VI. THE 1990S: ESCALATION IN LAND CONFLICTS
The authorities confiscate our swidden fields or rice paddies and say it's the property of the government. Just when our fields are ready for harvest, they take the land, plowing it over during the night to make coffee or rubber plantations. Sometimes they even want to demand money from us after they've taken our land and plowed it over. All we can do is cry. The Montagnards want to fight back.
-Jarai man from Gia Lai, March 2001
As land in the Central Highlands increasingly became occupied by immigrants and agribusiness, the question of land use rights became one of the most pressing problems facing the indigenous highlanders. Most Montagnards say the land issue emerged around 1975-1977, worsened in the mid-1980s, and then hit crisis levels during the second half of the 1990s.
A 1957 report by the Agricultural Division of the U.S. Operations Mission was a harbinger of conflicts to come. It noted that "the Montagnard tribes by tradition have certain rights to the land...it is our understanding that such rights have never been formally defined and recorded." The result could be disastrous if not promptly dealt with, the report said, offering several recommendations, including allocation of ownership rights, opening newly-cultivated lands to highlanders as well as ethnic Vietnamese "in a manner suitable to their customs," and indigenous language instruction in permanent farming techniques.101 The report was virtually ignored by government officials from the Republic of Vietnam as well as most American advisors in Vietnam at the time.
Since 1975 all land was deemed to officially belong to the state. Agriculture was organized into cooperatives, and forests and plantations were taken over by state enterprises.102 It took at least two years before government land experts from Hanoi were able to take that message to the far flung regions of the country. State cooperatives and enterprises were more fully established in the highlands in the early 1980s.
With the implementation of reforms under doi moi in the late 1980s, the cooperatives' role in managing and controlling land began to ebb. Legislation formalizing the movement to "decollectivize" land ownership was passed, such as Instruction No. 10 of 1988, which provided for allocation of land to households and enabled individual people to lease or buy part of the cooperative's land. Within five years the cooperatives did not really exist except in name; the reality was that some form of private ownership was possible, particularly for those who had connections and could pay for it.
Lack of Land Security
According to the 1993 Land Law, while all land still belongs to the state, individuals can acquire right to use and occupy land and they are allowed to buy, sell, inherit, and lease land use rights. Farm land can be leased for twenty years, with an automatic renewal of the lease if the land user has abided by the land law.103 However the legal framework for land usage rights and transactions is extremely weak and guarantees little security for land users, even if they hold official land use certificates.
Indigenous minority land remains particularly vulnerable not only because official policy discourages rotational agriculture, but because the land law only covers so-called "permanent agriculture" and not swidden plots left fallow.104 Plots of land customarily used by highlanders and left fallow to restore fertility are difficult to title and instead are often distributed to new settlers.
In addition, the law does not accommodate the customary communal ownership of land by many highlanders, many of whom are not accustomed to the idea of applying for title to individual plots of land.105 The land law is weighted toward privatized, individual claims rather than recognition of communal resource management traditionally used by the indigenous minorities.106
Indeed, this may have been a factor in many highlanders selling the small plots of land to which they were able to establish claims, or turning those plots themselves into quick-cash crops such as coffee and pepper. Those crops, while providing needed income, are risky endeavors because of the vagaries of the international market in such commodities. In other cases, highlanders who have gained land use certificates to small plots of land may end up selling their land because they lack the capital and labor to work in profitably.107 Farmers who sell their land may have money in hand for a while, but that can quickly disappear, leaving nothing to support their livelihood or for their progeny to inherit.
