Coleman presses Thai ambassador on Hmong gravesby Toni Randolph, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman has sent a letter to the U.S. ambassador to Thailand, asking for more time to resolve the Hmong graves issue.
Hmong leaders currently have until next month to decide what to do with the remains of about 200 people that were dug up near a Buddhist temple in Thailand where Hmong refugees once lived.
In 2005, a videotape surfaced showing workers in Thailand exhuming Hmong graves at the Wat Tham Krabok refugee camp, dismembering bodies, removing the bones, and throwing the remains into open graves.
Coleman says although there's been progress toward a solution, Hmong leaders need more time.
"It's my belief that in order to ensure adequate time to arrive at a consensus on how to deal with this issue, I asked the ambassador to work to ensure an extension of the deadline until December 2008," Coleman said Monday.
A national delegation of Hmong leaders traveled to Thailand in September to discuss the issue. Another group may go back to Thailand in coming months. Hmong leaders in the United States say they want the remains reburied near the temple.