Tuoi Tre Chung Toi – Hoang Sa – Truong Sa

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Youth delegates grill government on key issues

http://www.thanhniennews.com/education/?catid=4&newsid=34357

Vietnamese youth need to develop a long-term vision and self-motivation and master information and technology if they want to be a part of globalization and the knowledge economy, a deputy prime minister said Thursday.

In the first-ever direct dialogue between the government and members of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, held on the sidelines of the union’s 9th National Congress, Nguyen Thien Nhan, who is also the Minister of Education and Training, called on more young people to venture into business.

But for that, the deeply-etched belief that “entering university is the only way to career success” needed to go, he pointed out.

The government was working on a project to help those not choosing to pursue a university degree start up or develop their own business, he told them.

Members of the youth union challenged the deputy PM and other senior officials on a wide range of topics including the sluggishness in administrative reform, the role of the youth union in the Government’s policy in dealing with road safety, and employment for young people who complete their army service.

Replying to the question on administrative reform, Nhan admitted that the work to eliminate red tape was still far from satisfactory for the public, saying any ideas put for-ward by the union to accelerate the process were welcome.

He acknowledged that performance-based salaries and good allowances were vital to ensure highly-qualified young people in Government offices remained dedicated.

Some of the youth delegates called for more contribution from youths for soldiers deployed in the Paracels-Spartly Archipelago.

The appeal found almost unanimous support from the others.

There was also a suggestion that the youth union should organize more exchanges with the soldiers in the archipelago to educate all students about the situation there.

Reported by Dang Long

Snakes on a plane land in Vietnam: officials

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5i5gr-OH0asV83nIxmF959PKpOSpw

HANOI (AFP) — Vietnamese airport officials discovered a cargo of 700 live snakes on a Thai Airways flight from Indonesia but destroyed them after no-one claimed them, officials said Friday.

“The snakes were alive when they were found in the cargo,” a quarantine officer at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport told AFP. “Seven hundred snakes were later destroyed when no-one claimed ownership.”

The reptiles were found on December 19 in a container that arrived on flight TG 682 from Indonesia. Accompanying paperwork identified the content as “live fish”, the state-run Vietnam News Agency reported.

Vietnam calls for end to anti-China protests

http://thepost.com.pk/IntNews.aspx?dtlid=135164&catid=1

AFP HANOI: Vietnam’s government Thursday called on its people to end anti-China protests over the countries’ rival claims in the South China Sea.

Several hundred people marched in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday for the second consecutive weekend in the long-simmering dispute over the Spratly and Paracel archipelagos.

Police prevented about 300 demonstrators in the capital and around 100 in the southern port city formerly called Saigon from protesting outside China’s embassy and consulate.

But Beijing Tuesday said it was “highly concerned” and called on the Vietnamese government to “take a responsible attitude and effective measures to stop this and prevent bilateral ties from being hurt.”

“Authorities have also requested the people to end this kind of action,” Vietnamese foreign ministry spokesman Le Dung told reporters Thursday.

“Vietnam also pursues the policy to settle all disputes through negotiations,” Dung said, assuring Beijing that the authorities “have taken the necessary measures to ensure the safety for the diplomatic mission and maintain the social order.”

High Political Oppression

 http://www.unpo.org/article.php?id=7423

Speaking under house arrest, Mr. Thich Quand Do reveals the political oppression he is facing along with other dissidents of the Vietnam’s government.

Below is an article published by Al Jazeera:

At 80 years old, Buddhist Monk Thich Quang Do is still one of Vietnam’s most prominent dissidents.

He is deputy leader of the outlawed Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam and has spent more than 25 years in detention for advocating greater religious freedoms and rights.

In video tapes smuggled out of the country and obtained by Al Jazeera, Thich Quang Do reveals a life of political repression and misery not found in the glossy tourist brochures luring vistors to Vietnam.

In Vietnam today we are not free. We are prisoners in our own country … Prisoners of a regime which decides who has the right to speak, and who must keep silent.

As I speak to you today, I am under house arrest at the Thanh Minh Zen monastery in Saigon. Secret police keep watch on me day and night, and I am forbidden to go out.

I have been continuously repressed right from 1975 by the communist regime. For me, I’m not afraid of anything, of anything, because I am struggling for the right cause. For the truth.

Today we have no opposition parties, no free press, no free trade unions, no civil society. All independent religions are banned.

All citizens who call for political reform, democracy or human rights risk immediate arrest. Only economically speaking [are things] any better. But politically speaking, nothing changes.

If you go to the country from here 20km from Saigon, you will see. People more or less as peasants [are] very, very miserable.

We must have pluralism, the right to hold free elections, and to choose our own political system.

To enjoy democratic freedoms. In brief, the right to shape our own future, to shape the destiny of our nation. For the last 32 years we always speak out to the outside world. And we hope like you … that you foreigners listen to our cry.

First privately owned airline approved in Vietnam

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2007/12/19/220393/first-privately-owned-airline-approved-in-vietnam.html

Vietnam’s government has approved the establishment of the country’s first privately owned carrier, setting an important precedent in a market that is forecast to continue growing rapidly in the coming years.

The government at the end of November said it had approved the aviation license application of Vietjet. The new low-cost carrier will be based in Hanoi and will have a secondary base in Ho Chi Minh City. It plans to launch operations late in 2008 or early in 2009 and will use either Airbus A320s or Boeing 737-800s.

Vietjet will initially operate between Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Danang, expanding later to international destinations such as Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore and points in southern China. In the longer term it plans to serve points in Japan and South Korea.

Vietnam’s air transport market has been growing rapidly (see chart) with particularly strong traffic growth rates being recorded by national carrier Vietnam Airlines. The country currently has two other government-controlled airlines, Pacific Airlines and Vietnam Air Service (VASCO). Pacific, a low-cost carrier, recently became minority owned by Qantas Airways.

With a large population and a small number of air trips per capita – but an economy that is growing rapidly – the market is seen as having huge potential for airline growth. As a result several other groups are also looking to establish new airlines in Vietnam, including Malaysia’s AirAsia.

Vietjet is capitalised at 600 billion dong ($37.5 million) and is owned by a group of local businessmen led by entrepreneur Nguyen Thanh Cong. It says it has “no plans to bring in a foreign airline as a partner as we are building a Vietnamese airline to reflect the best the country has to offer”.

Little Saigon crowd takes protest against China to L.A.

http://www.ocregister.com/news/islands-chinese-china-1945517-little-vietnamese

Vietnamese Americans rally against Chinese occupation of islands in Asia.

A large group left Little Saigon this morning in six buses and two minivans, said Loi Cao, one of the protest organizers.

Protesters had also rallied in Little Saigon over the same issue Saturday afternoon. A recent move by the Chinese government to include three of the islands to form a Chinese county sparked the string of protests here and in Vietnam.

The ownership of this cluster of more than 200 islands rich in oil and gas deposits has been a subject of debate among several Southeast Asian nations that border the islands.

Protesters in Los Angeles held banners and shouted anti-communist slogans, said Truong Diep, a Midway City Sanitary District board member, adding that he was there to observe the rally. They shouted slogans in Vietnamese, such as “Down with Red China” and “Stop the Chinese Land Grab,” Diep said.

On Sunday, protesters said they were upset that the Vietnamese government is doing little to stop the Chinese occupation of the islands. However, Associated Press news reports state that Vietnam’s Communist Party did criticize China’s military exercises on Paracel Islands through its newspaper, Nhan Dhan.