PRESS RELEASE For June 26, 2015
Stop Vietnam from Violating Human Rights & Colonizing Southeast Asia
As representatives of victims of Vietnam’s expansionist, land-grabbing policies against the populations of Cambodia, Laos, and the indigenous people in Vietnam (i.e. Khmer Krom community, the Degar community, and the Montagnards), we, concerned US citizens, are organizing a rally to protest the visit of top Vietnamese Communist Party leaders and government officials as scheduled below:
When: Friday, June 26th, 2015
Time: 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Where: The Capitol Hill (West Park Area) near Russell Senate office Bldg
Between Constitution Ave NW, Delaware Ave NE and New Jersey Ave NW
All concerned citizens are invited to join Cambodian Community leaders, the Cambodian National Rescue Foundation, the Khmer People Network for Cambodia, Khmer Krom Federation, the Union for Lao Nation, the Laotian Human Rights Council, and the Degar Foundation to urge our Congress and President to
Put pressure on Vietnam’s authoritarian government to respect freedom of religion and freedom of expression of the indigenous people in Vietnam
A protest demonstration will be taking place on Friday, June 26 in connection with the upcoming visit to the United States on July 10 of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong. The purpose of the demonstration is to bring attention to a wide variety of human rights and humanitarian abuses being carried out by the government of Vietnam that need to be addressed in conjunction with Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit. Currently, the governments of the US and Vietnam are engaged in negotiations aimed at healing the wounds of the Vietnam War, and promoting reconciliation and normalization of relations between the two countries. Among the issues of importance being discussed are the Obama’s Administration’s plan for a trade agreement for Pacific Rim countries (the Trans-Pacific Partnership), and proposals for reparations to be made to the victims of the widespread Agent Orange chemical spraying that took place during the war. While improved relations with Vietnam and effective treatment of Agent Orange attacks are highly desirable and necessary goals, they cannot take place in a vacuum, and without giving effective attention to Vietnam’s human rights abuses, and their efforts to secure political, military and economic control over Cambodia and other nations in the South East Asia region. The US policies towards re-enforcing such a repressive communist regime will bring calamitous consequences to the peace and stability of the region.
For example, while Vietnam seeks reparations for the US Agent Orange attacks, it is itself conducting similar attacks against farmlands in Cambodia aimed at forcing the eviction of farmers and their families from areas affected by a long-standing border dispute between these nations. In addition, rubber companies owned by the Vietnamese government (VRG and HAGL) have been forcibly evicting Cambodian farmers from their lands so that rubber plantations and factories can be developed. The Obama Administration must address these human rights concerns involving the government of Vietnam as part of the negotiations and activities that will be taking place during Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit. A failure to do so will mean that the promises of protections for worker rights and consumer protections in the TPP agreements will ring hollow, and that the Obama Administration will be making a political settlement with Vietnam that overlooks basic elements of our nation’s commitments to principles of human rights, social justice and democratic reform.
As a Communist government-run economy, Vietnam’s business model typically include:
1) systematic, unethical government sponsored land grabbing to benefit government-owned companies,
2) complete governmental monopolistic control,
3) plundering of natural resources of satellite countries of Cambodia and Laos (such as timber, minerals resources, hydroelectric energy) with little or no compensation to the owner country, and little regards for the environment.
These above examples, among many others, of unethical, non-transparent practices that are typical of a communist economy, make Vietnam an unsuitable partner in a trade partnership where our traditional democratic, free enterprise partners have been traditionally respectful of the rights of ownership, free of government intrusion and coercion in their business dealings.
Including companies who profit from illegal and coerced land grabbing of millions of poor peasants makes us the unwitting consumers of "BLOOD" products and the promoters of unfair competition towards our law-abiding, ethical free-enterprise companies.
Q1: What is the goal of Cambodia-America Alliance (CAA)?
