UNPFII 2009: Item 7 Future work

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Eighth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Item 7: Future work
The Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation
Speaker: Somalin Thach

Madame Chair,

The future work of the UN PFII is essential to our existence. The UN PFII is an important space for indigenous peoples of Asia to raise their rights and stand in solidarity for sustainable development that respects our cultural heritage. We have appreciated the new developments in the review process initiated this year with the UN specialized agencies thoroughly presenting their commitment to indigenous peoples. The emerging dialogue is and will continue to be very important in future sessions of the UN PFII.

We would like to suggest the following recommendations:

  • Ask that the Permanent Forum help to set up a half day discussion to possible mechanisms for the recognition of Unrecognised and represented peoples that are not respected by their governments.
  • We seek the Permanent Forum to set a commission for the recognition of Indigenous people which should be invited by the Vietnamese Government.
  • We request that Vietnam to have an open dialogue with our Khmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation as a first step.
  • Request the help of the Permanent Forum members and Madame Chair to set up a series of meetings with Khmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation, Montagnard Foundation and the Vietnam government so that we may begin the process of identifying our indigenous peoples in their
    respective areas. Only through such dialogue can the needs of our indigenous peoples become visible and the achievement of the MDGs become a collaborative.
  • Urge Vietnam to work in collaboration with UN specialised agencies such as UNESCO and UNDP to help translate the UNDRIP into the Khmer and Vietnamese languages and distribute to our people on the ground.
  • Reaffirm the need for a collaborative approach to create a National Plan of Action which includes a legal framework to recognise the Khmer Krom people as the indigenous peoples of the Mekong Delta region.

We are the indigenous peoples of the Mekong Delta. Our parents were forced to flee Vietnam because of the discriminatory system created against our people on basis of our identity and unique culture. Even after the decades of gross human rights violations, our relatives and elders remain in our homeland standing up and facing severe repercussions for doing exactly what we are doing here.

We speak here every PFII session in honor of our brave people silenced and living in fear due to the human rights violations recognized in international law by governments as well as NGOs such as Human Rights Watch. I humbly ask, If we are not here to represent our people today at the UNPFII, who will? Vietnam has wanted to silence us, however, we sincerely will continue speaking the truth.

I want nothing more but to live in my homeland as my ancestors have been speaking our indigenous language and practicing our unique cultural heritage. Unfortunately the tone and tactics in Vietnam indicate my homecoming would not be very welcoming.

Madame Chair, we strongly believe that it is time that Vietnam moves beyond the denial of our right to speak at this Permanent Forum and put into practice the right to freedom of expression as guaranteed by its very own Constitution and the UN DRIP.

We ask that Vietnam open their minds as well as their hearts and embrace the spirit of working in partnership so that we can work together to better the lives of the Khmer Krom peoples.

With the world as our witness, I stand up for our voiceless women at home to lead by example and extend our hand of friendship, reconciliation and peace in the hope that we can finally live together in a culture of human rights. Will Vietnam make history today and accept our hand of trust? Let’s shake as young women of South East Asia for a future of freedom, respect and equality for all.

UNPFII: Future Works

Sixth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Item 9: Future Work
Joint Statement of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation and the Montagnard Foundation

Speaker: Soda Luu

Madame Chair,

We are particular pleased with the development of Monday‘s half day session on Asia as it provided a great opportunity for the indigenous organizations, experts and governments alike to have a dialogue on issues that specifically affects us. One issue that remains a major obstacle for indigenous groups in South East Asia, such as Vietnam is the lack of recognition by governments of our claim as indigenous peoples.

We are encouraged by the comment of Special Rapporteur Mr. Stavenhagen in urging the government of Vietnam to accept the human rights situation and start using the readily available human rights instruments and mechanism to resolve such serious issues, including the recommendations by our indigenous organizations. Mr. Stavenhagen also encouraged the government of Vietnam to respond to his letters when he sends them asking for clarification on human rights situation in indigenous communities of Vietnam.

