ខេមរនគរ

ខែតុលា 20, 2007

Khmer Kroms: Cambodia’s stateless people

Filed under: ខ្មែរ​ Khmer,Khmer Krom — khmerlander @ 8:59 ល្ងាច

Demonstratin of Khmers Kroms in front of the High-Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Sept. 23 2007

 

8 October 07 – The Vietnamese treat them as political troublemakers – the Cambodians as spies. From the former Cochin China, the Khmer Kroms no longer know where to turn to be recognised as a separate people. During the sixth session of the Human Rights Council, they went to meet Louise Arbour in Geneva

 

Carole Vann/InfoSud – They are deeply Buddhist and fiercely anti-communist. They feel completely Cambodian. They are calling for their own identity, language and religion. At the heart of their tragedy is the fact that they live in the former Cochin China along the Mekong delta on Vietnamese territory, a land governed by the doctrine of Marx and Lenin and which has very ambivalent realtions with its Cambodian neighbour. The suffering of the Khmer Kroms has gone on for decades.

Considered as dangerous political agitators by the government in Hanoi, they have been rejected by their Cambodian brothers who see them as potential spies sent by their neighbour, who though officially an ally, in reality is an enemy. In order to defend themselves, they set up a Federation and in 2001 became members of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisations. During the 6th session of the Human Rights Council, they came to plead their cause to the High Commissioner Louise Arbour. At the end of September, nearly 400 Khmers from all over Europe formed a human chain in front of the Geneva office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“We are only calling for the right to live in peace on our land, to be able to speak Khmer, to practise Theravada Buddhism, to travel freely between Cambodia and Vietnam and to teach our history in our schools. We also want the continual persecution of our people to stop,” said Vien Thach, vice president of the Federation of Khmers of Kampuchea Krom with a gentle demeanour and affable air. He lives in Paris but regularly returns to Cambodia and Vietnam to gather information about the situation on the ground. According to the Federation, there are eight million Khmer Kroms in Vietnam compared to just over a million in Cambodia. Deeply attached to their culture, they have criticised Hanoi’s policy of vietnamisation.

Sitting in a vast UN lobby, Vien Thach goes through the never-ending list of abuses and humiliations suffered by his compatriots: interference by the Vietnamese authorities in the organisation of the monasteries and in the daily life of the Khmers Kroms, arbitrary arrests, forced disappearances and deportations to re-education camps. Last February, a monk was found with his throat slit in his cell because he took part in a pacifist demonstration in front of the Vietnamese embassy in Cambodia. And Vien Thach indicates that Vietnam still has a heavy influence on the Khmer government.

The case of the respected Tim Sa Korn, a Khmer Krom monk, is symptomatic of the situation that this community finds itself in, rejected by both sides. In June, Tim Sa Korn was defrocked by the head of the temple of Phnom Den, near the Cambodian capital. He was then expelled from Cambodia (a country whose nationality he holds) to Vietnam. The reason given was that he had allegedly been involved in activities that threatened Khmer Vietnamese friendship. Imprisoned in Vietnam, he then disappeared. His family have had no word of him. Other monks and human rights activists have also been jailed in flagrant breach of any respect for their fundamental human rights or their nationality.

As for the respective governments, both play political football with them and make contradictory statements. After accusing Tim Sa Korn of “threatening Khmer Vietnamese friendship”, the Cambodian Ministry of Information changed its tune. It said Tim Sa Korn had had sexual relations with women, the reason he was defrocked and expelled to Vietnam. Another version circulating was that he abused other monks or that in actuality he was an evangelical Christian disguised as a monk, who had “fornicated”. This was done in order to tarnish the image of Buddhism and to incite believers to convert to Christianity as a more pure religion.

In the meantime, Tim Sa Korn and many other Khmers Kroms are rotting in Vietnamese camps or jails, forgotten by the world.

 

Source: Geneva Human Rights Tribune, http://www.humanrights-geneva.info/article.php3?id_article=2329, retrieved October 20, 2007

 

មតិ​មួយ​ »

  1. […] ááááááá wrote an interesting post today on Khmer Kroms: Cambodiaâs stateless peopleHere’s a quick excerptKhmer Kroms: Cambodia’s stateless people តុលា 20th, 2007 — khmerlander Demonstratin of Khmers … on our land, to be able to speak Khmer, to practise Theravada Buddhism, to travel freely between … with a gentle demeanour and affable air. He lives in Paris but regularly returns to Cambodia […]

    ភីងត្រលប់ ដោយ Air Travel » Khmer Kroms: Cambodia’s stateless people — ខែតុលា 21, 2007 @ 12:30 ព្រឹក


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

ឆ្លើយ​តប

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

ឡូហ្កូ WordPress.com

អ្នក​កំពុង​បញ្ចេញ​មតិ​ដោយ​ប្រើ​គណនី WordPress.com របស់​អ្នក​។ Log Out / ផ្លាស់ប្តូរ )

រូប Twitter

អ្នក​កំពុង​បញ្ចេញ​មតិ​ដោយ​ប្រើ​គណនី Twitter របស់​អ្នក​។ Log Out / ផ្លាស់ប្តូរ )

រូបថត Facebook

អ្នក​កំពុង​បញ្ចេញ​មតិ​ដោយ​ប្រើ​គណនី Facebook របស់​អ្នក​។ Log Out / ផ្លាស់ប្តូរ )

Google+ photo

អ្នក​កំពុង​បញ្ចេញ​មតិ​ដោយ​ប្រើ​គណនី Google+ របស់​អ្នក​។ Log Out / ផ្លាស់ប្តូរ )

កំពុង​ភ្ជាប់​ទៅ​កាន់ %s

ប្លក់​នៅ WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: