In 1620 Khmer king Chey Chetha II married Vietnamese princess Nguyen Phuc Ngoc Van, the daughter of Vietnamese king Nguyen Phuc Nguyen. For the greatest love for his wife on one hand and for his big mistake about Yuon (Vietnamese people) that they are good, gentle and sociable on the other hand, King Chey Chetha II had generously allowed the Vietnamese people to come to Kampuchea Krom doing businesses in the regions of Preah Suokear (Ba Ria), Trapeang Changvar (Bien Hoa) and Veal Preus (Dong Nai). This is the first time in Khmer history which opens the way for the Vietnamese people to gradually come settle on Khmer lands of Kampuchea Krom. Facing the mortal danger to his country caused constantly by the systematic movements of the Vietnamese people to occupy Kampuchea Krom, the Khmer Krom peoples of Preah Trapeang province (Travinh in Vietnamese), under the leadership of their Governor Son Kuy, courageously revolted against the Vietnamese forces in 1834, and many bloody clashes between the Khmer Krom peoples in self-defense and the Vietnamese invaders had occurred often times. And in 1859 in Khleang province (Soc Trang in Vietnamese), Sena Suos led Khmer Krom peoples to bravely fight against the Vietnamese occupying forces for three years with great victory but unluckily Sena Suos died of poison by a Vietnamese secret agent. (Ref. To Kim Thong: The Khmer-Krom Journey to Self-Determination. Canada: 04 June 2010)
After the death of the Khmer King, His Majesty Ang Duong in 1860, France placed Cambodia under its Protectorate by a Treaty of 11 August 1863 against the will of king Ang Duong and also against the will of king Norodom who had only desired France’s Intervention to protect Cambodia from the invasions of both its neighboring countries – Siam (Thailand) and Yuon (Vietnam), not asking France to put Cambodia under its Protectorate but under its protection against the infringements of Cambodia’s neighboring countries (protectorship) instead.
During the reign of Khmer King, His Majesty Norodom who reigned after the death of Ang Duong, France used her colonial authority and power to unilaterally place Kampuchea Krom, the Territorial Integrity and Sovereignty of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Homeland of Khmer Krom peoples under its colony, called Cochinchine in French (Cochin China). And moreover, with her big ambition and hegemony, France’s Governor of Cochinchine, Mr. Thomson, at midnight on 17 June 1884, came to Phnom Penh by warship “Alouette” equipped with artillery and heavy automatic weapons pointing to the Royal Palace, waking up King Norodom at gunpoint to sign a Convention forcing him to give up his traditional royal power and authority to govern and rule Cambodia as a traditional Cambodia’s Ruler. Mr. Alain Forest, in his book: Le Cambodge et la colonisation Française (Cambodia and French colonization), said that the Petition forcing King Norodom to sign at gunpoint was not only raising taxes for French colonial Power and authority but abdicating all Royal Power and authority to rule the country from Khmer King, and willing to incorporate Cambodia into Cochinchine in which France used Vietnamese as interpreters, tax collectors, office workers, police officers, and administration and military officials to control Khmer Krom peoples working as laborers. Due to the social injustices imposed by France and her willingness and big ambition to include Cambodia into Cochinchine, Khmer peoples across the country rebelled against both French Colonial Power and authority and Vietnamese that made French Colonial Power worried and requested the Khmer King to help end the rebellion in the most important provinces of Cambodia from 1885-1886. (Ref. Keo, Bunthoeun. “Krong Phnom Penh (Phnom Penh Capital City) before 1954”)
However, during France’s Protectorate (in official language) and Colony, Cambodia had the chance to temporarily shield itself from the invasions of both its neighboring countries, Siam (Thailand) and Yuon (Vietnam).
During the course of history, our Khmer kings never ever gave up their Ownership Rights on Kampuchea Krom Territory as their kingdom lands even though the Republic of France unilaterally gave it a new name as Cochinchine (Cochin China) and placed it under its colonial Power as its overseas territory despite the persistent claims and protests by our Khmer kings. Kampuchea Krom and its peoples have gone through their lives under foreign colonial Powers’ occupations such as Vietnam, France and Japan during World War II when Japan overruled and overran Indochina. When Japan was defeated by the Allies, France came back and took again control over Indochina and Kampuchea Krom, the Territorial Integrity and Sovereignty of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Homeland of Khmer Krom peoples as its overseas territory.