In light of the forum’s future work, we would like to propose the following recommendation:

  • Ask that all governments, especially the Asian governments to adopt the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a sign of their long term commitment and respect for indigenous peoples.
  • Ask that the special focus on a half day on Asia continue in next year’s session to emphasize further focus on finding solutions for successful implementation of MDGs with the full participation of indigenous peoples.
  • To have a special session to determine how far the MDGs have been reached. For example, instead of giving missionary statements, we would like the government of Vietnam to provide a more specific and concrete report on the progress of the MDGs and how indigenous peoples, if any are collaboratively involved.
  • Ask that the Permanent Forum selects the special theme be climate change. At a recent United Nations University conference at UN Headquarters “Environmental Refugees: The Forgotten Migrants”, Joanos Boardi, Director of the UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security noted that if the temperature increases and the water level rises, the Mekong Delta will be one foot underwater. Therefore, we believe this imminent issue should be the focus for the 7th session of the UNPFII as it attaches great importance to our peoples. We also ask to build on the work at the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and the UN Working Group on Indigenous Peoples focusing on climate change and human rights.
  • Request the help of the Permanent Forum members and Madame Chair to help set up a series of meeting with KKF, Montagnard Foundation and the Vietnam government so that we may begin the process of identifying our indigenous peoples in their respective areas. Only through such dialogue can the needs of our indigenous peoples become visible and the achievement of the MDGs become a collaborative effort by all.

For the last four years, Vietnam has adamantly denied our positive contribution to the Forum and rejected all our information regarding human rights violation as “groundless information” and accused us of having a political agenda. Our only agenda is human rights.

We encourage the government of Vietnam to exercise the spirit of compassion towards our people especially towards our Buddhist monks who are thirsty for justice and peace and the right to self determination.

Thank you.

Item 3: Climate Change, bio-cultural diversity and livelihoods: the stewardship role of indigenous peoples and new challenges

Collective Statement by the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation and the Montagnard Foundation
Speaker: Ricky Tran

Madame Chair,

Land is the soil in which we walk, live and breathe. Having lived on the Mekong Delta region for centuries, our people love harvesting our growing rice fields. We have lived in harmony with our rich land and natural resources. Vietnam armed with no knowledge or respect of the land has over the decades created canals which have destroyed our lands, channelling salt and changing the fundamental landscape of our land.

The onset of climate change means that the rich fertile lands of the Mekong Delta will be submerged if the world’s temperature increases by only one degree. Not only will rich fertile lands disappear but millions of Khmer Krom people will be potentially displaced and deeper entrenched in poverty.

Our homeland is the core of our human rights promotion and protection. Climate change drastically changes our living conditions and our ability to survive in the face of rising seas due to no actions of our own.

In the low lying delta of the Mekong, climate change is causing increased flooding in the area. Already we are witnessing an increased salienation of our valuable water destroying our crops that we depend on for nutrition and maintaining our basic health.

We are witnessing an ever increasing impact on our right to health. However, if policy and practices continue we will surely be struggling to exercise our right of self-determination as our homeland will be submerged. How can one inhabit a homeland that is underwater? Where will our people live? How can we leave our lands our ancestors have inhabited since time immemorial? We request concerted actions. The path of development by Vietnam since its invasion of our ancestral lands has damaged the environment as never before. We have a moral, collective duty to restore the natural state of nature in Kampuchea Krom.

We would like to recommend the following:

• Request the assistance of the Permanent Forum to initiate a dialogue between Vietnam and KKF to take immediate action to mitigate the climate change impacts on our indigenous community

• Ask UNPFII to help initiate a consultation process on climate change between the Khmer Krom people and Vietnam to ensure indigenous peoples take an active role in policy development and dialogue.

• Seek the help of UNESCO to create a publication that classifies the important biodiversity of Kampuchea Krom in our own indigenous language as a teaching tool for future generations that will can serve as a catalyst for education.

• In collaboration with UNDP, the Khmer experience and culture can shape future development that can combat the current impacts of climate change and initiate a model of sustainable development. .

• Seek the help of UNDP, UNEP and WMO to establish an agency in Vietnam with access to the advanced weather technologies to give early warning to the extreme weather conditions focusing only on Mekong Delta, fully supported by the government and the international community

• Ask UNICEF to help initiate projects which will help to distribute have climate change information and awareness, more importantly translate the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples document into their traditional language, Khmer and distributed to all areas and all people including the Khmer Krom children. Climate education holds the key for prevention and preparation for this terrifying phenomenon.

• Seek the help of UNHABITAT to develop an effective system of providing aid to those who are in need when experiencing losses through the effect of climate change such as floods and typhoons.

