2006-03-26 18:52:45 UTC
thiab muab tshawb fawb thiab seb qhov thiaj thiaj li yog qhov tseeb
From: Rebecca Sommer
Date: March 4, 2006 1:45:02 PM EST
Dear Mr Bon Xiong.
I expected that you would call or e-mail to ask me directly.
I was not send by your organization, I went as an independent
individual, and as a film maker and director, to create an awareness
raising film to be edited and finalized in Brazil.
Your Organization offered to pay half of my airfare, among other minor
expenses-? which you have not reimbursed me as of yet.
I offered that your organization can use my final Film for your
organizations fundraising purposes, and for no pay.
I am not sure if you are aware, what a huge present I offered to you.
Further, I went as an independent? human rights advocate, as a
non-Hmong person, interested and caring enough - to spend over 3 month,
by the way also for no pay, and not send by you but decided by me as a
free person to do so, in order to help resolve the problem of the Hmong
refugees, which had to this day no official pre-screening by the UNHCR
to evaluate "if they could receive refugee status".
I have spoken to you on many occasions on the phone, while Laura was my
invited guest for over a month at my home, while I was writing and
drafting the Summary of Claims of the interviewed Refugees, background
papers , history , conduct of work, and? List of persons (civilians
with well-founded fear to be persecuted),? to be finally submitted to
the relevant governments, UN agencies and NGO's.
I myself informed you? about my disbelieve, that Laura and your
organization has not prepared any translations or documents(Summary of
Claims/List etc)? to the United Nations to truly help the refugees,
even so I volunteered and had drafted my Semi Final documents in
October still in Thailand,? and after 1 1/2 month when I came back from
my continued film trip Asia(helping other Indigenous causes), not one
translation or finalization of my drafted work was continued by neither
your Organization or Laura. I am saying 1 1/2 month = while this work
was needed to be done.
I informed you on the phone, that I was greatly saddened to have to sit
and volunteer for weeks on documents which your organization/ Laura was
supposed to do, as I went to the camp in oder to support the cause, to
conduct a capacity building training for the refugees (translated by
Laura), but mainly to create as a self employed film-maker my?
awareness raising FILM to support the Hmong plight, which you was
offered to use, again all for no pay.
Instead of working fully on my film, I? instead organized volunteers,
spoke on US Hmong radio stations asking for help with translations, and
did everything on a 16 hour work day's? to create and write the urgent
needed documents to the UNHCR, as that was the most important action to
HELP resolve the refugee problem, instead of TALKING.?? With Laura as
my invited guest and former friend, at my home, as she claimed to need
a place to hide, as she claimed to be in danger to be murdered by some
Hmong leaders.( their name is known to you, as it was public announced
via Hmong radio by herself).
She was supposed to fully translate the "Summary of Claims" written by
the refugees after receiving my training,? and my filmed interviews,
which I wanted to include into the documents to the UNHCR, to built a
strong and powerful documentation? which would resolve the
While working on the documents to be handed to UNHCR etc, I realized
that I was greatly miss-informed about our Hmong focus groups,
including translations left out essential information-I informed you on
the phone in? december 25th, and January 4th.
I remind, I do not speak Hmong, and I had full trust in Laura, as a
friend, as a neutral advocate and translator for her peoples.
I addressed my concerns to you and Laura, that I got doubts - that
certain groups in my List which I compiled with Lauras help, are not
civilians, but instead are well known leaders of rebel groups and known
as such most likely by the UNHCR and relevant governments.
I raised my concerns, as the documents to the UNHCR should bring cases
of civilians which are persecuted, or in fear, not combatants.
The reason I did this documents was to bring about strong evidence,
that there are civilians with claims to be persecuted.
I further informed you that all summary of claims, also from the
combatants will be submitted to the UNHCR, but taken out of my Summary
which was concentrating on? strong cases of civilians.
After further receiving translations from other Hmong volunteers who
volunteered as a result of my calls on the Hmiong radios, and double
checking them with Laura's, I realized that I have been indeed miss
I asked your organizations executive Director, and my former friend
Laura, in various occasions in between 2 weeks to leave my home, which
After a very significant situation on the 15th and 16th january, where
I realized fully-? that I have been purposely miss lead by your NGO's
executive director, and not out of naivety , I demanded her to leave my
home on the 16th and 17th of January, which she desperate refused,
resulting in her hanging on me like grim death, and me trying to remove
It was a very unbelievable situation, to have a guest, which is
neglecting to leave my home,? to have a friend and work partner, who
had manipulated and used me, who was not honest, who had not the
courtesy to accept my right to decline this work.
It was a very unbelievable situation, to volunteer on a human rights
issue, and to realize that one is manipulated and not appreciated.
It ended in Laura filing criminal charges against me, claiming that I
attacked her while she refused to leave my own home, defaming me with
outragious lies such as that I held her "hostage at my home", went to
UN officials which for sure are my friends and so not believe this
She further stole out of my home on the same day with a key I never
gave to her my film footage (and footage of other indigenous peoples
from cambodia and Vietnam) and is using the filed charges against me
now to blackmailing me.
Laura's master plan, which I am sure you are aware about was revealed,
when she send me her written requests in order to remove the charges
she brought upon me:
She requests that I:
- never reveal that she has been investigated by the FBI (and what she
said to the FBI)
- never reveal my findings and opinions about her agenda regarding the
-not reveal my findings and opinions about the refugees
-not touch the Hmong issue any further
-that I will give her all the rights on my film footage(including from
other indfigenous peoples Vietnam_Cambodia)
- that I decline all my rightful? titles on my footage as director and
film maker (and give it to her instead)
Laura further went so far and used my stolen Film footage and forwarded
it to UN officials and US state department, and broadcasted on your
website that she has directed my film. She is seeing herself as the
director and owner of my film footage, and used my drafted documents
and intellectual property? to forward to the UN and state department.
(please remove all images of my person of your website, as I am not
affiliated with your organization, and you have not asked for my
Even so shocked and betrayed, spending money on lawyers,? I have been
silent to this day about my disturbing findings and the situation
itself, because I do not want to harm the humanitarian cause, which are
I did not addressed this matter until now, because it will backfire for
the very reason, why I believe everyone is/was working so hard on this.
In order to help resolve this urgent matter of Jungle Homing, refugees,
NGOs have to work together professionally, and in good standing.
This story is the opposite of professional,? absurd , grotesque and out
of context. Is it for personal gain, for the idea of "power"?
What is the reason for this situation?
Until now I have great difficulties to believe how far your
organization and executive director went without appreciation.
I am aware that these actions are not reflecting the Hmong peoples, as
I met beautiful, wonderful, special Hmong all over Asia and in the US.
I will not let this behavior cast a cloud on my profound love to a
strong, stubborn and freedom loving peoples.
I will continue my film as planned, will continue to advocate for an
efficient solution to resolve the remaining Jungle Hmong issue,
will continue to work on the promotion that the refugees need an
official pre-screening, will also continue to do that professional,
neutral, intelligent and without a political or personal "greed"
I will also not enter into the absurd stories and accusations spinning
around all over made by Laura, as it will only bring about more and
more disrespect and harm to the Hmong issue. I have worked for years in
an international arena, were Laura just entered as a newborn.
I am not using my contacts to discredit your organization or Laura, and
this letter is sent? internally to you- Hmong , so that you get a
chance to contact me directly, and to decide for what you are standing