In Loving Memory

On Sunday morning, November 3, 2019, the members of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF) were shocked and deeply saddened to hear that Mr. Hoang Duong, who had volunteered for the KKF as the Public Relations Officer in the United States, passed away in Dallas, Texas.

On behalf of the KKF, we would like to send our sincerest condolences to the family of Mr. Hoang Duong. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.

Mr. Hoang Duong was a valuable team member of KKF. He used his own expenses and especially his precious time with his family to travel around the world with KKF to seek justice for the voiceless Khmer-Krom in the Mekong Delta. His compassion, dedication, work ethic, and always smile will be remembered dearly by the KKF’s members.

Please join us for a funeral services honoring Mr. Hoang Duong’s life

Saturday, November 16, 2019, at 2 O’clock in the Afternoon

Greenwood Funeral Home Mount Olivet Chapel

2301 North Sylvania Avenue

Fort Worth, Texas 76111

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

  PRESS RELEASE

STANDUP FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Every year, people around the world, especially the Khmer-Krom living abroad, enjoy celebrating the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on International Human Rights Day. The Khmer-Krom in the Mekong Delta are not allowed to celebrate this crucial event because their right to have rights that are enshrined in UDHR are being oppressed.

As an organization advocating for the fundamental rights of the voiceless Khmer-Krom who are the indigenous peoples of the Mekong Delta, the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF) will celebrate the 71st Anniversary of the UDHR with its members and supporters at different locations around the world during the weeks of the International Human Rights Day. 

Following the theme “Standup for Human Rights” to celebrate the 71st Anniversary of UDHR, KKF requests the Vietnamese government to uphold its responsibility as a member state of the United Nations to allow the Khmer-Krom to enjoy the fundamental rights as enshrined in the UDHR, especially the following articles:

1. Article 15 – Rights to nationality 

As indigenous peoples of the Mekong Delta, the Khmer-Krom simply asks to be recognized as the indigenous peoples and obtain the official name as “Khmer-Krom” instead of being labeled as “ethnic minority” and called as “Khmer Nam Bộ”.

2. Article 18 – Freedom of religion or belief

The Khmer-Krom practices Theravada Buddhism, whereas the Vietnamese practices Mahayana Buddhism. Instead of protecting and promoting freedom of religion or belief, the Vietnamese government has forced the Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks to practice their religion under the controlled of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS), which is the Buddhist association that was created and is controlled by the government. 

The VBS has interfered and controlled how the Khmer-Krom practice their religion, such as: appointed the head monk for the Khmer-Krom temples; issued Buddhist monk ID for the Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks that have only in Vietnamese; replaced the Khmer-Krom’s temple stamps with new stamps that have only Vietnamese; forced Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks to frequently attend the so-called “National Security Training” classes which have nothing to do with religion. 

Echoing the speech by Mr. ANTÓNIO GUTERRES, General-Secretary of the United Nations, at the event on religious freedom with the President of the United State, Donald Trump, at the UN Headquarters in New York in the September, Mr. Guterres said: “Looking around the world, we tragically know that this is not a reality for millions of people.  It is totally unacceptable in the twentyfirst century for people to face discrimination and intimidation for their beliefs.  The persecution of religious minorities is utterly intolerable.  The full scope of their human rights is guaranteed, and States have an obligation to implement policies that ensure their identities are respected and that they feel fully part of society as a whole.”

It is time for the Vietnamese government to stop persecuting religious freedom and allow the Khmer-Krom to freely organize their own Buddhist organization without interference from the government so they can practice their religion without fear.

3. Article 26 – Right to education

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Unfortunately, the Vietnamese government has not done anything to promote preserving and publicly using the language of the indigenous peoples in Vietnam. Most of the Khmer-Krom children now cannot read and write Khmer fluently because they only learn a couple of hours per week in their public school. If the Khmer-Krom children want to learn their language, they have to go to study at their temples. Unfortunately, the government also has closed monitoring and event controlled of what the Khmer-Krom students learn at their temples without support from the government.

As of today, the Vietnamese government does not allow the Khmer-Krom to call the names of their villages, districts, or provinces in Khmer, but in Vietnamese. The government does not want the Khmer-Krom children to learn about the true history of their homeland because the Khmer name of each village, district, or province has a meaning and historical fact attaching to it.

