>Document Events of KC 50 in Khmer Kampuchea Krom by Thach Xe

2 ខែ​កុម្ភៈ 2011 § បញ្ចេញមតិ

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>Who is Khmer Krom by Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization

14 ខែមករា 2011 § បញ្ចេញមតិ

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Khmer Krom Flag

STATISTICS
Status: Unrecognised Indigenous Group
Population: 8,240,000
Capital City: Prey Nokor, later named Saigon/ Ho Chi Minh City
Area: 89,000km² (in Vietnam)
Language: Khmer
Religion: Theravada Buddhism

UNPO REPRESENTATION The Khmer Krom are represented at the UNPO by the Khmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF). They were admitted to the UNPO as a member in November of 2001.  

OVERVIEW
Kampuchea Krom means “Cambodia Below” or “South Cambodia”. “Krom” inKhmer also indicates “Southern.” The Khmer Krom describe themselves as the “Cambodians of the South”. Kampuchea Krom was the southernmost territory of the Khmer Empire. Once known as (French) Cochin China, it is now located in the South-western part of Vietnam, covering an area of 89,000 km2 with Cambodia to the north, the Gulf of Siam to the west, the South China Sea to the south, and the Champa’s territory to the northeast. Prey Nokor, later Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City, was one of the most important commercial cities in Kampuchea Krom.

Kampuchea Krom Map.Photos:UNPO  

The Khmer-Krom people have inhabited the south-western part of the Indochinese peninsula since 2000 years before Christ. The famous ‘Khmer Empire’ rose to prominence in the 9th century and began to decline in the 13th century. However, ever since the 1600s the Khmer have struggled with their Vietnamese neighbours, and since 1949 their territory has been under Vietnamese administration, much to the detriment of the Khmer Krom. They are denied the right to freely practise their religion and pass on their culture, and are generally treated as second-class citizens. The mission of the Khmer Krom is to seek freedom, justice and the acceptance of the right to self-determination for those Khmer Krom who are living under the oppression of the Vietnamese Socialist government, through the use of nonviolent measures and the application of international law.
POLITICAL SITUATION
Despite regional ties and a close relationship fostered with the peoples living in Cambodia over the years, the territory of the Khmer Krom was incorporated into Vietnam in 1949, rather than into Cambodia. As a result, the Khmer Krom peoples are viewed in Vietnam as Khmer and in Cambodia as Vietnamese. In addition, under the Presidency of Ngo Dinh Diem (1955 – 1963) all Khmer names were changed into Vietnamese, forever altering Khmer identity. Vietnam, until this day, does not fully recognize them as being the indigenous peoples of the Mekong Delta. Over the past decades, the Khmer Krom have suffered from religious persecution, ethnic discrimination and governmental policies taking away their ancestral lands. Khmer people wishing to enforce their rights as laid down by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights often face violence, arbitrary arrest and on occasion, torture.

UNPO PERSPECTIVE The UNPO strongly supports the non-violent search of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation for their rights. Even though the Vietnamese government has incorporated key human rights into their national constitution, and even though it has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the implementation of these rights remains very poor. The UNPO believes that a lack of political will from the Vietnamese government inhibits the human rights of the Khmer Krom from being respected. More specifically, the UNPO believes in the need to put the settlement of land claims higher on the political agenda, and in the importance of drawing more attention to the issues of religious persecution, targeted violence and linguistic repression.

UNPO MEMBER PERSPECTIVE
The Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF) is an organization that represents over eight million Khmer Krom around the world, and has been a member of the UNPO since 2001.

The regional officers of the KKF act as representatives of the Khmer Krom people. The leaders of KKF are democratically elected by the officers of the federation. These officers are the presidents of various Khmer Krom Associations as well as community leaders from around the world, including Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, New Zealand, and the United States.

The objective of the KKF is to campaign, with the principle of non-violence, for the recognition of the rights of the indigenous people in Kampuhea-Krom in accordance with international conventions.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Modern archaeological evidence indicates that the region of the Mekong Delta has been inhabited by the ancestors of the Khmer Krom for thousands of years. French archaeologist Louis Malleret found the site of a city called O-Keo (or Oc-Eo) which is evidence of a Khmer civilisation in the region dating from the first century B.C. The arrival of settlers from India during this time introduced many new elements into the culture of the Khmer Krom which have persisted to this day. In the sixth century, a series of civil wars broke apart what had been the Nokor Phnom Empire, comprised of modern-day Cambodia as well as Kampuchea Krom. After a brief occupation by Sumatran invaders, the Nokor Phnom (Funan) Empire was established in the 8th and 9th centuries B.C. During this period the area flourished, leading to the construction of many famous temples such as Angkor Wat. However, the empire began to decline in the 13th century, culminating in the sacking of Angkor by Siamese (modern Thai) forces in 1431.

