Khmer Krom: Pleas for Tim Sakhorn’s Return
In an interview with Radio
Below is an article based on a radio interview conducted and published by Radio
The Khmer Krom Federation is applying international pressure to demand the return to
Presenter - Sonja Heydeman Speaker - Giap Tran, Treasurer of the Khmer Krom Federation in the
HEYDEMAN: The Director of the Hawaian Institute for Human Rights is concerned for the welfare of Tim Sakhorn.
Joshua Cooper says the Khmer Krom Federation, as well as its alliances of NGO's and activists have been working full-time since the first whisper of the former abbott's disappearance.
COOPER: From the issue of the disrobing which we find was not accurate in any way, to the issue of the deportation, which was also alarming, and then of course to the disappearance. We know that there's actually new international instrument on disappearances, we've actually utilised every international mechanism available from the special rapporteurs focussing on religious freedom to the special rapporteurs on indigenous people. So we've been active so that hopefully it wouldn't come to that level of a story about a sad situation, but more importantly about people standing up for their rights from the beginning.
HEYDEMAN: Joshua Cooper says he believes Tim Sakhorn will be successfully freed.
COOPER: And we believe that through our efforts of organising with our NGO networks as well as academics, and more importantly through the international institutions guaranteed to protect and promote human rights, they will be successful to secure his release.
HEYDEMAN: The Human Rights Institute Director says sources in
Mr Cooper says this is not the only case they're watching.
COOPER: The case of the five who had been disrobed and then also faced charges and so I think this is important is that if we hadn't done the groundwork in the last five years these kind of things that are taking place to Khmer people I mean almost for centuries, and definitely in the last decades from the 70s onwards, but no one knew about the Khmer people and their struggle for self-determination. And what we have then is we've taken this case to the International Court of Justice, to the international human rights bodies such as SEDA focussing on women's rights. And so I think that work has made it then more of a story and more people are aware, whereas unfortunately these human rights violations have taken place consistently for a long period of time. The only difference now is the world is watching.
HEYDEMAN: The Director of the Hawaian Institute for Human Rights, Joshua Cooper.
The Treasurer of the Khmer Krom Federation in the
Mr Tran says the Vietnamese government has systematically tried to erase the Khmer Krom entirely.
He says part of the dilemma is the lack of global awareness of their plight.
TRAN: Around the world it seems since the French colonised there they ceded the land to
HEYDEMAN: Mr Tran says he feels such a great sense of sadness for his people.
TRAN: Right now what I can feel for them is like a stateless people. When we lived in
HEYDEMAN: Meanwhile, the Hawaian of Institute for Human Rights Director, Joshua Cooper says there needs to be mechanisms in place in the region to promote and protect human rights.
COOPER: The European Court of Human Rights exists,