Saturday, May 26, 2012

Meeting with His Excellency Deepak Ohbrai, Secretary of Foreign Affairs

Op-Ed: CambodiaBuddhism.Info

Joint Statement

Most Respect Venerable Vipassana, the Abbot of Wat Khmer
The Honorable Deepak Ohbrai, MP Calgary East Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Distinguished Guests and Participants;

Today, it is very honored for our Khmer-Canadian community to welcome His Honorable Deepak Ohbrai, the Member of Parliament of Calgary East and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Representatives of our community members had a chance to meeting MP Deepak at his office during March this year, and the visiting of MP Deepak today is meaningful for us. Of course, we are confirmed and confident that meeting with MP Deepak means we are meeting with the Canadian Government. And our community members will have chance to learn the unlearned things and our government will hear the unheard things from us as well.

Today, we have three important issues to discuss with MP Deepak:
1. Our Khmer-Canadian Buddhist Cultural Center in here, its achievements and future plans
2. Latest development and ongoing issues at our mother land, Cambodia
3. Recent forcible arrest of Venerable Loun Sovath who is the Buddhist monk and human rights activist in Cambodia.

Khmer-Canadian Buddhist Cultural Center
Khmer-Canadian community is very proud to have this place for its multi-functional purposes. It is a temple, a shelter for monks and a center for practicing and preserving Khmer culture.

This place was initially purchased in 2002 and completed its renovation in 2003 after the relocating from a residential area in South East of Calgary. Actually, our association was created since the 80s when many Khmer members resettled in Calgary and vicinity. From that time, our senior members put much of their effort and dedication to looking for a place in which we can worship, conduct rituals and serve the youths, the children, the seniors as well as the women.

The center is also opening to the public for meditation classes in every weekend. Those participants have hugely learned on how to have self-management, mental and spiritual development.

At the moment, our community members and leaders have discussed on the plan to solve the current problems such as: expansion plan of the Ogden road in the front of the center by the city, narrow parking lot, old building, no space for playground of our children, not so healthy shelter for the monks and other necessaries. If time arrives, and we have sufficient fund, we will relocate to the larger place to help solve all those problems as well as to serve our growing members in our community.

The Khmer-Canadian Buddhist Cultural Center here is very important for all of us. It has served us physical development, mental development and spiritual development. It has served both original Khmers and mainstream local people. More than this, it has helped develop our second home country of Canada on social, cultural, political and economic development.

Latest development and ongoing issues at our mother land, Cambodia
Although we all have resettled a new life in Canada and have enjoyed the provision of Canada on its State of Welfare, Rule of Law, Democracy, Human Rights and Equality; our community members are still regarding and missing the Cambodia as the unforgettable motherland. Each year, the members go back to visit family members, relatives and home villages in Cambodia.

More than this, our members are following closely the latest development of political, social and economic in Cambodia.

After the Paris Peace Agreement, we do hope things are getting better and changes we have expected are not generally satisfying us. According to recent report on human rights index by the government of America, this recent year, Cambodian government has not undertaken and taken its serious implementation on the respect of human rights. Cambodian citizens who are waking up from the past trauma have sometime been worsened by the recent policies of the government such as: land grabbing, land concession, partial judiciary system and authoritative leadership of the Prime Minister.

As the matter of fact, and as Cambodia is the chair of ASEAN this year; Cambodia must play its role model on bettering its administration, ensuring the respect of human rights, enforcing the respect of the rule of law, and developing the country which could serve the bottom line citizens, not just for the riches, the powerful and the elites at the present.
We would like to call for your attention, the Government of Canada in few below aspects:
- Paris Peace Agreement and its key goals must be achieved in some acceptable level in Cambodia during these passing 30 years.
- Khmer Rouge Tribunal must be impartial, independent and no interference from the government.
- The actual perpetrators and justice for the death of Mr. Chut Wutty, the green forest activist and environmentalist of Cambodia, shot to dead by the police official on April 26, 2012, must be convicted and properly investigated.
- Forced eviction and land grabbing in capital Phnom Penh and throughout the countryside of Cambodia must be stopped and justly solved.
- Venerable Loun Sovath who is a Buddhist monk, human rights defender and non-violence preacher must not be harassed and disturbed by the authority of Cambodian government for his works to preaching peace, compassion and non-violence to all Cambodian people.

Recent forcible arrest of Venerable Loun Sovath who is the Buddhist monk and human rights activist in Cambodia

For this matter, we are speechless to the situation but just take your few minutes to watch video clip as following:

Thank you very much,

Listen the whole audio voice

Read Joint Statement in Pdf

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