The Echo of Vietnam’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Second Cycle

On February 5, 2014, the Khmer and Khmer-Krom around the world, especially in Europe, under the leadership of KKF Chairman, Mr. Thach Vien and KKF President, Mr. Thach Ngoc Thach, protested in front of the United Nations in Geneva to voice their concerns regarding to the human rights violations committed by the Vietnamese government against the Indigenous Khmer-Krom Peoples.KKF leads demonstration for Khmer Krom rights

Started from 2:30 PM, the same day, the United Nations Human Rights Council examined Vietnam for Second  UPR cycle. Just like in the first cycle from 2009, Vietnam brought the whole team of 23 representatives, led by the Deputy Minister of Foreign affair, Mr. Ha Kim Ngoc, to defend its human rights record.  

Continue reading “The Echo of Vietnam’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Second Cycle”

Press Conference on Torture in Vietnam: Congress Smith’s Excerpt

 

Vietnam: Tortue and Abuse of Political and Religious Prisoners, “Campaign to Abolish Torture in Vietnam, January 2014.” — Excerpt From Congressman Chris Smith’s Report

 

 

The Vietnamese government continues to be an egregious violator of a broad array of human rights and is estimated to hold about 600 prisoners of conscience, including prominent faith leaders such as Father Ly and the Most Venerable Thich Quang Do. One of the points that is repeatedly raised in the hearings that I have held on human rights in Vietnam is that the authorities routinely torture people who are arrested for peacefully exercising their rights. The people of courage who should be celebrated for trying to help their country are instead imprisoned and further victimized by being tortured.

 

Continue reading “Press Conference on Torture in Vietnam: Congress Smith’s Excerpt”

KKF Secretary General Rebuttal To Vietnam’s Article, “Human Rights for development of ethnic minorities”

Rebuttal to the Article Human rights for the development of the ethnic minorities

By Hua Son

KKF Secretary General

 

First and foremost, the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF) is a legitimate not-for-profit and the non-governmental organization (NGO).  It is the nonviolent civil rights movement which inspires and trains emerging Khmer-Krom leaders.  We base our strengths upon the legacy of Khmer-Krom heroes, and the legacy of respected world leaders.  The KKF provides the forum and the platform for the Khmer-Krom Youth the skills and the opportunities to speak up, to champion and to win positive changes for their communities.  

 

We are not a “force” hostile to the Government of Vietnam (GVN).  The KKF helps to raise awareness of and to speak up for what the voiceless Khmer-Krom people want and hopefully to work with the GVN to stop and eliminate the human rights violations. The GVN should promulgate and recognize the Khmer-Krom people as the Indigenous Peoples and respect their human rights.  

 

The mission of KKF is, through the use of peaceful measures and international laws, to seek freedom, justice, and the right to self-determination as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNUDHR) and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) for the Indigenous Khmer-Krom Peoples in Kampuchea-Krom (Mekong Delta region).  The Khmer-Krom people are entitled to the equal protections under these international laws.  The Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation also seeks to improve the quality of life for Khmer-Krom people and their families.

 

The article under the title “Nhân quyền vì sự phát triển của các dân tộc thiểu số“ published by the Nhan Dan on 12/12/2013 with respect to the Khmer-Krom was distorted and misinformed in several respects:

 

  1. The Khmer-Krom people are not ethnic minorities as classified by the Government of Vietnam.  They are the Indigenous Peoples as defined and recognized by the United Nations.

  2. The Khmer-Krom people and their descendants have been living, nurturing and cultivating on their ancestral land of Kampuchea-Krom since the first century.  Their cultural identity, socio economic well beings and language are established long before the arrival of ethnic settlers, are separate and distinct from all other ethnic minority groups.  The practice of colonialism and neo-colonialism is alive and continues to exist.  This practice can only strengthen and prove that the people of Khmer-Krom are the Indigenous Peoples.    

  3. Contrary to the published policies and announcements, the GVN continues discriminations, intimidations, arbitrary arrests, imprisonments and harassments against the Khmer-Krom people and Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks.

 

While the GVN claims and promotes the “pilot” bilingual education, and the cultural shows, the educational and cultural contents often distorts the true historical facts of the Khmer-Krom people.

We respectfully request that the Government of Vietnam:

  • Immediately and unconditionally releases Venerable Lieu Ny, and Venerable Thach Thuol

  • Immediately and unconditionally releases Mr. Thach Phum Rich, and Mr. Tra Quang Tha.

  • Immediately and unconditionally releases Mrs. Ly thi Danh, Mrs. Lam thi Loan, Mr. Ly Minh Hai, and Mr. Tang Phola.

  • Allow the Khmer-Krom Theravada Buddhist Monks to freely organize as an independent religious association and to freely conduct religious activities in general.

Happy New Year Message from KKF President

Happy New Year Message from KKF President

 

 

ThachNThachFirst and foremost, on behalf of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF), I would like to wish you and yours a happy and prosperous New Year 2014.

