June 4, 2013
[Video Source: Subcommittee Hearing: U.S. Relations with Vietnam ]
In a recent U.S subcommittee hearing on the continuing repression by the Vietnamese Government, Ven. Danh Tol testified before the committee that the government of Vietnam continues to violate religious freedom and make every action to control and put the Khmer-Krom Theravada Buddhism under state control.
The committee chair, Rep. Chris Smith, shows great awareness and sympathy towards the testimony of Ven. Danh Tol and several other victims of repression by government of Vietnam. Rep. Smith asserts that Vietnam continues “to violate a wide range of fundamental human rights” and urged his government to take more measure to address the issue with Vietnam.
Among those concrete measures, Smith wants Vietnam to be re-listed by the US State Department as a country of concern because the persecution of ethnic or religious group and other violations including forcible land confiscations from its own citizens.
Venerable was a direct victim of the Vietnamese government’s religious persecution, he was imprisoned in 2007 for participating in religious demonstration which demanded end to oppression on Khmer-Krom Buddhism.
“Khmer Krom monks do not have freedom of expression, cannot access information, because access to information is considered a revolution by the monks,” he said. “That’s why communist Vietnam always prevents monks’ rights.” Said the Venerable.
The Venerable also stresses the need for Khmer-Krom Buddhist institution exist without political control by Vietnam as it does today.
The act of the Vietnam shows that it does not wish to see the “continue progress of the Theravada Buddhism, but to end it.”
Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks are of particular favorite for the government’s target of torture, humiliation, and persecution when it comes to religious repression.
Along with this note, Venerable Danh Tol pointed out that there are just as many Vietnamese Buddhist monks and religious leaders who are also vocal about the religious freedom issue, but only Khmer-Krom monks are targeted for forced defrocking.