During the 1600s, what is now Vietnam was caught up in a civil war between the Trinh Dynasty in the north and the Nguyen Dynasty in central Vietnam. In order to bolster their position, the Nguyen leader enacted a campaign known as “Nam Tien”, or “Southward Expansion”. Through intermarriage the Nguygens gained leverage over the ancestors of the Khmer Krom and obtained the right to build settlements in the area. In 1698, after the death of the Khmer Krom King, there was a mass population incursion of 40,000 Vietnamese, which turned the Khmer Krom into a minority in their own homeland. They set up their own government and embarked on a policy of forced assimilation and domination of the Khmer Krom. Traditional Khmer Krom names had to be changed to a handful of names chosen by the Vietnamese in order to more easily identify those of Khmer Krom origin. From 1813 to 1820, they were forced to dig the Vien Te canal, designed to create a border between Kampuchea (Cambodia) and Kampuchea-Krom. Thousands of Khmer Krom workers, kept in pillories of 20-40 men on the bed of the canal, were deliberately drowned when the canal was flooded. Others who had dared to rebel were buried up to their necks and their heads used to support the kettles with which tea was boiled.
In 1856, the Cambodian King secretly contacted the French colonisers and obtained a promise to help Cambodia reclaim the territory of Kampuchea-Krom. However, France broke this promise and retained the territory for themselves, renaming it Cochin-China. Under the French colonisers, the Khmer Krom were granted a temporary reprieve from outright persecution; however, the French heavily favoured the Vietnamese, utilizing them in the administration of the territory while prohibiting the Khmer Krom from rising above the status of labourers. In 1949, the French National Assembly met in Paris to make a decision regarding Cochin China. Disregarding the protests of the Khmer Krom delegation, on June 4th 1949 the Assembly placed the territory under Vietnamese control. In exchange, a set of Khmer Krom rights was enumerated, and the Vietnamese government was tasked with respecting these rights. However, since that day the Khmer Krom have been denied their right to practise their traditional way of life or preserve their culture.

CURRENT ISSUES 1. Land ownership:
After 1975 the possession of land was made illegal as part of the Land Reform Acts, enacted to implement the Proletarian Revolution. Privately owned Khmer Krom land was confiscated, preventing the Khmer Krom from making a living. After the complete confiscation of the lands, the communist government gradually began selling off the land again, meaning the Khmer Krom were effectively forced to buy back their own land to ensure their survival. Those families or communities that could not afford to buy back their farms became tenants on their own land. However, the government officials or their families kept back the most fertile land for themselves, leaving the Khmer Krom communities to starve. The economic status of the Khmer Krom has largely shifted from land-owners to physical labourers, who are paid on average less than 1 US$ per working day. They are living ten times below the poverty level.

2. Environmental problems:
There are two main problems in zones which have sizable Khmer Krom settlements. Firstly, the salt deposits in the ground are sapping the coastal areas of their fertility. In the district of Duyen Hai the rice yield has decreased by between 50% and 90% within the last 30 years. These salt deposits worsen with the increased use of irrigation systems utilizing the waters of the Mekong. The irrigation canals proliferate in the regions of An Giang, Long Xuyen, Can Tho. Secondly, the destruction of the mangroves due to flooding is an intensifying factor to this problem, which also kills sizable numbers of the population as well as destroys the harvests. These floods are due to the rains of July to October. The resulting swelling of the water of the Mekong is exacerbated by the weak slope of the river, the low dams, the weak drainage and the problem of deforestation, which leads to the loss of lives, harvests and the mangrove swamps.
3. Linguistic restrictions:
The KKF has struggled for years to have the use of Khmer allowed in schools and public places, but the Vietnamese government has remained intractable on this issue and no satisfactory result has been achieved. In many instances, scores of Khmers-Krom have been harassed, jailed, and generally persecuted for speaking, learning or teaching the Khmer language. The Vietnamese authorities severely restrict the publication of books or documents in Khmer. During the presidency of the Republic of South Vietnam (1955-1963), Ngo Dinh Diem ordered that all Khmer names be changed to Vietnamese. As a result of this decree, some of those who worked for the government, including military officers, lost their Khmer identity.

