Archive for the VIII. Extras Category

Fighting Fire With Fire: Protesters in Binh Thuan Fight Back Against Communist Police With Rocks and Molotov Cocktails

Posted in Politics, Videos with tags , , , , , , on May 18, 2015 by Ian Pham

Binh Thuan ProtestPhoto via Dan Lam Bao

The following event occurred just last month, on April 14 and 15, 2015, only two weeks after the major labor strikes that engulfed Southern Vietnam for eight days.

In the province* of Binh Thuan, inhabitants took to the streets to express outrage at the Vietnamese Communist Party’s continued concessions to the People’s Republic of China, whose aggressive and intrusive actions in Vietnamese territory go on unabated, even fostered, by the government in Hanoi.

According to Dan Lam Bao, the people of Binh Thuan have grown fed up with the extensive pollution and environmental damage on their land brought forth by the construction of the Chinese Vinh Tan 2 thermoelectric plant. Prior to the protests, citizens of Binh Thuan were already concerned with the Vietnamese government’s decision to contract Binh Thuan land out to a Chinese company. Many attempts were made by the people to express these concerns to the government, but their objections went continually ignored by the VCP. As a result, with the construction projects going forward and wreaking havoc on the environment in Binh Thuan, the people took to the streets to make their voices heard.

The protesters came out in droves, in the thousands, and, as usual, the Party sent in the police to forcefully suppress the demonstrations. However, following the welcome trend in Vietnam as of late, the protesters fought back against the crackdown forces of the VCP. The authorities were met with fierce resistance. Many protesters threw rocks at the government forces, while others were resourceful enough to use Molotov cocktails to combat the communist police.

As China steadily maintains its encroachment on Vietnam’s territories, using the diplomatic, military, and economic means at their disposal, the VCP seems content on yielding in every case. The Vietnamese communists often avoid the issue at hand in the face of public criticism, all while citing the “friendship” that the two communist nations allegedly share, despite what reality clearly illustrates. The cowardice and treason of the government in Hanoi has sparked anger and disdain among the people of Vietnam.

The protests were captured on video and can be seen below:

Here are some highlights:

Vietnamese Protesters Throw Rocks at Communist Police

A flurry of rocks and other objects are thrown at the communist police. Jeers and insults can be heard from the crowd as they unloaded on the VCP forces.

Binh Thuan Protest

Protesters throw Molotov cocktails at the suppressive police forces on the streets of Binh Thuan.

Binh Thuan Protest 2

VCP police fire shots to intimidate the crowd, only to have them mockingly laugh and taunt in response.

The protests have since subsided. However, I think it is high time that the people of Vietnam stood up more to the VCP and their repressive measures, the way they did in this video, and in Saigon several weeks before that.

I support this development. It’s time to stand up.

Source:

Dan Lam Bao

* Correction: A typo was made saying the “city” of Binh Thuan. This has since been corrected to “province” of Binh Thuan. Apologies for any misunderstanding.

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Rice to the Refugees: The Untold Act of President Ngo Dinh Diem

Posted in Did You Know?, IV. Columns, Modern History, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2014 by Ian Pham

President Ngo Dinh DiemHere’s something a lot of you probably didn’t know about President Ngo Dinh Diem. During his time in office, the South Vietnamese President contributed a substantial amount of humanitarian aid in the form of rice to Tibetan Buddhist refugees in the late 1950s-early 1960s. It was then that many Tibetans were exiled from their homeland by the invading forces of the People’s Republic of China, led by the iron fist of the ruthless Mao Zedong.

In the year 1950, with the consolidation of the PRC, Mao Zedong officially pointed his guns towards Tibet, sending the People’s Liberation Army across the border into Tibetan land. Throughout the 1950s, through false treaties and suppressive military force, China would gain control over all of Tibet, turning that part of East Asia into another region under Chinese control. The invasion would be complete by 1959, with the outbreak and bloody suppression of the Tibetan Uprising.

Many, many Tibetans were expelled from their homeland during this time and sought asylum in other nations around the world. The young Dalai Lama and many tens of thousands of other Tibetans would escape to India through the Himalayas, becoming refugees in the process. In reaction to their plight, many nations around the world held out a helping hand to the Tibetan refugees. One of these nations was none other than the Republic of Vietnam (aka South Vietnam), under the presidency of Mr. Ngo Dinh Diem.

According to an old issue of the Chicago Tribune (December 11, 1959), President Diem offered to supply the Tibetan refugees with “surplus rice for a year.” Though the sources are currently sparse for this topic, at least for me, it can be asserted that part of the rice offered by President Diem amounts to 200 tons, as illuminated in the Indian Parliament’s “Rajya Sabha Debates, 1952-2005,” published by the Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre (2006: 71). However, further examination suggests that the total volume of rice donated by South Vietnam is much more than that.

An article by Tran Trung Dao (August 30, 2014) on Dan Chim Viet online further elaborates on the subject. According to Dao, President Diem donated rice to the Tibetan Buddhist refugees through the Government of India not only once, but twice. Dao’s source declares that the amount of rice sent to India from South Vietnam during these two times accumulated to a grand total of 1,500 tons. In addition to the 200 tons of rice provided by South Vietnam in the one donation, another shipment of 1,300 tons was sent to India to feed the Tibetan Buddhist refugees. Given the evidence, it can thus be asserted that South Vietnam under President Diem played a substantial role in the support of Tibetan refugees in India.

This humanitarian act was not widely covered during the time that it happened. Moreover, it was overshadowed by the dirty politics of its day, ignored by the biased media of the west, and eventually lost under the many pages of history.

In writing this article, I wanted to share with you something you may not have known about the First President of South Vietnam. I also wanted to leave you all with something warm and uplifting to hold onto on this day of his commemoration. Furthermore, this act of charity and kindness is a great, yet sadly forgotten story that should be shared with anyone who is interested and wants to know. I’m only doing my part in making that happen.

Today is the anniversary of President Ngo Dinh Diem’s assassination at the hands of a group of treasonous South Vietnam generals, acting under the direction and encouragement of Henry Cabot Lodge and the Kennedy Administration.

President Diem lost his life on November 2, 1963.

For his services to the nation of South Vietnam, and as we’ve learned, for other peoples of the world at large, he will always be remembered.

Video: Last Week’s Protest in Saigon

Posted in Politics, Society, Videos with tags , , , , on May 17, 2014 by Ian Pham

This is a video of the anti-China protest in Saigon last Sunday, May 11, 2014. It may seem like old news at this point, as this week bore witness to some truly groundbreaking developments across the country. The movement is only gaining steam, and within hours from now, further protests are set to take place inside Vietnam.

I still feel inclined to post this video though, because certain parts of it are just too great not to share.

What makes this video so share-worthy? This, right here.

Flag Pull Down

For anyone unsure of what is happening in this picture, I’ll break it down for you:

That red flag is Vietnam’s communist flag. According to news circulating around the web, some communist party jerks were instructed to attend the protest and insert that flag into the crowd in an attempt to simulate public support for the VCP (Vietnamese Communist Party). This young lady, clearly offended by this idiotic ploy, took it upon herself to rip down the flag and show the communists what the real deal was.

Take that, communism.

Good luck to everyone out there in Vietnam. We’re all with you. Give ’em hell.

Annual Christmas Card: The 2013 Edition

Posted in Announcements, Music, Videos with tags , , , , , , on December 25, 2013 by Ian Pham

Snowy NightHey there everyone,

It’s that time of year again. The annual Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Years from your favorite Vietnamese human rights blogger. Sorry I’ve been kind of a ghost this year, and haven’t been covering as much as I would like to. Even though it may seem as if I’m not always around, you can rest assured that I am working tirelessly, and will never quit fighting for liberty, human rights, and democracy for the people of Vietnam.

I’ve witnessed some great strides in the fight for freedom in the year of 2013. Overseas, there are brave, hardworking, and incredibly creative individuals like Truc Ho, Viet Dzung, and the entire SBTN crew have made leaps and bounds in spreading awareness to the dire situation that the Communist Party has been putting the country through. Inside Vietnam, the fight continues, and is only heating up.

