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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - VN refugees accuse cops of trickery

VN refugees accuse cops of trickery

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.

"In

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

Bassac.

"We were told to keep the paper and

show it when people start being allowed back in," he said.

Only 10

percent of the 897 families waiting at the Bassac border crossing had Cambodia

listed as the head of household's birthplace, according to community

leaders.

"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.

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