This article is part of WikiProject Vietnam, an attempt to create a comprehensive, neutral, and accurate representation of Vietnam on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page.
This article is within the scope of WikiProject Ethnic groups, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of articles relating to ethnic groups, nationalities, and other cultural identities on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
It seems like these two articles share a lot of the same information, the article on Degar even explicitly says that Degar is just another name for Montangard. It seems like Montagnard is the better known term and the better developed article, so I suggest we merge Degar into Montagnard. --Misfit (talk) 17:06, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
This has prompted several human rights organizations to argue that the Degar are subject to an ongoing and continual genocide by the current Vietnamese government.
This is a weasel worded sentence. Which human rights organizations? This sentence should include the name of the most respectable human rights organizations which have made this accusation. --Philip Baird Shearer 10:11, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
When the U.S.-based Montagnard Foundation, Inc. (MFI), led by Jarai-American Kok Ksor, launched a renewed effort to build support for an independent "Dega" homeland in 2000, it found an extremely receptive audience. While many MFI members, and highlanders in general, are former FULRO supporters, there is no indication that there was any armed component to MFI's efforts and, to Human Right Watch's knowledge, MFI has never advocated the use of violence as a means of achieving independence.
It is clear that the MFI may be a human rights organisation but it has an overtly political agenda.
One of the letters if from Michael "Mike" Benge. On this web site it says "The author spent 11 years in Vietnam as a Foreign Service Officer and worked closely with the Montagnards during that time. Of those 11 years, 5 were as a Prisoner of War. Upon his release in 1973, he returned as a volunteer to Vietnam and continued his work with the Montagnards. He continues to work with the Montagnards in the United States and on behalf of those remaining in Vietnam as an advisor to the Montagnard Human Rights Organization (MHRO) in North Carolina." It is not clear that MHRO is a human rights organisation without an overtly political adjenda.
For the allegations of genocide to be included in this article I think we need a better source than these, or if these have to be used then the wording should reflect that they are from organisations with an overt political agenda --Philip Baird Shearer 11:33, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
As no one has provided a source for the genocide allegations, I have removed the sentence from the article please provide a Reliable source before reinstating it. --Philip Baird Shearer 19:36, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Mr. Shearer; with all due respect, it is difficult to know what other word to use to describe the actions toward the Dega (aka Degar) people who are the aboriginal inhabitants of the area now known as Vietnam. They have been persecuted by the people we now know as Vietnamese since their arrival in Indo-China over a thousand years ago.
The incomers treated the Dega and other aboriginal inhabitants as animals. They exterminated them where possible, or drove them from the fertile lowland regions into the rugged mountainous regions they inhabit today. Indeed, they still refer to them as "monkey-people" and do not recognize their language as human to this very day - I have heard them use this term myself less than two years ago.
In more recent and "enlightened" times, they have forced them to intermarry with the Viets, and be educated only in Vietnamese, in order to eliminate them as a distinct genetic and ethno-linguistic group. In short, their policies in times past and to this day are distinctly genocidal, in that they seek to exterminate or absorb the Dega and other ethnic minorities in Vietnam.
When I served in Vietnam (1967-8), I was a member of the Combined Action program, a USMC "hearts and minds" program. (There is an article on CAP, which I have contributed to, elsewhere on WIkipedia.) CAP Marines lived in the villages in squad-sized units (about 12-15 men) and ran defensive operations, military training for the RF-PF (militia) units, and performed civic action such as medical work, wells, etc. CAP worked mainly among the Vietnamese in the lowlands, but I had the singular honor of working among the Bru of the Highlands in the vicinity of Khe Sanh.
I personally witnessed instances of Vietnamese hostility towards these people, ranging from petty discrimination to brutal treatment including torture. One of our corporals stopped the torture of a Bru (the local Dega tribe) by the RVN Viet police chief in Khe Sanh. The chief initially refused the corporal's demand to cease, so the corporal pulled his .45 pistol and leveled it at him, telling him he would shoot him if he didn't stop - which he (wisely) did. The corporal was later decorated for his action, but transferred because of the rancor of the police chief and the possibility it would occur again. (Of course, that was in the days when torture was at least nominally disapproved of by the US.)
