Over 20,000 people annually die of tuberculosis in Vietnam

Vietnam has some 100,000 tuberculosis infections and 20,000 deaths caused by the disease each year, according to local newspaper Vietnam News on Tuesday.

Vietnam now ranks the 13th among 22 countries having the highest numbers of tuberculosis infections.

To curb the disease, Vietnam is intensifying vaccination, urging local people to keep hygienic and have healthy lifestyles, encouraging them to go to see doctors when having signs of tuberculosis infection, and strengthening diagnosis and treatment systems nationwide.

The country with a population of over 86 million has aimed to halve the annual new tuberculosis infections by 2015.

VIETNAM: Supermarket Prices Rocket

http://www.kamcity.com/namnews/asp/newsarticle.asp?newsid=39871

Supermarket prices in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, have risen 10-15% over the last week on the back of petrol price hikes and increased transportation costs. The director of Ho Chi Minh City ‘s Big C Mien Dong supermarket, Dao Vinh Thai, said the prices of some 50 products, particularly meat, fish, shrimp and cooking oil, have increased from 5 to 15% this week. Other supermarkets in the city, including Maximark and Sai Gon Co-op, have also announced price increases. Sai Gon Co-op is said to have raised the price of more than 300 items.

The price of fresh produce at Co-op Cong Quynh supermarket has climbed 10%, while the prices of frozen and dried food are up by 15 and 10-20%, respectively. Co-op Cong Quynh management were quoted as saying that the price hikes were unavoidable, and expected to increase further in the next few days. Food suppliers started jacking up prices at the beginning of last month, citing higher transport and labour costs in tandem with restrictive banking conditions.

Montagnards: US Must Awaken To Vietnam’s Abuses

http://www.unpo.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7928&Itemid=130

US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Christopher Hill, testified before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the recent hearing on “US-Vietnam Bilateral Relations”, that “religious freedom in Vietnam has expanded significantly” and that “Vietnam no longer qualifies as a serious violator of religious freedom,” however, the Vietnamese government has murdered another Christian Degar prisoner in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.

[…]

Our Christian brother, Rahlan Hen, is from the village of Ploi Beng, in the commune of Ia Cia, from the district of Ia Grai in the province of Gialai.  Rahlan Hen was a simple man who belonged to the Degar church in his village of Ploi Beng. His troubles all began when he refused to join Siu Kim’s church, which is the government sanctioned church. Many Degar Christians disagree with the practices of this church and feel that Siu Kim is actually teaching people to worship the government and not God. This is why Rahlan Hen refused to join. Because of this, the government decided to arrest him.

On June 14, 2006, the Vietnamese government sent security police along with riot police to his house and arrested him.  They handcuffed him […] dragged him from his house, […] and took him to the district of Ia Grai prison.

[…] 

Rahlan Hen was sentenced to prison for 6 years and was then transferred to the T-20 facility in Pleiku. He was later transferred to another prison facility in the province of Phu Yen.  This is one of the deceitful practices of the Vietnamese government. They will transfer certain prisoners frequently, […] keeping them away from their families […] so that the government can more easily fool the international community.

[…]

When his wife went to see him at the Phu Yen province prison, one of his legs was paralyzed and he could barely walk.  She was overcome with sorrow, but could do nothing to help him. All she could offer him was her tears.

On March 17, 2008, the security police from the province of Phu Yen summoned her because Rahlan Hen was sick.  But when she arrived, the security police informed her that he was already dead. They took his wife to the burial site and opened the coffin so that she could see her husband’s face for the last time.  Rahlan Hen’s wife then begged the security police to allow her to take her husband’s corpse back home so that his relatives could also see his face for the last time. This practice is an important part of the Degar culture, but the security police refused. They told her “he has been sentenced to 6 years in prison so you can come back and pick up his bones in three more years after he had finished his prison term.” 

[…] 

Furthermore, the inhuman action of the Vietnamese government truly contradicts the statement of US Assistant Secretary of State, Christopher Hill, who said that “religious freedom in Vietnam has expanded significantly” and that “Vietnam no longer qualifies as a serious violator of religious freedom.”  The Degar people wonder why Mr. Hill said these things. Does he really believe that Vietnam is innocent of torturing Degar Christians, or has he been influenced by some pro-Vietnamese lobbyist organization? In any case, look at the Vietnamese law below:

Article 70

The citizen shall enjoy freedom of belief and of religion; he can follow any religion or follow none. All religions are equal before the law.

The places of worship of all faiths and religions are protected by the law.

No one can violate freedom of belief and of religion; nor can anyone misuse beliefs and religions to contravene the law and State policies.”

Rahlan Hen was imprisoned for refusing to join Siu Kim’s church. Therefore, the laws above are clearly nothing more than smoke and mirrors, designed only for foreign eyes. They have no real substance in Vietnam politics, at least not for Degar Christians. 

We ask that Mr. Hill look deeper into Vietnam’s policies before making such a powerful judgment call. Vietnam has not improved religious freedom towards our Degar race. We hope the US Government will not accept the documents Vietnam gives him at face value.