The land law tends to recognize only one name per household on land use certificates, which are primarily issued to men, who are usually classified as head of household. This not only denies women land use rights but also stands in stark contrast to traditional customs of many of the highland ethnic groups, in which landowners are always women and land is inherited through the female line.108
Land allocation and the issuance of land use certificates began in the mid-1990s. Government statistics show that as many as eight million households have been allocated agricultural land. However, the process of land allocation in highland areas has been slower and more problematic, not only because of lack of technical cadastral expertise but because of difficulties highlanders have in obtaining equitable access to government departments because of their physical isolation from provincial towns, lack of money for fees and bribes, language problems, and discrimination by local authorities.109
In the past, many highlanders supported themselves on at least one or two hectares of land per family, on which they practiced swidden agriculture. As lowlanders or ethnic minorities from other parts of Vietnam began to encroach on their land, or as state plantations displaced them, such practices became untenable. 110 An Ede man described the situation:
My grandfather had more than five hectares of land. The government took the land and gave only part of it to me-less than a hectare. In the past we did shifting agriculture, moving our farm plots around. The fallow land was part of our land. Now we just farm in one place. I have just enough land to feed my family, but nothing left over.111
Today, most highlanders eke out a living by farming rice and perhaps a small home garden of coffee and peppers on less than a hectare of land, making ends meet by trading in the market or working as laborers for the growing population of ethnic Vietnamese in the region.112 Any disruption of the household economy-be it a fine imposed for attending a church service or having a third child, or confiscation of a portion of a rice field-can have disastrous consequences on a family's economic survival.113
Over the past ten years, local authorities have acquired vast swathes of agricultural land for commercial development, sometimes forcing farmers to sell or buying from indebted peasants at prices far below market value.114 Farmers' loss of livelihood, inadequate payment for land, and confiscation of property by local authorities have fueled intense anger by indigenous highlanders, particularly in the last seven to ten years.
State Confiscation of Land
As in many countries, land can be confiscated by the state, if it is deemed necessary for government infrastructure projects such as roads or state agricultural plantations, although advance notification must be given to the user of the land, and proper compensation paid. The 1993 Land Law states that the government can "recover possession" of land if it is needed for purposes of "national defense, security, national or public interest." The law stipulates that prior to state appropriation of the land, the land user shall be notified of the reasons why the land is to be recovered, the timeframe, the plan for transfer, and the methods of compensation. 115
The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in its General Recommendation on Indigenous Peoples, calls upon states parties to:
...recognize and protect the rights of indigenous peoples to own, develop, control and use their communal lands, territories and resources and, where they have been deprived of their lands and territories traditionally owned or otherwise inhabited or used without their free and informed consent, to take steps to return those lands and territories. Only when this is for factual reasons not possible, the right to restitution should be substituted by the right to just, fair and prompt compensation. Such compensation should as far as possible take the form of lands and territories. 116
However, in many cases of state land expropriation or compulsory land sales in the Central Highlands, farmers receive inadequate compensation after local officials have taken their cut. This has sparked protests, such as in Ea H'leo in Dak Lak in August 2000,117 D hamlet in Buon Ma Thuot City in 1985 and 2000 (see below),118 and Buon Cuor Knia in Dak Lak in 1993 and again in 1996.119 Many highlanders fall into debt, and so are obliged to sell their land, often at artificially low prices, for short-term economic gain. As increasing numbers of farmers in the Central Highlands lose their land, they have little choice but to work as tenant farmers or occasional hired labor for more wealthy ethnic Vietnamese landowners, with no labor rights or legal associations to represent their interests.
In interviews and in complaint petitions to government departments obtained by Human Rights Watch, highlanders described how local authorities-often the provincial Education Department-have confiscated their small one hectare coffee fields, ostensibly to construct schools or other government buildings, without paying any compensation.120
In some cases, as in Dak Doa district of Gia Lai, streams that ethnic Jarai had used to water their fields were diverted in the early 1980s to irrigate state tea
and coffee plantations, hampering the Jarai's farming. "In the dry season they redirect the water so it's difficult for us to grow our crops," said a Jarai man from Dak Doa. "Then right before the rice is ready for harvest, our fields get completely flooded out. This has been happening since 1981." 121
"A Plea for Help"
In a document obtained by Human Rights Watch from a highland region in Phu Yen province, which borders Gia Lai and Dak Lak, an ethnic minority petitioner described how on July 27, 2000, government bulldozers razed the small plot of land (less than a hectare) he had cleared and farmed for nine years.122 The explanation given by local officials at the time was that the land was needed for public purposes and that he would be compensated. The petitioner wrote an official complaint but one year later had received no response-or compensation.
