Dec 14, 2006

Khmer-Krom: Buddhist Monks Targeted By Vietnamese Authorities

According to KKF, police officers visited a Buddhist temple on Monday where they threatened three monks of jail if they go on having KKF related activities.

Below is an article published by the Khmer-Krom Federation:

Stories of persecutions continues in Vietnam as an inside source reveals that the Vietnamese authorities continue to crack down on Khmer-Kroms, civilians and Buddhist monks alike, for possessing Human Rights related materials.

On December 11, 2006 two police officers by the name of Nguyen Van Chinh and Quy Van Trinh paid a visit to Wat Suomboo, a temple located in the district of Tieu Can. His Venerable Thach Sup, Head of the Buddhist temple was told to summon three monks for questioning.

His Venerable Chau Soc Sen, aged 25, Venerable Thach Phay, aged 22 and Venerable Thach Phon were subjected to an intense session of questioning by the Vietnamese authorities in regards to human rights materials published by the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation, an indigenous organisation abroad advocating for the rights of the Khmer-Krom people living in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.

Khmer temples have played a pivotal role in maintaining the religious and traditional customs of the Khmer people, however their roles have been severely limited as Vietnamese authorities impose destructive policies without prior or informed consent of the people. They have installed local representatives to control activities of Buddhist monks and civilians in an effort to dampen out any thoughts or interest in human right activities.

Questioned to why they were not studying and were in fact watching KKF related activities instead, the three monks were warned not to continue such activities and were threaten with actions of disrobement and jail sentences if these instructions were not followed.

The VN police was tipped by another Buddhist monk secretly working for the Vietnamese government. Such acts of betrayal against their very own people are not unusual, especially with the bribery offered by VN authorities to work for them.

In a separate incident on the very same day, a car full of Vietnamese police authorities and a further four on motor bikes drove up to the temple of Champa Boray, Chau Thanh district, Preah Trapeang province and questioned Venerable Chau Sinuon about KKF materials.

These incidents provide a disturbing insight into the constant harassment they face by the Vietnamese authorities for possessing materials that promote acts of non violent, self determination and human rights.