Archive for Hanoi

Major Developments In Vietnam Right Now

Posted in Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2014 by Ian Pham

May 11 ProtestThere is a storm brewing in Vietnam right now, people. China has been steadily escalating its encroachment on Vietnamese territory, and at this point in time, it seems that the Vietnamese people have finally had enough. This past Sunday, spontaneous demonstrations broke out in Saigon, Hanoi, Danang, and Vinh, spreading like wildfire and growing into full-on political protests with a total of over 3,000 attendees across the four cities.

China has recently transported its large oil rig into Vietnam’s EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone), sparking outrage among the Vietnamese populations, both domestically and abroad. Last week, moreover, the Chinese navy is condemned internationally for harassing Vietnamese boats, spraying personnel with heavy duty water hoses, and injuring 8 people.

These incidents are fairly recent, taking place within the last 14 days. Indeed, the events fit perfectly with China’s long pattern of aggressive and illegal behavior on the world stage. The list of belligerent actions that the PRC commits against its neighbors in the Pacific is fairly hefty, and worse, shows no sign of diminishing.

China’s heinous actions against Vietnam include state-sponsored piracy against Vietnamese fishermen in the Southeast Asia Sea, unsubstantiated claims to vast amounts of territory in the Pacific, increased military presence in the Paracel and Spratly Islands, and an overall aggressive tone towards its weaker neighbors. The list is by no means limited to these well documented events, as the PRC is understood to also have disputes with Japan and the Philippines over similar issues regarding sovereignty and security.

For the longest time, with heavy suppression from the Communist government in Hanoi, the people of Vietnam have been prevented from protesting China’s belligerency. Though demonstrations and gatherings are still planned and orchestrated at various times, they are always crushed by government forces, with heavy penalties for those involved.

Binh Duong ProtestsLately however, with this past Sunday being a prime example, it seems that the government is no longer able to prevent the people of Vietnam from defending their own country. Just today, in the industrial area in Binh Duong province, one protest exploded to a scale unprecedented in Vietnam’s recent memory, with over 10,000 people in attendance. The momentum seems to be growing, as further protests are planned for this Sunday throughout Vietnam.

It’s still too soon to tell what will happen, but from the looks of things, the situation is beginning to really heat up in the Communist-controlled state. I’ll do my best to keep you all updated on the situation. It’s going to be an interesting summer in Vietnam this year.

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Prayers in the Cities: Hanoi and Saigon

Posted in Politics, Society with tags , , , , , on October 2, 2011 by Ian Pham

According to Spero News (September 26, 2011), over 2,000 Christian Redemptorists gathered in the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City this week to pray for the safety and well-being of Vietnam’s political prisoners.  Religious freedom, peace for the country, and the release of the detainees were all among the wishes of the people.  It is not said whether the gathering was broken up by authorities or not, one could probably perceive this as a good sign.

It would be naive of me to say that this event could spark a revolution in Vietnam, for this event is much too small for that.  However, I will take the event for what it is, a positive act by the people.  Besides the anti-China protests, now stifled by the Communist government, any forms of protests and gatherings in Vietnam rarely last.  This religious gathering by Vietnamese Christians is probably no exception.  Though there is no coverage of violent repression by security forces, it is almost definite that the police dispersed or even detained some individuals.

Any talks of freedom in Vietnam are swiftly and forcefully crushed by the Vietnamese police, this time is no different.  It is difficult for the Communists to lay charges to peaceful worshippers, but they always find a way around it.  In the same Spero News article, interviews of everyday individuals in Vietnam bring to light some disturbing tactics used by the Party. Instead of outright detention of peoples of interest, the Communist Party arrests them secretly, in order to not draw attention to themselves. Religious figures are common victims of these kidnappings, for they hold influence among the population.  Therefore, public detainments of these individuals would spark anger among the population, causing difficulties for the Communists.

The prayers in the cities of Vietnam may not be a very strong political statement, the event itself is quite minor.  However, it takes quite a bit of courage to go out and worship in a society where religion is a major target of the government.  Not only that, but the prayers are for the freedom of religion and just treatment of detained religious leaders.  This probably will not lead to a major movement that will overthrow the Communist Party of Vietnam, but it is still a noteworthy move in this struggle for freedom.

Fighting For Vietnam

Posted in Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2011 by Ian Pham

Protest is the word for Vietnam this weekend, as young Vietnamese people from all across the globe have risen to show their disgust for the crimes of Red China.  From Paris to Tokyo, the people of Vietnam have come together in unity, expressing their undying love for their homeland in the face of Chinese aggression.  The story however, is even bigger inside of Vietnam.  Hours from now, possibly even as we speak, large-scale demonstrations are set to take place in the cities of Hanoi and Saigon.