In a second complaint dated July 25, 2001, entitled "Plea for Help," the man requested intervention from the provincial bureau of religious affairs. The complaint is signed not only by the man whose land was confiscated but by his hamlet chief, who wrote "Certification of the Chief of [name withheld] Hamlet. All of the foregoing is true."
Describing the history of the case, the petition stated that in April 2001 the man was invited to meet village authorities, who said he would be compensated two million dong (about U.S. $153) for the land that had been razed the previous year. "I refused, because I had spent more than seven million dong razing and clearing the land and planting trees and vegetables, and I was only being offered two million," the man wrote in his complaint.
A month later, on May 30, village and district policemen stopped by the man's house and told him to take down his house and move somewhere else. During the course of that conversation the police reportedly also asked him why he was a Protestant. The next morning, eighty people-including village police, district soldiers and local officials, appeared at the man's house in two vehicles and dozens of motorcycles. The petitioner described what happened:
[They] were fully equipped with guns and ammunition, a movie camera, and handcuffs. They ordered me to take the house down. [Name of official withheld] began, and then all of the soldiers, police and local defense force joined in. They forced me to help with the work, telling me that if I didn't, I would go to jail.
Afterwards, government officials accused the man of illegally propagating the Protestant religion and opposing the Vietnamese Communist Party. He was told: "This land belongs to the state, gained by the sacrifice of untold numbers of revolutionaries, and doesn't belong in the slightest to America. Here you are practicing an American religion-why should you expect the state to come up with money for you?"
Lack of Government Action
Many grievances have to do with the fact that local authorities seldom respond to written or oral complaints about land conflicts submitted by ethnic minorities. An ethnic Bahnar described the problem to anthropologist Oscar Salemink:
The authorities do nothing; they put the Kinh in the right. The Kinh are never punished for their conflicts with the Bahnar, only the Bahnar are punished. We are very often punished, since 1975 every family in our village has been fined at least once.123
The 1993 Land Law stipulates that land disputes are to be resolved through conciliation by the provincial, district, or municipal People's Committees. If any party disagrees with the decision of the People's Committees they can appeal to higher government administrative bodies, or to the courts.124
Despite the provisions of the law, it appears that many highlanders-if they complain at all to local authorities-rarely succeed in moving beyond the district level People's Committee, which almost never takes action on the complaints. "They dutifully write down a report," said an Ede man from Buon Cuor Knia in Dak Lak. "But the problem continues."125 A Jarai from Chu Se district in Gia Lai had a similar complaint:
The authorities take and sell land to ethnic Vietnamese that is already in use by the ethnic minorities. The Vietnamese get the land title documents, and then they evict the highlanders. It is the commune authorities who are selling land. In other cases, ethnic Vietnamese occupy land that Jarai have left fallow to let it become fertile again. When we complain afterwards, we face intimidation from the authorities. At the same time, there is little point in complaining to the authorities because they are heavily involved.126
No Response after Five Years: The Conflict in D Village127
Official documents obtained by Human Rights Watch from the Central Highlands, including citizen complaint petitions filed with national and local level government departments, reflect the concerns of many highlanders about government inaction over confiscation of village lands.
One longstanding conflict dates back to the mid-1980s in D village, a hamlet of some 113 Ede families (644 people) on the outskirts of Buon Ma Thuot City, which is recorded in two citizen complaint petitions submitted in 1995 and 2000.128
The first document, dated April 27, 1995, was sent to the Nationalities Council of the National Assembly and copied to the Ministry of Interior and the district and commune Peoples Committees in Dak Lak province. It described how in 1985 villagers followed a government relocation order and moved their village to a new site. At that time, the petitioners stated, villagers received a pledge from the first secretary of the Communist Party in their commune that their former village lands were still theirs to cultivate.
However beginning in 1986 the government began to appropriate the village land, with much of it going to a state tree nursery operated by the provincial forestry service. The villagers proposed that the forestry service enter into a contract in which villagers could plant trees on the land in order to at least partially support their livelihood, but the forestry service did not agree.