 

2013 was such the best year for KKF. I would like to thank to KKF’s members and supporters around the world who worked tirelessly to make KKF’s 2013 plan successful. Regardless of difficulties that we faced in 2013, we were still being able to participate in meetings and conferences to bring the Khmer-Krom human rights violations to: Asian Forum, UNPFII, EMRIP, Pre-URP review, EU Parliament, US Department of State on International Religious Freedom, etc. The KKF’s members and supporters organized peaceful protests around the world to demand releasing our Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks who were arrested, defrocked, and imprisoned without fair trials.

 

 The KKF’s works has had significant positive impact on demanding for the fundamental rights of our beloved Khmer-Krom. The Khmer-Krom flag has been continuously raised higher around the world to represent for the voiceless Khmer-Krom seeking for the right to self-determination.

 

We will continue our work and no one could stop us from helping our people. Our KKF members from around the world came to Orlando, Florida for KKF Year-end Meeting from 13-15, December 2013. The meeting was successfully concluded with the following resolutions for the KKF’s works in 2014:

 

 

1. INTERNATIONAL BEST PRACTICES

 

  • Strengthen Interrelationships among the KKF and other international NGOs including Indigenous NGOs;

  • Hold conferences in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand;

  • Accelerate the Self-Determination Goal through UN Human Rights Charter & Treaty Bodies and UN Indigenous mechanisms;

  • Work Smartly and Strategically with the international agencies of the United Nations, the European Union and ASEAN; and

  • Do advocacy work at national parliamentary assembly with elected representatives in own country.  

 

2. KAMPUCHEA-KROM BEST PRACTICES

 

  • Build and Maintain the KKF’s Facebook pages by the KKF Youth Committee for informational and educational purposes;

  • Implement succession planning to the top leaders of the KKF, restructuring and adding additional responsibilities to current members with focus on the Khmer-Krom Youths;

  • Update Books’ Projects;

  • Build and Maintain the “Who is Who Khmer-Krom” Project.

 

3. CAMBODIA AND REGIONAL BEST PRACTICES

 

  • Visit three countries: Kampuchea-Krom – Cambodia – Thailand;

  • United Flower Festival to finish building in Wat Samaki Rangsei in Phnom Penh; and

  • Meet with Khmer-Krom Communities and Khmer-Krom’s Local Leaders in Cambodia.

 

 

May the New Year bring to our beloved Khmer-Krom in our homeland FREEDOM – JUSTICE – DEMOCRACY.

 

Sincerely,

 

T.Thach

 

Continue reading “Happy New Year Message from KKF President”

KKF prepares for next generation of leaders

Florida-USA – On December 13 in the U.S., members of the Khmer Krom Federation in the states in the U.S. territory And some countries in the world such as Italy, France and Canada met in Thomicaram temple, (Orlando) Florida to join in the KKF end of year meeting.

វត្តធម្មិការាមខ្មែរក្រោម ថ្ងៃទី ១៣ ខែធ្នូ ឆ្នាំ ២០១៣៖លោក ថាច់ ង៉ុក ថាច់ ថ្លែងទៅកាន់អ្នកចូលរួមនៅក្នុងកិច្ចជួបជុំថ្នាក់ដឹកនាំសហព័ន្ធខ្មែរកម្ពុជាក្រោមថ្ងៃដំបូង ។

The Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation stresses the importance of youth participation and had set 2014 to be the year of youth empowerment. KKF believes that the young generation of Khmer-Krom are the leaders and the hopes for building better future for the people of Kampuchea Krom. 

In this meeting, Mr. Thach Ngoc Thach, president of Khmer Krom Federation had announced the appointment of Chau Serey, former youth president,  as second vice pr6esident of KKF.

Mr. Samon Thach, a Khmer Krom youth human rights advocate from Washington State was elected as vice treasurer for the Federation, and Ms. Sothy Kien, was elected as youth president in place of Chau Serey.

This year has seen a large increase in interests and participation of youths. The 2014 year sees a call from KKF to connect with youths around the world and in Kampuchea-Krom to stand up and take their advocacy for human rights of Khmer-Krom people to another level and let the world know what Khmer-Krom people and young leaders of tomorrow want to see in their homeland.

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Open Invitation to KKF 2013 Annual Conference

2013_Annual_Conference_Invitation

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

 

KKF Petitions European Parliament for Intervention

LE VIETNAM DOIT LIBERER LES PRISONNIERS DE CONSCIENCE KHMER KROM 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.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/252/674/961/

Press Release: KKF Calls On International Pressure To End Religious Persecutions and Also The Unconditional Release of Human Rights Defenders

KKF Press Release 

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”. Supporters of Thach Thuol on Trial

  1. Lam Thi Loan – Born 1957 – 1 year prison.
  2. Ly Thi Danh – Born 1970 – 1 year prison.
  3. Ly Minh Hai – Born 1978 – 11 months prison.
  4. 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”

Khmer Krom Imprisoned for Standing up for Venerable Ly Chanh Da

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.

Khmer Krom from Prey Chop stands TrialScreenshot of Prey Chop Trial on 25th September 2013.

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.