4. Religious restrictions:
In the 1970s virtually all traditional religious activities ceased, due to government restrictions and the harsh poverty endured by the community. The Vietnamese government sought to limit the impact of the traditional Khmer Theravada Buddhism by imposing a long series of restrictions. For example, the government banned the restoration of existing temples as well as the construction of new ones. This posed a serious problem as a vast number of temples had been damaged or destroyed during the Indochina wars, and these temples had functioned as the centre of traditional Khmer village life and culture. Other restrictions included an age limit for ordination into the priesthood and government controls over monetary donations given to the religious institutions by the public. Such actions are readily identifiable as a sophisticated campaign to decentralize, fractionalize and reduce the influence of Theravada Buddhism on the Khmer Krom in Vietnam.

Today, the current authorities have lifted these restrictions to a certain extent, and have allowed the Khmer Krom to resume their religious practices and renovate their temples. However, the Vietnamese authorities still largely view Khmer Krom monks as ‘a threat to national integrity’. Many monks are active campaigners for religious freedom and for land rights, and as such are frequently harassed and imprisoned by authorities. One notable case is that of abbot Tim Sa Khorn, who was arrested in Cambodia in July 2007, deported to Vietnam, and sentenced to prison in November 2007. He had fled Vietnam in 1979 to avoid persecution, and campaigned for Khmer Krom rights from Cambodia, before receiving political asylum in Sweden in July 2009.

KEY QUESTIONS:
1. What are the guiding principles of the Khmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation?

The guiding principles of the peaceful struggles of the Khmer Krom people have been very consistent throughout history. They seek to achieve the following objectives: To take appropriate measures, based on the principles of non-violence, to assure the rights of the Khmer Krom people to fundamental freedoms, human dignity, and self-determination according to the Charter of the United Nations. To protect the culture, religions, traditions and identity of the Khmer Krom people from assimilationist forces. To advocate for the conservation of the natural resources of the Khmer Krom, such as farmland and forests, in the face of illegal and deceitful deprivation. To promote social, economic and intellectual development of the Khmer Krom, both in Vietnam and abroad. To develop peace, harmony, respect, understanding and cooperation between the Khmer Krom people and others, including the Vietnamese people.

2. How has the UN assisted the Khmer Krom in their pursuit of human rights?

Recently, the UN (United Nations) officials in Geneva have been made aware of the religious oppression of the Khmer Krom people in Vietnam, a violation of one of their major human rights. The Khmer Krom are glad that the mountain of sufferings their people have experienced has been recognized for the first time. Much more awareness and action by the world community is needed to ensure that the Vietnamese government abides by international law, if the Khmer Krom people are to be saved from gradual extinction.

3. What are the goals of the Khmer Krom?
The Khmer Krom are the indigenous people of the Mekong Delta. They do not expect anything more than recognition of their legitimacy as a people. Their rights have been decreed by the Charter of the United Nations and by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and they demand no more than the rights granted them in these documents.
4. Are the Khmer Krom pursuing an independent state or self-government?
Given the historic interactions between the Khmer Krom and the Vietnamese government, the Khmer Krom would welcome an independent state. However, the Khmer Krom recognize the reality of the modern international situation. Since one of their major objectives is “to develop peace, harmony, respect, understanding and cooperation between the Khmer Krom people and others, including the Vietnamese people”, the Khmer Krom people embrace other forms of self-determination. One option would be to self-govern with the involvement of the international community.

5. Are the Khmer Krom under threat from assimilation and loss of identity?

If the current situation persists, the eventuality of total assimilation into Vietnamese culture is not a threat, but a reality. In ‘A History of Southeast Asia’ (1981), D.G.E. Hall’s describes how: “The Saigon area, the Water Chen-la of the ancient Khmer Kingdom, was a tempting field for Vietnamese expansion. It had a population of […] about 40,000 families”. From this we see that there was a significant number of Khmer Krom families in the areas around Saigon before the arrival of Vietnamese settlers. These families disappeared completely. Originally, there were about 700 Khmer Buddhist temples all over South Vietnam. However, under the Vietnamese government’s hostile policies of assimilation, many temples were destroyed, as were the Khmer communities surrounding them. The number of remaining Khmer Buddhist temples is now reduced to between 460 and 500. The Khmer Krom temples are constantly scrutinized by the agents of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (a branch of the Vietnamese communist government). They strictly limit religious practices and attempt to change the character of Khmer cultural expression in order to assimilate them into Vietnamese culture.
6. What programmes are in place to protect and preserve the culture of the Khmer Krom?
The teaching of the Khmer language and the cultural heritage is still against the law in Vietnam, resulting in the harsh treatment of the Khmer Krom under the Vietnamese government. Consequentially, there are virtually no official programs in place to protect the culture of the Khmer Krom. The Khmer language barely survives in the Khmer Buddhist temples.Official Vietnamese histories offer inadequate explanations to fundamental questions related to the Khmer Krom such as ‘How did Vietnam encroach on the Khmer’s land?’ The children of the Khmer Krom, generation after generation, have been misled by Vietnam’s educational systems and a low percentage of Khmer Krom children are aware of their true heritage. The Khmer Krom Diaspora is fortunate in that they enjoy the real freedoms provided by their host countries, and have the opportunity to teach their children about their heritage and the true history of their people. The KKF has also submitted a report about Vietnam’s human rights violations to the UN via the Universal Periodic Review Mechanism, and hosts conferences to raise awareness about their plight.