After French Republic and Bao-Dai of Vietnam secretly signed a bilateral agreement over the destiny of Cochinchine (Nam Ky in Vietnamese) on 7 December 1947, King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia sent a letter on 20 January 1948 demanding information about the said agreement between France and Bao-Dai of Vietnam. And then the French Republic, under the administration of President Vincent Auriol, in complicity with emperor Bao-Dai of Vietnam, had established without Cambodia’s participation a Parliament of Cochinchine on 8 March 1949, composed of 64 members—16 from France and 48 from Vietnam. And then on 4 June 1949 France Republic under the administration of President Vincent Auriol by its unjust colonial Law No. 49-733 of 4 June 1949 changed the status of Cochinchine (Cochin China) from a colony to a nation in the French Union and unilaterally ceded Cochinchine, the Territorial Integrity and Sovereignty of Cambodia and the Homeland of Khmer Krom Peoples to emperor Bao-Dai of Vietnam despite the multiple protests of Cambodia and the disagreements of the Assembly of French Union and the Council of French Republic. (Ref. Article written by Mr. To Kim Thong, Chairman of the KKF on the Khmer-Krom Journey to Self-Determination, 04 June 2010)
During the debates of the French National Assembly over the illegal transfer of Cochinchine (Cochin China) to Bao-Dai of Vietnam, a number of French Deputies (MPs) made a motion on 23 May 1949, called “Deferre motion” containing four points: 1) about the Khmer Krom communities living in Cochinchine; 2) putting of Mekong River as straits to the ocean for Khmer peoples; 3) about the port of Prey Nokor (Saigon); and 4) suggestion of modifying and changing of borderlines. But France under the administration of President Vincent Auriol ignored all of those requested four points and ceded anyway Cochinchine (Cochin China) in whole to emperor Bao-Dai of Vietnam in gross violations of the Charter of the United Nations of which France has been Member State since 24 October 1945 on one hand and on the other hand France has no legitimate right to cede a Territory or a nation or country which does not belong to her to Vietnam which was not the rightful and legitimate owner of that Territory or country which was Kampuchea Krom, the Homeland of the Khmer Krom Peoples and the lands of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
For that reason, at the Indochina’s Peace Conference in Geneva in 1954, the Kingdom of Cambodia under King Norodom Sihanouk made a recommendation stating that Cochinchine (Cochin China) that France had illegally ceded to Vietnam was Cambodian lands and the occupation and the control of Cochinchine or Kampuchea Krom by Vietnam were in flagrant violations of the 1885 Berlin Act and there were no international acts nor instruments granting Kampuchea Krom to Vietnam either. Moreover, in all occasions and in all times in history our Khmer kings were strongly determined to take the lands back either by legitimate complaints or by force, affirming that Khmer peoples never ever gave up Kampuchea Krom that Vietnam took as its own in complicity with France. (Ref. Ung Bun Pheav’s Article on Koh Tral and Koh Krachak Sess, August 2003. He’s a Member of the Cambodia’s Border Committee based in France)
The facts that Khmer Kings and Khmer Peoples never ever gave up their Ownership
Rights on their ancestral lands that belong to them for thousands and thousands of
years were ipso facto and ipso jure as follows:
- In 1645 King “Ang To” had first claimed the Khmer lands in Cochinchine back, and in 1653 King “Ang Chan” had continued to claim again the Khmer lands in Cochinchine or Kampuchea Krom.
- In 1738 King “Ang So” led his army to Peam province (Hatien in Vietnamese) to get rid of all Vietnamese from Hatien.
- In 1776 King “Ang Non “had taken back Long Ho province (Vinh Long in Vietnamese) and Me Sor province (My Tho in Vietnamese) during Tay Son’s group uprising/rebellion against the Vietnamese King.
- In 1859 King “Ang Duong” had led an army to fight the Vietnamese military forces stationed in Mort Chrouk province (Chau Doc in Vietnamese).
And up to the arrival of France, the fighting was still going on between Yuon (Vietnam), the invaders, and Khmer peoples, the self-defenders, the rightful and legitimate owners of Cochinchine or Kampuchea Krom.
King Ang Duong’s approaches to France’s intervention in the kingdom affairs were intended primarily to take back all Khmer provinces in Cochinchine. Whereas King Norodom who traveled to Prey Nokor (Saigon) on October 1864 one year later after Cambodia was placed under the Protectorate of France he also asked French administration to return all Khmer provinces in Cochinchine to Cambodia. Also during the occupation of Cambodia by Japan, King Norodom Sihanouk had affirmed of Cambodia’s Ownership Rights over Cochinchine (Cochin China) through his declaration on 25 June 1945 against the wicked and evil intention of Vietnam to incorporate Cochinchine (Cochin China) into Vietnam. And he proposed the creation of a mixed committee to determine and oversee the borderlines between Cambodia and Yuon (Vietnam). In the same year (1945), the Nam Bo administration (the Ho Chi Minh administration) agreed upon the principles of this new determination of borderlines between Cambodia and Vietnam. However, France was in secret agreement with Bao Dai’s proposal to include Tonkin, Annam and Cochinchine (Cochin China) into a single Vietnam (the 3 Ky).
Being aware of this collusion, His Majesty Norodom Sihanouk sent a letter of 20 January 1948 demanding the French General Governor of Cochinchine (Cochin China) to provide him with all the information regarding the dialogues between France and Vietnam regarding the inclusion of Cochinchine into Vietnam. But ignoring his request, France had signed a treaty of Golf of Along (Accords de la Baie d’Along) with Bao-Dai in 1948, recognizing the unilateral integration or inclusion of Cochinchine into Vietnam (the 3 Ky). His Majesty Norodom Sihanouk had vigorously protested against this agreement by his letter dated 18 June 1948 and in 1949 he sent a royal Khmer delegation composing of H.E. Chhean Vam, then Prime Minister, H.E. Thonn Ouk, H.E. Sonn Voeunsai and H.E. Son Sann to follow the debates in the French National Assembly on the bill modifying the status of Cochinchine and its attachment to Vietnam and to protest against the unilateral integration or inclusion of the Khmer kingdom lands in Cochinchine into Vietnam.
To better prove ipso facto and ipso jure to the whole World and to the Universe that Cochinchine (Cochin China) or Kampuchea Krom belongs to Cambodia for thousands and thousands of years, H.E. Tep Phan, a Khmer royal representative at the 1954 Geneva Conference on Indochina made a statement and a memoir preserving Cambodia’s historical rights over Cochinchine or Kampuchea Krom by affirming all burden evidences showing that Cochinchine or Kampuchea Krom is both de facto and de jure Khmer lands. His memoir has clearly stated that in the areas of archeology, monuments, statues in gold, in bronze and in stones, other scriptures, Buddhist temples and pagodas and sanctuaries in bricks, and stone inscriptions evidencing the presence of Khmer Krom peoples for thousands and thousands of years in that region from their first ancestors. Besides these burden evidences of ancient arts and artifacts, architectures and archeology, the maps in the ancient Indochina as maps in the 7thand 8thcenturies, maps made in 1593 and later in 1638, map made by Father De Rhodes in 1650, map of Indochina made by Robert in 1717, map of Indochina published by Durville in 1755 etc. and all pertinent documents written either in Khmer/Cambodian, in French or in Vietnamese languages, all strongly and solidly affirm the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Khmer peoples over the region of Indochina. To this end, not only all lands and all islands which attached to the Kampuchea Krom Territory that France renamed “Cochinchine” (Cochin China) are Khmer ancestral patrimonies or properties, not just Koh Tral alone or Phuy Quoc in Vietnamese.
- List of Countless Human Rights Violations Committed Persistently By Vietnam against the Indigenous Khmer Krom Peoples of Cochinchine (Nam Ky in Vietnamese)
Throughout the history of mankind and throughout the lives of the indigenous Khmer Krom peoples of Cochinchine, the Mekong Delta region or southern Vietnam, the Khmer Krom peoples have been persistently and inhumanely suffering from Vietnam’s continuous violations of their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms for generations by both the Vietnamese successive governments, the North’s and the South’s. Those ongoing human rights violations are very well documented either by the Khmer or Cambodian Royal History Books, the Cambodian History Books, the Cambodian writers and historians or by foreign writers and historians or by Vietnamese writers themselves.
Vietnam’s systematic and coordinated human rights violations against the indigenous Khmer Krom peoples for decades and generations, have perfectly matched all Five Categories of Human Rights, which are listed and described by the International Law as follows:
1) Civil and Political Rights (Assembly, Association, Asylum, Child, Dignity, Honor, Reputation, Discrimination, Life, Name, Nationality, Political and Public Service, Press, Property, Religion, Speech, Movement in Territory, Women);
2) Legal Rights(Appeal, Arrest, Bail, Compensation, Contract Inability, Courts/Tribunals, Death Penalty, Detention, Double Jeopardy, Due Process, Equal Protection of the Law, Ex Post Facto Law, Habeas Corpus, Innocence Presumption, Judgment and Sentencing, Juvenile Due Process, Legal Assistance, Person before the Law, Privacy, Punishment, Security of Person, Self-Incrimination, Torture, Trial, Trial Procedure);
3) Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (Author, Culture, Education, Family,
Food, Health, Science, Social Security, Standard of Living, Right to Work, Conditions Work, Trade Unions Work, Trade Union Rights Work);
4) Collective Rights (Aliens, Apartheid, Genocide, Migrant Workers, Minorities, Refugees, Self-Determination of Peoples, Natural Resources of Peoples, Slavery, Stateless); and
5) Declaratory Rights (Development, Disabled Persons, Indigenous Peoples, Mercenaries) because of Vietnam’s Political Scheme (systematic and coordinated plan)
and highest vicious aspirations to vietnamise and eliminate the indigenous Khmer Krom peoples from the World’s Map.
(Ref. (1) Ms. Rebecca Sommer in her documentary films: “Eliminated Without Bleeding”, publically screened outside the UN premises upon the formal objection by Vietnam Permanent Mission not to be screened on scheduled side events in the UN premises in conjunction with another film of Hmong Lao peoples “ Hunted Like Animals” during the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues(UNPFII) at the UN Headquarters in New York City in 2007).
(2) Interview offered by H.E. Tran Thien Khiem, South Vietnam’s Prime Minister to a Khmer Newspaper Reporter, “Nokor Thom” on 26 June 1971 during the Second Asian Press Conference in Prey Nokor (Saigon in Vietnamese) where Mr. Soeur Chansath, Newspaper reporter asked H.E. Tran Thien Khiem, “Excellency, why Vietnam did not grant “minority status” to Khmer Krom as requested as Vietnam has already granted it to Montagnards?” H.E. Tran Thien Khiem replied, “It’s an affair of the assembly and it’s political; the claim is not reasonable, not logic– Reclamation non logique– If Vietnam grants the “minority status” to Khmer Krom peoples, it would mean that Vietnam walks backward.”)