The Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation hosted its Annual Meeting for the year of 2016 in Las Vegas from 13 January to 15 January 2017. More than one hundred members from around the world, including Italy, Cambodia, Canada and the United States attended this important meeting because it was not just the annual meeting, but this also marked the 20th years that the organization adopted its name as the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation.
On Friday, 13 January 2017, the KKF Board of Directors and Advisors had a closed door meeting at the Rio Hotel to frankly discuss how to strengthen the organization to lead the movement to seek justice for the voiceless Khmer-Krom in Kampuchea-Krom effectively. Moreover, the members of the BoD and advisors also seriously reviewed all the issues that the organization is facing, especially the issues that Mr. Thach Ngoc Thach has repeatedly violated the By-Laws and the Code of Conduct of the organization. The members of the BoD decided to unanimously vote to withdraw the confidence in Mr. Thach Ngoc Thach as Executive President of the organization.
On Saturday, 14 January 2017, the second day of the annual meeting took place at the Elegante Banquet Hall. The members had a chance to listen to the history of the KKF’s name and activities of the KKF in 2016 from the KKF BoD members, advisors, Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks, and the core members of the KKF Youth Committee (KKFYC). KKF presented the Human Rights Awards to honor the Khmer-Krom Human Rights Activists who used to be imprisoned in Kampuchea-Krom. During the Q&A session, the KKF BoD members clearly answered all the accusations and questions that the members concerned.
On Sunday, 15 January 2017, the last day of the meeting took place at Buddhica Khmer Temple. The members had another chance to ask questions to KKF leaders. The KKF regional and local presidents updated their 2016 activities and gave suggestion to the KKF BoD to build into the 2017 plan. Right before the closing, Mr. Son Hua represented for the KKF BoD to read a Press Release regarding removing Mr. Thach Ngoc Thach from the office of the executive committee.
Mr. Thach Xe represented for KKF thank members of KKF chapter in Las Vegas, especially the committee members of the Buddhica Khmer temple for hosting this historical event.
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
Happy New Year 2015 Messages by KKF President
What a year 2014 has been! From the Universal Periodic Review in February to our annual UNPFII, EMRIP to a successful Europe Mission in November, KKF has worked around the clock to keep the Khmer-Krom issues in the international spotlight.
This year has proved most challenging, but KKF has once again proven that it can rise to all challenges with it phenomenal force of dedicated and passionate volunteers across the world, working together to bring a voice for the millions of voiceless Khmer-Krom living in Kampuchea-Krom.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to highlight some of our activities at the local and international level to keep the world aware of our people’s issues. In February, Vietnam was up for its second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review and was questioned by 106 diplomats represented for their own countries. KKF was able to submit a Shadow report to the Human Rights Council prior to its review and lobbied with States in order for them to ask questions on our behalf. On June 20th, Vietnam rejected 45 key recommendations out of 227 relating to core fundamental human rights, such as freedom of press and express, Freedom of Religion and Association. The rejection of such key recommendations has shown the world that Vietnam does not fully obligate its commitment as a member of the Human Rights Council.
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.
The Khmers Kampuchea Krom-Krom Federation extends cordial invitation to all community members to join us in our end-of-year conference for 2013 at Orlando Florida.
The conference will take place on December 14th to December 15th.
For more information and specific details on accommodation, please contact organizers at the following:
Dok Thach 407-591-0439 407-591-0439
Bot Thach 407-234-2320 407-234-2320
Kosol Chan 407-288-3367 407-288-3367
Giap Tran 856-655-3838 856-655-3838
Friends and supporters of Khmer-Krom and religious freedom, help us raise light to the issues of Venerable Thach Thoul, Venerable Nieu Ly and their jailed supporters. Sign the petition for the European Parliament intervention on their behalf.
To Whom It May Concern,
On behalf of the Khmer-Krom families in Soc Trang Province, we would like to urgently appeal and notify you of the unfair trials of two Khmer-Krom monks and six followers who face 10 months to 6 years for exercising their freedom of speech, opinion and association.
On the 25th of September, 2013 in Prey Chop Commune, Lai Hoa Village, Vinh Chau District, Soc Trang Province, four Khmer-Krom people were sentenced for up to a year for creating “Public Disorder”.
- Lam Thi Loan – Born 1957 – 1 year prison.
- Ly Thi Danh – Born 1970 – 1 year prison.
- Ly Minh Hai – Born 1978 – 11 months prison.
- Tang Phola – Born 1976 – 10 months prison Continue reading “Press Release: KKF Calls On International Pressure To End Religious Persecutions and Also The Unconditional Release of Human Rights Defenders”
Vinh Chau, Soc Trang, 26th September 2013 – Four Khmer Krom people were trialed on 25th September 2013 have been handed a one year sentence for speaking up on behalf of Abbot Ly Chanh Da, who has fled to Thailand seeking asylum.
Accused of creating “Public disorder”, Lam Thi lon, Ly Thi Danh, Ly Minh Hai and Tang Pha Lan was simply exercising their right to speak and standing up for what they thought was right but have been instead treated as criminals.
The Khmer Krom people had no legal representation or lawyer present to represent their side of the story. Instead they were most likely to coerce into the submission of guilty plea deal as a means of getting a lighter sentence.
One year may seem like a light and fair sentence based on the fact that the accused gave “honest confession, are of ethnic Khmer with low education, limited legal awareness”* but in actually fact is a heavy sentence for the four accused.
One year in prison means a year of isolation and torture for “beating a drum to alert local villagers that Vietnam authorities were defrocking one of the monks at Prey Chop temple”. Instead of being called to the police station and given a warning and or fine, the individuals were arrested and imprisoned, given an unfair trial and sentenced to one year.
News from the Villagers from Prey Chop revealed sixteen others have been fined $60 for participating in the so called” Public Disorder” incident.
According to inside news from Ta Sek temple, a lawyer hired by the family of one of the accused was told via a Vietnamese police officer that the Venerable Lieu Ny, Venerable Thach Thuol, Thach Phum Rich, and Thach Tha refused to use the lawyer.The lawyer did not even have a chance to see or speaker directly with the accused.
It is yet another example of a legal system that remains unfair and discriminates against the Khmer Krom. The charge of “Public Disorder” remains a powerful tool in which Vietnam authorities use for political prosecution and silencing of dissents.
PLEASE COME BACK FOR MORE UPDATES ON TOMORROW TA SET TRIAL.