After the fall of Saigon, many Bru and other Dega and ethnic minorities, as well as Viets who had assisted us or supported the Saigon regime, were killed outright. Others were put in "re-education" camps and tortured. I know many who later escaped and live in the US now. All bear cars of their ordeals. One had his hand cut off at the wrist for attempting to tunnel his way out. Of course, that was based at least partly on their having supported the losing side, and to be fair, Viets were also tortured and murdered by the new regime. Their plight has been made worse by the fact that many have professed Christianity in recent years, despite brutal persecution, particularly of evangelical Protestant sects (which the bulk of the Bru tribe now belong to).
Many of my comrades have traveled back there since, and report that the situation is little improved. The Bru are still being driven back and dispossessed, as the new regime has sent many Viets into the region to settle the land. The Bru are still being "encouraged" to intermarry. Their customs, language, and culture are still being suppressed. This is as late as last year.
In summary, I again ask - if this is not "genocide" then what should it be called? It is true that it is not on the scale of what Hitler carried out in WW II, or what Stalin did in Russia - it doesn't even come up to Pol Pot's killing fields - but this is (at least partially) more a factor of the relative size of the populations and their relative isolation until recent times.
To clarify my own position, I am not against the Vietnamese, nor ever was, even when I was fighting there - I know and like many of them, and have contributed to programs like East Meets West, and other ventures bringing aid to them, as well as those helping the Bru and other Dega people. I have no antipathy towards any of the people of Asia, even those I opposed in the war. Indeed, I would very much like to meet some of former opponents I personally faced in combat if they could be identified. I have no "political agenda" - I no longer support that war (or any war, incl, the present one), nor do I support the current regime (though I didn't support the former one either), nor even the capitalist system they support (nor do I support the opposing systems).
However, what the Vietnamese have done and are doing to the Dega and other ethnic minorities, while no different from or worse than what was done to the Native Americans, the African-Americans, the Australian Aborigines, or virtually any people in history who have been displaced, destroyed,and/or enslaved, is certainly a form of genocide in my understanding of that word.
As to whether my personal experiences and those of my comrades will constitute a "Wikipedia-Reliable source" for you or others, I am not sure - but it is true, nonetheless, and based on personal experience and that of others whose word I trust implicitly. I would, however, submit that it should be at least as worthy as that of groups outside that country, most of whom have never been there - or at least unaccompanied by members of the current regime there.
If you or anyone else has any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I prefer E-mail, and you can get in direct touch by visiting my CAP memorial site ( http://www.cap-oscar.org ) and using the form there. I will respond by direct E.
After reading the entry in favor of using the term "genocide", I agree that there appears to be a great deal of hostility shown to the Degar people and other indigenous minority groups but I do not believe genocide is the appropriate term in this case. The term that I think fits best would be extreme prejudice.
There is nothing wrong with different ethnic groups marrying into each other. Doing so would actually be beneficial to survival due to gene pool diversity. This may even be considered another form of inter-racial joining. The treatment of the Degar people by the Viet people may be deplorable and inhumane at times but it is far from genocide. Furthermore, you will find communities in all parts of the world where one group of people will consider themselves above another group.
An image used in this article, File:F38.jpeg, has been nominated for deletion at Wikimedia Commons in the following category: Deletion requests December 2011
What should I do?
Don't panic; a discussion will now take place over on Commons about whether to remove the file. This gives you an opportunity to contest the deletion, although please review Commons guidelines before doing so.
If the image is non-free then you may need to upload it to Wikipedia (Commons does not allow fair use)
If the image isn't freely licensed and there is no fair use rationale then it cannot be uploaded or used.
I understand that the term moi, meaning savages in Vietnamese, was formerly applied to these people. There are numerous references in older literature that use the terms moi or moi tribe or moi culture. H. Maître (1909) Les Régions Moi du Sud-lndochinois: Le plateau de DarlacExample 2, Example 3 While the term moi in European sources seems to have been mostly applied to the minorities of the Central Highlands (but also to more northern mountain tribes in Vietnam, Laos and Yunnan), in Vietnamese it was a more general term and seems to have been used broadly much like the current Vietnamese term. Currently there is no cross-reference from the Moi (disambiguation) page to this article. Although the term was derogatory in Vietnamese, it was not so used in the European sources. It seems to me that a cross-reference from the Moi (disambiguation) page to this article would be appropriate. Other viewpoints? --Bejnar (talk) 19:43, 17 September 2013 (UTC)