CULTURE AND ENVIRONMENT


Agriculture
Agriculture is very important in Vietnam. The industry and services sectors are not very well developed. Agriculture is even more important in the Mekong delta, the area where the Khmer Krom people live. The main crop for the Khmer Krom is rice, which yields one crop a year, during the rainy season. The lack of freshwater from other sources restricts the planting of more crops, making the Khmer Krom highly dependent on the rains. While the Viet of the Mekong Delta broadcast or scatter their rice seeds, the Khmer Krom still plant and transplant their seedlings. Secondary crops include shallots and tobacco plants. Another source of nourishment and income is fishing. Both fish and shrimp are caught and then dried to preserve them. Some Khmer Krom are also engaged in trade, selling such items as home-made brooms.
Religion
Approximately 95 percent of Khmers-Krom are Buddhists. They practice Theravada Buddhism, whereas the majority Vietnamese population practice Mahayanna Buddhism or Christianity. The Chams minority group are Muslims, and the Chinese are mostly Buddhists, with some Christians. For centuries, Theravada Buddhism has been part of the Khmer identity and culture. Practiced by virtually all Khmers Krom, Theravada Buddhism influences all aspects of life to a much greater extend than do religions in the West. The Khmer Krom sees Theravada Buddhism as a rational religion, possessing a coherent philosophy, which neither incites violence nor excites passion. Theravada Buddhism shaped the Khmer Krom way of life, guiding the standards of conformity for men, women and children. Religious institutions are responsible for the education and guidance of children.There are more than 580 temples and more than 10,000 monks throughout Kampuchea-Krom. Some temples were built many centuries ago and are still standing today, but many others were destroyed during the wars of the second half of the 20th century. The Khmer pagodas, 450 in the delta of Mekong, play a vital and fundamental role as guardians of the Khmer culture and in the field of education.

Language

Language has been an extremely contentious issue for the Khmer Krom. Though used within Khmer families and communities, the Vietnamese language is proscribed and strictly enforced in the public sphere. However, only 10% of Khmer Krom speak and write Vietnamese correctly. The use of Khmer is highest in rural zones, and it is spoken mainly by the older generations. In urban zones Khmer is strictly used within the personal sphere, and many youths have no functional knowledge of the language. The Khmer Krom have been advocating for the acceptance of Khmer as a minority language and the allowance of its use in public discourse, but this has met with harsh resistance from the Vietnamese governments. Khmer Krom have been harassed, jailed, tortured, deported or persecuted for speaking, learning or teaching the Khmer language, and the publishing of documents in Khmer is illegal unless they contain government propaganda.

>A Brief Khmer Krom History

13 ខែមករា 2011 § មតិ 2

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>61th Anniversary of The Loss of Kampuchea Krom

3 ខែមិថុនា 2010 § បញ្ចេញមតិ

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Source: http://sacrava.blogspot.com/

>Khmer Krom’s commemoration day (61 Years of Lossing Kampuchea Krom)

2 ខែមិថុនា 2010 § បញ្ចេញមតិ

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Source: http://sacrava.blogspot.com/?zx=a44965d5e2e153cf
             http://sopheak.wordpress.com/

>Cambodian Title to Khmer Krom Territories

2 ខែមិថុនា 2010 § បញ្ចេញមតិ

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by Bora Touch

Lawyer
Syndey, Australia
 

Cambodia has both historical and legal grounds for laying claim to legitimate title over the Mekong delta areas of Kampuchea Krom (“Lower Cambodia,” currently Southern Vietnam) and the island of Koh Tral (“Tral Island,” also known as Phu Quoc). (See maps below)

Historic Title
Cambodian rule over Khmer Krom lands dates back many centuries.  A Cambodian Constitution, known as “Kram Srok,” promulgated in 1615 (Grand Era 1693) under His Majesty Chey Cheystha Reamea Eysaur clearly lists Khmer Krom provinces and their governors and titles. A French official cartographer in documenting the region in a map dated 1686, designated delta territories and Koh Trol as parts of Cambodia.  British official cartographer John Crawfurd did the same in 1828.  In an internal British official memorandum (1778) sent to Governor-General Hastings, Charles Chapman, a British envoy to Cochin China, rightly advised Hastings that “Donai…is properly a province of Cambodia” (J.I.A.E. & A. Vol. 5, 1852).  When the French arrived in the late 19th century, Cambodia’s front line was at the Vinh Te Canal, and the delta region up to Dong Nai province still appeared on Southeast Asian maps as a part of Cambodia.
Continuous Claim
Cambodia has never given up its historic claim to Khmer Krom territories or to Koh Tral.  For instance, a few months before France landed in Saigon, King Ang Duong sent Emperor Napoleon III a letter warning him about Cambodia’s ownership of the Khmer Krom territories that had been seized by the Vietnamese.  The King’s letter dated 25 November 1856 states:

…that of Don-nay, seized more than two hundred years ago; but much more recently those of Saigon, Long-Ho; Psarded, Mi-tho, Pra-Trepang, Ongmor, Bassac, Moatchruk, Cramuon-Sa, TiecKhmau, Pean [Hatien], and the island of Koh Trol and Trelach [Poulo Condore].  If by chance, the Annamese [Vietnamese] would offer any of these lands to Your Majesty, I beg him not to accept them, for they belong to Cambodia.  I beg Your Majesty to have compassion for me and my people so that we may see an end to our loss rather than suffocate in this narrow kingdom.
On 19 February 1859, King Duong attempted to retake the territories by force.  Although his troops were crushed, both the attempt and the King’s letter to the Emperor of France demonstrates that Cambodia has never given up title over the territory.  The King died the following year.
Almost 100 years later, King Duong’s great-great-grandson, King Norodom Sihanouk, continued to claim the territories as Khmer and attempted to reclaim them from the Vietnamese.  When the Japanese were in control of Indochina, the King, echoing King Duong’s letter to Napoleon III, informed the Japanese by his letter dated 25 June 1945 of Cambodia’s title to the territories.  During the Geneva Conference, by Memorandum dated 24 April 1954, Cambodia again claimed the territories and demanded their return.  All Khmer claims apparently have fallen on deaf ears.
French Transfer and the Brevie Line
If it had not been for Ho Chi Minh, Cambodia might have regained some of its territories in 1949.  By this time, however, the French had decided to install Emperor Bao Dai to the throne so that he would help them harass Ho Chi Minh’s forces in the North.  Since a majority of the French National Assembly deputies then were communists who supported their communist comrade, Ho Chi Minh, Cambodia’s claim was dropped from the Assembly’s agenda and France gave Cochin China to Vietnam.
The Brevie Line, the line used to demarcate territory giving Koh Tral to Vietnam, does not and should not have legal effect in this instance.  The reason the Brevie Line was drawn dates back to 1913 when Cochin China and Cambodia received an application for mining concessions on some of the offshore islands.  Because of Cambodia’s historic claims, the Hatien and Kampot French Residents unilaterally sought advise from the Governor-General of Indochina.  As a result, the French Governor-General Jules Brevie of Indochina, by Letter of 31 January 1939, unilaterally proclaimed an administrative line (Brevie Line) that followed an azimuth of 126 degrees from true north to the point where the land boundary between Cambodia and Cochin China met the coast.  This line intersected the southern part of Koh Tral.  Brevie also decided that police and administrative jurisdiction of this area should be given to Cochin China, the French colony.  He made it clear, however, that “the question of territorial dependence of these islands remains reserved.”
It is clear from Brevie’s letter that the drawing of the Brevie line was for administrative purposes only.  Brevie’s intention was not to give Koh Tral to Vietnam, especially since a Vietnam did even not exist at the time.  Cochin China was, after all, then still a French colony.  Furthermore, even had it been Brevie’s intention to give Koh Tral to a future Vietnam, he would not have had the power to do so because Cambodia at this time was a French protectorate only, not a colony.  Therefore, the international law principle of utis posseditis (colonial administrative division become international boundary after de-colonization) does not apply to this case, and the Brevie line should not be taken as an official delineation of territory, especially considering Brevie himself expressly stated that “the question of territorial dependence of these islands remains reserved.”

