United Nations Day of Vesak Appeal by KKF To whom it may concern, On behalf of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation, we would like to bring to your attention the issue of our Khmer Krom Buddhist monks Venerable TT Dhammo,from Ontario, Canada and Venerable Rong Be, from California, USA. were denied entry to participate at the United Nations Day of Vesak which falls on 13 May to 17 May in Hanoi, Vietnam. For the last five years, our Khmer Krom Buddhist monks residing in USA have been actively participating at this event. However, this year, we are not given such an opportunity. The Mekong Delta is home to over 25,000 Khmer Krom Buddhist monks. The teaching of Buddhism plays an important role in the lives of our Khmer Krom people. Buddhism teaches and guides our very way of life and our moral beliefs. It lays the foundation of our culture and society, to be fair, honest and truthful in everything we do. Since Vietnam’s accession into the World Trade Organisation on 11 January 2007, its government has arbitatily arrested and imprisoned several Khmer Krom Buddhist monks for organising and participating in peaceful demonstrations. Currently, there are six former Khmer Krom Buddhist monks imprisoned in Vietnam.
From Left to Right:Kim Muon (born 1985), Danh Tol (born 1981), Ly Suong (born 1975), Ly Hoang (born 1986), and Thach Thuong (born 1982). There are former Buddhist monks participated in peaceful demonstration to demand religious rights in Soc Trang province. Tim Sakhorn, former Abbot of North Phnom Denh temple, Phnom Denh Village, Karivong District, Takeo Province, Cambodia faces trial in Vietnam.
The religious congregations of Khmer Krom indigenous people suffer severe abuses because of actions by Vietnam , which have included forced renunciations of faith, identifying our monk as having no religion on identification card, the arrest and harassment of abbots, the withholding of social programs provided for the general population, confiscation and destruction of properties, and subjection of severe beatings. The Khmer Krom Buddhists suffer persecutions as the Government of Vietnam continues to restrict contacts and movement of senior monks for refusing to join the state-sponsored Buddhist organizations. Vietnam continues to place Khmer Krom leaders under `pagoda’ and house arrest, destroy temple property and harass, threaten and intimidate local Khmer Krom Buddhist monks. On behalf of our defendless Khmer Krom Buddhist monks, we appeal for your support to urge the Vietnamese government to unconditionally release all the Khmer Krom political and religious prisoners, including the five Buddhist monks at a prison in Soc Trang Province and Abbot Tim Sakhorn who was arrested from Cambodia and now imprisoned in An Giang Province of Vietnam. Yours sincerely, Thach Ngoc Thach Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation President