Archive for Viet Khang

Singer, Songwriter, and Freedom Fighter Viet Khang Has Arrived in the United States

Posted in I. News, Music with tags , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2018 by Ian Pham

Viet Khang Arrival California(Dan Huynh/Nguoi Viet)

A couple of weeks ago, on the afternoon of February 8, 2018, the Vietnamese singer, songwriter, and former political prisoner Viet Khang touched down at Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California, after being jailed for four years by the communist government in Vietnam for his dissenting political views.

Upon arrival, Viet Khang was greeted by a warm and welcoming crowd, attended mostly by members of the Vietnamese-American community.

Viet Khang, real name Vo Minh Tri, rose to international prominence among Vietnamese audiences worldwide in late 2011, when he recorded and released two protest songs criticizing the communist government in Vietnam for their cowardice, corruption, and treason against the nation of Vietnam and its people. Simultaneously released, the two songs are “Viet Nam Toi Dau?” (“Where is My Vietnam?”), and “Anh La Ai?” (“Who Are You?”).

The firstly mentioned song, “Where is My Vietnam?” deals with the issue of the current quiet invasion of Vietnam by Red China, and how the impotent and cowardly communist government in Vietnam is doing nothing to defend the country against foreign encroachment.

In his second song, “Who Are You?” the singer addresses the brutality and barbarity of the communist police in Vietnam, who, in the pattern of all totalitarian states, walk around terrorizing, stealing, violating, and murdering the population with impunity.

Through his music, Viet Khang shined a spotlight on a commonly known, but largely unspoken (at least inside Vietnam, because dictatorships) truth about the Vietnamese Communist Party: That they are corrupted, cowardly, and treasonous, not to mention brutal and evil.

In Vietnam, the communist government commits horrendous human rights abuses, such as (but not limited to) breaking into peoples homes at will, forcing bribery and taking citizens’ money at will, seizing and destroying property at will, beating and terrorizing men, women, and children at will, and overall, creating a society of banditry and fear.

On the international stage, an aggressive and expansionist China kills Vietnamese fishermen, builds oil rigs and artificial islands close to Vietnam’s shores, seizes Vietnam’s islands in the eastern sea (wrongfully dubbed the “South China Sea”), and established a one-sided open borders practice with Vietnam that allows Chinese people to come and go in Vietnam without any form of paperwork, while at the same time imposing harsh restrictions on Vietnamese people who wish to travel to China. All of this not only goes unpunished by the Vietnamese communist government, but also seems to be welcomed, even promoted by the Vietnamese communist government.

In general, the communist government in Vietnam behaves brutally and terrifyingly against its own defenseless population, but weak, feckless, and pathetic in its dealings with outside powers.

Viet Khang’s music, through a few simple chords and an unwavering dedication to the truth, shook the foundations of the communist regime in Vietnam, and left even the top members of the Vietnamese communist high command shaking in their little Made in China commie boots.

As a result of his two songs, Viet Khang was jailed by the communist government in Vietnam for four years, finally completing his sentence in December of 2015. Following his release, Viet Khang faced another two to three years of house arrest, as part of his sentencing.

Recently, however, thanks to a collaborative effort of lobbying and advocating by music producer and democracy activist Truc Ho, U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) and members of his team, which includes Vietnamese-American lawyer Ms. Minh Thuc, a deal was reached between the U.S. and Vietnamese governments, allowing Viet Khang to depart from Vietnam and come to the United States as a refugee.

Viet Khang is a freedom fighter and a patriot who, even when locked away in the dirty confines of communist prison, continued to spread his message to the world.

Upon his arrival in California, it was revealed that another popular Vietnamese protest song, “Tra Lai Cho Dan,” (“Give Back to the People”), had been authored by Viet Khang as well. The song surfaced on Vietnamese overseas media some time after Viet Khang’s sentencing, while he was in prison. It was performed by many overseas Vietnamese musicians, and became popular in Vietnamese communities across the world, even inside Vietnam. With no known author at the time, many suspected that Viet Khang had written the song while in jail, and then finding a way to leak it to the outside world. Since his arrival in the United States, this theory has proven to be a reality.