Vietnam’s own position casts further doubt as to the legitimacy of using the Brevie line to demarcate Cambodian-Vietnam boundaries. Successive Vietnamese governments, including the current one, have not recognized the Brevie Line as maritime border.  Considering traditional title, Vietnam as colonizing power, and the island’s location, Cambodia is entitled to possession of the island of Koh Tral.
Recent Events
Unlike prior regimes, the Khmer Rouge did not make any claim to Koh Tral at all.  They in fact begged the Vietnamese to recognize the Brevie Line as the official boundary, thus willing to accept the application of the international law principle of Uti Possidetis (although as stated above, this principle does not strictly apply to Cambodia as it was only a protectorate).  In doing so, the KR reminded the Vietnamese of its 1967 Declaration that Vietnam respected the Brevie Line as the boundary.  Vietnam refused to apply international law and ignored its 1967 Declaration.  Instead, Vietnam demanded that Cambodia concede even more of its territorial waters.  As is documented in the minutes of the negotiations, the KR vehemently objected to the demand and announced that they would not give Vietnam an inch past the Brevie line. 
Vietnam did not want to accept the Brevie Line as a boundary and insisted that the principle of equidistance be used instead because by using the latter principle to determine maritime ownership (i.e., a line of equidistance between Cambodian and Vietnamese islands lying north and south of the Brevie Line), Vietnam would gain an area of sea and seabed measuring at least 860 square nautical miles.  Vietnam ignored the fact that the equidistance principle had been abandoned in international law since 1969.  Additionally, Vietnam, in August 1978, made an unreasonable and unjustifiable claim to Koh Poulo Wai, an island north of the Brevie Line.  The KR Foreign Ministry through its Radio Phnom Penh rightly reacted: “Poulo Wai and the surrounding territorial waters have been under the sovereignty of Cambodia since time immemorial” (Honolulu Advertiser 21/8/78).
The KR’s refusal to give in to Vietnam’s demands is one reason why Vietnam invaded Cambodia in December 1978.  As a result, the Heng Samrin/Hun Sen regime signed treaties of 1983 and 1985 (likely under Vietnamese instruction or force) giving all the disputed territories to Vietnam.  The so-called Historical Waters Treaty of 1982 signed by Hun Sen and Nguyen Co Thach basically gave to Vietnam the territorial waters it had demanded of the KR (See Map attached to this 1982 Treaty).  As these treaties were sign while Vietnamese troops were occupying Cambodia (meaning there is a high probability they were signed by officials under threat or duress), their validity is subject to scrutiny.
Passage of Time
Has Cambodia legally lost Kampuchea Krom and Koh Trol due to the fact that the Vietnamese and French have been colonizers of these territories for so many years?
Passage of time does not affect a nation’s rightful title to territories once under its rule, as foreign colonization in Southeast Asia and elsewhere demonstrate.  The Philippines was conquered and colonized by foreign powers from 1564 to 1946.  It remained a colony of Spain from 1564 until 1898, when, after Spain lost its war to US forces led by Admiral Dewey, it was forced by the 1898 treaty to sell the Philippines to America for 20 dollars.  The Philippines thereafter remained under American rule until July 1946, for a total of 382 years under colonization.  Another similar precedent is the State of Israel which was only “re-established” in 1948 after a 2000-year absence.  Assuming that the Vietnamese completed their colonization of Khmer Krom in 1789, by 1946 the Khmer delta territories have only been colonized for approximately 157 years, by 2002, 213 years.
De-colonization is compulsory under international law and the UN Charter, to which Vietnam is a party.  The boundary line between Kep/Kompong Som and Koh Tral are collateral to the central issue of de-colonization.  Under international law, Cambodia has neither lost Kampuchea Krom nor any other Khmer Krom territories.

>>> Read letters by the author to King Sihanouk (Sept 02) and Chairman of Cambodia-Vietnam Border Commission Var Kim Hong (Feb 03) further addressing Cambodian territorial boundaries >>>>>>  

Learn more about the Khmer Krom at the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Federation website >>>


Click Maps to View Larger Images

Sources: http://www.khmerinstitute.org/articles/art09.html

>Touk Ngo Kamsott (by Son Samrach)

2 ខែវិច្ឆិកា 2009 § បញ្ចេញមតិ

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>Kampup Tae Ong (by Son Samrach)

6 ខែតុលា 2009 § បញ្ចេញមតិ

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>THE TRUE HISTORY OF KHMER KROM

2 ខែតុលា 2009 § បញ្ចេញមតិ

>This is a monstrous Age that all Yuon dictatorial leaders had enveloped Cambodia for the first time and the world is still ignoring the Cambodian genocide fell on deaf ears.