• Ask that UNEP assist in establishing a sustainable land management programme to protect our livelihoods such as planting trees to control the flow of floodwater to avoid large amount of damages to the farmland, properties and food supplies.

• Seek adequate technical and financial support from the international communities such UNDP and the World Bank in terms of establishing new agencies and organisations and implementing programmes and strategies.

• Seek the help of UNEP to develop a flood protection strategy and assets management in place such as setting up workshops on flood management, looking at various techniques and approaches to improve the management of floods and local preparedness to mitigate the negative effect.

• Ask that Vietnam stop demanding that Khmer Krom blindly follow all their rules, regulations and policies without a feedback process or an opportunity for Khmer Krom farmers to participate in a constructive dialogue on sustainable development. .

Madame Chair, climate change is a threat to our civilisation and existence on this earth. In order to halt further damages to our natural land and resources, we must set aside our differences and work together.

Vietnam says it is ready for the world when it announced that it ready for human rights dialogue but is it really ready to participate in a genuine partnership to save our planet?

Item 7: Urbanization and Migration of indigenous peoples

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Joint Statement by the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation
Item 7: Urbanization and Migration of indigenous peoples
Speaker: Sothy Kien

Madame Chair, 

Today’s agenda focusing on specific region of Asia and theme of Urbanization is a great opportunity to meet the aspirations of this forum to increase positive dialogue between the actors to protect human rights in partnership and meet the MDGs for our people.

While we know we have differences with the government, we desire a dialogue. We will practice our spiritual beliefs of compassion to agree to the proposed meeting between Vietnam and KKF.

We also agree with the inclusion of SR Stavenhagen as the government was responding to his report. If UNPFII chair Tauli-Corpuz can also assist, we believe we could arrange a series of dialogues that allow for us to return to the 7th UNPFII session with some positive direction to secure the fundamental freedoms in Asia, specifically in Kampuchea Krom of Vietnam.

Madame Chair, item 7 attaches significant for the Khmer Krom people as majority of our people are from the
rural areas of Vietnam. Traditionally farmers, the rich fertile Mekong delta has provided an essential source of food and survival for the indigenous Khmer Krom people. Recent canals projects initiated by Vietnam authorities have destroyed much of the rice fields by channeling salt water into fresh water farming, forcing thousands to abandon their home and
migrate to already crowded cities.

Like a domino affect, elevated levels of poverty, lack of education and landlessness has resulted in many Khmer
Krom women and young girls getting caught with trafficking rings and finding employment that violate their
culture and traditional lifestyles. We would like to recommend the following:

▪ Request that Vietnam consult indigenous peoples before creating canals projects on their ancestral lands by
the use of free and informed consent.
▪ Ask Vietnam to adopt the ILO 169 Convention to ensure the protection of Khmer Krom and Degar people
and in recognition of their vulnerability and poverty.
▪ Seek the assistance of UN-HABITAT to create initiatives to help provide adequate shelter and housing for
homeless Khmer Krom.
▪ Ask that Vietnam establish and implement national laws to protect lands of indigenous peoples from further
illegal land grabbing.
▪ Ask that Vietnam start taking serious and immediately actions to process land claims by indigenous peoples.
▪ Seek the help of Permanent Forum members to urge Vietnam to recognize the importance of the sacred
homeland of Kampuchea Krom to the Khmer Krom people. Also, that Vietnam work in collaboration with UN
agencies to recognize that the further taking of land results in the negative direction of indicators for the livelihood of indigenous peoples. Recognizing land and prevention of migration would assist Vietnam in reaching the
8 MDGs and also its obligation of human rights protection and promotion under international laws.

Madame Chair, Vietnam continues to deny the truth of our statement, in that regards, we would like to urge
Vietnam to read the latest report on the Church of Asia, UNPO, US commission on International Religious Freedom for the latest violation against the Khmer Krom people.

It is our sincere hope today will be a turning point in which a series of dialogues can happen so that the voice of
our peoples can be heard.

Thank You

 

Item 4: Economic and Social Development

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Seventh Session
Thursday, April 25, 2008
Speaker: Sothy Kien
Collective Statement by Khmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation and the Montagnard Foundation

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Madame Chair,

We would like to say thank you to Vietnam and the other countries for taking the positive step of supporting the 13 September 2007 adoption of UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. However, unlike many of our indigenous Native American and Native Canadian brothers and sisters, our people from Asia are not recognized at all.

