VIETNAM: Authorities attack Buddhist community during language class at a temple
Vietnamese authorities violently attacked Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks and adherents at a temple in Dai Tho Hamlet, Long My Village in the Tam Binh District of Vietnam’s Vinh Long province on 22 November.
CSW(23.11.2023) – The Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Foundation reports that the incident took place at the Tro Nom Sek temple at around 3pm when non-uniformed authorities, accompanied by local gang members, disrupted a Khmer language class at the temple. After being asked to leave, the group proceeded to attack those gathered at the temple, resulting in injuries to the temple’s Abbot, Venerable Thach Chanh Da Ra, and two Khmer-Krom Buddhist followers, Kim Khiem and Thach Ret.
Khmer-Krom Buddhists have faced harassment in Dai Tho since March 2022, when Vietnamese authorities attempted to cut down a sacred 700-year-old tree at the Tro Nom Sek temple, and responded with violence to the Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks who resisted.
On 28 November 2022, a group of monks were arbitrarily stopped by police while on a routine trip to collect food offerings from nearby villages. The monks were threatened with fines and arrest.
CSW’s Founder President Mervyn Thomas said: ‘CSW condemns this recent attack on Khmer-Krom Buddhists in Dai Tho Hamlet, and the continued harassment that this community has faced since March 2022. We emphasise that this is part of a wider pattern of the targeting of religious and ethnic minorities across Vietnam that is often more severe in rural areas, and we urge the Vietnamese authorities to cease all harassment of Khmer-Krom Buddhists and other religious groups across the country.’
Notes to Editors:
- The Khmer Krom are ethnically Khmer people living in or from the region of Tây Nam Bộ in southwest Vietnam (Mekong Delta).
- The Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Foundation is a global organisation that advocates for the rights of the Khmer Krom people.