Tim Sakhorn to be released by Vietnam

Monk Tim Sakhorn to be released in 2 to 3 days … after forced confession? 22 September 2007 Kim Pov Sottan Radio Free Asia Translated from Khmer by Socheata (KI Media) A meeting was held among Khmer Krom people on Friday afternoon, at Wat Samaki Raingsey Pagoda to celebrate the United Nations adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and more importantly, to push for the release of former Monk Tim Sakhorn. Venerable Yoeung Sin, a Khmer Krom monk leader, said that this celebration took place smoothly, and did not meet with any problem, even though earlier, the authority came to issue threats to the gathering of Khmer Krom group. Monk Yoeung Sin said: “On 20 (September), the deputy district governor, the city and district cult officials, the deputy commune chief, and police officials came to this pagoda, telling me to sign an agreement stating that if there is any carelessness, or if people would come to cause trouble to me, I will be held responsible in front of the law. Then, I told them that I am not signing any agreement at all.” The first day of celebration was organized with Buddhist rituals under tight surveillance from the police. During the subsequent days of the celebration, foreign embassy officials, NGO officials and Khmer Krom people also came to participate in the celebration. On that occasion, US Ambassador Joseph Mussomeli gave his reaction on Khmer Krom issues for the very first time, he indicated that he praises the freedom (atmosphere) during this gathering. He added that the US will continue to closely follow up on the case of former Khmer Krom Monk Tim Sakhorn. Ambassador Mussomeli said: “We are very concerned about this case, and the USA will continue to closely follow up on this case.” Regarding the case of former Monk Tim Sakhorn, the Vietnamese TV station in An Giang province declared that Monk Tim Sakhorn will be released in the next few days, after the former monk confessed [most likely under duress] that he was influenced by propaganda made by a number of people which led him to undertake activities to undermine the friendship between Cambodia and Vietnam. Chau In, a representative of people who are protesting their land problems in Kampuchea Krom, said: “The An Giang province television station issued a broadcast … they talked about me and Venerable Tim Sakhorn who are involved with the (Khmer Kampuchea-Krom) Federation, they claimed that we will change ourselves, and they told the venerable to confess his mistakes. Based on what they said, they will release him in 2 to 3 days because, right now, they are looking for a doctor to take care of him.” Monk Tim Sakhorn, the former abbot of Phnom Den pagoda in Takeo province, was defrocked by force by the Cambodian authority at the end of June, and he was accused of undermining the friendship between Cambodia and Vietnam, he was later deported to South Vietnam to be jailed there. After the defrocking and the imprisonment of a Khmer Krom monk in this manner, several organizations took turn to protest and condemn the Cambodian and the Vietnamese authorities, even until now.

Leave a Reply