Monday, July 2, 2007
H.E. Ban Ki-moon
760 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
Dear His Excellency Ki-moon:
At the Sixth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), the Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to the United Nations, Mr. Nguyen Tat Thanh, in his statement has accused the KhmersKampuchea Krom Federation (KKF) and the Montagnard Foundation of having “been engaging in separatist activities against the State of Viet Nam, including through, inter alia, spreading false information” and requested the Forum to expel them from the Forum. Not just this year alone that Viet Nam asked the Forum to get rid of them, but the past three years as well. This persistent act of Viet Nam is very inappropriate, irrational and is very contradictory to the spirit of the Forum because its ultimate goal is to give the opportunities to the indigenous peoples which are the victims of the administering Power to bring their concerns, misery, pain, sorrows, suffering which were inflicted upon them by the administering Power, and their grievances to the attention of the Forum.As you may know, the Khmer Krom people have been living in the Southern Vietnam for centuries, known historically as Kampuchea Krom or French Cochin China, and they have been persistently oppressed, persecuted, prosecuted, tortured, imprisoned and murdered for centuries by the successive governments of Vietnam, both the North and the South in order to wipe them out of the world’s map. France colonized Kampuchea Krom in 1867 and, when left Indochina, transferred its colony to His Majesty Emperor Bao-Dai of Viet Nam by its law no. 49-733 of 4 June 1949 without the plebiscite of the Khmer Krom people.As you may know, the Khmer Krom people have been living in the Southern Vietnam for centuries, known historically as Kampuchea Krom or French Cochin China, and they have been persistently oppressed, persecuted, prosecuted, tortured, imprisoned and murdered for centuries by the successive governments of Vietnam, both the North and the South in order to wipe them out of the world’s map. France colonized Kampuchea Krom in 1867
As you may know, the Khmer Krom people have been living in the Southern Vietnam for centuries, known historically as Kampuchea Krom or French Cochin China, and they have been persistently oppressed, persecuted, prosecuted, tortured, imprisoned and murdered for centuries by the successive governments of Vietnam, both the North and the South in order to wipe them out of the world’s map. France colonized Kampuchea Krom in 1867 and, when left Indochina, transferred its colony to His Majesty Emperor Bao-Dai of Viet Nam by its law no. 49-733 of 4 June 1949 without the plebiscite of the Khmer Krom people.Viet Nam is the current full-fledged Member State of the United Nations, thus Viet Nam is obligated to abide by its Charter, in
Viet Nam is the current full-fledged Member State of the United Nations, thus Viet Nam is obligated to abide by its Charter, in particular Chapter XI relating to the Declaration Regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories, Chapter XII regarding the International Trusteeship System and Chapter XIII regarding the Trusteeship Council, and Chapter II, Article 6 regarding Membership. As Viet Nam has persistently violated the Principles contained in the UN’s Charter by persistently violating Khmer Krom’s human rights and fundamental freedoms, Viet Nam may be expelled from this world peace organization (The United Nations) by the UN General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. The granting of the international seat and or floor to Viet Nam to enable it to continue to mislead the whole world and to continue to suffer the Indigenous Khmer Krom Peoples is not appropriate. The UNPFII is the Forum for the indigenous people to bring and express their concerns and grievances to the attention of the Forum and if their concerns and grievances have been ignored and rejected, what the Forum is for? So its existence is senseless and meaningless because the Forum is biased, is serving the States, not serving the Indigenous Peoples, not wanted to hear the grievances and suffering endured by them which were really caused by the States like the case of the Khmer Krom and the Montagnards.The two landmarks UN GA resolutions 1514(XV)of 14 December 1960 and its complement 1541(XV) of 15 December 1960 respectively declare the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples and the granting of the options for the right of self-determination to the Non-Self-Governing Territories and Peoples.
The two landmarks UN GA resolutions 1514(XV)of 14 December 1960 and its complement 1541(XV) of 15 December 1960 respectively declare the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples and the granting of the options for the right of self-determination to the Non-Self-Governing Territories and Peoples.
Those options were:
I) The right to self-determination in free association with the independent State;
2) The right to self-determination in integration with the independent State; and
3) The right to self-determination in obtaining independence from the independent State.
