Trần Quốc Việt (Danlambao) On July, 1988 Tuoi Tre newspaper published a letter from student Le Vinh Nguyen in Nha Trang:
I feel betrayed and I want to know why …
We were told that once liberated, we would build a country ten times as prosperous and beautiful. So why are our citizens still so poor? Why do they not have enough to eat? Why are students rejected from colleges because their of parents’ history?
Innocent people in Vietnam can only look upon the sky for answers. In other countries, officials must be held accountable for any mistakes. When will Vietnam learn this lesson?
This regime is proud of defeating the U.S powerhouse yet it cannot repair potholes on its own roads.
At that time, Vietnam’s population was at 65 million people. Currently Vietnam’s population is at about 90 million people, mostly young people. In this age of information, these young people are more politically aware than their parents were, and they want to step out of the government’s enslavement. They want freedom. They have the courage to act, but do not have enough patience to wait as long as the previous generation. This is a generation of maturity with the ability to decide and act for the future of his nation.
The time from Le Vinh Nguyen’s letter to Nguyen Dac Kien’s courageous article spans one generation.
We went from demands for pothole repairs to demands for the removal of Article 4 of the Constitution (which states that the Communist Party remains the sole guiding party of the country). This proves how far we’ve come and it shows that fear is giving way to freedom.
We can now hope. But we need a lot of people, especially the younger generation, to work together to build the future of the country for ourselves and our children.
Writer Victor Hugo once said “Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.” Today, those thoughts are expressed through thousands of signatures supporting Statement of the Free Citizens.
History is an extension of tragedy when we choose to exist in fear. But history is hope when we live and act out the call of freedom and conscience.
So those who have not signed for their future please do so now because time does not wait. We will never see the future we desire if we do not act together collectively.
Take a look back at the history of the Soviet Union when communism collapsed from within. From October 1988 to October 1989, four million communist members relinquished their membership. And in early 1990 about 200,000 to 300,000 protesters in Moscow demanded the removal of Article 6 of the Soviet Constitution which is similar to Article 4 of the Constitution of the Vietnamese Communist Party.
If we see all the corruption of the regime but choose to remain silent, then we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Let’s reach out beyond the shadow of fear and find the light of freedom!
[Editor’s note: Dr. Nguyen Dan Que is an endocrinologist and well-known pro-democracy advocate in Vietnam. Dr. Nguyen has served several prison sentences totaling over 20 years for various state security charges related to his activism. In 1995, Que was given the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. The Center praised his work “promoting greater freedom of expression and human rights in Vietnam.” This post details the most recent injustice perpetrated on Dr. Nguyen by the Communist government.]
For the last two days, Dr. Nguyen Dan Que’s home has been been surrounded by police forces, isolating his family from the rest of the outside world. This raises much concern about the imminent raid on his house, and also the arrest awaiting Dr. Que . Dr. Nguyen Dan Que is a leading dissident in Vietnam, and also one of the first to sign the Declaration of Free Citizens.
An urgent news report from the Association for Democracy said, “Beginning the evening of 7/3/2013, a police force was mobilized to block and surround the home of Dr. Nguyen Dan Que at 104 / 20, Nguyen Trai Street, Ward 3, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Saigon.”
The latest information coming in on March 8, 2013 is that police forces continue to pour in. All four roads leading into the home of Dr. Que police are blocked.
According to the Association for Democracy, the pressure being applied to Dr. Que is probably due to the fact that he was involved in signing many of the Declarations of the Movement for Democracy in Vietnam. Dr. Que was one of the first to publicly put pen to sign a statement of support of the People of Freedom.
Additionally as of late, Dr. Que has had many meetings with the younger generation of activists fighting for human rights and democracy in Vietnam. He has hosted many visitors who support bringing democracy to the country of Vietnam.
The group Rallying for Democracy is concerned that “with a large force, the police could burst into and the search home of Dr. Que at any moment, as has happened on 3/2011.”
On February 25, 2012, more than a dozen policemen raided his home and arrested him after he published his popular appeal ‘Stand Proudly Declared : Freedom or Live Flesh!’ He made this statement during the Arab Spring when the people of the Middle East were fighting to remove dictators in those countries. The case increased his reputation, brought attention to his struggle, which finally forced authorities to release him after three days in custody.
Dr. Nguyen Dan Que is the founder of Movement for Human Rights in Vietnam. He is considered one of the pioneers in the democracy movement in Vietnam and is internationally known. Throughout his life as an activist, he has been jailed by the Communist regime for more than 20 years. In recent years, many reputable individuals from around the world have nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Tran Quoc Viet (danlambao) – This year marks the eighty second anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of Vietnam. We might not know the date of birth of our parents, but it is impossible to forget the birth of the Party when every year the occasion is highlighted by constant media broadcasting of the endless celebrations, including the display of banners hung across the street in the country.
