STATEMENT TO CERD 80th SESSION
Delivered by Mr. Kok Ksor 2/20/12
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Indigenous Degar People also referred to as Montagnards, have been living in the Central Highlands of South Indochina for thousands of years.
We have never asked for help from the International Communities until after 1975.
When the first and second Indochina Wars started on our ancestral homeland, our people suffered greatly.
We did not create those wars, but we were the victims of those wars.
It has been 37 years since the last of those wars have ended, and although the Vietnamese people have prospered and have been enjoying their freedom, the Indigenous Degar People still continue to be persecuted because of those wars.
The reason why the Vietnamese government has imposed the oppression, repression and ethnic cleansing policies upon our people is because of an inherently discriminatory mentality against people of a different ethnicity.
While we celebrate our unique language and our beautiful culture, our tribal lifestyle is looked down upon by Vietnamese Officials who see us as savages.
In order to obtain our ancestral homeland, the Vietnamese government feels they need to exterminate our people and this is what they are doing now.
Most of our men have been wrongly accused, arrested, sent to prison and tortured to death. Most of our women have gone through forced sterilizations by the Vietnamese Officials and many of them died because of unskilled process of surgery.
These are some of the drastic measures instituted by the government to control and destroy the Degar people.
The following are a couple of cases out of hundreds that we are currently aware of and have carefully recorded.
APRIL 28, 2008: THE DEATH OF “Y BEN HDOK”
Vietnamese security police murdered a Degar Christian named Y Ben Hdok by torture and by tying a rope around his neck dragging him with their jeep until he died. His photo is on our addendum.
APRIL 14, 2008 THE DEATH OF “Y SONG NIE” AND “Y HUANG NIE”
Two Degar Christians brutally tortured to death by security police who paid their families $66 USD, a bag of rice, one coffin and one grave as compensation for the murders. The story of their death is also on our addendum.The Degar people are systematically losing their right to keep a sustainable livelihood.
The land which they used to raise their families is taken away without compensation or reason and given to other Vietnamese or (ethnic Kinh).
We build our churches not to work against the government but to learn how we can transform ourselves to be a better human being according to the teaching of the Bible and to keep our mother tongue alive and most of all to have hope for future life.
It is important to note that we are not opposed to living along with the Vietnamese people on our ancestral homeland.
We just want them to stop their inhuman treatment of us and to stop depriving us of our rights to use our lands and our basic rights as human beings.
I know that it is hard for some people to believe our reports because the charges are so extreme, but every word is the truth.
Please judge for yourselves and see what the Vietnamese government has done to our indigenous Degar people in the Central Highlands, the indigenous Khmer Kampuchea-Krom people in the Mekong Delta, indigenous Tai Dam people in Dien Bien and especially look at the destruction of our homelands.
The Vietnamese government and people need to change their attitude toward our people in order to live together in peace and prosper as one nation.
Thank you so much for allowing me to speak for the people who cannot speak for themselves.
- Read more.. ADDENDUM: EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS