Sep 12, 2003

UNPO on repressive policies regarding Khmer Krom by Vietnam

The Hague, 12 September 2003- On 2 September 2003 the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) issued an urgent appeal to the Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to secure a political environment in which the Khmer-Krom peoples fundamental rights are adequately recognized and protected.

The UNPO, on behalf of its Member, the Khmers Kampuchea Krom Federation (KKF), expresses serious concern about the devastating effects the repressive policies and actions of the Government of Vietnam have had on the existence of the Khmer-Krom people for the last 400 years.

The UNPO recognizes and fully supports the aspiration of the Khmer-Krom to seek the permanent removal of all of the major grievances, including forced assimilation, repression of religious freedom, and the denial of their right to self-determination. This is crucially important to create a free and fair political environment allowing the Khmer-Krom to exercise their fundamental rights, including the right to self-determination. In this regard, we welcome the resolutions of the European Parliament and the United States Congress calling upon the Government of Vietnam to uphold the freedoms of speech, association, religious belief and worship, thus meeting its obligations under international law.

The international community must be aware of the good aspirations of the Khmer-Krom seeking peaceful co-existence with the Vietnamese, based on mutual understanding, respect, trust and fairness. The UNPO has always had a positive perception regarding dialogue between the two parties, despite the gravity of the situation. The UNPO hopes a long-term solution can be established to bring justice to the Khmer-Krom suffering a denial of their right to self-determination since June 4, 1949, when the French colonial authorities transferred their homeland to the Government of Vietnam without plebiscite of the Khmer-Krom people.

For further information please contact the UNPO Secretariat at [email protected]