Saturday, November 7, 2009

Human Rights Violations in Vietnam

Recently, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) held a plenary session in Geneva, Switzerland with the participation of all 192 member states, and adopted the outcome of the National Report based on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Vietnam. Under the UPR procedures, Vietnam has once again been evaluated highly by the international community for its achievements on its guarantee of human rights as well as its seriousness, cooperation, and readiness to exchange experience with other countries on this subject.
Eradicating Hunger and Reducing Poverty
Almost all countries and international organizations once again acknowledged that in Vietnam, human rights are the goal and the motivation for the development of the country. Vietnam has overcome its pain and the unprecedented consequences of wars to build and develop new lives. Vietnam has been amazingly successful in eradicating hunger and reducing poverty, there are no ethnic and religious conflicts in Vietnam, and the political situation is stable.
However, there are still dissonant voices among some representatives of the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the overseas Vietnam Committee of Human Rights of Violations. They cite incidents that are wholly unreflective of the human rights situation in Vietnam, and their voices are out of tune. Some Vietnamese reactionary exile organizations in the United States have been hiding behind the mask of "democracy and human rights" to play the tricks of denunciation and distortion, singing the old tune that the Vietnamese State is oppressing religion, controlling freedom of speech, and trampling on human rights, and they demand that Vietnam release its "prisoners of conscience." Typical is an organization called "Vietnam Human Rights Network" (VHRN) with headquarters at 14550 Magnolia Street, Suite 203, Westminster, CA 92683, U.S.A. They committed a shameless act when they sent an "open letter" to the American president and some representatives and congressmen, calling for preconditions for "democracy and human rights" in the consideration of whether or not to grant "Permanent Normal Trade Relations" to Vietnam; and suggesting that Vietnam be reinstated onto the Countries of Particular Concern list (CPC list).
Some American representatives and congressmen have lacked goodwill toward Vietnam for many years, including Christopher Smith, Loretta Sanchez, and Joseph Cao (Cao Quang Anh, a Vietnamese-born member of Congress), and they have deliberately interfered with Vietnam's internal affairs by their words of denunciation and provocations, in order to mislead the international public into a misunderstanding of democratic, religious, and human rights issues in Vietnam.

UN Charter on Human Rights
People who "open the gate for their country's enemies" and lack good will toward Vietnam are living in the United States, and have deliberately ignored the obvious truth is that in the modern world, human rights have become a common value of mankind, not just a particular product of a state that then tries all means to impose its "human rights values" on other countries. Guaranteeing human rights has always been up to each particular nation, and each nation must follow its particular conditions of economic, political, and social development, habits, customs, and traditions, and the legal and political system of that country. Therefore each country, whether developed or developing, has a different concept of human rights, and has its own methods to guarantee human rights. This is stated clearly in Article 2 (Item 4), and Article 2 (Item 7) of United Nations Charter and the Declaration of the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, Austria on 25 June 1993.
For many decades, the international community has passed declarations and conventions on human rights which lay down the standards that all countries are required to follow. No individual, organization or country is supposed to propagandize untruths about a country's human rights situation, nor to make unreasonable demand or rules nor to press the standards and concepts of human rights of one country onto another.

Violation of National Security
People who lack good will toward Vietnam continue discussions denouncing Vietnam for lack of religious freedom and for trampling on human rights. They motivate extremist elements to play the human rights and democracy card like a weapon to conduct their scheme of "peaceful evolution," and to overthrow violently and abolish the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Those extremist elements seriously violate the national security laws of the State, but are honored as "excellent democratic and human rights activists." They include Thich Quang Do, Nguyen Van Ly, Nguyen Khac Toan, Nguyen Dan Que, Le Quang Liem, Nguyen Van Dai, Le Thi Cong Nhan, Tran Anh Kim, Le Cong Dinh, and Nguyen Tien Trung. The people have known for a long time who stands behind, supports, and instigates reactionary organizations and individuals to destroy the cause of development of Vietnam.
The people themselves understand who trampled on the human rights of Vietnamese people for many decades, and in particular perpetrated the terrifying crime of the biggest chemical war of the 20th century in South Vietnam (1961-1971), with the result that nearly three million people were affected by Agent Orange (dioxin), and with long-term consequences on human health and the eco-environment of Vietnam. Why don't they join with progressive mankind to fight for justice for the Agent Orange victims in Vietnam?
The extremists who take shelter in a superpower of the capitalist world, and some representatives and Congressmen in that country, insist on criticizing "Vietnam's human rights violations," but they deliberately ignore the fact that the country that considers itself to be "the white knight of human rights" has since the last ten years of the 20th century caused forty small and large wars and has deployed military and police forces into independent sovereign countries to capture their president and massacre many innocent people.
The truth is that since 2001, the "white knight of human rights" has been purged from the UNHRC. Therefore you should be careful in judgments, and condemn the one who trampled on the human rights values in the United Nations Charter.

Striving for Sacred Goal
Today, people with conscience in the world must admit that the best manifestation of human rights of a country is its independence, freedom for the people, and improvement of the material and spiritual lives of all classes in the population. There cannot be general human rights, a human rights concept that the strong use to oppress or trample on the sovereignty of smaller and weaker countries.
Striving for the sacred goal, for more than 20 years the Communist Party of Vietnam has taken the lead in the cause of reform of the country, and is starting to see achievements in all areas of society. For more than ten years, Vietnam's economic growth has exceeded 7 percent per year, per capita income has increased five times, the percentage of the population below the poverty level has decreased four times (from 60 percent to 13.8 percent), and Vietnam is acknowledged as one of the leading countries in eradicating hunger and reducing poverty. It is also the priority of the Vietnamese Government to accelerate human rights, suitable with the country's situation and the UN Millennium Development Goals.
Economic Development, Political Stability, and Social Welfare
Vietnam is a multi-ethnic nation with great unity among the 54 fraternal ethnic groups, with many different religions, living in harmony, protecting and supporting each other. Although there have been hardships and challenges during the development period, the international community recognizes the great achievements of Vietnam in economic development, political stability, and social welfare. In the field of human rights in Vietnam, in addition to the great achievements, we cannot deny that there are some shortcomings, mainly because of different perceptions and a lack of unity among grassroots cadres which often results in unfortunate misunderstandings. Having identified the cause of those shortcomings, the Party and the State of Vietnam are putting effort into building a force of cadres with a higher level of knowledge, and are continuing to implement administrative reforms to build and develop, including policies to guarantee human rights and ensure to better enjoy human rights of each citizen.
With the policy that "Vietnam is willing to be a friend and reliable partner of all countries in international community, striving for peace, independence, cooperation, and development," Vietnam is always willing to enhance dialogue and international cooperation, including in the field of human rights, on the basis of fairness, construction, and mutual respect and understanding. Up to now, the State of Vietnam has approved most of the United Nations conventions on human rights, and has taken the initiative to participate in many cooperative fields in human rights in a framework of multilateral forums and bilateral relations, and has achieved many positive results.

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