HomeNews Press Release - Commemorating 1991 Paris Peace Agreement
Press Release - Commemorating 1991 Paris Peace Agreement
Today, October 23, we, Cambodian Americans in the Washington, D.C area, are commemorating the “Paris Peace Agreement” that was signed seventeen years ago, October 23, 1991, by nineteen countries including neighbor countries -- Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos. Parts of the Agreement are to
- recognize and to respect, the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and inviolability, neutrality and national unity of Cambodia - allow all Cambodians to enjoy the rights and freedom embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant international human rights instruments.
Today, we, joining with other Cambodians worldwide, appeal to those 19 signatory countries including -- Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia -- to abide, conform, conduct, and observe these above terms that they signed on October 23, 1991 in Paris. Especially at this present moment when there is a dangerous border conflict with Thailand. Thailand is currently violating Cambodian territory surrounding the historical Preah Vihear temple which the International Court in the Hague decided in the verdict in 1962 that the temple belongs to Cambodia. Presently, the situation is very precarious and dangerous in which the fighting flared up causing the loss and suffering of human life and properties; a conflict that can potentially become regional.
Vietnam has not respected Cambodia sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity by forcing Cambodia to accept the incompatible border treaties made under Vietnam occupation of Cambodia. Recently, Vietnam kidnapped across the border a Samaritan Cambodian Buddhist monk, Venerable Tim Sakhorn, from Pagoda in a Cambodian village and imprisoned him in Vietnam in June 2007 by fabricating and accusing him of inciting violence in Vietnam. In reality, all Venerable Tim Sakhorn did, was to shelter and provide food to the fleeing Buddhist monks Khmer Krom and their supporters who tried to escape from persecutions and oppressions in demanding religious freedom from the Communist Vietnam. Vietnam also has been interfering in Cambodia internal affairs by sending millions of illegal Vietnamese immigrants to destabilize Cambodian economic and social fabric. In addition, Vietnam never honestly and sincerely cooperate and implement the term of the Agreement regarding the withdrawal and non-return of foreign forces, advisers, and military personnel as stipulated in Part I, Article 8. Through its disguised military personnel, advisers, secret and intelligent agents, Vietnam is fully able to influence and dictate the current Cambodian government which it installed in 1979 when it illegally invaded Cambodia to implement and execute its hegemony goal of conquering Cambodia and transform it to Vietnam.
Even though Part III, Article 15, 2a stipulated that Cambodia undertakes to ensure respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedom in Cambodia and to support the rights of all Cambodian citizens to undertake activities that would promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, Cambodia has not taken enough steps to honor those stipulations. According to the U.S. State Department in 2008, Cambodia’s “human rights record remained poor… security forces committed extrajudicial killings and acted with impunity… government restricted freedom of speech and the press…Political activists continued to be the victims of killings…” Land grabbing are everywhere causing tremendous suffering of poor people, peasants and farmers. Corruption is rampant as Mr. Yash Gai, a former Special Representative of the Secretary-General for human rights in Cambodia, said, “the rights situation was getting worse” in December, 2007 when he joined with U.S. Ambassador Mussomeli and 500 local rights activists in a rally marking international Human Rights Day demanding the Cambodian government to end corruption, halt land theft of the dispossessed, and to stop the arrest of protestors.
We, Cambodians, would like to appeal to his and her excellencies, UN Secretary-General, UN Security Council members, the Presidents of the “Paris Peace Agreement”, the Foreign Affair Ministers of the 19 signatory countries to reconvene to reevaluate and to follow up the efficacy, effectiveness, and to remedy the shortcoming of the Agreement. Cambodian people always greatly appreciate and are profoundly grateful of the effort and commitment of the international community that took over TWELVE YEARS at the cost of TWO BILLIONS dollars to provide peace and prosperity to Cambodian people. Cambodian people always trust and hope that the kindness and the good nature of the international community will redeem and reclaim the goal, meaning, and purpose of the Agreement.
Tung Yap President, Cambodian Americans for Human Rights and Democracy Email: