DEMONSTRATE against Communist Vietnam for illegally and forcibly defrocking and imprisoning Venerable Tim Sakhorn, a good samaritan Buddhist monk, and to HOLD A CANDLE LIGHT VIGIL to pray for his safety and release.
WHERE: LA FAYETTE PARK (in front of The White House)
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington D.C. 20500
Please inform, invite and mobilize all friends and relatives to make effort to come to this important, memorable, and unforgettable event to show our unity and solidarity to defend and protect Cambodian independence and sovereignty, to protest the human rights abuses by Communist Vietnam against the Cambodian and Khmer Kampuchea Krom people and to demand for religious freedom.
For further information, please email to
Venerable Berong Thach
Mr. Tung Yap
Mr. Thach Ngoc Thach
Mr. Hean Yuth
Mr. Vanny Dang
Mr. Vibol Tan
Mr. Kosal Thach
Mr. Mong Heng
Mr. Giap Tran
Mr. Boran Tum
Mr. Kim Hort Ou
Dr. Nicole Ung
Mr. Chanthou Oeur
Mr. Vibol Touch
Mr. Vuong Hang
Mrs. Seung Sinith
This event is jointly organized by CAMBODIAN AMERICANS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY (CAHRAD), UNITED CAMBODIAN INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL (UCIC), KHMERS KAMPUCHEA-KROM FEDERATION (KKF), THE COALITION FOR A FREE CAMBODIA (CFC) AND O’BON STUDIO.
KHMERS KAMPUCHEA-KROM FEDERATION
Asia – Australia – Europe – North America A member of UNPO - IDBF P.O. Box 0193 • Pennsauken • NJ 08110 • Tel: (856) 655-9254 • Fax: (856) 583-1503 http://www.khmerkrom.org • Email:
Office of the President No: 146 /KKF/M/2007
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Ambassador Joseph A. Mussomeli
Embassy of the United States of America
#1, Street 96 (Near Wat Phnom)
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Subject: Request to help free the Khmer Krom Buddhist monks from the prisons in Vietnam
Dear Ambassador Mussomeli:
On behalf of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF), which represents the Khmer-Krom indigenous
people of the Mekong River Delta in southern Vietnam and the Khmer-Krom diasporas around the world, I would
like to appeal for your assistance to release the Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks from the jails in Vietnam, among
them Venerable Tim Sakhorn, who was recently arrested, defrocked in Cambodia and taken immediately to a
prison inside Vietnam on June 30, 2007. Vietnam’s act of intimidation, aggression, religious persecution, and
human rights violation regarding this matter is clearly an abuse against the Cambodian national sovereignty, as well
as the Article-33 of that country’s constitution. It also violates the conditions and agreements that Vietnam just
signed last year with the United States Government and other trading partners in the World Trade Organization
In fact, Venerable Tim Sakhorn and his whole family are not the Vietnamese citizens. As the indigenous Khmer
Kroms, they had escaped from the oppression of Communist Vietnam nearly three decades ago, in January 1979.
They were granted permanent residence in Takeo Province and received the legal Khmer citizenship by the
Cambodian Government authorities there since then. Tim Sakhorn became ordained as a Buddhist monk at a temple
in North Phnom Denh village, Kirivong District, in Takeo province on July 9, 1991. Through his ten years of hard
work, honesty, clean reputation, good Samaritan, effective management, and good governance, Venerable Tim
Sakhorn was unanimously selected to become the Abbot (the chief of monks) in that temple in the year 2000.
The serial number of his “Chah-Yah” (a Cambodian word which means the Great Seal of Recognition for his rising
to a top status as the Chief Monk of that temple), which is officially issued to him by Supreme Patriarch/Cambodian
Ministry of Buddhism and Cult is #220. Please note that the Cambodian Buddhist monk can apply for a Cambodian
Passport by just presenting this “Chah-Yah”, which is similar to the National Identification issued by the
government for a regular Cambodian citizen. If Venerable Tim Sakhorn is not a Cambodian citizen, he would not be
granted Chah-Yah and, of course, he would not be allowed to be the Abbot of the North Phnom-Denh Temple.
Moreover, he should not be defrocked because he does not violate any Buddhist rules. If he actually violatesBuddhist rules and be defrocked, he should not be deported to Vietnam because he is a Cambodian citizen.
Venerable Tim Sakhorn is a productive and law abiding citizen in his communities and his good reputation is
without a question. He has been well liked and greatly respected by everyone there for being a good Samaritan. He
has always helped the poor and needy farmers who live around his temple. In addition to that, he usually provides
sanctuaries and safe heavens, such as foods, clothes, shelters, and other basic necessities to all Khmer Krom refugees
who escape from the oppression and human rights violations committed against them by the Communist Vietnamese
Government on the other side of the borders, just about two kilometers away from his temple. As a result of his
Good Samaritan and his humanitarian efforts to rescue these Khmer Krom refugee victims from Vietnam, Venerable
Tim Sakhorn has been on the Hanoi regime’s black list as one of their most wanted persons.
What is more disturbing about this highly suspicious matter is that on June 16, 2007, about two weeks prior to his
arrest, Supreme Patriarch Tep Vong, who was installed since January 1979 by the Communist Vietnamese
Government, during their ten years of troops’ occupation of Cambodia, to oversee all the Buddhist monks in this
country, secretly issued a religious decree in both Cambodian and Vietnamese languages to defrock Venerable Tim
Sakhorn, by accusing him of conducting activities that are harmful to the Cambodia-Vietnam friendship. While
neither Venerable Tim Sakhorn nor anyone else in Cambodia (with the exception of Supreme Patriarch Tep Vong,
his closest subordinates, and the Hanoi Government) was aware of that religious decree, the Vietnamese Communist
authorities circulated it to all the Khmer Krom Buddhist temples in the Mekong River Delta in southern Vietnam to
intimidate and frighten the Khmer Krom communities there.
For almost a month after the arrest and the disappearance of Venerable Tim Sakhorn, Supreme Patriarch Tep Vong
and the authorities of both the Cambodian and Vietnamese Governments, after being constantly questioned by the
Cambodian press/news media, the U.S.-based Radio Free Asia (RFA), the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR) headquarter in Geneva, Switzerland, the U.S. State Department, the Non-Governmental
Organization (NGOs) working on issues of human rights and religious freedom, always refused to acknowledge of
that monk’s whereabouts.
Finally, on August 1, 2007, the Hanoi regime, just admitted through its official website (www.vovnews.vn andwww.vov.org.vn), the Voice of Vietnam News (VOV News) that Venerable Tim Sakhorn is being locked up in
Vietnam’s prison for crossing into their country without having any proper legal travel document. Therefore, this
monk must face the alleged crime of “sabotaging the unification” as stated in the Article 87 of the Criminal Affairs
Law of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. This is truly a lie because Venerable Tim Sakhorn was arrested and
defrocked inside Cambodia and was immediately and secretly dragged against his will across the Cambodia-Vietnam
border into the prison in Vietnam.
Based on the aforementioned information, I would be greatly indebted for your consideration and assistance to use
your diplomatic influence to pressure Vietnam and Cambodia to free Venerable Tim Sakhorn and other KhmerKrom Buddhist monks from the prisons in Vietnam and bring them back safely to Cambodia. If possible, we
would like very much for your efforts to grant these monks the political asylum in the United States or in other free
world countries due to the religious persecution in Vietnam and their present unsafe environment in Cambodia.
Again, I thank you very much in advance for your help and I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.