It is unclear how large these protests are going to be, or how long they will last.  Even more unpredictable however, is what will happen once these demonstrations actually take place.  The Communist Party in Vietnam has been extremely uncharacteristic as of late, allowing the people to protest against China, but even they have their limits.  Last week, as the third round of protests were underway, the Communist Police in Saigon surrounded the homes of all prominent protest leaders and prevented them from participating.  As a result, the scale of the protests in Saigon was dramatically reduced and quickly dispersed by the security forces of the VCP.

The protests set for today are supposed to be the biggest by far, calling upon everyone in Vietnam to stand up and rise against the tyrannies of Red China.  This can be a monumental event, but it can also have a terrible, violent outcome.  As mentioned in the past, the Communists are professional killers, specially trained and bred to eliminate any threat in the name of the Party.  A protest of this scale will almost definitely spark some type of Communist reaction.  It is possible that there may be patriots within the Party itself, but even so, experience and history reminds us that the VCP can never be trusted.

For now, the best we can do is support the people inside of Vietnam.  If a real change were to come, the people inside Vietnam will be the ones to lead the way.  We in the west too have the capacity to help the motherland, but for now, we are only on the outside looking in.  In order to understand what Vietnam truly needs, one must understand how brutal the regime truly is.  The people on the inside have shed blood, sweat, and tears through this regime every single day.  For this reason, they will be the ones to make a change.

There is no telling what will happen tonight, the only thing one can be sure of is that the people will not give up.  For too long, the people of Vietnam have been terrorized by the Party, living through their ruthless repression, and watching them sell out to China.  It is time the Party understood the determination of the Vietnamese people.  If the government cannot defend the country, the people surely will.  We will prevail.

Anti-China Protests in Hanoi and Saigon

Posted in Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , on June 5, 2011 by Ian Pham

The Vietnamese people have taken to the streets in reponse to the Chinese invasion of the Paracel and Spratly islands.  Earlier today, the people of Vietnam gathered outside of the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi to demonstrate against the recent acts of aggression of the PRC in the South China Sea.  Hundreds also met up in Ho Chi Minh City, aka Saigon, to protest against Communist China.

Wearing red t-shirts and carrying flags and banners, the protesters stood outside the embassy chanting slogans comdemning China for their expansionist and belligerent nature.  The police and security forces watched the demonstration take place for a time before dispersing the people and making them leave the protest areas.  In Hanoi, the protesters then marched towards Hoan Kiem Lake, a historical landmark of Le Loi and Nguyen Trai’s time, singing the national anthem and chanting anti-Chinese slogans.

From what has been shown so far, the Vietnamese government did not crush the demonstrations in a violent manner.  Though it is never certain, there is no coverage that the Communist police used many repressive tactics to hurt the protesters in Vietnam.  For once, it seems, the Communist Party is actually on the side of the people in regards to this China problem, within their own limits however. 

The future is always uncertain when it comes to the Communists.  One can only hope that similar events such as these occur more often.  What the Communists decide to do now will determine their fate in the near future.  They would be wise not to antagonize their people anymore.  Instead, they should try to make incremental changes to improve the country and better the lives of the people.  Doing so will significantly reduce the bloodshed and violence that will surely take place if this tyranny were to continue any longer.  Governments rise and fall, but the people are forever!

The City of the Soaring Dragon: 1000 Years of Hanoi

Posted in Dynastic History, Modern History, Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , on October 10, 2010 by Ian Pham

Today marks the 1000 year birthday of the city of Hanoi.  For the past week, the people of Vietnam have been celebrating the long life of this important historical setting.  Through various dynasties over the course of Vietnam’s history, Hanoi has most often been the capital of the country.  After a thousand years, through numerous wars and reconstructions, the city of Hanoi remains strong.  It is a symbol of resilience and strength, reminding us of the long and revering history of the Vietnamese people.

During imperial times, the city of Hanoi was named Thang Long, meaning “Soaring Dragon.”  The origin of Thang Long came from Emperor Ly Cong Uan.  As leader of the new independent nation of Dai Viet, Ly Cong Uan decided to move his capital to the city of Dai La.  In a dream, the emperor saw a golden dragon, soaring majestically in the sky.  When he awoke, the emperor took the dream as a heavenly sign, and therefore decided to bestow upon his city the name of Thang Long, the “City of the Soaring Dragon.”

The name “Hanoi” came in modern times, under the rule of the Nguyen Dynasty.  Emperor Minh Mang, arguably the only capable ruler of the Nguyen Dynasty, changed the name from Thang Long to Hanoi.  That leads us to the city we have today, where a celebration is currently taking place.  Red flags, pictures of Ho Chi Minh, the hammer and sickle, all integrated into the festivities in Vietnam.  Many people in Vietnam see little reason to be excited, having resentment for the Communists for their poor leadership and shameful representation of the people.

Even so, let’s just look past the embarrassment of the Communists and celebrate the history of our proud people.  Though the government has shamed our nation in so many different ways, the people of Vietnam have so much to be proud about.  The tradition of Viet has been under fire for thousands of years, in spite of that, we continue to stay strong.  The current situation will not last forever.  One day, Vietnam will become free.  Communism is dead, even the Communists know that.