In 1990, the petitioners stated, the forestry service turned over forty hectares of land to an ethnic Vietnamese person from another province, who planted trees and cashews on the land. Additional land was turned over to the state nursery, leaving less and less for the villagers to support their livelihoods. In 1995, the petition stated, the forestry unit employed armed units to further confiscate village land.
The villagers of D hamlet stated in their first petition that they did not oppose the government's underlying goals in planting nurseries-but not at the expense of local peoples' livelihoods, and not when confiscated land was subsequently sold to people from other regions to plant cash crops. The 1995 petition stated:
As far as the nursery goes, we agree with the economic plan of the state as it was set out in the beginning. But [instead] the trees are being cut down and the land has been leased out and rent collected on it. In the meantime we villagers are not allowed to work the land....
Therefore we are sending this petition to you and ask you to investigate the situation and find a resolution that satisfies the hopes of our people. At present, the forestry service is not using the land for its intended purpose but rather has sold the land taken from the local people to people from other regions to plant coffee and sugar cane.129
The 1995 petition ends with a plea for government action: "As a result of this situation the people in the hamlet of D are in desperate straits, and before long, deaths are going to result either as a result of starvation or struggles to make a living."
Apparently there was little, if any, response from government officials. A second petition from D village obtained by Human Rights Watch, dated October 24, 2000, noted that "five full years have gone by, and we have received no reply. Our difficult economic situation has become even worse. Indeed, we have gotten to the point where we may die of starvation. We are losing all of our confidence."130
Intersection of Land Conflicts and Religious Persecution
Montagnards interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that often those singled out by the government for confiscation of their land were minority Christian leaders, and that such discriminatory action has been going on for years. This is supported by some of the documents obtained by Human Rights Watch, such as a 1993 order from commune police in Dak Lak confiscating the property of a church leader on the grounds that she was illegally propagating religion.131
In one case from Dak Mil district of Dak Lak, a Mnong named T132 told Human Rights Watch that when local authorities bulldozed his small coffee farm in May 2001, he perceived the act as very much linked to his role in his village as church leader:
It was because I was the leader of the youth religious group that they took my land. They didn't do this to my followers. The authorities had been monitoring me for some time. 133
For years T had conducted regular church services in his home as well as a weekly youth group on Thursday nights in the village church, which was built by the villagers over the objections of local authorities in 1997.
In May 2001, local authorities announced that they needed T's land to build a school and confiscated his one-hectare farm. The conflict had started about a year earlier, when two Vietnamese commune officials-the same ones who had prepared legal land use documents for T for his land in 1997-came several times to inspect and measure his land.
When they first came, in 2000, I went to talk with them. They said it was the land of the government already. I told them not to take my land: "I'll struggle with you even if I die, because it's my land." They said, "You can't work it because the district government has decided already. You have no power to oppose us."
T complained verbally and in writing to the district and commune authorities. While both the district and commune responded in writing, they did not solve the problem, he said. Instead, on May 8, 2001, a Vietnamese worker from the commune office arrived with a tractor and began to plow over his land:
I tried to stop him. I wanted to fight him so he called four others-all Vietnamese, including one Vietnamese policeman. The policeman came to watch because we were fighting. I asked him to help me. He said, "I don't have the ability to help you-I can't help you." The police and my relatives stopped me from burning the tractor. Everyone in my village saw this happen.
T, who had farmed the one-hectare plot since 1997, said the land was unused when he took it over and cleared it. In 1999, he obtained legal land use rights for land from the district office, paying a one-time fee of 20,000 dong (about U.S.$1.50) for the land certificate and then 40,000 dong a year in tax.134
T explained his understanding of the land use certificate he had obtained: "It means that my whole life I will have the land."
After the confiscation of his land, T struggled to support his family and came under increased surveillance and harassment from local officials for his religious activities. He eventually fled to Cambodia, seeking asylum there.
When they plowed my land I was devastated. The coffee was to support my life. When they plowed it, it was like they killed me. They plowed it all-500 coffee plants, one well, and eighty-seven pepper plants. Afterwards, I had nothing left.