As a courageous person who speaks his mind, Viet Khang has suffered tremendously at the hands of the communists. It is great that he has finally found some measure of peace for all of the pain he endured. This peace comes in the form of freedom, marked by his arrival in the United States. As a member of the Vietnamese freedom community, I wish Viet Khang the best.

Welcome to America, brother.

God bless.


Note: An earlier version of this article failed to include Truc Ho as one of the key players in Viet Khang’s transfer from Vietnam to the United States. Truc Ho was instrumental in this successful operation, spearheading the operation and working closely with Senator McCain and his team to accomplish the task. The error has been corrected. (February 22, 2018).

Reporting for this news article courtesy of Hoang Tat Thang (Dan Lam Bao), Do Dzung (Nguoi Viet), and Nguyen Huy (Nguoi Viet).


Here’s a Nice Song That Viet Khang Wrote, Performed by Dan Truong

Posted in Music with tags , , on December 22, 2015 by Ian Pham

Viet Khang - Ban ThanImage via Dan Luan

The following is a song that Viet Khang wrote. It started making its rounds on the internet in early 2012, a short while after the musician’s arrest for writing his two groundbreaking and politically-driven songs, “Anh La Ai (Who Are You)?” and “Viet Nam Toi Dau (Where Is My Vietnam)?” After some brief snooping however, it turns out that this song has been out since 2010, and is performed by a singer named Dan Truong. According to Youtube, in the video’s description, the song is performed by Dan Truong, and written by Viet Khang.

Along with the two famous tracks mentioned above, this single has also become quite popular among Viet Khang’s fans.

The song which I currently speak of is titled “Ban Than,” which means “Good Friend” in Vietnamese. It’s literally all about looking forward to hanging out with your friend, having coffee, and talking about life and other things. I personally enjoyed the song quite a bit, and feel that many of you will like it too. It’s nonpolitical, it’s slow, and it’s just really nice.

Hope you all liked it. I know I sure did.

Once again, welcome back, Brother Viet Khang.

Viet Khang is Officially Home

Posted in Democracy Activists, Music, Society with tags , , , , on December 15, 2015 by Ian Pham

Viet Khang ReturnsPhoto via Radio Free Asia

It’s official, folks. Viet Khang, the renowned musician and democracy activist, has returned home safely to his family.

In his interview with Radio Free Asia, the musician explains his long trip back home after being released from communist imprisonment. Being provided a group to drive him, Viet Khang did not arrive home until 3-4pm, having left at 7am earlier that morning. He cites the fact that his drivers, taking their sweet time, had to stop for food and refreshments and whatnot, while he was anxious to get home and did not eat at all.

From the same interview, the musician explains that he will be under house arrest for the next 2-3 years, that he is very grateful for all the love and support that he has received throughout this time, and, that he has no regrets for the things that he has done. He is a musician who speaks from his heart, and he is a man who loves his country.

Welcome home, Brother Viet Khang.

Listen to the whole interview at Radio Free Asia.


Musician and Human Rights Activist Viet Khang Released From Prison Yesterday

Posted in Democracy Activists, Music, Politics, Society with tags , , , , on December 15, 2015 by Ian Pham

Viet KhangPhoto via We Heart Music

Yesterday in Vietnam, Viet Khang, the musician and human rights activist who has been imprisoned by the Vietnamese communist government since late 2011 because of his music, was finally released after four years in jail.

Brother Viet Khang, as many of us like to call him, wrote two songs in 2011: “Viet Nam Toi Dau (Where Is My Vietnam)?” and “Anh La Ai (Who Are You)?” Both of these tracks ask some serious questions about the Vietnamese Communist Party and their governance, namely, “why are you selling our nation to the Chinese?” and, “why are you suppressing and terrorizing our people for defending the country?”

As you may know, it is illegal to ask questions in Vietnam, especially if they bring up how stupid or cowardly the communist leadership is. And so, for his courage and the willingness to ask questions, Brother Viet Khang was arrested and sentenced to four years in jail.

Vietnam. Where asking a simple question such as, “why don’t we just defend our country?” can get you sentenced to four years in prison. But, I digress.

As of yesterday, December 14, 2015, it is reported that Viet Khang has finally been released from captivity. According to SBS, Viet Khang’s mother is awaiting his return home. There is not yet news of his safe arrival at this time of writing.

Let us all pray for Viet Khang and his family, and hope that the brave musician returns home to his family soon, if he is not home already.


Inside The Courtroom 2: Dinh Nguyen Kha’s Open War Against The Vietnamese Communist Party

Posted in Democracy Activists, Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2013 by Ian Pham

Dinh Nguyen KhaToday, a second trial was held for Ms. Nguyen Phuong Uyen and her partner Dinh Nguyen Kha. Though the sentences have already been dealt, the two have apparently appealed the court’s ruling and successfully forced a second hearing. I’ve provided extensive coverage on Ms. Phuong Uyen already, but have yet to give much information on her partner, Mr. Dinh Nguyen Kha.

Just like Ms. Phuong Uyen, Dinh Nguyen Kha’s words are nothing short of extraordinary. On the same day that Ms. Phuong Uyen eloquently stated her position justifying her actions, Dinh Nguyen Kha stood before the panel of Vietnamese judges and declared openly his opposition against the Communist Party. With neither fear nor remorse, Kha made it clear that his actions were not against the country, but just against the Communist Party. Furthermore, he proclaimed that being patriotic was not a crime, and thus, standing against the Communist Party was definitely not a crime.

Because of the boldness of his remarks, Dinh Nguyen Kha was cut off by the judges even faster than Phuong Uyen was. Thus, even though Kha’s words are brief, they are nothing short of ferocious:

“Tôi trước sau vẫn là một người yêu nước, yêu dân tộc tôi. Tôi không hề chống dân tộc tôi, tôi chỉ chống đảng cộng sản. Mà chống đảng thì không phải là tội”.

This translates directly to:

“I, before and after, will always be a person who loves his country and his people. I have never stood against my people, I just stand against the Communist Party. And standing against the Party is not a crime.”

Dinh Nguyen Kha MuralDinh Nguyen Kha, along with Nguyen Phuong Uyen, is a member of Vietnam’s Patriotic Youth, known as Tuoi Tre Yeu Nuoc in Vietnamese. The actions of these two young individuals have effectively defined what Vietnam’s new generation of youth are capable of. Together, Kha and Uyen have created quite a stir with their stand against the Communist Party. Keep in mind though, that this organization is composed of more than just these two brave individuals. Viet Khang, the incredibly brave musician that was detained last year for his patriotic music, is also a member of TTYN. Currently, not much is known about this organization, besides the fact that they are patriotic, and that already, three of their members have selflessly stood against the Communist Party of Vietnam, and have been severely persecuted for their bravery.

Patriotic YouthThe Communist Party is currently coming down on Dinh Nguyen Kha’s family with much brutality. News have surfaced that Kha’s brother has been arrested by Communist police under the assumption that since Kha is a member of TTYN, his brother must too be a member. In typical VCP fashion, there was no evidence for his arrest, nor was there a lawyer or a fair trial. Kha’s brother is a shop owner, whose primary source of income comes from the selling of computers. The brothers not only support themselves, but must provide for their elderly mother and father as well. The Communist government confiscated all of the family’s assets, and is aiming to let the elderly members of Kha’s family starve. The government has also denied Kha’s parents the right to visit him in prison.

