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CAMPAGNE
MISSIONI

CERCA:

Ministero degli Affari Esteri

Living together - Combining diversity and freedom in 21st-century Europe [Report of the Group of Eminent Persons of the Council of Europe] PDF DOWNLOAD >>

DOCUMENTARIO DEDICATO DA AL-JAZEERA ALLA LEADER RADICALE EMMA BONINO

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INTERVIEW WITH KOK KSOR, PRESIDENT OF THE MONTAGNARD FOUNDATION

The Vietnamese Government has recently accused the Transnational Radical Party of terrorism, as a result of granting speaking rights to Mr. Kok Ksor at the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. Mr. Kok Ksor, which is the current situation of the Montagnards in the Central Islands of Vietnam? According to the UN Agency for refugees (UNHCR) the conditions in which the Montagnards live in the Central Highlands is very grave. Following the nonviolent demonstrations of February 2001, the Vietnamese Government has imposed martial law in the provinces and ever since those days, neither international institutions nor independent journalists have been allowed to monitor the region. Furthermore the Cambodian Government has closed the Vietnamese border to impede the refugees to contact UNHCR in Cambodia. Which is the status of civil and political rights of your people? The Montagnards do not have any civil or political rights, but this is true also for the rest of the Vietnamese population. In fact, in Vietnam there is no democracy and citizens don’t have the right to choose their own Government. The candidates who are allowed to participate in the elections are those chosen by the Vietnamese Communist Government; furthermore, religious freedom is not granted in Vietnam to any religious group, neither to the Protestants, nor to the Catholics, nor to the Buddhists and any other religious confession for that matter. What are your requests to the international community? The Montagnards demand the respect of their fundamental rights: the right to self-government, the right to farm the land that has always belonged to us, freedom of worship the Christian religion. More in general, we call on the international community and on the United Nations to act in order to ensure the respect and implementation of all the international treaties on human, civil and political rights ratified by Viet Nam. Is it true that you threaten the territorial integrity of the country and that you want to secede from Viet Nam? The Montagnards do not threat anybody. We want the rights of the indigenous people in the Central Highlands to be recognized and respected. The Vietnamese are depriving us of our land and we facing a sophisticated and complete genocide. We have owned the land in the Central Highlands for many centuries and this is the reason why we want it back. Is it true that you are on the payroll of the CIA? Neither the American Government nor the CIA contribute, or have contributed in the past, to the activities of the Montagnard Foundation (www.montagnard-foundation.org). The only money we receive is generously donated by the members of the Montagnard community in the United States. The Foundation raises an average $500 per month. After your intervention at the UN Commission on Human Rights with the Transnational Radical Party in Geneva this year, the Vietnamese Government has accused you of being he leader of a terrorist group. What do you answer to these allegations? The Montagnard Foundation has never carried out any terrorist action. If we do that, we would commit suicide. Every time we demand the respect of human rights the Vietnamese Government says that we are terrorists. How can we be terrorists if we do not have anything in our hands? Moreover, I do not believe in violence. Hundreds of thousands of Montagnard have already died, and I do not want this to happen again in the future. I believe in international law. Nobody can live above the law, neither the Vietnamese Government. What do you think of the Transnational Radical Party and of the Hon. Marco Pannella? What kind of cooperation will you have in the future? I thank the TRP very much for their honesty. I consider them trustworthy. I really believe in what the TRP, Marco Pannella and Emma Bonino are doing to globalize democracy. I trust Marco Pannella particularly, because he is a nonviolent leader. Now the Montagnards believe in the pacific and nonviolent path towards democracy and human rights and, for this reason, dozens of thousand of them are ready to join the TRP even if they are really poor. I also hope that many Italians and many oppressed people in the world will support the TRP.





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