The Vietnamese government should not keep implementing the assimilation policy against the Khmer-Krom. There are millions of Khmer-Krom living in the Mekong Delta. The Khmer language should be used in public as the second language in this area. If the government allows having a Khmer channel on the television, then the Khmer-Krom reporters should be allowed to call the villages, districts, and provinces in the Khmer names.

4. Article 27 – Right to take part in cultural, artistic and scientific life

There are thousands of Khmer-Krom youths dropping out of schools, leaving their beloved villages, to work in factories far away from home. During the Khmer-Krom special cultural events, such as celebrating Khmer-Krom New Year, the Khmer-Krom workers are not allowed to take off from work to come back to their village to celebrate their cultural events with their family and friends.

The Vietnamese government should have the policy to promote the cultural events of the indigenous peoples in Vietnam and allow the Khmer-Krom workers to have time off to participate in those events.

As Vietnam has been receiving foreign aids and supports in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, KKF would like to remind Vietnam in celebration of International Human Rights Day this year that:

  • Human rights are at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as in the absence of human dignity we cannot drive sustainable development. Human Rights are driven by progress on all SDGs, and the SDGs are driven by advancements on human rights.” 
  • “Today’s human rights violations are the causes of tomorrow’s conflicts.”

KKF 2019 Annual Meeting

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoor

The Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF) will host the annual meeting this year on Saturday (August 31) and Sunday (September 1) at:

Elegante Banquet Hall
3020 E Bonanza Rd, Ste 110 (384.06 mi)
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101

For more information, please contact:
Venerable Thach Hanh
Email: hanh_thach1@yahoo.com
Phone: 702-553-6011

Ly Kurt
Phone: (702) – 720 – 5878

A Journey of Commitment to Obtain the Consultative Status with the UN ECOSOC

On May 22, 2012, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Committee on Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), which is composed by the Nineteen UN Member States, voted to grant KKF Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC by a consensus decision of all members on the NGO Committee. The observer delegation of Vietnam delivered a statement on May 30, 2012, requested member States of ECOSOC to overturn the decision of the NGO Committee, and launched a vehement campaign against KKF. On 23 July 2012, the member States of ECOSOC voted to revoke KKF’s consultative status with the result of 27 (yes), 14 (no), and 10 (abstain).

On January 28, 2016, the UN Committee on NGOs decided to vote to deny the representative of KKF to speak to support the application in the second time. The result of the vote against KKF’s representative to speak was 14 (yes), 4 (no), 1 (abstain), and 1 (absent). On January 29, 2016, the KKF’s application was denied and closed.


This month, May 2019, the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs will review the KKF’s application for the third time. The reason that KKF keeps re-applying because KKF never gives up its commitment to promote and protect human rights for the Khmer-Krom people in Vietnam in compliance with the UN Charter and international laws.

The KKF believe in equal rights taking basic steps to secure fundamental freedoms, especially in the area of language and religion (Theravada Buddhism). The KKF spiritual practices guide the actions toward cooperation toward universal peace. The UN Charter and the Buddhist character inspire the initiatives of the KKF. Building, not breaking up, the self and the state is the core belief of the KKF.

Despite the untrue accusation in order to disturb the KKF’s mission, KKF continues to participate and contribute positively to the mission of the UN PFII, the UPR, the EMRIP, HLPF & VNR, CAT, ICCPR. KKF has been associated with the UN Department of Global Communications (formally known as Department of Public Information) since November 2015. KKF has actively partnered with other NGOs to organize workshop and conferences to promote the works of the UN, and especially the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

As an organization created in harmony with the core commitments of the United Nations and having many positive contributions to the missions of the UN, KKF is looking forward to answering any questions that the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs has regarding KKF’s application.

Please click on this link to view some of the KKF’s activities to support the UN’s mission to promote and protect human rights and UN 2030 Agenda.

Happy New Year 2019: Message from KKF Executive President

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Dear KKF Members, Supporters, and Friends:

During this holiday’s season and as this year is ending, on behalf of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF), I would like to wish you and your family a wonderful holiday and wish all the negativity and difficulties also end with this year.

As the upcoming year of 2019 is approaching, it is now a good time for us to reflect what we had done in 2018. Let me begin by expressing my deep appreciation to the KKF members and supporters who have worked tirelessly around the world to show that the indigenous Khmer-Krom people in Kampuchea-Krom are still facing the human rights abuses and the religious persecutions.

Together working as a team, we once again demonstrated our ability and confidence to lead KKF in advocating for the fundamental rights of the Khmer-Krom successfully around the world. Below are the links to the summary of the KKF activities in 2018:

As the New Year dawns, May it bring new happiness, new achievements, fully loaded with happiness and brighter tomorrow. Happy New Year 2019!


Sincerely yours,


Sereivuth Prak
Executive President

PRESS RELEASE: HUMAN RIGHTS CONFERENCE

 

PRESS RELEASE

Human rights conference

70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Celebrate, Standup and Demand Fundamental Rights for the Indigenous Peoples in Viet Nam

The Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF) will host a one-day human rights conference entitled “70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Celebrate, Standup and Demand Fundamental Rights for the Indigenous Peoples in Viet Nam” in San Jose, California, on Saturday, December 8, 2018, from 9 am to 4 pm, to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the UDHR and continue raising the awareness of the current human rights violations against the Khmer-Krom who are the indigenous peoples of the Mekong Delta.

Every year on the tenth of December, people around the world celebrate the Human Rights Day which is the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. Unfortunately, the indigenous peoples in Viet Nam have not yet enjoyed the fundamental rights as enshrined in the UDHR, especially the right to freely celebrate the Human Rights Day.

As a member state, Viet Nam signed seven out of nine treaties with the United Nations and also signed to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN DRIP). Ironically, the Vietnamese government refuses to recognize the indigenous peoples in Viet Nam and label them as the ethnic minority. Lacking recognition, the indigenous peoples in Viet Nam have been facing human rights violations and assimilation that have raised serious concerns.

The human rights advocates, elected officials, scholars, and members of the civil society will be invited to speak at this conference to “promote, engage and reflect” on the UDHR, and also focus on discussing how to leverage the international human rights system to protect and promote the fundamental rights of the indigenous peoples in Viet Nam.

For more information and registration, please contact: info@khmerkrom.org

Provisional Panels and Panelists:

  • Panel 1: Advance Human Rights Enshrined in UDHR to promote and protect the fundamental rights of the Indigenous Peoples in Viet Nam
    • Dr. Joshua Cooper, Executive Director, Hawaii Institute for Human Rights
    • Representatives for the Indigenous Peoples in Vietnam:
      • Mr. Thong Kim To, Senior Advisor & former Chairman, KKF
      • Mrs. Siang Bacthi, Executive Director, Tai Study Center
      • Mr. James Her, Chairperson, Congress of World Hmong People
      • Mr. Kok Ksor, President, Degar Foundation
  • Panel 2: The Right to Self-Determination in the International Law
    • Senator Paul Strauss – United States Senator from the District of Columbia
    • Ms. Julie Duval, Program Officer, Unrepresented Nations & Peoples Organization (UNPO)
  • Panel 3: The Right to Freedom of Religion and Belief
    • (Tentative) Ms. Tina L. Mufford, Associate Director of Research and Policy, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)
    • Venerable TT Dhammo, Director of Religious Affairs, KKF
  • Panel 4: The Right to Receive  Information and Freedom of Speech
    • (Tentative) Mr. Phil Robertson, Deputy Director, Human Rights Watch Asia Division
    • Dr. John Kirk Boyd, Chief Executive Officer/Founder, Unite for Rights
  • Panel 5: Implementing the 2030 Agenda and Its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Contributing and Advancing to the full Realization of Human Rights
    • Mr. Sereivuth Prak, Executive President, KKF
    • Dr. Joshua Cooper, Executive Director of Hawaii Institute for Human Rights

Download PDF File in Khmer & English

KKF Chairman’s invitation to attend annual meeting

N° 39/KKF.Ch/18

Date: 24/09/2018

LETTER OF INVITATION

FROM

THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

Dear Venerables, KKF’s members, supporters, and friends:

I am pleased to invite you to attend the KKF’s 2018 Annual Meeting to be held:

On:     Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 7-8-9 December 2018

At:          Multicultural Center Hall

647 South King Road

San Jose, CA 95116

U.S.A.