The trial of the two patriots Dinh Nguyen Kha and Nguyen Phuong Uyen should be wrapped up in Vietnam by now. I will try to keep you updated on the outcome as news continues to come out. For my people in Vietnam, stand tough. To all those inside the Patriotic Youth – Tuoi Tre Yeu Nuoc, keep fighting the good fight. In the end, it will be the brave and righteous that triumphs over the treacherous and cowardly. People of Vietnam, you will win.


The Songs of Freedom

Posted in IV. Columns, Music, Politics, Society with tags , , , , on January 9, 2013 by Ian Pham

Alright everyone, here are four songs that I am making downloadable on this website, just for you.  Two of the songs are from brother Viet Khang, the heroic prisoner of freedom, justice, and human rights.  The next two tracks are from Mr. Truc Ho, the great crusader, who has fought tirelessly to raise the human rights issue, and mobilize us Vietnamese across the seas.  Both of these men are great musicians, composing  extremely powerful songs that have left the Communists shaking in their little boots.

The list presented below includes Truc Ho’s popular song, “Dap Loi Song Nui,” which translates to “Answering the Call of the Mountains and Rivers.”  This song was composed earlier in 2008, though I have yet had the opportunity to share it with you.  Any fans of Truc Ho surely know about this song already.  However, if you have not listened to it yet, now is as good a time as any.


The Songs of Freedom:

Viet Khang – Viet Nam Toi Dau?

Viet Khang – Anh La Ai?

Truc Ho – Trieu Con Tim

Truc Ho – Dap Loi Song Nui

To download the songs above, simply right click on each file, then choose the “save link as” option on your computer.  The next step is self explanatory: click save,” or download,” whatever it is that comes up at this point.  These steps apply both to Macs and PCs, as the process and results will be exactly the same.  To my users outside of North America, Vietnam especially, choose the corresponding options in your language and you too should receive the songs.

From here, do as you please with the music.  Listen to it, enjoy it, and share it with the world.  To my people in Vietnam who are able to access this blog, here is your chance to acquire what your government has been trying so hard to shield from you all this time.  Take this music, spread it as far and wide as you can, by whatever means at your disposal.  This is only a small step, but it’s a small step forward.  The world is with you, may you never give up.


Viet Khang’s Verdict

Posted in Democracy Activists, Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2012 by Ian Pham

Alright, so a little over a week ago (October 30… Sorry we took a while), the Communist Party delivered their verdict on Viet Khang’s trial.  After a half-day of rigorous show-trialling, the Communist Party, Viet Khang was sentenced to four years in prison and a supposed two years of house arrest.

On trial with Viet Khang is fellow musician/songwriter Hoang Nhat Thong (his real name is Tran Vu Anh Binh), who is also sentenced to a harsh prison term of six years in prison.  Mr. Tran Vu Anh Binh wrote a song in honor of the democracy activist Dieu Cay, titled “Nguc Toi Hien Ngang”, or “Courage in the Dark prison”.

Viet Khang’s verdict is somewhat lighter than I expected (though it is still extremely harsh) when comparing to other democracy activists (Dieu Cay got 12 years).  This may or may not be due to the international attention given to Viet Khang’s case, and there was a lot of attention from the Vietnamese community around the world regarding Viet Khang.

It is not yet clear what the situation in Vietnam is like now that a sentence has been placed on Viet Khang.  What I am sure of however is that the arrests and unfair treatment of innocent people will continue.  It’s a long and arduous process but there is really no way the Party can ever regain their legitimacy.  They have demeaned themselves, the country, and the people of Vietnam for so long, it is no longer a tangible task for them to gain any respect from their people, the world, or each other.

A coward can only hide his cowardice for so long, and even then, he cannot fool himself into having courage.  As far as the Communist Party is concerned, they are surviving off borrowed time.  They can keep suppressing, they can keep censoring, and they can keep pretending they aren’t Chinese dogs.  However, they cannot wipe the blood off their hands, and they will never again look valiant and righteous in the eyes of their people.  Even the great regimes don’t last forever, and the Communists are definitely not the greats.