We believe unless such recognition occurs, our people will continue to be denied our basic fundamental freedoms as guaranteed under the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples. Already our rights are not realized. Future work will become irrelevant at the international level and for each individual Khmer if we are not recognized.

Taking advantage of the recent adoption of the UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we would like to request the help the Permanent Forum and governments around the world to help set up an appropriate timeframe for which countries who has not yet recognized its indigenous people to do so. The adoption must not only be superficial but substantive in the daily lives of indigenous peoples.

During Human Rights Council meeting last March, Vietnam announced that it was ready for human rights dialogue. For the last four years, we have affirmed the need of an open dialogue between Vietnam and the KKF on human rights at the Permanent Forum. Let us make a historic moment and start a human rights dialogue here today.

We would to contribute the following recommendation to the Permanent Forum in regards to this item:

• Request the aid of the Permanent Forum to set up an open dialogue between Vietnam and KKF during a session on the Permanent Forum.

• Through such interactions, we can begin to look at ways in which we can initiate the process of recognizing the Khmer Krom people and the Montagnard as indigenous peoples and explore effective mechanisms to ensure that they are included in free and informed decision making processes affecting Khmer communities.

• Ask that Vietnam provides a detailed summary of specific policies or programs targeting Indigenous Peoples that are currently taking place or proposed in their Five Year Socio-Economic Development Plan.

• That a national education campaign is established in Khmer language about the MDGs as well as international human rights instruments such as CEDAW, so our Khmer-Krom people are aware of their basic rights and able to be active participants.

• That the consultation and implementation of such national plans are conducted under the principles of free, prior and informed consent with indigenous groups and local people to ensure that such programs do not destroy the ancestral lands and compromise our traditions

• Request that the aid from the World Bank and IMF to allocate specific funds donated to Vietnam to create vocational programs in the local areas where millions of the indigenous Khmer Krom people who are living in the Mekong Delta.

• Ask that Vietnam work in close collaboration in genuine partnership with specialized agencies and KKF and the Montagnard Foundation to meet mutual objectives.

• Seek a reversal of current trend of urbanization and Vietnamization. KKF ask that victims of the State’s failure or disastrous projects that result in contaminating land be immediately compensated to provide the basic living essentials and to halt the influx of Khmer Krom people being forced to move to other provinces to find employment.

• Request the aid of FAO, ILO and Vietnam to help provide employment opportunities for many local Khmer Krom people who are now finding themselves landless as result of land confiscation by corporations and the country of Vietnam.

• Ask that all special inter-agencies be open to workshops in Kampuchea Krom and where our people live in large diaspora around the world to allow for more effective partnership from indigenous organizations about policies and programs taking place in our homelands

• Ask that Vietnam allows independent organizations to be formed to enable further social and cultural development of indigenous peoples.

• Ask for projects that will integrate the indigenous peoples into mainstream society be culturally appropriate and sensitive to their distinctive culture without eroding their sense of identity.

• While Vietnam is recognized as Asia’s second fastest growing economy in recent years with GDP annually increasing over 8% and making 138.6 Billion USD in 2005, the rural areas where Khmer Krom people are living, does not have a proportional share of Vietnam’s social and economic progress. The KKF remain behind as we are deemed backward by the Vietnam government. We demand to be equal partners for the economic and social development of our homeland.

We are particularly concern that the MDGs for indigenous peoples will not be met if Vietnam continues to undermine the positive contribution of our work at the Permanent Forum.

Thank you Madame Chair

Terriorities, Lands and Natural Resources by Romy Thach (2)

Sixth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
14-25 May 2007 at UN Headquarters, New York City
Delegation: Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation
Special Theme: Territories, Lands and Natural Resources
Speaker: Romy Thach

Madame Chair,

We would like to congratulate you on your reelection as chair of the UNPFII. We also would like to thank you for visiting our community in exile at the temple in Cambodia in February. Our people that have been forced from our homelands were pleased to meet a member of the international community that cares about our struggle for self-determination.

We will begin with recommendations to ensure our connection to our sacred homelands in the face of dire circumstances denying our identity.