It is an honor for KKF to have our Khmer-Krom community in San Jose to host this historical event in the heart of the Silicon Valley.

As in the agenda of previous annual meetings, the KKF’s leaders will update about the KKF’s 2018 activities and planning for the activities of 2019. Moreover, this annual meeting is more special.

There will be one day of this annual meeting (Saturday, 8 December 2018) to host as a one-day conference to invite the Human Rights advocates, scholars, and experts to speak at this conference. The speakers and panels will be broadcasted on VOKK and posted on the KKF’s website and social media.

We are looking forward to seeing you at this special annual meeting.

Sincerely yours,

Thach Vien

Chairman of the Board

For more information regarding the logistics of this annual meeting, please contact:

  1. Thach Chune – 408-613-6196
  2. Thach Toan – 408 – 314 – 6929
  3. Son Yoeng Ratana – 408 – 550-5060

Email: info@khmerkrom.org

There are two international airports to arrive at San Jose, California, U.S.A:

  1. San José International Airport (SJC) is located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the center of global technology innovation. This is a preferred airport for easy to pick up and drops off.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is an international airport 13 miles (21 km) south of downtown San Francisco, California and 35 miles north of San Jose. It has flights to points throughout North America and is a major gateway to Europe and Asia.

Download PDF File in Khmer & English

KKF Annual (Year-End) Meeting 2016 Announcement

Due to miscommunication and confusion lately regarding to where the KKF will host the Annual (Year-End) Meeting for 2016, on behalf of the KKF BoD, the Chairman of KKF, officially announced and wrote an invitation letter to the KKF members around the world to attend the Annual Meeting from 13-15 January 2017, in Las Vegas. Please see attached invitation letter for detail information:

Invitation letter in Khmer

Invitation letter in English

Khmer Grammar Book Seized by Vietnamese Authorities and Prohibited from Distribution

According to a report by the Voice of Kampuchea Krom (VOKK)  on the 13-14th February 2014 a Khmer Grammar book that was published in Thailand and sent to Kampuchea Krom was seized by Vietnamese authorities and prohibited from distribution.

Entitled, “វេយ្យាករណ៍ខ្មែរសង្គ្រោះ” the Khmer Grammar book was originally written by Thach Ek in  Kompong Spean (rename Cau Ke) District, Preah Trapeang (renamed Tra Vinh) province and was printed and published by Venerable Thach Chan Dara, a Khmer Krom Buddhist monk studying in Thailand.

The book was sent to be distributed to Khmer Krom teachers and students as a reference guide to the Khmer language. Upon its arrival in Kampuchea-Krom on the 13th of February 2014, 10 police officers began to ask questions in regards to who created the book, published it and how was it sent over. Two books were given to the local Vietnamese authorities so the content of the book could to be examined. However,the Vietnamese authorities returned  the next day and confiscated all the books, stating that it was against the Vietnam law and that content of the book was not approved by the Vietnam Government and they were prohibited from distributing it.

“I have asked permission from the creator of this book to publish it because I thought it was important for our studies,” says Venerable Thach Chan Dara in the interview with VOKK.

Venerable Thach Chan Dara has expressed his concern over the confiscated books, stating that the book was about Khmer grammar and did not contain anything political content that would oppose the Vietnamese Government.

“There is nothing lawfully wrong about this book. It does not contain any political content, or go against the Vietnam government. It serves to promote and encourage students and teachers to read and learn more about our Khmer language,” Venerable Thach Chan Dara adds.

The creation and publication of Khmer books, history and culture continued to be closely monitored and prohibited by the Vietnamese Government. This example clearly shows that there are no Freedom of Press in Vietnam contrary to what what the Vietnamese government has stated in their recent Universal Period Review in Geneva on February 5th 2014.

Picture: Thach Chan Dara holds Khmer Grammar Book that was prohibited from being distributed in Vietnam

Source: http://vokk.net/?p=14852