WHEN BAJARAKA WAS CREATED?
BAJARAKA movement started by a group of restless young Degar peoples in 1957 after the Diem government brought hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese from the North into P.M.S.I. in order to occupy our territories and to begin his assimilative program. They use word assimilation only to soften the language but in reality and accordingly to their action, they were applying the genocidal-program. Since 1975, the Hanoi government has been carried out the same genocidal program towards our peoples. BAJARAKA movement went into real action of demonstration in September 1958. Diem crushed the BAJARAKA movement with army and tank, murdered its peoples and imprisoned all of its leaders such as Y-Bham Enuol, Y-Thih Eban, Y-Ju Eban, Nay Luet and many others. At this time, the US government knew about what was going on between our peoples and the Vietnamese but they did not have any intention to stop Diem government from destroying our peoples, our villages, our culture, and our traditional way of life. Until February 12th, 1964, after the overthrowing of Ngo Dinh Diem, the American Embassy convinced the government of General Nguyen Khanh to release Mr. Y-Bham Enuol and the rest of his colleagues from prison.
WHERE BAJARAKA BEGAN?
A group of young peoples from Rade and Jarai tribes, Y-Thih Eban, Y-Dhon Adrong, Y-Bham Enuol, Y-Ju Eban, and Nay Luet began to organize BAJARAKA movement at Buon Ale A, the province of Daklak. When Diem found out about what they were doing, he transferred all of them to Pleiku province. Over here, some more young peoples from other tribes joined the movement and Y-Bham Enuol was elected as a chairman of the organization. When they had a peaceful demonstration to ask Diem government to give back all the powers of governing our own peoples and territories, Diem responded with force. They used offensive war materials to crush the demonstration and arrested our leaders Y-Bham Enuol, Paul Nur, Nay Luet, Y-Thih Eban, Siu Sip Y-Ju Eban, Touneh Yoh on September 15th, 1958. All of them were sent to Dalat and put them in underground solitary cells for three months. After that, they sent them to Hue and put them in the prison of criminal.
WHY BAJARAKA WAS ORGANIZED?
After Viet Minh defeated the French in 1954, Vietnam was divided at the 17th parallel. Ho Chi Minh assumed the leadership in the North and Bao Dai assumed the leadership in the South. On the general election of South Vietnam in 1955 between Ngo Dinh Diem and Bao Dai, with the help of the United States of America Ngo Dinh Diem was elected as the first president for the Republic of South Vietnam. At this time, the U.S. government knew that the P.M.S.I. was not belonging to Vietnam and even our coastal region was not belong to Vietnamese people. But, they did not do anything to stop Diem from merging our territories into one Vietnam. Instead, the U.S. government aided Diem’s government with millions of dollars to bring hundreds of thousands of the Vietnamese refugees from the North to occupy our lands in the P.M.S.I. in 1957. Later on, many of these refugees became Viet Cong forces that fought against the American forces in South Vietnam and murdered the innocent Degar peoples. To the point of view of the Degar peoples, Diem planted Viet Cong in the P.M.S.I. for only one reason. That is, to camouflage his program of genocide towards the Degar peoples.
Ngo Dinh Diem’s strategy of carrying out his genocidal program towards Degar peoples.
When he first took office as the president of the Republic of South Vietnam, Diem radically abolished the Degar autonomy and annexed our territories to Vietnam. He abolished our tribal courts, our land rights, prohibited teaching our languages in school, burned all of our educational books, confiscated all of our weapons that we used to protect our selves from wild animals and so on. He forcefully took our good farmlands and divided among the Vietnamese refugees from North and pushed our peoples to the rocky lands. The Vietnamese refugees that Diem settled in our lands began stealing our household properties, our livestock, took our farmlands regardless of our crops were ready for the harvest. When we reported to the government officials about what the new refugees had done to us, they said that we were the French influenced peoples. Then, they tortured us, imprisoned us, and murdered us as we were killed by accident. He also excused of security situation in order to move our peoples from our ancestor land so that he could move the Vietnamese refugees in our places. In order to be able to bombard and to destroy our villages, he falsely accused us of following the Viet Cong. On the other hand, the Viet Cong accused our people of being Diem’s followers and being the ears and eyes of the US Armed Forces in order to kill them.
According to what had happened to our peoples and our homeland, we feared that our race will be completely wiped out from the face of this earth and our homeland will be lost forever. On behalf of the Degar peoples, we the board directors of the Montagnard Foundation would like to earnestly ask the community of the world especially the United Nations Organization to protect us from being systematically exterminated by the Vietnamese government. And, we also would like to ask the peoples of the world who have heart to support us financially and politically so that we can bring our just cause to the international theater.
From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to thank you in advance for what you will be able to do to help us the Degar peoples in our struggling for freedom.