Thach Houl does not like it. The reason is Venerable Thach Houl is now the member of the Vietnamese Communist Party and also a member of the Vietnamese Congress. He does not want the Buddhist monks to study anything in his temple because he scared that the Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks would stand up to demand for their religious rights.

On March 2, about fifty Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks and the committee member of the temple demanded Venerable Thach Houl to resign from the Abbot of the temple because he does not fulfill his responsibility as the Abbot to conduct the Chanting or Dharma talks for the Buddhist followers. He is too busy with going to the meetings with the authorities. Because he is a Congressman, he refused to resign and asked the Vietnamese polices came to the temple on March 4 to threaten the Buddhist monks who stood up demanding him to resign. Since March 4, the Vietnamese polices has been surrounding the temple without wearing the police uniform and make the Buddhist monks living in Fear now.

The Buddhist monks and Buddhist followers of Prey Chop temple are very respecting and supporting Venerable Ly Chanda because he has done many good things for the temple.  Hundred of elderly Khmer-Krom Buddhist followers have come to the temple every day to show their support that Ven. Ly Chanda does not violate any Buddhist rules, so the Vietnamese authority should not defrock him.

The Vietnamese authority have threatened the Buddhist followers for not coming to the temple by summoning them individually for interrogating. The authority even threatened to take back the “Ho Ngheo” which is a proof document for the poor Khmer-Krom to receive financial assistant from the government.

On March 26, 2013, the Vietnamese authority summoned representatives of ninety two Khmer-Krom Buddhist temples in Soc Trang province to attend a meeting at the “Political School of Soc Trang”. Mr. Son Song Son, the Vietnamese authority representative, asked Ven Ly Chanda and Venerable Lieu Ny and Venerable Thach Thoul of Ta Set temple to defrock. If not, they would face imprisonment. 

Venerable Ly Chanda and the Buddhist followers at Prey Chop temple have urged the world community, especially the countries that help promoting the freedom of religion to help saving Ven. Ly Chanda from threatening to be defrocked. The Vietnamese authority should not use the Buddhist organization that is controlled by the government, Patriotic United Buddhist Association (Hội Đoàn Kết Sư Sải Yêu Nước), to force the Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks to practice their Theravada Buddhism as what the government wants.

2013 International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

On March 8,2013, the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF) joins the international women to celebrate and honor the great achievements around the world, and at the same time we wish to bring awareness of the ongoing sufferings of the Khmer-Krom women in their homeland, Kampuchea-Krom (the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam), and those stateless Khmer-Krom women living in Cambodia and Thailand.

In Kampuchea-Krom, Khmer-Krom women, Mrs. Tran Thi Chau in Tra Vinh province, had been arrested and imprisoned for her stand on land claim against the Vietnamese authorities’ extortion policy. Khmer-Krom women continue facing Vietnam’s discriminatory policies such as barriers to higher education, to employment, and health, and continue to live in sub-standard and marginalized condition.

Across Cambodia and Thailand, many Khmer-Krom women continue to live in fear and in dire poverty due their stateless status, who are being rejected in Cambodia as Khmer citizen and being denied refugee status by the United Nations’ Office in Bangkok, Thailand, even though these Khmer-Krom women and their family members had faced persecutions and arrests in their homeland in Kampuchea-Krom. Many simply demanded for the return of their ancestral lands formerly confiscated by the Vietnamese authorities.

In a free society whereby the rights of women are being protected and honored, but the rights of the Khmer-Krom women in Kampuchea-Krom are still being violated. They live in fear and poverty.

 

Thach Ngoc Thach

KKF President