W HILE the immigration bill awaits debate in the National Assembly, Cambodian
police have issued an identity paper to Cambodian-born ethnic Vietnamese
refugees which they say mistakenly lists their birthplace as Vietnam.
February police said they were registering us in preparation to go back, maybe
within the next month," said Yung Bang, a community leader elected by the
refugees floating inside Vietnam just beyond the Cambodian Chrei Thmei
checkpoint on the Tonle
"We were told to keep the paper and
show it when people start being allowed back in," he said.
percent of the 897 families waiting at the Bassac border crossing had Cambodia
listed as the head of household's birthplace, according to community
"I know many people who were born in Cambodia but the police
wrote Vietnam," said Yung Bang.
"I was born in Kompong Chhnang. My father
and grandfather were too," he added, showing the paper which listed his
birthplace as Vietnam.
Ven Jung Wa, a 65-year-old fisherman who had
reporters feel the shrapnel left in his right shoulder by the Khmer Rouge during
the Chnnok Tru attack in March, said his new paper also stated Vietnam as his
birthplace, despite his birth in Kompong Thom.