  • KKF seeks the assistance of the United Nations mechanisms for conflict prevention and reconciliation to encourage Vietnam’s recognition of the Khmer Krom people as the indigenous peoples of Mekong Delta of Vietnam. Without doing so, we feel that Vietnam does not fully appreciate the importance of land for the basic survival of the Khmer Krom people.
  • Request the assistance of IOM to work with the Vietnam government to initiate programs to resolve land claims and ensure that the indigenous Khmer Krom people are compensated for their lost of farmlands as well as a return to own land. There are many land claims since 1970. Ask for return of our ancestral lands and properties that were unlawfully taken away by the State and by the Vietnamese newcomers.
  • Ask that Vietnam adopt a national act to recognize the rights of indigenous peoples in Vietnam to their traditional lands and territories specifically the Khmer Krom people as the indigenous peoples linked historically and spiritually to the Mekong Delta. Create and implement non-discriminatory indigenous land laws that respect and protects the lands of the Khmer Krom people and prevent further acts of illegal land grabbing by Vietnamese authorities.
  • Ask that IFAD fund a project to allow Khmer Krom farmers to return to their fields to produce traditional foods for their community. Canal projects that allow salt water into fresh water rice farming area must be stopped immediately to avoid destroying more of Khmer Krom’s land.
  • Request the assistance of UNITAR to provide essential training for the Asia region to enhance conflict resolutions and peace building capabilities between governments and indigenous peoples.
  • Seek the assistance of UNDP to promote and ensure that the indigenous peoples are presented in all decision making for positive programs focusing on reaching the UN Millennium Development Goals for the Khmer people
  • Seek the support of international agencies such as FAO and WHO to provide assistance to examine polluted land to determine its source that has caused thousands of blind farmers and to return the farmers to their traditional land to provide the fundamental nutrition for our peoples. Ask that Vietnam start implementing more effective local systems of monitoring the use of pesticides and their damage to the ecosystem in our homeland.
  • Ask that UNESCO help preserve the sacred sites for all of humanity to share under the UNESCO World Heritage program. One of the first locations that immediately needs protection to preserve Sambua Rangsey temple which was built in 373AD at Tra Khao commune, Hoa An Village, Cau Ke district, Tra Vinh province.
  • Billions of dollars of profit from oil and natural gas extraction in our homeland and our sea at Ocap (renamed Vung Tau) province must cease going to the multinational corporations and corrupt state agencies and develop a program that ensures the collective economic well being of the Khmer communities’ standard of living.
  • Ask that Vietnam start recognize and implement the policy of free, prior and informed consent when implementing programs that encourages participation and consultation with the local Khmer-Krom on all future development projects which take place in their homeland.

Madame Chair, we are convinced that the above measures will improve the living conditions of the Khmer Krom people living under extreme poverty. Such recommendations will help Vietnam achieve Millennium Development goals.

Lastly, we would like to reaffirm our support for the adoption of the Declaration on Rights of the Indigenous Peoples.

Thank you.

“KKF a distraction to Permanent Forum” Says Vietnam

In response to joint statement made by Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF) and the Montagnard Foundation, Permanent Mission of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam representative has given a speech to the Permanent Forum on Monday 28th April 2008 during the special item on Human rights: dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people and other special rapporteurs.

“The work of the PFII should be based on accurate information. Unfortunately, it has not been provided,” stated the Vietnam government representative.

“We strongly object to the participation of the KKF who are based outside Vietnam and try to claim representation. The information provided cannot be seen as objective and relevant.”

“The participation [of KKF and the Montagnard Foundation] only creates distraction that could have been offered to indigenous peoples around the world, PFII members,” says Vietnam government representative.

For over 4 years, Vietnam government has reaffirmed that KKF and the Montagnard Foundation should not be given the right to speak about Vietnam, claiming that the above indigenous organisation bring false information to the Permanent Forum.

This year, Vietnam states that such organisations are only creating a distraction to the Permanent Members.

If KKF does not bring the issue of Khmer Krom to the Permanent Forum, will Vietnam really do so?

Full speech by Vietnam representative is currently unavailable. It does not openly distribute its statement like most democratic governments however; KKN will endeavour to obtain the full speech in the next few days.

UNPFII Fifth Session Item 3: Intervention by Permanent Members

Interventions by Board of Permanent Forum Members
Wednesday 17th May 2006

Willie Littlechild

I am encouraged in dialogue with states. We have not had adequate times to exchange views. I want to begin with the last presentation. I want to give own personal congratulations with her recognition by Spain. Thank you to Spain. In the order of presentation, let me begin with Sami parliament and Norway. Their first sentence, I will quote, My delegation would like to emphasize that a rights based approach is fundamental to reach the MDGs. I also want to combine with Greenland. The strategy they are taking is a rights-based approach and strengthen the right of SD of Ips as a basic instrument for defining human rights in international context. Then look at the Rio group and thank them for admonishing us.

