Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Letter to PM, GG: Prisoners, Vietnam and the WTO

To the kind attention of:


Hon. Governor General Dame Silvia Cartwright

Government House, Private Bag,

Wellington, New Zealand


Hon. Prime Minister Helen Clark

PO Box 18888

Parliament Buildings

Wellington, New Zealand


November 29, 2005

Open Letter to Hon. Prime Minister And Hon. Governor General of New Zealand in Regards to Over 300 Montagnard Prisoners of Conscience And Vietnam's Attempts to Gain Membership in the WTO

Dear Hon. Governor General Dame Silvia Cartwright and Hon. Prime Minister Helen Clark

Recently the New Zealand Herald published an articles dealing with New Zealand's negotiations with Vietnam being granted entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) and this is the reason I am writing to you today. This letter is an actual plea of utmost importance for the well-being of hundreds of our peaceful indigenous people who have been unjustly imprisoned by the Government of Vietnam. I also note that our people the Montagnard Degar people of Vietnam Central Highlands also have a ancestral heritage with your country's Indigenous people namely that we also are of Malayo-Polynesian origins as are the Maori Peoples.

Our people recognize that Vietnam is trying to gain entry into the WTO, and while we do not harbor ill-feelings toward progress in Vietnam, we however, cry out on behalf of our constituents in Vietnam. Our people want freedom from being repressed and thus we respectfully ask that the fate of over 300 of our people who are prisoners and the ongoing persecution against our people be raised with Vietnam and would like our prisoners of conscience to be released before Vietnam be granted such status with the WTO.

As you may know, the Montagnard people who have inhabited Vietnam's Central Highlands for centuries, have been suffering intense discrimination and persecution by the Vietnamese Government especially since the end of the Vietnam War. During that war, the Montagnards largely sided with the US military actively supporting the effort to stop the victory of communist forces that, they knew, would have oppressed our civil liberties, starting with the right to religious freedom, their indigenous rights, and the right to our ancestral lands. This religious, social and political oppression has deteriorated after the fall of South Vietnam in 1975, especially since our people decided to stand up for their rights and organize peaceful mass demonstrations in the central highlands to demand the Vietnamese Government and the international community the respect of their basic rights. Both in 2001 and on Easter 2004 the largely peaceful demonstrations, carried out by the Montagnard people, in coordination with the Montagnard Foundation have been followed by a crackdown of the Vietnamese authorities and deployment security forces in the Central highlands, who have killed many of our people and conducted a widespread campaign of arrests, tortures and intimidation that is far from over.

Despite some cosmetic gestures by the Vietnamese authorities almost all the Montagnards imprisoned since 2001 for peacefully demonstrating for their rights, for fleeing to Cambodia or for practicing Christian beliefs remain in Vietnamese prisons.

This widespread repression has been documented by numerous sources, including the US State Department which had led to Vietnam being designated as a Country of Particular Concern in 2005 for violating religious freedom.

Hon. Prime Minister and Hon. Governor General

With this letter I wish to respectfully request if you can use your influence to secure the release of all our Montagnard prisoners who are in prison following the 2001 and 2004 demonstrations. I am attaching to this letter a detailed report by us which confirms and expands on the information on Montagnards prisoners already published by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

We know the world of politics and world trade is difficult and complex but we cry out in desperation to you in order that you may use some of your influence to help our people who suffer in prison. Attached is our report list of over 300 prisoners with over a hundred photos.

Sincerely and God Bless you,

Kok Ksor

President of the Montagnard Foundation


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news