In order to realize these resolutions, the UN GA resolution which is the 2001-2010 Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism and its Plan of Action was issued requesting the UN bodies, all NGOs, international organizations, and the administering Power to take necessary measures to help the Non-Self-Governing Territories and Peoples to exercise their right to self-determination. But up to date, in spite of the KKF ‘s great efforts to get help and recognized by the international organizations and nations, the indigenous Khmer Krom peoples in Kampuchea Krom, the Southern Viet Nam, the Mekong Delta Region, still suffer tremendously and inhumanely from the successive Vietnamese governments’ persistent oppressions, persecutions, prosecutions, tortures, imprisonments, and murders. Their lands, rice fields, farmlands, Buddhist temples, houses are being taken away for the Vietnamese people and for the State or destroyed without any compensation under the pretext of expropriation for cause of public utility or else. Viet Nam still turns its blind eyes on the international laws and continues to violate Khmer Krom’s human rights and fundamental freedoms. Whereas the UN bodies on the situation never, ever take any necessary measures to ask or pressure Viet Nam to comply with these International Iegal instruments and laws. If these human rights violations continue to persist against Khmer Krom people who are the rightful and legitimate owners of the Territory, the victims Khmer Krom will rise up one day that really causes the instability of the region. So Southeast Asia will be burned again by the nationalist war of the indigenous peoples against the oppressors, persecutors, prosecutors, torturers, and murderers. And no one can claim that it’s a terrorist activity or else because the UN and other great and small nations need to very well define rightfully who is or who are the real terrorist. In Buddhist way or teachings, the ones who cause the sufferings to others are called “Mara” or in modern term the” Terrorist”. Therefore, Viet Nam who persistently causes endless cruel sufferings to the indigenous Khmer Krom Peoples through the use of various forms and acts of violence by terrorizing them for centuries is the very real terrorist.
To understand Viet Nam better, Your Excellency needs to plan for a UN visiting mission to the Mekong Delta Region where a great and large number of Khmer Krom people and communities have been living there for thousands of years before the establishment of the State of Viet Nam in order to investigate the real situation to find out the truth because truth is sacred, truth is universal, truth is never, ever changed over time; truth is always born deeply within the victims’ hearts, minds, spirits and souls, not within those of the oppressors, the “Mara” who persistently sow all the suffering, misery, pain. Sorrows, worries, and fear over the victims. These are all greed, hatred and delusion within the oppressors’ bodies, minds, spirits and souls to eradicate the victims’ language, culture, customs and traditions, in short to Vietnamize them (Please refer to the documentary film “Eliminated Without Bleeding” by Ms. Rebecca Sommer.
Based on the bodies of burden evidence either extrinsic, documentary, historical, real, circumstantial, cumulative, direct, demonstrative, opinion and/or eyewitness, I would like to suggest to Your Excellency to reconsider your decision about the membership status of Viet Nam to the United Nations. If the United Nations continues to accept Viet Nam as Member State, the UN needs to put pressure on Viet Nam to abide by the Charter of the United Nations and all the UN GA resolutions relating to the exercise of the right to self-determination by the Non-Self-Governing Territories and Peoples in accordance with all the provisions and dispositions prescribed in the two landmarks UN GA resolutions 1514(XV) of 14 December 1960, 1541(XV) of 15 December 1960 and the 2001-2010 Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism in the 21st century and its Plan of Action and the UN Human Rights Council Proclamation. And also I would like to point out to Your Excellency about the silent attitude, behavior and character of Viet Nam regarding the UNPO ‘s letters of 2 September and 5 September 2003 appealing Prime Minister Pham Van Khai of Vietnam to have dialogue regarding the six grievances brought by the Khmers Kampuchea Krom Federation( KKF) against Viet Nam and to consider the request to decolonize Kampuchea Krom and place it under the control of the United Nations in order to prepare for a self-determination referendum, allowing Khmer Krom peoples to choose for their options of self-determination, either internal or external self-determination because the ultimate goal is the establishment of a free and fair political environment and a stable peace in the region. I would like also to include in this letter, for your information and acknowledgment, a 54-year report of the KKF ‘s late President Son Tuon describing all the cruel suffering endured by the Khmer Krom people and the extrajudicial killings of the Khmer Krom Buddhist monks under the Colonization rules of Viet Nam. Recently, a group of 120 Indigenous Khmer Krom Peoples of Moat Chrouk province (An Giang province in Vietnamese), after unsuccessful attempts to demand the return of their 500 hectares of farmlands which were confiscated several years ago by the Vietnamese authority from all different local levels of the Vietnamese authorities – villages, communes, districts, and province- had decided to bring their complaint to the highest Vietnamese authority in Ho Chi Minh City ( Prey Nokor City in Khmer) for a peaceful resolution to their demand for the return of their confiscated farmlands. But the Vietnamese authorities did not allow them to go by cars and also confiscated two motorbikes from them and forced them to walk on foot to HCMC which is more than 300 kilometers long that took them several days to get there. Only a group of about 30 protesters were able to secretly reach Prey Nokor City to hand over their petitions to the Vietnamese Prime Minister to ask for help in the resolution of their confiscated lands as per Radio Free Asia’s report.These grave flagrant human rights violations by the Vietnamese government against the Indigenous
These grave flagrant human rights violations by the Vietnamese government against the Indigenous Khmer Krom Peoples shall not be overlooked by the United Nations to which Viet Nam is the current full-fledged Member State and by the US State Department. How can the “minority people freely travel to US embassy in Hanoi” as promised to Ellen Sauerbrey, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration by the Viet government (RFA)? The UN needs to reconsider the membership status of the State of Viet Nam to the United Nations(Chapter II, Article 6 regarding Membership), and the US government needs to reinstate the CPC and to reconsider the granting of Permanent Normal Trade Relation(PNTR) and the endorsement on the admission of Hanoi into the World Trade Organization (WTO) for Hanoi’s persistent violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Indigenous Khmer Krom Peoples and of the persistent violations of the Principles contained in the UN Charter, Chapter II, Article 6 regarding Membership. The UN needs to review the past mistake when admitting the Khmer Rouge regime into the United Nations by granting the international floor to the Khmer Rouge leader, Ieng Sary to lie to the world that Khmer people under their regime ate three times a day including dessert Ironically, the Khmer Rouge in different levels of leadership treated the Khmer people like animals. About two million people died from hardships, starvation, diseases, and mass execution. The UN relied only on their cheap lies and never ever did the investigation on the situation and checked on the Khmer Rouge activities to see if their statements were credible or not. Therefore, to help the Indigenous Khmer Krom Peoples to exercise their right to self- determination and to have their human rights and fundamental freedoms been respected, the UN shall periodically check on Viet Nam’s promises, activities and performances in regard to all indigenous minorities and all other minority people inside Viet Nam, in particular the Khmer Krom and the Montagnards people.
Finally, I would like to urge Your Excellency Mr. Secretary-General to consider the following suggestions for the United Nations’ future agendas and missions:
• Put Kampuchea Krom or former French Cochin China or Southern Viet Nam on the list of the territories still to decide their future and to get help, assistance and support by the United Nations’ Special Committee on Decolonization;
• Pressure Viet Nam to fully comply with the above-mentioned international laws and to reconsider the two letters of the UNPO of 2 and 5 September 2003 requesting Viet Nam to decolonize Kampuchea Krom and to place it under the control of the United Nations for the preparation of the self-determination referendum allowing the Khmer Krom people to choose among the options stipulated in the above-mentioned UN GA resolution I541(XV) of 15 December 1960
• Envisage the missions of the UN Special Rapporteurs on the situation of
Human Rights, Religious Freedoms, Political, Social and Economic
Development, Cultural and Educational Advancement, Natural
Resources, etc. to the Mekong Delta Region where the indigenous Khmer
Krom Peoples are living in greater communities;
• Help to set up dialogue(s) with Viet Nam, the administering Power regarding the decolonization of Kampuchea Krom and place it under the control of the United Nations; and
• Plan for a self-determination referendum allowing the
Khmer Krom Peoples to use their own free will for their self-government like the UN used to do for the Tokelau people in New Zealand and the East Timor people in Indonesia.
Hoping Your Excellency Mr. Secretary-General spending a little bit of your busy time to review the Khmer Krom Peoples’ case in Southern Viet Nam who have been living on their own motherland for centuries under the cruel colonization rules and the atrocities of the State of Viet Nam and to take into consideration all the UN GA resolutions regarding the right to self-determination of the indigenous peoples, the UN Charter, in particular Chapters XI, XII and XIII, the UNPO’s letters and a 54-year report of the Khmers Kampuchea Krom Federation (KKF), would you please, Your Excellency Mr. Secretary-General, accept from the bottom of my heart my deepest respect and gratitude.
Respectfully Submitted for Your Highest Consideration,
Chan Chhan Keo, Vice President
Association of Khmer Kampuchea Krom
of Minnesota, Inc.
P.O. Box 17133
Saint Paul, MN 55117