Hon. Thach Setha given on the occasion of the 61st Anniversary of the International Human Rights Day, Dec 10, B.E.2553, A.D.2009 in Phnom Penh organized by a coalition of Khmer Kampuchea Krom organizations in the Kingdom of Cambodia
during the 61st International Human Rights Day
Hon. Thach Setha, Executive Director of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Community, KKC; SRP Phnom Penh Municipality Councilman-elect; SRP Senator of Cambodia, 1999-2006
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Speech of Hon. Thach Setha given on the occasion of the November 16 Khmer Krom Commemroation
Sunday November 15, BE2553, AD2009 Year of the Ox
The Honorable Marco Pannella
Member of the European Parliament
President of the Transnational Radical Party
May I pay my highest homage to your venerable Buddhist clergy,
Honorable Marco Pannella, Member of the European Parliament, President of the
Transnational Radical Party, and his Honorable’s Delegation Members,
Honorable Guests and Compatriots,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Greetings and Salutations,
In the name of the citizens of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom and on my own behalf, I would like to welcome, wholeheartedly, the Honorable Marco Pannella, Member of the European Parliament, President of the Transnational Radical Party, and members of his Honorable’s delegation team, for your precious times in visiting our non-governmental organizations and associations. This is the fourth time that we are honored in welcoming Honorable Marco Pannella and delegation members.
In clear moral support of justice, promotion of human rights, defense of the weak from powerful people from violating their rights, and lending moral supports to us in an ideal struggle for human rights, right of religion and belief, and importantly the protection of indigenous identity in Kampuchea Krom, presently in southern region of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam as well.
We are informed that in his capacity as the President of the Transnational Radical Party and Member of the European Parliament, his Honorable sacrificed greatly in assisting different citizens and peoples around the globe in their quest for independence, autonomy, and the rights of the indigenous. Just to name a few.
Recently on October 22, 2008, the members of the European Parliament voted for the landmark European Parliament resolution on the new EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and Human Rights stresses that the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam fully respects her own people’s human rights in accordance to the international standard, especially the Khmer Kampuchea Krom people.
The EU resolution provides hope to the people of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom that has never existed in [our] own history since Kampuchea Krom fell under the control of imperial Vietnam; there has never been an international organization that paid any attention to the sufferings of the people of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom.
On this excellent opportune occasion, we, in the name of the citizens of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom, would like to profoundly express our gratitude to Your Honorable President, Vice President, and Members of the European Parliament, for the important resolution in providing hope to the more than 13,000,000 (Thirteen millions) Khmer Kampuchea Krom people that one day we will live in peace, which we can enjoy complete human rights and freedom on our own [ancestral] land. We are prepared to cooperate with you, when needed, in order for this resolution to realize.
Mr. President and Delegation Members,
Kampuchea Krom is composed of 68,965 square kilometers, more than 13 million [Khmer] people residing in all 21 provinces and municipalities, 567 Theravada Buddhist pagodas. The most populated Khmer regions are: Preah Trapeang province (in Vietnamese Tra Vinh), Khleang province (Soc Trang), Mort Chrouk province (Chau Doc), Prek Russey province (Can Tho), Me Sor province (Me Tho), Pol Leav province (Bac Lieu), Tuk Khmau province (Ca Mau), Long Hor province (Vinh Long), Peam (Ha Tien), Peam Barach (Rach Gia), Raung Domrei province (Tay Ninh). The Khmer people live in poverty; the fundamental human rights are limited. To salvage the citizens of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom from the systematic elimination of ethnic identity and obtain their human rights, we would like to request Your Honorable and the European Parliament with some pressing issues in order to find solutions for the Khmer Kampuchea Krom people as followed:
1. Unconditionally release the 5 Khmer Buddhist monks, who remain behind bar in Khleang provincial prison: 1) Ven. Danh Toan, 2) Ven. Kim Moeun, 3) Ven. Thach Thoeung, 4) Ven. Ly Hoang, and 5) Ven. Ly Son.
2. Repatriate Venerable Tim Sakhorn to the Kingdom of Cambodia so that he could be reunited with his family.
3. Allow Khmer Buddhism in Kampuchea Krom to be independent from the control of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the state-controlled Buddhist institution of Vietnam.
4. Cease the systematic ‘change’ of Khmer citizenship to Kinh (or Vietnamese) without their consents or systematically force the Khmer citizens to take up the Vietnamese on their birth paper.
5. Cease identifying or calling officially Khmer Kampuchea Krom as ‘Khmer Nambo.’ The use of original name as Khmer Krom or Khmer Kampuchea Krom should be kept.
6. Cease the banning of media access, use of internet, foreign radio services, and publication of news in Khmer literature and language.
7. Cease banning of assembly to express political opinions and right to demonstration.
8. Cease all threats, intimidations and harassments upon the Khmer Kampuchea Krom in all forms of profiling.
9. Cease confiscating lands from the Khmer Kampuchea Krom.
10. Allow Khmer schools to reopen without monitoring and investigating by the Vietnamese authorities.
11. Allow the establishment of civic, human rights and religious associations for the interest of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom community.
