Jul 22, 2014

Khmer Krom: Apology and Historical Recognition Demanded by Peaceful Protestors

In response to the recent comments by the Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia, the International Khmer Kampuchea Krom Federation and Mao Pises co-organized a peaceful protest march to the Vietnamese Embassy, demanding an apology and recognition of the true history of the former Kampuchea Krom provinces.

Below is an article published by Global Post:


Approximately 800 ethnic minority Khmer Krom monks and activists on Monday [21 July 2014] marched through streets here to demand a Vietnamese diplomat's recognition of the "true history" of the former Kampuchea Krom provinces.

The protest came after Trung Van Thong, a spokesman for the Vietnamese Embassy to Cambodia, told local media last month that the former Kampuchea Krom provinces belonged to Vietnam long before France's official transfer of the land in 1949.

Protesters marched through streets in the city to deliver a petition to foreign embassies including France, Britain, the United States, the European Union, Russia, and China to seek their help to urge the Vietnamese diplomat to recognize the "true history".

After handing their petition to those embassies, the group continued marching to the Vietnamese embassy, where security has been tightened. The group tried to deliver a petition to the embassy but officials declined to accept it.

No any reports of clashes between police and marchers during the protest. "Our protest is just to demand an apology from the Vietnamese diplomat and to urge him to recognize the 'true history' of the former Kampuchea Krom provinces," said Mao Pises, president of the Federation of Cambodian Intellectuals and Students, which co- organized the protest with the International Khmer Kampuchea Krom Federation.

According to the history, French protectorate officially turned over the former Kampuchea Krom, once Cambodian territory, to neighboring Vietnam on June 4, 1949.

It was the second protest after a July 8 [2014] protest that ended in a skirmish between police and protest, resulting in 5 protesters slightly injured.

The Vietnamese embassy to Cambodia on July 8 issued a statement to condemn the protest, considering the move an act of intervention into the sovereignty and internal affairs of Vietnam.

"Southern Vietnam (Kampuchea Krom) is an integral part of the territory of Vietnam, in compliance with international law, fully recognized by the United Nations, international organizations and all countries in the world," the statement said.