A number of people in his village, including T himself, supported the February 2001 demonstrations, although most were unable to actually participate because of police barricades along the road to Buon Ma Thuot. While T's initial calling appears to have been as a church leader, the confiscation of his land made him a stronger supporter of the land rights movement: "My understanding of the movement is that it's the struggle to demand the land of the ethnic minorities and control it ourselves," he said.
Escalating Tensions over Land
Throughout the Central Highlands, conflicts over land rose sharply in the mid to late 1990s, as described by an Ede woman church leader from Dak Lak:
Since the Communists came in 1975, they said all land belongs to the state. There's no land that we can own, even if we have the papers. I had title to my soybean farm since 2000, but the authorities took it anyway. They said they had authorization from the province to give my land to the government. Then they gave it to a Vietnamese family who had resettled there.
The conflicts over land have been strongest since the early 1980s, when Vietnamese people started moving to my village. Now there are more Vietnamese than ethnic minorities in my village, or more than 1000. There are daily arguments between the two groups.
Vietnamese people would forcibly occupy land that ethnic minorities had cleared but were not yet occupying. They took over our land, bit by bit. The minorities who had farms told the Vietnamese to go back to their place, in Hanoi. The conflicts occurred daily.135
An Ede man said that when conflicts first arise, often it is just a small spat between a couple of highlanders and ethnic Vietnamese people over a patch of land. "The next day many more Vietnamese come-how can we fight with them?" he said. "When we report to the government authorities they don't do anything. Usually these conflicts are between four or five of us and twenty or thirty Vietnamese."136
Some highlanders described how even village cemeteries had been confiscated and plowed over for state plantations or private farms, as described by a Mnong from Dak Mil district:
In my village from 1994-2000 the Vietnamese took our land-even plowing over our cemetery to build their houses. People were very unhappy when they plowed over the cemetery but did not dare oppose them. The felt the district officials would do nothing to help.137
A Mnong asylum seeker in Cambodia summarized the land concerns of many of the highlanders:
We consider ourselves the owners of the land and natural resources. Forestry and agricultural enterprises take over an area by official decree, and then it belongs to the state. The government explains to us that the Forestry Enterprise is supposed to benefit us-but then we see Vietnamese buying off the plots. Suddenly agricultural land that used to belong to us belongs to Vietnamese people who have the proper stamps and papers. It happens through the administration. We freely withdraw or are told we can't live there anymore. In the end there are threats: you must move for development.138
"One Day We Will be the Ones in Charge"
The story of M,139 an illiterate Jarai farmer from the Central Highlands who fled to Cambodia in June 2001, exemplifies the type of simmering anger that many highlanders felt.140
In April 2001 M's rage exploded, which landed him in prison for two months. He was arrested after he confronted a local Vietnamese businessman who had cheated him out of part of his week's wages as a laborer. After clearing farmland for the businessman for a week, at 15,000 dong (about U.S. $1) a day, M was furious when the man short-changed him:
I got angry with him, and said "Just wait-one day we'll have our own [Montagnard] country and we will be the ones in charge then."
M, who was not active in the MFI organization and did not attend the February 2001 demonstrations, had heard of the land rights movement from A.S., an MFI organizer who had passed through his district some months before.
He met me in my farm field. I didn't know him before. I don't know what the movement is called-I only heard "Dega"-the struggle to get our land back. In my village no one but me followed the movement as far as I know. As for Kok Ksor, I had only heard of him, but not so clearly-from A.S. I knew that Kok Ksor was in America and that he would come in the future and help us.
The Vietnamese man who had cheated M went to the police, who then immediately arrested M and took him to jail. He was interrogated and beaten twice, first during his arrest and then during an interrogation about a month later. Both times he told the police that he supported the movement for highlanders "getting their land back."
The first time they beat me, they hit me on my back and legs with a long stick during interrogation. The reason was because I told them I wanted to protest about the land and wanted to take our land back. There was no blood, only bruises, which disappeared after two or three days. The second beating was the same. They asked me if I was going to stop [demanding land]. I said I will continue. When I said I wanted to struggle against them, they began beating me. I said one word about that and they beat me. I told them I would do whatever I could to oppose them; even if it meant I die, I wasn't afraid. That caused them to hit me even more.
