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.

Open Letter to the President of Vietnam – Mr. Tran Dai Quang Appeal to Return the Sacred Land to the Temple

Open Letter to the President of Vietnam – Mr. Tran Dai Quang 

Appeal to Return the Sacred Land to the Temple 

Pennsauken, 17 April 2017 

Embassy of Vietnam 

Att.: Mr. Tran Dai Quang, President of Vietnam 

1233 20th St NW, Suite 400 

Washington, DC 20036 

 

Dear Mr. President: 

 Recently, there was disturbing news on the social media regarding a land dispute between a Khmer-Krom temple and local Vietnamese families who built their houses illegally on the Khmer-Krom temple’s lands. The Khmer- Krom Buddhist followers in the Mekong Delta anonymously contacted our Internet Radio, Voice of Kampuchea-Krom, to express their concern and to ask for help in appealing to your government to return the sacred land that has been confiscated from the Khmer-Krom temple. 

The confiscated land belongs to the Khmer-Krom temple, named “Me Pang”, located at the 4th commune, Phong Phu village, Cau Ke district, Tra Vinh province (p 4, Xã Phong Phú, Huyn Cu Kè, Tnh Trà Vinh). The temple was built on this land before 1975 and later moved to a new location where currently the temple is located. Even though the temple is not located on this land, the Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks and villagers in this commune have continued to organize Buddhist ceremonies every year on this land. 

During 1993 and 1994, there were some Vietnamese families asking the temple if they could temporary build shelters to live on the temple’s land. They promised that they would move out when the temple needed the land back. Since the temple did not need to use the land yet they agreed for them to living there temporarily. One of those families is the family of Mr. Phan Van Cua who later secretly bribed the local government to get the land title without the consent of the temple. The temple has been filing complaints with the court of Cau Ke district for almost a decade, but the court keeps denying justice for the temple. The court keeps using tactics saying that the temple does not have the land title to claim ownership. Using same tactic, the other Vietnamese families living on the temple’s land now refuses to move out as well. 

As indigenous peoples practicing Theravada Buddhism and living on their homeland in the Mekong Delta for thousands of years, our people believe that our temple’s land is the sacred land and that no one can take away their temple’s land. The Khmer-Krom temples’ lands in Mekong Delta have never had a land title. The court of Cau Ke district has been using the tactic to demand the temple land title in order to resolve the dispute. This clearly shows that the court is against the belief of the Khmer-Krom and violates Article 24.2 of Vietnam Constitution: “The State respects and protects freedom of belief and of religion”. 

In this regard, we would like to urge you to help to investigate this issue to find justice for our Khmer-Krom temple. Hopefully, the temple will be able to get back the confiscated lands to organize the ceremony peacefully without disturbing the people living on the temple’s land. 

 

Regards, 

 

Venerable TT Dhammo 

KKF Director of Religious Affairs 

Sacred Land Must Be Returned - Open Letter