Ksor H’Ble defied the Vietnamese communists until the end. She had endured years of harassment, suffered broken ribs, beatings and constant threats by security forces until she passed away in her sleep on 18 August
Ksor H’Ble was over 80 years old when she passed away on 18 August 2011. In recent years she has been attacked, beaten and harassed by Vietnamese security forces on a regular basis simply because she was the mother of Mr. Kok Ksor, the president of the Montagnard Foundation. Ksor H’ble lived in Vietnam and her son Kok Ksor lived in the United States. They last saw each other in the mid 1960s. Still, decades later, the Vietnamese communists continued to seek her out.
After the first peaceful protests for religious freedom and indigenous land rights was enacted in February 2001 by the Degar population, Ksor H’Ble was arrested and tortured by the Vietnamese security police who beat her and broke three of her ribs. The security police had forced her to attend a staged television broadcast on Vietnamese state television aimed at discrediting her son who headed the Montagnard Foundation. Ksor H’Ble remained silent however, and refused to denounce her son. You can see footage of this staged interview from Vietnamese state television on the Youtube link below (it was after this video interview that the security forces then broke her ribs).
Later, during the April 2004 public prayer vigil that was also violently suppressed by Vietnam’s security forces, Ksor H’Ble was again arrested and tortured in front of an eyewitness who is now living in exile in Canada. According to this witness and testimony from him and others (including Ksor H’Ble herself) the security police shocked her with an electrical stun gun and knocked her to the ground. The security policeman grabbed her by her hair, kicked her repeatedly and dragged to a secluded paddy field where he threatened to kill her. Two of her other sons however saw her being dragged away and intervened thus preventing her from being murdered. Ever since, she suffered from her wounds and had escalating heart problems aggravated by the beatings, electric shock, broken ribs and fear from constant harassment.
On October 29th of 2010 at approximately 3pm, two security police from the district of Ayunpa, named Lt. Colonel Nguyen Van Ngoc and Major Ksor Lut, an assistant to the police chief at the communal village of Bon Broai, Nai Luen, and six government officials from Dak Lak province and Hanoi (whose identity we do not know) came to her at the village of Bon Broai and detained her.
They ordered her to denounce her son Kok Ksor to all of the Degar people in the Central Highlands and repeat the following words into a video camera: “My dear brothers and sisters and all of my fellow citizens, let us not follow my son Kok Ksor’s way and not support him because he is a traitor and he wants to kill us.”
Ms. Ksor H’Ble responded by telling the government officials, “I don’t know what my son Kok Ksor is doing. How can I tell people not to follow him? If you know what he is doing, why can’t you tell the people yourself? Besides, I am an old woman and who would listen to me?”
They continued to harass, threaten and bully her from 3PM to 4:30 PM, ordering her to address the people and make the aforementioned statement in front of video camera, but she remained silent. This type of harassment and threats continued over the years many dozens of times.
Finally, Ms. Ksor H’Ble’s heart failed on the night of August 18, 2011 while she was sleeping. It happened as the doctor had warned her, that her wounded heart will give up at any time. So now she is with our Savior Jesus Christ and Almighty God our Father in heaven. At this time we praise our Lord Jesus for what he has done for us at the cross, for such gives us hope we will one day also see him and our loved ones who have gone before us.
There have been thousands of indigenous Degar people who have been murdered by the brutal hands of the Vietnamese government officials simply because they had stood up for justice and the right to have religious freedom and the rights to their ancestral homelands, such as Ms. Ksor H’Ble. We the indigenous Degar people shall never forget them and in their memory will carry on the peaceful struggle for justice that our heavenly Father has bestowed to us all.
From the day Ksor H’Ble passed away to the day of her burial of August 21, 2011, an estimated 16,000 Degar Christians from 37 different nearby villages travelled back and forth to the village of Bon Broai to pay respect and to say goodbye to her. The Vietnamese government sent an estimated 2,500 soldiers and security police to surround Bon Broai Village and blocked many indigenous Degar Christians from other provinces from paying their final respects to her.
For Mr. Kok Ksor, the president to the Montagnard Foundation, her passing was particularly sad that he could not attend his mother’s funeral. It was in the mid 1960s that Kok Ksor saw his mother for the last time. Now some forty years later the legacy of Vietnamese communist persecution continues and an old lady, just one of many victims, was forced to spend her remaining years living in fear from constant harassment knowing she could never see her son again.
May she now rest in peace.