A1: Our goal is to make Cambodia a country of vital interests to the US where both countries would mutually benefit economically. We are following the same footstep of countries such as Taiwan, South Korea, The Philippines, Thailand, Japan, and Israel, whose stories of success are undeniably based on their strategic alliance with the US. Our efforts in pushing legislations to advance the relationship between Cambodia and the US are also in alignment with the U.S. economic engagement policies in the Asia-Pacific region.
Q2: How does CAA plan to achieve the goal of making Cambodia a vital interest to the U.S.?
A2: We have to work on both sides of the hemisphere.
Q3: Will CAA eventually become a lobby group whose clients are either Cambodia, or US government and corporations?
A3: CAA is a non-profit organization under the Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(4) for promoting the social welfare of this country by forming a strategic alliance with the US. We will work closely with the US government and the Cambodian government to advance relationship between the two countries. As part of the process, we will engage in some US political and lobbying activities, but they are not the primary focus of our organization.
Q4. What strategic plan does CAA have in mind in pursuing Alliance with the US and how will this benefit both countries?
A4: It is by doing something that we have never done before—not by simply asking other countries to help us, but by forming a strategic alliance with the United States that values freedom, democracy, and human rights. “Strategic alliance” means that both sides benefit from the relationship. Before we ask others for helps, we must do our best to help ourselves. And when it’s time to ask others for help, we need to turn around and give something in return. It’s a process that requires a new mindset and a culture change within all level of our societies. The details of what exactly need to be done will be the tasks of CAA members.
Q5: What is the mission(s) of Cambodia-America Alliance?
A5: Cambodia-America Alliance is a coalition of US citizens and members of the Cambodian community around the world from different backgrounds and political viewpoints, pledge to reset our priorities by launching the Cambodia-America Alliance to actively voice our concerns on issues regarding democracy, human rights, and economic freedom and opportunities in Cambodia. We will continue to seek the supports of US lawmakers and the Executive Branch and push legislations that would strengthen the bilateral relationship between the United States and Cambodia for the social and economic benefits of both countries. Ultimately, we want to see Cambodia becoming a strong and trusted US ally that will bring freedom, stability, and economic opportunities for both countries.
Q6: What type of organization is Cambodia-America Alliance?
A6: Cambodia America Alliance, is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization (NGO), primarily focuses on education and advocacy on the important and fundamental of social reform for the people of Cambodia through cultural exchange, educational, partnerships and economic cooperation.
Q7: How is Cambodia-America Alliance financed?
A7: CAA relies on our fundraising activities and on the supports from the general public— individuals, other foundations, and corporations—for our income.
Q8: What mechanism does CAA organization have to address transparency and accountability of donors’ contribution?
A8: CAA organization takes transparency and accountability in donor’s contribution in a diligent manner. Our organization does not tolerate corruption that will tarnish our reputation. Through Check and balance monitoring process and make available all financial information to all members of the organization at all times.
Q9: How does CAA organization achieve its vision if the Cambodian government is aligned itself with communist Vietnam and China?
A9: According to diplomatic means and democratic principles, CAA organization will use education to empower the citizens of Cambodia according to appropriate procedures, in order to conduct democratic ideologies for improving the conditions that affects their daily lives.
Q10: How does CAA organization have immediate impacts on helping Cambodia?
A10: CAA organization highly values learning and education as the main platform of our structural goal to achieve success. In order to have an immediate impact on helping Cambodia, our team must focus and understand the fundamental challenges and constraints our community face here in the U.S. before we can advance to another step. The fundamental concern that our community lack could be associated with financial, education, political, and social necessity. Therefore, CAA organization seeks individuals who can make a difference in our community and give back to others. Our organization board members are dedicated to their professions and are willing to engage with other communities to improve our structural platform. Our team leaders have a diverse combination of skills and efficient experience in order to provide necessary procedures to ensure that our community can be successful. By improving our ways of thinking and accepting changes in our culture, we can effectively construct a substantial integrated community as a role model for Cambodia base on democratic principles.
Our principles of economic freedom and opportunities, democracy and human rights, and free enterprise.