On February 2, 2012, the National Endowment for Democracy hosted an event to meet three leading activists from Burma after Burma has opened up its doors for political reform. The key speakers are:
Zaganar, comedian, founder of Thee Lay Lee and the Multi-Colour Troupe and former political prisoner.
Khin Than Myint, leading advocate for women's rights and member of the National League for Democracy.
Bauk Gyar, Kachin activist and member of the National Democratic Force political party.
On November 1, 2011, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) released a Press Release to call on Vietnam to demonstrate its commitment to the global fight against impunity by joining the International Criminal Court (ICC). Click here to view Press Release.
The Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street are localized protests that still made a tremendous impact in the world this year. They were organized in response to place-specific issues, but their appeal and influence were immediately global. Through their marching calls of democratic reforms and economic equality, the protests inspired multitudes of activists in many countries to ignite their own brand of revolution. In Southeast Asia, there were several protest movements this year that echoed the radical politics of Arab Spring and Occupy.
From December 2-4, 2011, Vietnam organized the Fifth Festival Culture, Sport and Tourist of the Khmer in South Vietnam to lure the tourists. This festival is organized every three years. The fifth festival is organized in Krabao (Tinh Bien) district, Mouth Chrouk (An Giang) province.
In three days festival, it covered many activities, such as: Boat Racing, Ox racing, exhibition, cultural shows, Khmer music shows, etc. There were twelve Khmer-Krom delegations from difference provinces attending this event. This year, there was a Khmer-Krom delegation from Toul Ta Mouk (Binh Phuoc) province which is not from the Mekong Delta region. There are very few Khmer-Krom still living in Toul Ta Mouk province because it locates near the border of Kampuchea-Krom and the Champa Kingdom (currently a central part of Vietnam).
Brief history of the Thanksgiving Day in America
In September 1620, there were 102 passengers on a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, to seek for a new home in the New World, so they could freely practice their faith and own a prosperity lands. After a long trip on the sea, faced a brutal winter, and suffered from outbreaks of the contagious disease, only half of the Mayflower’s passengers survived and moved ashore in Massachusetts in March 2011. They were fortunate to be greeted in English by an Abenaki Indian and later introduced to another Native American, Squanto, who could speak English. Squanto taught them how to cultivate corn, catch fish in rivers, extract sap from maple tree, and avoid poisonous plants.
In November 1621, the Pilgrims successfully harvested their first corn. They organized a celebratory feast and invited the Native American to celebrate the American’s “first Thanksgiving” to the Native American. In December 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill into law making Thanksgiving a national holiday on the fourth Thursday in November of each year.
By SETH MYDANS
Published by New York Times
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — The highest-ranking surviving Khmer Rouge leader, accused in the deaths of 1.7 million people, defended himself on Tuesday by casting his actions as part of a patriotic struggle to keep Vietnam from annexing Cambodia and exterminating ethnic Cambodians.
Presenting what could have been the condensed version of a political address from his days as the Khmer Rouge’s chief ideologue in the 1970s, the defendant, Nuon Chea, 85, spoke of threats from Vietnamese agents as a justification for the purges that led to the torture and killings that defined the Khmer Rouge regime.
On behalf of the Khmer-Krom Canadian community of Canada, the Presidents of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation Youth Committee in Ontario (Jeffery Kim), Quebec (Samnang Om), Alberta (Phekdey Son), wrote a joint letter to His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada prior to his trip visiting Vietnam from November 16 – 19, 2011.
Besides wishing His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston having a successful trip to Vietnam, they introduced to the Excellency about who Indigenous Khmer-Krom Peoples are and the human rights violations that the Khmer-Krom people are facing:
Every year, the Indigenous Khmer-Krom Peoples in Mekong Delta organize the Ork Ombok Festival to worship the moon on the 15th of the 10th lunar month. It is the time that the Khmer-Krom starts harvesting their rice. During this time, the Khmer-Krom people also celebrate the Pronang Touk Ngo (Boat Racing) Festival, to commemorate their ancestor’s navy troops that won the battles against their enemy to protect their homeland.
In recent years, the Vietnamese government has exploited the Boat Racing Festival to attract tourists. The Vietnamese government makes lots of profits from providing the tourist services and advertisement. The Khmer-Krom paddlers don’t gain a penny from those profits, except the winning teams may get some awards.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that Vietnam must improve its human rights record if it seeks better relations as the two countries held talks on the issue.
"We have made it clear to Vietnam that if we are to develop a strategic partnership, as both nations desire, Vietnam must do more to respect and protect its citizens' rights," Clinton said at the East-West Center in Hawaii.
Summary of the 18th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva: "On human rights and indigenous peoples, the Council welcomed the work of the Special Rapporteur and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and requested the Expert Mechanism to prepare a study on the role of languages and culture in the promotion and protection of the rights and identity of indigenous peoples, in addition to a questionnaire survey to seek the views of States on best practices to attain the goals of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.