12. Allow the United Nations and the European Union to establish human rights offices in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, especially in the regions of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom.
We have high confidence that following the European Parliament’s adoption of resolution on democracy, human rights, and the new EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and Human Rights on October 22, 2008 and following his Honorable and delegation team completed their visits to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the situation of human rights will lead to tangible improvements.
Once again we renew our deep gratitude to your Honorable and members of the delegation for your honorable presence and lending your moral supports with sympathy toward the Khmer Kampuchea Krom people. Through your Honorable, also, we renew our utmost gratitude to the members of the European Parliament for adopting an important resolution on protecting the human rights of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom community in [Kampuchea Krom] the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. We will remember in our heart always of this great gesture.
In the seasons of Christmas and universal New Year of 2009, we would like to wish your Honorable and delegation members and your family with happiness, and may your mission prevail in protecting justice and uphold and promote human rights for all mankind in this world.
May your Honorable and members accept our highest regards.
Phnom Penh, December 21, 2008
Representative of the NGOs and Associations
of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom
[Signed & Sealed]
Former Senator of Cambodia
President of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Community
Original text in Khmer
Statement of KKC Executive Director and Former Senator Thach Setha given in Cambodia on December 9 on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Dec. 10, 1948 - Dec. 10, 2008
Statement of SRP-Norway on Ven. Indapanna Tim Sakhorn
The Sam Rainsy Party Chapter in Norway (SRPN) totally supports the non-violence demonstrations which have been held by the Khmer Kampuchea Krom communities around the world to demand the rights and freedoms which are brutally violated by the Vietnamese and Cambodian governments. The rights and freedoms which they would have from their birth are stipulated in the international treaty and convention.
The Supreme Buddhist Patriarch Tep Vong and Venerable Buddhist Clergy Director Nun Nget have conspired with the Cambodian government to forcibly defrock the venerable Tim Sakhorn, who was officially appointed as head monk of North Phnom Den monastery, under the unjust accusation and immediately and secretly sent to Vietnam for imprisonment. This conduct is abusing the Buddhism's instruction and the Cambodian Constitution and shows that the Cambodian and Vietnamese governments and the two Buddhist monk leaders have set up their master plan to trouble Khmer Kampuchea Krom monks and people.
The SRPN definitely condemns the latter governments and the two monk leaders that are severely abusing the rights, freedoms and religious belief of Khmer Kampuchea Krom monks and people.
Through these demonstrations, SRPN would appeal the national and international communities to put severe pressure on the latter governments and the two monk leaders so that they immediately stop threatening, murdering, and violating rights of Khmer Krom monks and people.
SRP in Norway
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A Renewed Remembrance of Kampuchea Krom Loss... 58 years later (June 4, 1949 - June 4, 2007)
Colonial France Gives Khmer Land to Colonial Vietnam on June 4, 1949
The Honorable Thach Setha, SRP Senator of Cambodia 1999-2006 and the Executive Director of Khmer Kampuchea Krom Community (KKC), cites historical facts
and continued struggles of the indigenous Khmers and their kings to reclaim Kampuchea Krom, Khmer identity, Theravada Buddhism, language, culture, custom, tradition and way of life by the heroic Khmer Buddhist monks, kings, and heroes.
The landmark ceremony is attended by over 2,000 Buddhist Monks, Her Royal Highness Princess Sisowath Pongneary Monipong, the highest representative of His Majesty The King Norodom Sihamoni; Madame Samdech Chao Sen Kosal, Constitutional Council Member Son Soubert, KKC Council President; MP Sam Rainsy, his first ever; Senator Kong Korm, SRP Vice President; SRP MP Kieng Vang, his first ever, SRP MP Son Chhay, SRP MP Cheam Channy, SRP MP Kuoy Bunroeun, SRP MP Tan Sovanntara; FUNCINPEC MP Say Mongkol, FUNCINPEC MP Monh Sophan, FUNCINPEC MP Khieu San, FUNCINPEC MP Lam Phou An, Radio Beehive 105 FM Founder and Director Mam Sonando.
The Anniversary of National Mourning Service Honoring Heroic Buddhist Monks, Kings, and Heroes and Renewed Remembrance of Kampuchea Krom Loss When Colonial France Gives Khmer Land to Colonial Vietnam on June 4, 1949 is the largest Buddhist ceremony in the Kingdom of Cambodia organized annually by the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Community since 2000 and other Khmer Krom Buddhist and civic associations and organizations in the Kingdom.
Many nations and ethnic groups had been de-colonized in the 1800s, 1900s, and in the early 2000. They had and have enjoyed their independence and freedom on their own land, whereas the Khmers' liberty is mostly stripped by numerous Vietnamese regimes throughout times until the present.
All we want is to experience our fundamental human rights.
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