April 12, 2013

Trước thềm Hội Ngộ: Những thỉnh nguyện thư của các Dân Biểu, Thượng Nghị Sĩ Hoa Kỳ ...sau khi trại Site 2 đóng cửa....

Dear netters:Please send sign and send the petition out.  Your prompt action might make a difference to the 600-700 Vietnamese in Dong Rek Camp, Thailand.
There are indications that our advocacy on behalf of this group in the past
has worked.  Things are looking quite a bit better now.  However, they
can turn worse at any time.  Your action now is critical and will help.
Please pass the petition around to your friends and organizations that you

Congressman Stephen J. Solarz
1536 Longworth House Office Building
New Jersey and Independence, S.E.
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressman Solarz:
We are writing to request your intervention on behalf of 600-700
Vietnamese "land people" in Dong Rek Camp, Thailand.  These
people escaped Vietnam by crossing Cambodia into Thailand in the
early 80s.
The Thai government's position is that these people should be
resettled as bona fide refugees as stipulated by an international
agreement in 1989.  This agreement, the Comprehensive Plan of
Action, was signed in June 1989 by over 70 countries, including
the United States.
After over ten years in oblivion, these land people were
interviewed by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR) in September of this year.  Their biodata
were then passed to Thailand's Ministry of Interior for further
processing.  Our understanding is that if resettlement nations
are not prepared to take this group for resettlement, they will
eventually be returned to Vietnam.
At this moment, the US Embassy in Bangkok may be still reluctant
to take this group even they all have arrived before the cutoff
date and therefore should be considered bona fide refugees.  A
large number of them should also be qualified for resettlement to
the United States under the Lautenberg Amendment.
We need your support in pressing the US State Department to take
the lead in resettling a number from this group as pre-cutoff
refugees.  This is one small but pressing problem that ought to,
at long last, be resolved in justice and humanity.
Other members of congress:
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher
1039 Longworth House Office Building
New Jersey and Independence, S.E.
Washington, DC 20515

Senator Frank Lautenberg
506 Senate Hart Office Building
Constitution and 2nd, N.E.
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Mark O. Hatfield
711 Senate Hart Office Building
Constitution and 2nd, N.E.
Washington, DC 20510

Shortly after those petitions had submitted.  Here was the good news for the Land People: (trong đó có một lá thư của Cha Pierre Ceyrac sj)

The Aid To Refugee Children Without Parents,Inc.  received yesterday,
3/20/93, the following fax from Father Pierre Ceyrac, a 79 year-old
internationally known Jesuit priest, who has spent the past 8 years
working with Vietnamese Land Refugees in Site II, Thailand, regarding
the new positive development if the situation of former Dong Rek land
refugees, also known as "Platform cases",  who previously lived in
Section 19 of the Site II:
Aranyaprathet, March 20, 1993.
Dear Mr. Huu,
Some good news, at last!
Section 19 ( some 715 people ) will move to Phanat Nikhom on 7th
Much work has to be done still, to have them all included in the CPA (
not yet included).
On the same days (7th April and following days) the "new arrivals"
will move to Sikiew for Screening.
Congratulations for your good work.
P. Ceyrac


Under the CPA, those who arrived before the cut off date of 14-Mar-89
are supposed to be considered refugees and are to be resettled.  All
Vietnamese land people in Dong Rek did arrive before the cut off date
but was steadfastly denied the "pre-cutoff refugee" status by the
UNHCR. The UNHCR's rationale for this position is that only those arriving
in a first asylum camp run by the UNHCR before the cut off date
qualified as "pre-cutoff refugees" and Dong Rek is not under UNHCR
(but is run by the United Nations Border Relief Operation, UNBRO).
As long as they remained in Dong Rek, they would be treated, not as
Vietnamese refugees, but as Cambodians, displaced persons
who are not granted refugee status and do not have UNHCR protection;
they will not be considered by the CPA at all.  This move to Phanat Nikhom
(which is run by the UNHCR) is good news because it implies that they
are officially under the protection and responsibilities of the UNHCR
which provides them the opportunities to be interviewed for resettlement
in third countries. The good news is not about the physical
conditions or relative hardships of living in those camps.

Sau gần 30 năm nhìn lại, nhớ về những ngày tháng tuyệt vọng , gian khổ ...của Trại Tị Nạn Đường Bộ.  Hy vọng mỗi người Việt Tị Nạn Đường Bộ sẽ không bao giờ quên công ơn của các vị Ân Nhân của chúng ta...Từ Cha Pierre Ceyrac, Cha Thomas Dunleavy, Cha John Bingham, Cha Jean Houlmann, đến các Thiện Nguyện viên của các Tổ Chức Cứu Trợ Quốc Tế, các Nhân sĩ, Nghị sĩ, thân hào, Dân biểu...có nhiều người chúng ta chưa bao giờ nghe , hay biết đến song họ đã nối vòng tay nhân ái, hô hào vận động cho số mạng của mỗi người chúng ta...Hình ảnh các Cha vẫn ngày ngày vào trại ...với hy vọng tất cả chúng ta được cặp bến bờ Tự Do,  chính các Cha là những người đưa tiễn chúng ta lên đường định cư và cũng các ngài là những người cuối cùng rời trại...

Trong khuôn khổ để nhớ lại những công ơn đó, Hội Ngộ trại Tị Nạn Đường Bộ ngày 22 tháng Sáu này, sẽ là một cơ hội chính thức cho chúng ta nghiêng mình kính cẩn tri ân và nói lên những lời CẢM ƠN chân thành đến các vị Ân Nhân sẽ có mặt hôm đó, cũng như vắng mặt và những ân nhân nay đã Khuất mặt.


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