Let Freedom Ring For Khmer-Krom

Sunday, August 30, 2009

By Somalin Thach
Khmer Krom Youth Quarterly Vol. 9

I would like to say THANK YOU to our youths who attended the KKFYC 3rd World Conference in Philly for your great support and precious time from the very bottom of my heart. Also THANK YOU to the elders for their warm support with places for us to stay and food for us to eat while we were on our mission at the UNPFII.

Just like our people in our homeland facing oppression due to restrictions of the Vietnamese Government, we here are facing depression due to economic crisis. Everyone is busy trying to make ends meet and trying to over come daily challenges life have set forth for us. I hope these challenges can only bend our feelings and not break our feelings in support of our voiceless people back home in Kampuchea-Krom.

I have learned a lot from just participating in the UNPFII this year alone. I learn that there are still great fears that linger around people outside and inside Kampuchea-Krom. Why fear when we are only doing the things that are right? We only ask for what the Vietnamese Government signed up to become a member of the UN back in 1977 and promised to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. We just want to provide recommendations to help the Vietnamese Government achieve their goals.

On May 28, 2009 at the UNPFII, my tears unexpectedly shed in the middle of delivering the Future Work speech to the UN delegates. Can anyone answer why? You don’t need to tell me I had already guessed. Your tears would have dropped if you were in my position at that time delivering the truthful speech to the UN and to the Vietnamese Government. What you need to answer now is: What can we do and how can we help to save our identity from diminishing?

It is a fact that we can not open a Khmer school in Kampuchea-Krom. It is a fact that we can not practice our religion like our ancestors did in Kampuchea-Krom. It is a fact that we can not practice our culture. It is NOT a fact that we are not intelligent or a dunce like the Vietnamese government had assumed; it is because we are not given the opportunity to grow, to blossom and to challenge our minds.

In support of our voiceless people in Kampuchea-Krom especially for the women and youths, we need to join hands with KKF and KKFYC to help making our dreams a reality. To merge out of the oppressed condition we are forced to hold within and break free like many other Indigenous peoples around the world. We deserve our rights. We deserve equality. We are the Indigenous Peoples of the Mekong Delta region. We are the Khmer-Krom people of Kampuchea-Krom. We want to be free! Let Freedom ring for Khmer-Krom!


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