12 May 2007 By Kim Pov Sottan – Radio Free Asia Translated from Khmer by Socheata The USA plans to send human rights activists to Kheang province (Soc Trang in Vietnamese), Kampuchea Krom (South Vietnam), in the near future after it was reported that recent jail sentences were handed down to Khmer Krom monks. Following his meeting with US Senate and the US Committee in charge of Human Rights, Thach Ngoc Thach, the leader of the Khmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF), said: “We met with the committee, it will send another delegation committee to Khleang province within 6 months, in order to meet with our monks and Khmer Krom people one more time, in order to obtain factual information on the sentence and the oppression perpetrated on Khmer Krom monks and population in Khleang province.” The meeting was urgently set up following the 2 to 4-year jail sentences handed down by the Vietnamese authority in Khleang province on Khmer Krom monks on 10 May. Khmer Krom monks were demanding for their religious freedom. Thach Ngoc Thach added that the US human rights office, and the US religious affair have supported the activities of Khmer Krom monks, and that KKF in the world is also pursuing this case with the European Union Parliament in order to obtain pressure on Vietnam. On the same day, about 10 associations of Khmer Krom people in Cambodia have issued a joint statement condemning the Vietnamese authority and called on the international community to review this case. Monk Yoeung Sin, President of the Khmer Krom monks Association, said: “Does the [Vietnamese] authority have the right to take such action against religious belief? Any country respecting human rights, and Vietnam, in particular, who adheres to the UN convention on human rights, and in whose constitution stipulates in Section 67-68, the respect of individual rights to religious freedom, and activities normally conducted by any human in the world, as a citizen of Vietnam.” At the beginning of February, several hundreds of Khmer Krom student-monks at the superior Pali school in Khleang province, held a demonstration against the Vietnamese authority which prevented them from leaving the pagoda to go beg for their daily alms. Later on, the Vietnamese authority arrested and defrocked several of the monks. Recently, 5 monks were sentenced to 2 to 4-year jail for creating disorder. In the upcoming 14-25 May 2007, a UN meeting for native people will also be organized. Khmer Krom leaders in the world claimed that they will raised during this meeting the issues of land grabbing from Khmer Krom people in Vietnam, and the oppression of Khmer Krom monks.