‘Prob­lem­atic’ group doesn’t re­flect B.C.’s Korean Cana­dian com­mu­nity: am­bas­sador

Asian Journal - - British Columbia - By Ge­or­don Omand, The Cana­dian Press

Van­cou­ver: South Korea’s top diplo­mat to Western Canada is en­cour­ag­ing Van­cou­ver’s Kore­anCana­dian com­mu­nity to take ac­tion against a hand­ful of “prob­lem­atic peo­ple’’ in­volved in a bit­ter le­gal bat­tle over the lead­er­ship of a Lower Main­land cul­tural group. Con­sul Gen­eral Kie Cheon Lee is speak­ing out about a long-stand­ing power strug­gle over who leads the Korean So­ci­ety of B.C. for Fra­ter­nity and Cul­ture, and said the dis­pute re­flects poorly, and un­fairly, on the com­mu­nity as a whole. “About 15 to 20 prob­lem­atic Korean Cana­di­ans are dam­ag­ing the rep­u­ta­tion of the en­tire Korean-Cana­dian com­mu­nity,’’ said Lee. The so­ci­ety over­sees pro­grams for its mem­bers, such as English lessons and com­puter classes, and also hosts so­cial events and sports lessons at its com­mu­nity cen­tre near the Down­town East­side. Over the years, more than a dozen mem­bers of the civic as­so­ci­a­tion have volleyed a litany of com­pet­ing law­suits against one an­other, with ac­cu­sa­tions rang­ing from li­bel to em­bez­zle­ment to fraud. Al­le­ga­tions con­tained in the se­ries of law­suits have not been proven in court. The Cana­dian Press re­ported late last month about the so­ci­ety’s le­gal wran­glings. Since then, Lee said he has broached the topic three times while speak­ing at events through­out Metro Van­cou­ver. Korean Cana­di­ans feel ashamed about the story reach­ing main­stream me­dia be­cause it shines a spot­light on di­vi­sive­ness in the com­mu­nity, he said.

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