Saturday, September 18, 2010

Peace Activist of the Week- Special Feature

I tried to find a specific person, but could find none that would quantify enough information. Instead I decided to shed light on the Hmong people.

Many people do not know that the Hmong people very well unless there is a large group of Hmongs in your community. Hmongs live in the United States as well as Laos and Thailand.

The plight of the Hmongs has been a sad one. Because the Hmongs decided to involve themselves in the Vietnam war for the US, they were forced into exile in Thailand at the end of the war. In 1989 the United States and the Thai government tried to encourage the Hmong to relocate to Laos. The Laotians agreed to host them. Laos is a communist government where the Hmong are harassed and brutally treated. At the time, the Clinton administration denied that Laos was violating the Hmongs' human rights. It was the Republicans who loudly and vehemently rallied to put an end the government backed deportation.

On December 27 2009, the Thai government has tried to forcibly remove the Hmong from their country by sending them to Laos. Many Hmong have escaped the deportation by holding themselves up in Buddhist monasteries and trying to escape into Thai society. The UN and the US have opposed their forced deportation. No one is quite sure what's going on because Thailand has blocked entry to Hmong regions and have jammed all cellular communications.

In March of this year, a small group of journalists were allowed to visit a village of Hmong in Laos. The Laotian general told the villagers to say good things about Laos. If they did not do so there would be consequences.

In the US protests of the Hmong treatment have come from the US Hmong and have taken place in several US cities. The US has a policy to allow more Hmong to be brought to the US.

Prominent US Hmong include Cy Thao, a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives and Mee Moua, a member of the Minnesota State Senate. Mee Moua's father was a medic in the Vietnam war and when Moua was five she and her family fled to Thailand. They relocated to the US in 1978.

It is my prayer that the Hmong receive the protection that they rightly deserve. It is also my fervent prayer that history does not repeat itself with Iraq and Afghanistan. One of my many reasons for disagreeing with the US's involvement in foreign affairs is that the United States will go to a country and end up condemning a minority group to human right's violations at the hand of the majority group. The Hmong is one such group.

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