During the period 1813 – 1815, Vietnamese perpetrated the infamous massacre, known to every Khmer as “Prayat Kompup Te Ong”. It was the most barbarous torture style in which the Khmer were buried alive up to their neck. Their heads were used as the stands for a wood stove to boil water for the Vietnamese masters. As they were burned and suffered, the victims shook their heads. At that moment, the Vietnamese torturers jokingly said “Be careful, not to spill the master’s tea”.

During his dynasty (1802-19), King Gia Long started an irrigation project in the Province of Mot Chrouk (Chaudoc). Thousands of the Khmer Krom were forced to dig a canal named Chum Nik Prek Teng (Vinh Te), 53 kilometers long and 25 meters wide, from Bassac River to the Gulf of Siam. During this forced labor project from 1813-1820, many thousands of the Khmer Krom were killed. In one particular instance the Khmer workers were buried alive so that the Vietnamese soldiers could use their heads as stove stands to boil water for tea for their Vietnamese masters. The phrase “Be careful not to spill the masters Tea” is still well reminded to their Children by all Khmer Krom parents or grandparents.

Before the Canal Project well done, Annamite soldiers held Khmer laborers into Pillories, each pillory contained about 20-40 people (they said to prevent Khmer laborers run away from mobilization), at least from 2-5 thousand were locked in pillories located in the canal; the dam was opened, water filled the canal, all Khmer laborers were drowned, no one was survive.

About the Vinh Te Canal

The digging of the Vinh Te Canal begun in 1814 under the reign of the Annamese King Minh Mang. The Khmer King of the time was Preah Ang Chan. “The 13 of the month of Meakasé Year of the Pig (1814), the king of Annam sent Yuamreach (King of Hell) Ong Thanh, Ong Binh Thanh, and Ong Loeung to lead 3,000 soldiers as well as 1,000 Cambodians from the province of Preah Trapeang, a total of 4,000 people, to build forts at Moat Chrouk and to dig a canal or channel that drains toward the sea, linking Moat Chrouk and the river on the Est”.

“Ten thousand men, of which 5,000 Annamites and 5,000 Cambodians were employed on the field to realize this Canal (Prék Chik), under the supervision of the Annamese. On 33m wide and 2, 60 m deepth and linking the western Arm of the Mekong River with the Gulf of Siam, this Canal runs across the Cambodian provinces from Peam (Hatien) to Moat Chrouk (Chaudoc).

A bitter history of the digging still remains deeply anchored in the Khmer’s memory to recall these chores was the weakness of Khmer King Ang Chan towards the Annamese, especially among the people of the provinces of Péam, Banteay Meas, Treang and Prey Krabas.

“Working hard in the heat of the sun and under the supervisors’ strokes of stick and starved, many succumbed in the field, because of the awkward tasks, or were taken away by the water current when the Annamese ordered to fill the Canal with water (Khy Phanra, “ the Vietnamese community in Cambodia at the time of the French Protectorate”, University of Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris III).

One cannot talk about the digging story of this channel without talking of the narration of the “Kompup Te Ong” that is self connected.

According to the narrations hawked until today, the history would happen to that epoch:

“The Annamese buried alive up to the neck, any Khmer who rebelled against them, in a way that only the heads stick out to form a tripods before lighting, and the heads were supposed to act as supports for a tea kettle while making their tea”.

But according to A. Leclère cited by Khy Phanra (History of Kampot and the rebellion of this province in 1885-86), the history would be provoked by other facts:

“In the province of Kompong Svay, the Annamese in the barrack of Srok Kandal Stung, Baray and Choeung Prey were all slaughtered by the insurgents. The vengeance of the Annamese army was terrifying; and more than one thousand Cambodians in the region were executed. The last were burnt alive; their bare flesh was applied with salt and pepper. The children were buried alive to the neck, in a group of three, so that their head stick out to form three corners of a triangle, and on which the Annamese had their rice cooked or their tea boiled. This torture is named by Cambodians as “ Kompup Te Ong”, because answering to the howlings, to the convulsive start of dying that the flame finished to consume, the Annamese torturers didn’t stop sneering until the end, coldly, borrowing from the victims their own langue: “ Chhop Senn Vei ! Sngiem Vei! Kampup Te Ong. Let’s finish! Don’t move! Let’s see! You turn over the “Master’s Tea Kettle”.