So unless you have been deaf or blind since birth, or have barely started learning to walk, you are sure to know of this birthday.
This is first misfortune of people living in a communist society: at least one part of your memory must belong to the Party.
The Party never “dies” once it is born. On October 1, 1949, half a million people gathered in Tiananmen Square and chanted loudly: “Long live Chairman Mao!” On September 2, 1945, a sea of Vietnamese also chanted “Long live President Ho Chi Minh!” If the founder lives forever, then so must the Party.
This is the second misfortune of people living in a communist society: after those chants were echoed, the history of the country and its people became merely the extension of the history of the Party.
Thus began the domino effect of social regression. We gradually lost language, morals, culture, and traditional identity. We are constantly under the shadow of the Party from the time of our birth to the time of our death. Our lives are shrouded in pretense, fake reality, education, literature, history, religion, military, journalists, writers, poets, authors, historians, intellects and even fake nature, with the slogan, “Celebrate the Party, celebrate Spring.”
This is the third misfortune of people living in a communist society: our lives are blanketed in falsehood.
Poet Boris Pasternak wrote: “I was the only one; while all around me are immersed in a lie:
Life is not a walk across a field. ”
Under communist rule, the green field has been paved over with cement and thus, grass, plants, and any signs of life have been destroyed. In turn, we use the concrete as stage where we act under the guidance of the Party, and like it or not, we relinquish our individualism and ethics. We are both victims and perpetrators of this great tragedy that is taking place on that cement floor.
This is the fourth misfortune of people living in a communist society: we cannot be ourselves. In the name of a utopian paradise, the Party encourages animal instincts while ignoring human civility.
Today we are finally seeing some cracks in the concrete ground, and through these cracks the sun is shining through and giving life to the seeds of the human spirit that is desperately trying to rise once again.
Let us hope for and act towards the ultimate goal: power in the hands of the people.
But the Party will live on if we stand on the sidelines waiting to history to happen. Let us proceed on down the road and build churches and temples to nurture our spirituality and faith. Let us mend the broken pieces of our culture, of civil society. If we can do these things, we will be able to minimize the influence and control of the Party, and more importantly, we will once again find the meaning of life; the first step on the difficult road to regain our character.
Russian protesters have chanted, “We exist!” in the bitter cold of winter. Tunisian voters joyfully shouted, “We vote, we exist!” while standing in line for hours to vote freely for the first time.
Someday we will loudly chant as they have: “We exist!” We are not invisible, faint shadows of the Party. Our most effective weapon is hope and courage.
When that day comes, when control of the government returns to the hands of the people, we, with our wounded bodies, will help each other build a future together.
It has been eighty-two years since the birth of the Communist Party of Vietnam. The Party is like a dinosaur on its last breath but still clinging onto life by sucking on the blood of the country of Vietnam. Its long tail is that of “socialist orientation”, its giant belly is filled with greed, and its little brain lies in its small head in comparison to its giant body. That little gray matter does not have the ability to see a future beyond the next year. How can we trust our fate and the fate of our country to this gray matter?
If we do not do anything, our children will continue to count the Party’s birthdays, and the body of the dinosaur will continue to damage generations to come.
Nhu Nguyen (Danlambao) – People often say that time is medicine that can miraculously heal all sorrows, and can also be an impartial judge to bring out the criminals.
The Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) has committed numerous crimes against its own people, especially the citizens of Hue province during the 1968 Tet Offensive; a crime comparable in magnitude to the genocide in Cambodia under the Polpot regime.
Forty five years later, barely enough time for the pain to subside, the VCP has, in a gravely miscalculated move, ordered Ms. Phong Lan to direct a documentary movie about the Tet Offensive. The distorted truths in this movie have ignited the dormant anger that the Hue people have suppressed for almost half a century. The movie has also revealed the two-faced nature of the VCP: committing an act of crime on the one hand while crying foul as a victim on the other.
All dynasties throughout history have made mistakes. What is important is for the successors to face the truth in order to select the right course of action. If one refuses to acknowledge the misdeeds of one’s predecessors, then it is better not to bring them up in the first place. The VCP believes that a thousand lies equate to veracity. Not only is this method inapplicable in today’s world where communication is so transparent, but it may even backfire.
In 1972, the Viet Cong fired projectiles into an elementary school in Cai Lay, killing many young children. They later printed in textbooks that this tragedy was caused by the US and South Vietnamese governments. This may have misled people who live far in the mountains in the North, but it cannot fool the local people.