While M was by no means an active MFI member, it appears that his one interaction with a MFI organizer encouraged him to take action to recover land that he saw as having been unfairly taken away by the government:
In the past, during the time of my grandparents, my family's land was larger. We had about three hectares. I had that land during the war, and my grandparents before me. It was enough to support my family, planting rice. Later, after liberation, they plowed it for rubber. From 1977 until now, they started taking my land. They keep squeezing me. In 1977 they took a little bit and then in 1978 they took the rest. It was for a state rubber plantation. Since 1978, I've had less than half a hectare.
When we protested about the land problem, the authorities told us to complain to the province. But we don't know how to write-how can we protest. Many people in my village have the same problem. Their land has been taken away. My current plot of land is not enough to support my family, so I work as a laborer, cutting trees and grass for others.
When the Vietnamese businessman cheated him out of his wages, that was the last straw. M had no prior association with or knowledge of MFI, but his own frustrations over land made him receptive to the MFI organizer's message. His confrontation with the authorities landed him two months in jail before he was able to flee to Cambodia.
101 "Policy Regarding Land Development Projects," mimeographed, U.S. Operations Mission, Saigon, January 1957; cited in Hickey, Free in the Forest, 1982. p. 36
102 UNHCR Centre for Documentation and Research, "Vietnam: Indigenous Minority Groups in the Central Highlands," Writenet Paper No. 05/2001, January 2002.
103 Article 20, 1993 Land Law, published in A Selection of Fundamental Laws of Vietnam, The Gioi Publishers, Hanoi, 2001.
104 UNHCR Centre for Documentation and Research, "Vietnam: Indigenous Minority Groups in the Central Highlands," Writenet Paper No. 05/2001, January 2002.
105 Sara Colm, "Land Rights: The Challenge for Ratanakiri's Indigenous Communities," Watershed: People's Forum on Ecology, Vol. 3, No. 1, Bangkok: Terra, July 1997.
106 John V. Dennis, PhD, "A Review of National Social Policies, Viet Nam," Poverty Reduction & Environmental Management in Remote Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Watersheds Project (Phase I), 2000. See also UNHCR Centre for Documentation and Research, "Vietnam: Indigenous Minority Groups in the Central Highlands," Writenet Paper No. 05/2001, January 2002.
107 Salemink, "Customary Law, Land Rights and Internal Migration," Vietnam Social Sciences, February, 2000.
108 Rita Gebert, Gender Issues in the MRC-GTZ Sustainable management of Resources in the Lower Mekong River Basin Project, Dak Lak Province, Vietnam," Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH and Mekong River Commission Secretariat, Hanoi, 1997. Greg Booth, "RRA Report of Two Communes in the Se San Watershed," Regional Environmental Technical Assistance 5771-Poverty Reduction & Environmental Management in Remote Greater Mekong Subregion Watersheds Project (Phase I), Helsinki, 1999.
109 Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Report on Land Situation, Hanoi, 1998. Cited in Roger Plant, "Indigenous Peoples, Ethnic Minorities and Poverty Reduction (Working Draft)," ADB RETA No. 5953, Manila, October 2001. UNHCR Centre for Documentation and Research, "Vietnam: Indigenous Minority Groups in the Central Highlands," Writenet Paper No. 05/2001, January 2002.
110 In neighboring Ratanakiri province of Cambodia, where the population density is much lower, indigenous highlanders have an average of one to two hectares per family under active cultivation plus another five or six hectares of fallow fields to plant swidden and cash crops on a rotational basis. Sara Colm, "Land Rights: The Challenge for Ratanakiri's Indigenous Communities," Watershed: People's Forum on Ecology, Vol. 3, No. 1, Bangkok: Terra, July 1997.
111 Human Rights Watch interview with Ede man from Buon Cuor Knia, Dak Lak, April 22, 2001.
112 Most highlanders interviewed by Human Rights Watch stated that they only had one or two sao of land in Vietnam. One sao is 360 square meters.