Young people in Vietnam like Dinh Nguyen Kha and Nguyen Phuong Uyen, just two of many courageous youth, have broken the silence and exposed the party for what they are: cowards, traitors, and heartless (yet spineless) dictators. As I write this, many more young people continue to join the struggle for liberty, democracy, and human rights for our beautiful nation of Vietnam. I can foresee an even more eventful year for our upward march to democracy, and, to the best of my ability, I will try to keep you updated every step of the way.

Well, before I ramble anymore, I think I’ll just stop myself now and save my rants for another day. Tonight, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday.

Best wishes,

Ian.

P.S. To do something different this year, I thought I should share with you all one of my all-time favorite holiday songs . The lyrics, melodies, and just overall presentation of this song makes me a little more cheerful every time. Here is “Grown-up Christmas List,” written by David Foster, and performed here by Michael Bublé.

Enjoy!

Million Hearts, One Voice: Truc Ho’s Human Rights Campaign

Posted in IV. Columns, Music, Politics, Society, Videos with tags , , , , , , on January 5, 2013 by Ian Pham

For the past couple months, Mr. Truc Ho has been conducting yet another brilliant campaign for human rights in Vietnam.  This most recent campaign is called “Million Hearts, One Voice,” and has caused quite a headache for the Communist leadership in Hanoi.  Not only did Truc Ho present a petition with over 135,000 signatures to both American and U.N leaders about Vietnam’s human rights issue, he also crafted a beautiful new song to support his campaign.

One of the flagships of Truc Ho’s campaign, next to his petition, is his newly composed song, “Trieu Con Tim,” or “A Million Hearts.”  Trieu Con Tim is a finely crafted song that vividly describes the countless abuses and failures of the Communist Party in Vietnam.  Their pathetic display on the world stage, especially their kowtowing to Beijing and the CCP, as well as their pathetic displays at home brought to light.

The song mentions some specific cases that happened recently in Vietnam.  One such case is the self-immolation of a mother in protest of the Hanoi government.  As a blogger, her daughter was detained as result of her courage to criticize the party.  Other cases, such as the government’s seizing of a citizen’s property, and the losing of Paracel and Spratly are also mentioned.  These stories will be mentioned in more detail in future posts.

This campaign has made a huge impact America’s new foreign policy towards Vietnam.  The Obama Administration’s Vietnam policy has shifted dramatically, and relations between the two nations have begun to deteriorate.  The U.S. has become fed up with the lack of progress on Vietnam’s human rights situation.  Therefore, they no longer seek to strengthen relations with the Communist Vietnamese.  This recent development will too be covered in a follow-up article.

For now, if you haven’t already, give this song a listen, enjoy it, and think about the message that it is delivering.  In the near future, I will write an article that gives everyone an opportunity to download the music of Truc Ho, as well as the music of Viet Khang.  This will make it possible for anyone who has access to this blog, whether inside or outside of Vietnam, to download the music and circulate it where ever they feel necessary.  Until then, hang tight, my fellows, and stock up on some blank CD’s.

No Church In The Wild

Posted in IV. Columns, Music, Politics, Society, Videos with tags , , , on June 14, 2012 by Ian Pham

It may seem odd to see a Jay-Z and Kanye West video posted on a blog like Freedom For Vietnam, but bare with me.  This is Jay-Z and Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean, “No Church In The Wild”, off of Jay-Z and Kanye’s Watch the Throne album.  The reason for the sharing of this video has less to do with lyrics, and more to do with the imagery.  This video shows the people rising up and waging war against police authorities, something that is perfectly applicable to Vietnam’s current situation.

Citizens of Vietnam are subjected to cruel and violent treatment by the Communist police 24/7, and are no strangers to police brutality.  In Vietnam’s police state, the authorities reign supreme over the population.  They terrorize the population for their own benefits, and they do so with impunity.  To this day, the people of Vietnam remain subjugated by the Communist Party, who tightly monitor and control their lives.  For these reasons, I find the images in Kanye’s video quite exhilarating.  One some days, I just want to see it happen to the Communist police in Vietnam.