Note: To read document please click below link to download

>Khmer Krom

6 ខែមិថុនា 2009 § បញ្ចេញមតិ

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Khmer Krom

Flag of Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF)

Khmer Krom boat

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Khmer Krom
Total population
1,055,174 in Vietnam[1]
Regions with significant populations
Vietnam (Mekong River Delta)
Languages

Khmer, Vietnamese

Religion

Theravada Buddhism

The Khmer Krom (Khmer: , Vietnamese: Khơ Me Crộm) – Khmer people living in the Delta and the Lower Mekong area. Mostly regarded as the indigenous ethnic Khmer minority living in southern Vietnam. In Vietnamese, they are known as Khơ-me Crộm or Khơ-me dưới, which literally means “Khmer from below” (“below” referring to the lower areas of the Mekong Delta).

Contents

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Origins

The Khmer Krom are ethnic Khmer who inhabited that area long before the arrival of the Vietnamese.

According to Vietnamese government figures (1999 census), there are 1,055,174 Khmer Krom in Vietnam.

History

Beginning in the early 17th century, colonization of the area by Vietnamese settlers gradually isolated the Khmer of the Mekong Delta from their brethren in Cambodia proper and resulted in their becoming a minority in the delta.

Prey Nokor was the most important commercial seaport to the Khmers. The city’s name was changed by Vietnam to Sài Gòn and then Hồ Chí Minh City. The loss of the city prevented the Cambodians access to the South China Sea. Subsequently, the Khmers’ access to the sea was now limited to the Gulf of Thailand. It began as a small fishing village known as Prey Nokor. The area that the city now occupies was originally swampland, and was inhabited by Khmer people for centuries before the arrival of the Vietnamese.

In 1623, King Chey Chettha II of Cambodia (1618-1628) allowed Vietnamese refugees fleeing the Trịnh-Nguyễn War in Vietnam to settle in the area of Prey Nokor, and to set up a custom house at Prey Nokor. Increasing waves of Vietnamese settlers, which the Cambodian kingdom, weakened because of war with Thailand, could not impede, slowly Vietnamized the area. In time, Prey Nokor became known as Saigon.

In 1698, Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh, a Vietnamese noble, was sent by the Nguyen rulers of Huế to establish Vietnamese administrative structures in the area, thus detaching the area from Cambodia, which was not strong enough to intervene. Since 1698, the area has been firmly under Vietnamese administration. The Vietnamese became the majority population in most places.

When independence was granted to French Indochina in 1954, the Mekong Delta was included in the state of South Vietnam, despite protests from Cambodia. In the 1970s, the Khmer Rouge regime attacked Vietnam in an attempt to reconquer those areas of the delta still predominantly inhabited by Khmer Krom people, but this military adventure was a total disaster and precipitated the invasion of Cambodia by the Vietnamese army and subsequent downfall of the Khmer Rouge, with Vietnam occupying Cambodia.

Son Ngoc Thanh, the nationalist Cambodian, was a Khmer krom, born in Trà Vinh, Vietnam. Cambodia got independence in Geneva, 1954, through the Vietnamese struggle in the First Indochina War.

In 1757, the Vietnamese colonized the provinces of Psar Dèk (renamed Sa Đéc in Vietnamese) and Moat Chrouk (vietnamized to Châu Đốc).

Human Rights

Many independent NGOs report the human rights of the Khmer Krom are still being violated by the Vietnamese government. Khmer Krom are reportedly forced to adopt Vietnamese family names and speak the Vietnamese language. {2} The education of the Khmer Krom is neglected and they face many hardships in everyday life, such as difficult access to Vietnamese health services (recent epidemics of blindness affecting children have been reported in the predominantly Khmer Krom areas of the Mekong delta[citation needed]), difficulty in practicing their religion (Khmer Krom are Theravada Buddhists, like Cambodian and Thai people, but unlike Vietnamese who are mostly Mahayana Buddhists or few Roman Catholics), difficulty in finding jobs outside of the fields, and societal racism.[citation needed] The Khmer Krom are among the poorest segments of the population in southern Vietnam.[citation needed]

Unlike other minority people groups of Vietnam, the Khmer Krom are largely unknown in the Western world, despite efforts by associations of exiled Khmer Krom such as the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Federation to publicize their issues with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation. No Western government has raised the matter of the Khmer Krom’s human rights with the Vietnamese government.

The Khmer Krom culture could become better known through its tourist sites in the Mekong Delta. Khmer Buddhist temples located in places such as Long An, Tien Giang, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, Bac Lieu, and Soc Trang are now very popular as tourist destinations.[2]

Notes

External links

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