There seems to be a difference between writers before and after 1975. While works from the former come from genuine emotions and actual facts, those from the latter tend to follow the propagandistic guidelines of the VCP. Ms. Lan should read “Giai Khan So Cho Hue” to understand why Nha Ca cried when she recalled her feelings and why the VCP imprisoned her when they seized Sai Gon.
Natural laws will punish criminals. Writers-for-hire who distort the truth will forever be condemned. A criminal act, once committed, can never be denied.
Sài Gòn ngày 01-02-2013
Source: Như Nguyên
[Editor’s Note: This is an anonymous article about Le Anh Hung and his apparently involuntary and unlawful imprisonment within a mental health institution. Hung is a blogger who is known for his writings about corruption, illegal tradings, and misuse of power among government officials. Friends and supporters of Hung suspect that documents may have been falsified in order to facilitate his detention and are pressuring the government for more answers about this situation.]
This morning, friends from the Nou FC came to the Center for Social Protection II in Vien An, Ung Hoa to visit, and they asked about the status of Le Anh Hung. They met with center director Vuong and deputy director Le Cong Vinh who answered their questions. Vuong verified that Hung was admitted yesterday after the Thanh Xuan Social Affairs Department received his application, submitted by his mother.
When asked about Hung’s health status, Vuong said, “He’s fine. The center has not given him any medication nor have we injected him with anything.” When his friends requested to see him, Vuong refused by claiming that Hung’s mother said that Hung only wants to see her. However according Tu, one of Hung’s friends, his mother did not apply nor suggest that he go anywhere.
It is a well-known fact in the online community that on his blog, Le Anh Hung has repeatedly (70 times) denounced corrupt officials, heroin smuggling, and murder cover-ups.
[Delegate] Duong Trung Quoc has received Hung’s claims and transferred them to the National Assembly for investigation and has appeased public questioning but so far no investigation of the National Assembly has been conducted. The fact that authorities in Hanoi have detained, threatened, and even kidnapped Hung has not deterred him. They have used every trick to intimidate, to silence citizens who dare to accuse officials of corruption, smuggling, or murder like Hung, but have not been able to quiet him.
The government has repeatedly created fake records to put patriotic citizens who oppose corruption in jail, rehabilitation centers, or mental health centers. Unfortunately, international human rights organizations are having a hard time proving their cases against such practices.
The case of Le Anh Hung is receiving much interest in the online community. News agencies and international organizations are preparing to go to Hung’s place of imprisonment to ask for clarification and to request for an investigation into the serious violations of human rights in Vietnam.
Bloggers and friends of Le Anh Hung are calling upon all the support groups to go visit Hung at the Center and to work with its leaders to clarify details about the nature of his unlawful imprisonment.
We will continue to offer details about this serious incident.
[Translated from source: http://danoan2012.blogspot.com]
[Editor’s note: What follows is an open letter from Le Quoc Quan, translated to English, in which he predicts that if he were ever captured and/or detained by the Vietnamese police, they would attempt to discredit him by distorting his work. This letter is his way of preemptively countering such attempts. In it, he clearly lays out his intentions, goals, and dreams for the future of Vietnam and her people. ]
As a Vietnamese citizen who is always concerned with the survival of his country and its people, I believe that only true Freedom and Democracy can lead to true emancipation, and with it, the power to develop Vietnam.
As a lawyer who opposes the current political system, I may be subject to imprisonment.
Therefore I am stating my opinions in this assay, lest my freedom will be compromised and my belief falsified.
1. I declare that my political activities as well as my written and verbal expressions remain within the boundaries of both Vietnamese and international law.
2. I do this for the benefit of no other country but Vietnam. My actions are entirely non-violent and aim to contribute to the creation of a civil society that encompasses a large population of Vietnamese, a society in which its citizens’ wishes will be acknowledged and fulfilled via true democratic procedures.
3. I have, on multiple occasions, expressed my opinions and beliefs about Freedom, Democracy and Civil Rights. I have been tirelessly protecting these values in all circumstances. However, in the case where my freedom is taken away, any announcement that can be construed against my ideals will never reflect my thinking and shall be considered baseless.
4. I wish to accept all hardships as presents that my country has given me. I am fully responsible for my own actions. For any shortcomings to my friends, I apologize. However, the use of my actions to convict, or as proofs against, others shall not be condoned nor be effective. I completely negate any evidence designed to imply that I have purposefully hurt other movements that are fighting for a new and stronger independent Vietnam.
I deeply believe in the dreams and struggles of the Vietnamese people. I also believe that in the not very distant future, we will achieve true Freedom and Democracy. All of us shall be able to exercise our right to speech and our choice to seek happiness and success right here, on the blood-soaked soil of our beloved homeland.
Le Quoc Quan, J.D.