What I like about “No Church In The Wild” is the raw emotion and sheer intensity evoked by its imagery.  I am not bothered that this song really has nothing to do with Communism or the nation of Vietnam.  The only thing I want to share is the footage of the people rising up and resisting repressive government authorities.  Kanye West and Jay-Z may be rapping about something else, but that is perfectly fine here.  As long as this message is delivered, my goal is met.  Enjoy the video, people.  Remember, use your imagination.

Editor’s Note: I’m sure many of you already know, but it is important that I address it.  This video is shared strictly for your entertainment, and should not be perceived as a swift change in attitude from this blogger or any of my associates.  I am, first and foremost, an advocate of non-violence and peaceful, yet forceful self-expression. I promote progress through knowledge, courage, and unity, and not through the unjust use of force (which the Communist police are guilty of).  Violence should only be considered as a last resort, when all other options are out of reach.

Furthermore, I do not share the views expressed in the lyrics of Kanye West and Jay-Z.  I do not preach anti-religious sentiments, nor do I care whether Jay-Z and Kanye are part of the Illuminati or not.  Frankly, my dear readers, I could care less what Jay-Z and Kanye’s religious views are or what they claim (remember, Kanye West did write “Jesus Walks”).  I do recognize that I said I hope this happens to the police in Vietnam sometimes, but that does not reflect my overall vision for moving Vietnam forward.

That statement is just my way of expressing my disdain for the Communist police, and that they do deserve to get some sense beaten into them (don’t you agree?).  If you haven’t noticed, this latest article is mostly satire at the expense of the Communist police, and also a little bit at Jay-Z and Kanye West.  As always, I appreciate your feedback and opinions, and look forward to hearing more from you all, in this post or the next.  Dear readers, cheers!

In Honor of Viet Khang

Posted in Democracy Activists, IV. Columns, Music, Politics, Society, Videos with tags , , , , , , on February 4, 2012 by Ian Pham

Viet Khang’s music is so powerful and moving that it would be a crime (no pun intended) not to share it with all of you.  It is unfortunate that not all of us can understand his music, as Viet Khang’s songs are performed in Vietnamese.  Do not fret however, for Vietnamese American music producer Truc Ho feels your pain, and was gracious enough to alleviate this language barrier with English subtitles for his version of “Who Are You?”.

Truc Ho did a good job on this interpretation of Viet Khang’s song, assembling a group of musicians under his label to help him sing.  Performing with Truc Ho is Dan Nguyen, Mai Thanh Son, Quoc Khanh, and Doan Phi.  The artists performed the song passionately, enough to bring justice to Viet Khang’s music.  Plus, it comes with English subtitles!  So even if you are not a fluent speaker of Vietnamese, you too can understand the powerful message Viet Khang is aiming to deliver.

The video briefly features a speech given by Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.  Ms. Sanchez has done much to help represent the Vietnamese community in the state of California, and continues to do so today.  Frequently, the Congresswoman has pushed the U.S. government to take a tougher stance on the human rights situation in Vietnam, proving herself to be a valuable ally to the Vietnamese community overseas.

I’ve said this before and will continue to say it.  Viet Khang is a talented and courageous man.  Because of him, not only are the Vietnamese abroad learning about the Communists, but the people within are becoming aware of their crimes as well.  He knew that performing his music would get him arrested, but he went through with it nonetheless.  As a leader, and as a patriot, Viet Khang is not afraid to die.  He has showed us that he is willing to sacrifice himself for the country, something that the entire Communist Party does not have the guts to do.

Viet Khang has more courage in his voice than all 3,000,000 members of the Vietnamese Communist Party combined.  For this remarkable reason, I continue to castigate the Communist Party, and commend the courage and honor of Viet Khang, the great singing patriot of Vietnam.  Like the heroes before him, Viet Khang has demonstrated what one courageous act can do for humanity.  Now think, what would happen if every single citizen came together, as one unitary force, to liberate Vietnam from the grips of these sordid criminals who call themselves the Communist Party.  If one man was able to drive the entire system insane, imagine what we could do together.  The possibilities are boundless, let’s stand together.