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Rights Group Appeals for Help of Khmer Kampuchea Krom Monks

A rights group for the Khmer Kampuchea Krom ethnic group has made a public appeal to the government and Buddhists to help monks who flee persecution in Vietnam.

The Khmer Kampuchea Krom Human Rights Organization asked that the monks be allowed to stay and study in Cambodian pagodas and be recognized as Cambodian citizens. They asked donor countries to push harder for rights of the group in Vietnam's Mekong Delta.

Thirteen monks who had fled Vietnam were "suffering fear and discrimination" and had no place to stay, the group said in an open letter.

The organization "would like to call on both Cambodian Buddhist sects, heads of monks of all pagodas, pagoda commissions [and] particularly the Royal Government of Cambodia to help provide pagodas [for the monks] to stay and to continue study," the group said.

The letter, dated May 8, was copied to Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Cults and Religion and the media.