PFII should not only highlight shortcoming but also to advocate for debt relief. Yesterday, we had an intervention by indigenous woman or global caucus and they referred to debt. They commented the greatest debt is owed to Ips as stated in SR. With the Vietnamese intervention in their concluding remarks are quite aggressive in rejecting all groundless information. I am wondering if that takes into account the position of some delegations previous to this aspect of self-identification and a direct argument against as well. Now, I can move toward a positive statement because it fits my line.

Fiji looks forward to the adoption of the DRIP later this year. Which brings me toUS/AUS/NZ. I want to express a reservation. I want to come back to this under Agenda Item 4. I want to come back to it but for the time being with the greatest respect. One of our elders would say them are fighting words. The joint intervention states articulating SD is a misrepresentation of this right. What it does is recognize and affirm existing inherent rights. As to creating potential instability, again I would beg to differ. From a different perspective it has the potential for partnership much in line with Sami parliament intervention when he calls and reflects on expert seminar in Nuuk. If I can quote from him. The rights of UN DRIP underscores full and effective participation. Once the DRIP is adopted, it can be partnership.

I asked for a legal opinion on consensus. We did receive it. A part of our mandate calls on us to have consensus as a rule of procedure. Look at that definition. In my view and like others I have been on this matter since 1977. I have been involved since 1975 when the first declaration and the rights and duties of principles. We do have consensus based on UN definition. UN calls on states to express a reservation but that does not mean we don’t have consensus. About the DRIP undermining human rights, it is a potential for Ips to catch up with the rest of the world. The words that this declaration as artificial and irrelevant. I would have to juxtapose that many states and scholars would disagree and counter it with legal arguments not just a statement like this. I want to hold until next week with a legal argument. The situation of Ips in some countries is worrisome. I would worry indeed in those countries. I save the best for last. Now, I challenge Canada to take a new active role to being elected to the new HR Council. Will you be prepared to move for adoption in the new HR council

Ortilla
We want to hear governments talk about direct programs to eliminate hunger and inequity for our peoples which fall to the youth, children and women. We want to hear about better cooperation and coordination of their activities. I think all of us would focus on environmental sustainability. It was interesting to hear the transparency in the US/AUS/NZ. All of us sitting here have noted that we must begin an exhaustive analysis of colonial and historical of why there is inequity. We created this forum to speak to UNESCO and UN so it can elaborate policies to redress these inequalities. We the Ips want to reestablish our countries in the framework of human rights and the rule of law. We don’t want to be divided. We wish to reestablish publics on a shared vision of an indigenous and non-indigenous vision. What we need is the vision of indigenous because we are subjects of international law. We have sought to have our natural resources respected as well. All of this represents life and true equity in our states. So, it is worthwhile globalizing a number of values for respect, coexistence in the spirit
of justice and peace.

William Langeveldt
With all due respect to these three states, I wish to speak as a Korana from S. Africa. The plight and suffering of my ancestors. Colonization was the mother of all debt. It destroyed so many communities that were alienated from their way of life. Slavery shaped colonial societies imposing master/slave relationship based on skin color. I do not know. What have they been cooing for the last 300 – 400 years. Lands and resources stolen from IPS must eventually be returned. Collective rights are what Ips are about. We share everything equally among ourselves. It is our indigenous way of life. I call upon all of the governments of the world to ratify the rights of Ips.

Oppaluk

It is important that Norway and Denmark have their Ips speak on their behalf. Both Norway and Sami are represented by Johan. I thank you both for your interventions. More states should do so. I look forward to the future in the work you are doing. I look forward to the work in your countries. Global association of indigenous parliamentarians. I hope the indigenous parliamentarians would talk on this initiative with the parliament present here. I thank the governments for the full support of indigenous peoples. You have shown such an exemplary manner in dealing with indigenous issues. It was a surprising intervention by the US/NZ/AUS. I support the comments made by other members of the PFII especially Willie Littlechild. I also hope we will have discussion when we have the opportunity to discuss on Monday. Johan said on behalf of Greenland/Denmark. The strategy of rights based approach is the overall way to strengthen the rights of Ips to define indigenous rights in national and international context. This is one of the most distinguished comments and a dignified manner to discuss with Ips.

