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Friday, February 21, 2020, 14:21 (GMT+7)
Several measures against the exploitation of the issues on the Khmer people to sabotage our revolution in the southwestern provinces

Exploitation of the issues on ethnic minority groups to undermine the national great unity block and sabotage our Party and people’s revolution is a wicked conspiracy by the hostile forces in the Central Highlands, the Northwestern region, and the Southwestern region, with the Khmer people being at the forefront of their strategy. Thus, it is imperative to work towards solutions for unmasking, preventing, and fighting against the hostile forces’ plots and artifices.

The Southwest Vietnam consists of 13 provinces in the Lower Mekong, with a total natural land area of about 4 million hectares, sharing a 340-km-long border with Cambodia. Across the region, there are 27 groups of people, with a population of about 17 million, including 1.3 million Khmer people in addition to the Kinh people, the Hoa people, and the Cham people as the largest groups. The Khmer people have patriotic tradition. They have united with other groups of people in fighting against foreign aggression, liberating the country, and making great contributions to today’s national renewal, construction and protection.

Over the years, our Party and State have focused their leadership and direction on socio-economic development and defence-security consolidation in the Southwestern region and obtained significant achievements. However, due to various reasons, the region’s socio-economic development has been slow. The people have encountered a lot of difficulties in their daily life. The political system at grass-roots level has yet to be strong enough. Many social issues have not been settled yet. As a result, the hostile forces and reactionary groups amongst exile Khmer people, particularly the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF) have been taking advantage of the issues on the Khmer group to sabotage our country, with a large number of fiendish plots and artifices.

First, pursuing the “divide and rule” policy, slandering and distorting our country’s ethnicity and religion situation, and inciting the people to oppose the authorities. Over the years, the external reactionary, extremist forces have plotted to separate the Khmer Theravada Buddhism from the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha and considered it as the ideology of an “independent, autonomous State of Khmer Kampuchea Krom” (KKK). They have devoted efforts to distorting our Party and State’s policies and accused Vietnam of oppressing the Khmer Theravada Buddhism, prohibiting the Khmer people from practising religious rituals, and supervising monks in a bid to incite “national inferiority complex” among monks and buddhists. At the same time, they have established tens of reactionary websites, newspapers, and radio/TV stations and sponsored Khmer pagodas to set up modern equipment to listen to or watch hostile programs. Recently, the KKF and organisations of the KKK have regarded our fight against several extremist monks as an “injustice” to Khmer Krom monks and a violation of the United Nations Charter, while calling for international human rights organistions’ observation and intervention.

Second, undermining the unity between the Khmer people and the Kinh people, distorting the origin of the Khmer people and the history of South Vietnam. They have deliberately proved that the Khmer people are the owners of the Oc Eo archaeological site (An Giang province), the Kingdom of Funan established in the early first Century was the forerunner of the Chenla Kingdom, and the history of foundation of the Funan Kingdom, the Chenla Kingdom, and the present-day Cambodia State is exactly the same. Thus, the Southwest Vietnam belongs to the Khmer people in Cambodia. To realise their strategy, they have mobilised the Khmer people who had served Saigon’s old regime and the extremist, discontented intelligentsia. They have also founded the organistions, such as the Kampuchea Krom National Liberation Front (KKNLF), the Khmer People’s Association, the Overseas Khmer Krom National Assembly, the Fellowship Association, and the Buddhist Education Association in order to raise the nationalist flag. At the same time, they have provided financial assistance for several foreign reactionary press organisations, such as the “Community Voice” Magazine in Cambodia and the “Voice of Khmer Kampuchea Krom” Magazine in the U.S. in a bid to internationalise the Khmer people issues in Southwest Vietnam, incite separatism, encourage the Khmer people to join the fight for the “Khmer Krom State,” and create flashpoints in the area.

Third, building forces, supporting and directing acts of sabotage, and inventing excuses for intervention. The reactionary organisations have incited and directed extremist Khmer monks to establish unions in opposition to the Patriotic United Buddhist Association and gradually found a religious organisation separate from the State’ management. At the same time, they have sought for external support and cooperated with other reactionary groups in calling for the establishment of an independent Khmer Theravada Buddhist Organisation for “preserving and developing the Khmer people’s history, religion and culture.” They have also directed the formation of factions within the Patriotic United Buddhist Association to step by step manipulate its leadership and refuse to observe decisions by the Management Boards of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha and the Patriotic United Buddhist Association. Moreover, they have plotted to establish a religious organisation of the Khmer people beyond the State’s management. Since 2010, in the areas mainly inhabited by the Khmer people, 6 illegal religious associations and groups have been founded on the pretext of “preserving national culture, helping pagodas and monks in difficulty, and pratising religious rituals in accordance with the Khmer Theravada Buddhism.” However, in fact, their plan has been aimed at “uniting extremist monks as one” to defame progressive monks.

Fourth, bribing and enticing reputable persons within religious communities and ethnic minority groups and sponsoring monks to study abroad for the sake of a long-term sabotage strategy against our country. Over the years, bad elements of the KKK abroad have provided financial assistance for a number of Khmer monks and buddhists to incite demonstrations and riots and oppose the authorities, particularly in Bac Lieu province and Tra Vinh province. Besides, they have organised, trained, and developed an opposition force to serve the long-term purpose of sabotaging Vietnam. According to localities’ statistics, at present, among 1,000 Khmer monks studying abroad, 66 are being trained by the exile reactionary KKK.

It is clear to see that the hostile forces’ exploitation of the historical issues, the people’s daily difficulties, and Vietnam’s weaknesses in the ethnicity policy pose a threat to our country. To neutralise the hostile forces’ plots and artifices, it is necessary to focus on implementing the measures as follows.

First, disseminating our Party and State’s viewpoints and policies on ethnicity and religion to the people in the area and unmasking the hostile forces’ plots and artifices. To that end, emphasis should be placed on grasping and effectively executing the Party Central Committee’s Resolution 28-NQ/TW, dated October 25th 2013, on the Strategy for the Homeland defence in the new situation and ensuring security in the strategic area of Southwest, the Politburo’s Resolution 21-NQ/TW and its Conclusion 28-KL/TW, dated August 14th 2012, on guidelines and measures for socio-economic development, national defence, and security in the Mekong Delta towards 2020, the Party Central Secretariat’s Directive 19-CT/TW, dated January 10th 2018, on enhancing mass mobilisation in the areas mainly inhabited by the Khmer people in the new situation, and the Government’s Resolution 120/NQ-CP, dated November 17th 2017, on sustainably developing and making the Mekong Delta adaptable to climate change.

Second, cementing the national great unity block, maintaining socio-political stability, and heightening the role of the Fatherland Front and mass organisations. Due attention should be paid to ensuring equality, strengthening unity, fighting against discrimination and divide between groups of people and religions as well as extremist nationalism, maintaining political security and social order and safety in the areas mainly inhabited by ethnic minority groups and religious people. At the same time, it is important to promote the role of the Fatherland Front and politico-social organisations in mobilising the masses, actively, effectively implementing our Party and State’s ethnicity policies in each locality, and preventing extremist ideology and action in the settlement of ethnicity issues in the areas.

Third, boosting socio-economic development and improving the Khmer people’s mental and material life. Emphasis should be placed on constructing and upgrading rural traffic infrastructure, completing the system of bridges and roads, facilitating socio-economic and cultural development, and developing agriculture. It is essential to complete the mechanism and policy on concessional funds for the people. Moreover, due regard should be paid to reducing poverty and handling the people’s issues, such as accommodations, agricultural land, and drinking water. There should be a special policy for the Khmer people to develop agriculture while a model for reserving freshwater for the people in the dry and salinity intrusion seasons should be established.

Fourth, preserving and promoting the people’s cultural identity and spiritual life. Consideration should be given to constructing cultural institutions at pagodas and repairing cultural relics, particularly national-level ones. There should be a policy to preserve and promote cultural institutions, craftsmanship, and traditional festivals in the areas mainly inhabited by the Khmer people in accordance with tourism development. Significance should be attached to training human resources in the field of racial culture and making investments in developing racial culture products to meet the people’s cultural needs. At the same time, it is essential to upgrade the system of kindergartens to teach the Khmer children Vietnamese language and promote the role of ethnic minority boarding high schools in teaching ethnic minority children. Besides, importance should be attached to training and developing a contingent of cadres, particularly the Khmer ones as the decisive factor in dealing with the ethnicity and religion issues in the areas.

Fifth, proactively fighting to foil the hostile forces’ exploitation of the issues on ethnicity and religion. Via mass media, great value should be attached to frequently unmasking the hostile forces’ conspiracy to exploit the ethnicity and religion issues to sabotage the Vietnamese revolution and encouraging the people to keep their faith in the Party’s guidelines and the State’s law and policy. It is essential to proactively, opportunely detect and thwart all plots to take advantage of the issues on ethnicity and religion. When a flashpoint arises, it is vital to seek reasons and solutions in order to prevent the hostile forces from inventing a pretext for intervention.

Thach Phuoc Binh, MA, Standing Member of the Provincial Party Committee of Tra Vinh, Deputy Head of the National Assembly Delegation of Tra Vinh Province

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