113 Many highlanders report being forced to pay fines of 600,000 dong (about U.S. $46) when their third child is born, with fines rising for the fourth and fifth, as part of government family planning programs. See section, "Pressure to Limit Family Size," below.
114 "Cuu Long farmers sell their land to survive," Vietnam News, July 2, 1997.
115 Articles 27 and 28, 1993 Land Law, The Gioi Publishers, Hanoi 2001.
116 Vietnam has been a party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) since 1982. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, General Recommendation XXIII on Indigenous Peoples (Fifty-first session, 1997) U.N. Doc. A/52/18, annex V.
117 Reuters, "Vietnam district stable after ethnic clash," August 17, 2000. Radio Free Asia, "Ethnic minority attack on Vietnamese settlers in Central Highlands," August 15, 2000
118 See Appendices A and B, pages 174-178, for full translations of Vietnamese language petitions in regard to the land conflict in D Hamlet, whose name has been withheld to protect the security of petitioners.
119 Human Rights Watch interview with Ede men from Buon Cuor Knia, April 23, 2001.
120 Human Rights Watch interviews with Jarai men, March and June 2001; Ede families, April, 2001; Mnong and Ede families, July, 2001.
121 Human Rights Watch interviews with Jarai men from Dak Doa district, Gia Lai on June 26, 2001 and December 9, 2001.
122 "Plea for Help," (Don Keu Cuu) to Bureau of Religious Affairs, Phu Yen Province and Protestant Church of [city name withheld], Phu Yen Province, July 25, 2001. Vietnamese-language document and translation on file at Human Rights Watch.
123 Salemink, "The King of Fire," p. 511.
124 Articles 28.3, 38, and 38.2.c of the 1993 Land Law, published in A Selection of Fundamental Laws of Vietnam, The Gioi Publishers, Hanoi, 2001.
125 Human Rights Watch interview with Ede men from Buon Don district, Dak Lak, April 22, 2001.
126 Human Rights Watch interview with Jarai man, May 18, 2001.
127 The name of the village has been withheld to protect the security of petitioners.
128 See Appendices A and B, pages 174-178, for the full translation of the following citizen petitions: "Resolution of the People of D Hamlet, Re: Loss of land needed to make a living to Central Committee on Nationalities of the National Assembly," April 27, 1995. "Supplemented Petition, regarding the wrongful exploitation of land of D hamlet, Buon Ma Thuot City, Dak Lak Province," October 24, 2000.
129 "Resolution of the People of D Hamlet, Re: Loss of land needed to make a living, to: Central Committee on Nationalities of the National Assembly," April 27, 1995. See Appendix A, page 174, for full translation of Vietnamese language document.
130 "Supplemented Petition, regarding the wrongful exploitation of land of the hamlet of D, Buon Ma Thuot City, Dak Lak Province," October 24, 2000. See Appendix B, page 176, for full translation of Vietnamese language document.
131 Bien Ban Tam Giu Do Vat Tai San, or Receipt for Temporarily Confiscated Goods and Property, [village and commune withheld], Dak Lak, July 9, 2001. Vietnamese language document on file at Human Rights Watch.
132 The name of the villager has been withheld to protect his security.
133 Human Rights Watch interview, July 16, 2001.
134 The land use document that he acquired in 1999, entitled "Giay Quyen Su Dung dat dai" entitles the person to use and occupy a plot of land. According to the land law, these rights are good for twenty years, and then renewable after that if the person has abided by the land law-unless the state deems it necessary to repossess the land for infrastructure purposes, national defense, etc. See articles 20, 27, and 28 of Vietnam's 1993 Land Law.
135 Human Rights Watch Interview with Ede woman from Dak Lak, April 22, 2001.
136 Human Rights Watch interview with Ede man from Dak Lak, April 22, 2001.
137 Human Rights Watch interview with Mnong man from Dak Mil district, Dak Lak, July 16, 2001.
138 Human Rights Watch interview with Mnong man from Dak Lak, July 12, 2001.
139 The name of the villager has been withheld to protect his security.
140 Human Rights Watch interview with Jarai man from Gia Lai, June 27, 2001.