Pasharam
Is Vietnam going to recognize Ips. I would like to ask how they are treating ethnic minorities as Ips or in other ways. Particular their comment in the last. If States are behaving in such a way here toward its own people. How do you think the problems will be resolved? This is the time we need to reconcile the conflict. I think Vietnam should think about solving the problem in the country.

Country is ours but their state is not ours. This is the time we need to change this phrase. Country is ours as well as state is ours. If the states re not going to recognize the rights of Ips as different peoples that is the challenge to the entire civilizations. I call upon all states to support the DRIP unconditionally.

Item 4 (f) Human rights

Collective Statement by the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation and the Montagnard Foundation
Speaker: Romy THACH
l Click here to read original speech in FRENCH

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Madam Chair,

Today Vietnam proudly tells the International community of its preoccupation of the ethnic minorities’ situations. Unfortunately, the recent human rights violations have been committed by the Vietnamese authorities toward the Indigenous Khmer Krom and Montagnard peoples raised serious concerns to the conscience of the world.

As this is the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is important to grade its adoption and implementation. Unfortunately Vietnam is failing miserably. We will begin with the most recent heinous crimes and human rights abuses.

Recently, the district Svay Tong in the province of Mouat Chrouk (renamed An Giang in Vietnamese) has been the scene of acts of terror. The source for Radio Free Asia reported that on April 8 this month, at around 2:20 in the morning, 10 Vietnamese police cars have forcibly entered into the town of Chau Laing. Some gunshots were fired by the police directly hitting 5 people. Among those injured were M. Chau Hen, and his wife, Mrs. Neang Phon. They were hit in the legs and have been refused medical care. The children of Mr. Chau Hen were found unconscious after a gas of unknown substance has been launched in their home. Mr. Chau Hen is part of a group of farmers-Khmer Krom who gathered to ask the Vietnamese authorities the reason why they pushed them to burn an important bridge used by farmers to reach their rice fields. According to Mrs Neang Phon interviewed by Radio Free Asia, the five Khmer Kroms who were shot have been refused of care by the closest hospital.

At around 2:00PM, on April 11 2008, fifty Montagnard Christian believers held a peaceful and non-violent demonstration in the local Office of Ia Chia, a demonstration that has been repressed violently by the local police force. The popular protest pleaded the liberation of 3 Christian brothers Puih H’Bats, Kson Sims, and Rahlon Don,that had been jailed simply for sustaining their faith while refusing to join the Vietnamese government sanctioned church. Following this demonstration two more believers Kson Ien and Rahlan have been thrown in jail. This has lead to a chain reaction of protest throughout the central Highlands of Vietnam.

Madam Chair, there are millions of the Indigenous Khmer Krom and the Montagnard people in Vietnam and we are already over halfway toward the deadline of the Millennium Development Goals. Unfortunately, the human rights situation and poverty of Khmer Krom and the Montagnard people has become worse. To achieve the development goals, Vietnam must recognize that the implementation of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is imperative.

From a broader perspective, the recognition of indigenous peoples by governments around the world is a fundamental step forward. To organize and to cross this stage is a matter of utmost importance that requires the greatest attention and greatest efforts.

We recommend in consequence to the Permanent Instance to lead a collaborative work with the states members sanctioned by exact deadlines with benchmarks in order to set recognition of indigenous peoples such as Khmer Krom and Montagnard.

Ask the UNPFII and respected members of PFII to insist Vietnam, as a member of a non-permanent members of the Security Council, to cooperate more fully with the United Nations’ Human Rights mechanisms and Special Rapporteurs. It is unfortunate that none of them has received an invitation since 1998. The Vietnam should issue specials invitations to the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on issues of religious intolerance, torture, indigenous peoples, and arbitrary detention.

To conclude, remember that last month, during the 7th session of the board of Human Rights in Geneva, Vietnam declared to be ready for a dialogue on the question of Human Rights. The Permanent Forum isn’t it an ideal opportunity to demonstrate this intent? Let’s begin now. We are ready and willing to share wisdom and work together for a future of human rights in the Asia region.

Item 4(f) : Human Rights (French version)

Intervention Jointe de la fédération des Khmers du Kampuchea-Krom et de la fondation des Montagnards
Speaker: Romy THACH

Madame le Président,
Aujourd’hui, le Vietnam affirme à la communauté internationale sa préoccupation des minorités ethniques. Malheureusement la recrudescence des répressions et des arrestations arbitraires à l’encontre de nos peuples suscitent une inquiétude grandissante.

Encore récemment, la province de Mouat Chrouk (Renommé An Giang en vietnamien) a été le théâtre d’actes de terreur. La source Radio Free Asia a rapporté qu’au 8 avril de ce mois, à approximativement 2 :20 du matin, dix voitures de police ont fait irruption dans le village de Chau Leang district de Svay Tong afin d’arrêter M. CHAU Hen et M. CHAU Ut. Des coups de feu on été tirés délibérément sur la foule par les forces de police frappant directement cinq personnes. Parmi les personnes blessées Madame Chau Hen, Madame Neang Phon on été blessées aux jambes. Les enfants de M. Chau Hen ont été retrouvés inconscient après qu’un gaz de substance inconnu ait été lancé dans leur maison. Pendant cette attaque, six villageois Khmer Krom ont été arrêtés et incarcérés par la police. Mme Neang Phon interviewé par Radio Free Asia à confirmé que les cinq personnes blessées ont été refusée de soins à l’hôpital le plus proche.
M. Chau Hen fait parti d’un groupe d’agriculteurs Khmer-Krom qui se sont rassemblés pour demander aux autorités vietnamiennes la raison qui les ont poussés à brûler un pont important utilisé par les fermiers pour rejoindre leurs champs de riz.

Le 11 avril 2008 au environ de 2h de l’après midi, cinquante montagnards chrétiens ont tenu une manifestation pacifique au bureau communal de ia Chia, manifestation qui a été violemment réprimé par les forces de police locale. La protestation populaire plaidait la libération de 3 frères chrétiens Puih H’Bat, Kson Sim, et Rahlon Don ayant été emprisonné pour le simple fait d’avoir soutenu leur foi et refusant d’intégrer l’église agréée par le gouvernement vietnamien. Suite à cette manifestation pacifique, deux croyants supplémentaires Kson Ien et Rahlan Toi ont été emprisonnés, relançant la colère populaire et engendrant un nouveau mouvement de protestation à travers les hautes terres centrales du Vietnam.

Madame le Président, l’échéance des Objectifs de Développement du Millénaire se rapproche et malheureusement la situation des Droits de l’Homme des Khmer-Krom et des Montagnards continue à s’aggraver. Nos peuples représentent au Vietnam plusieurs millions de personnes. C’est pourquoi, pour atteindre les objectifs de développement qu’il s’est fixé, le Vietnam doit reconnaître que l’application de la Déclaration des Droits des Peuples Autochtones est impérative.
D’un point du vue plus général, la reconnaissance des peuples autochtones par les gouvernements qui les administrent à travers le monde est une étape fondamentale du progrès. Organiser et planifier le franchissement de cette étape est un point essentiel qui nécessite la plus grande attention et les plus grands efforts.

Nous recommandons en conséquence que l’instance permanente engage un travail collaboratif avec les états membres sanctionné par un calendrier précis afin que les peuples autochtones tel que les Khmer-Krom et les Montagnards soient reconnus.

Nous demandons que l’instance permanente insiste sur le fait que le Vietnam, en tant que membre non-permanent du conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies, doit coopérer plus étroitement avec les mécanismes des Nations Unies sur les droits de l’Homme et avec les rapporteurs spéciaux. Il est regrettable qu’aucun d’entres eux n’ait reçu d’invitation depuis 1998. Le Vietnam devrait particulièrement émettre des invitations aux rapporteurs spéciaux des Nations Unies sur les questions de l’intolérance religieuse, de la torture, sur les peuples autochtones, ainsi que la détention arbitraire.

Pour conclure, rappelons que le mois dernier, au cours de la 7ème session du conseil des Droits de l’Homme à Genève, le Vietnam déclarait être prêt à un dialogue sur la question des Droits de l’Homme. Le Forum Permanent n’est-il pas l’occasion idéale de démontrer cette intention ? Nous sommes prêts et motivé à travailler ensemble pour un avenir des Droits de l’Homme dans la région asiatique.