Posts Tagged Vietnam

The length of the sentence is proportionate to the paranoia of the government

Vietnam jails dissident bloggers

Security was tight at the court in Ho Chi Minh city

Vietnam has jailed three bloggers accused of spreading anti-government propaganda, in a case criticised by human rights groups.

The high-profile but brief trial took place in Ho Chi Minh City under heavy security.

The trio were given jail sentences of between four and 12 years.

The government, which does not allow freedom of expression, has been under pressure from bloggers over corruption cases and human rights issues.

The three were accused of posting political articles on a banned website called Free Journalists’ Club, as well as articles critical of the government on their own blogs.

Nguyen Van Hai, who uses the pen name Dieu Cay, received the longest sentence of 12 years.

Former policewoman Ta Phong Tan, who also wrote a blog called Justice and Truth, was sent to jail for 10 years. In July, her mother died after setting herself on fire in front of a government office – it is not clear if the act was in protest at her daughter’s detention or connected to other disputes, the family say.

The third dissident writer, Phan Thanh Hai, was jailed for four years.

‘Dictatorship’

The case of Dieu Cay, who was a soldier before he became a dissident writer, was raised by US President Barack Obama earlier this year.

“I just feel frustrated by injustice, corruption, dictatorship which does not represent the state but some individuals,” Dieu Cay told the court on Monday.

“According to Vietnamese laws, citizens have the right to freedom of speech and it is in accordance with international treaties to which Vietnam is party,” he said before the audio feed was cut off, AFP news agency reports.

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Opinion:

I can see the day very soon when the people will rise up against these turds.

To jail the bloggers at all, but for such long sentences shows just how scared and paranoid the government is.

Read my original post: When governments are afraid of blogs for more background on this case

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When Governments are Afraid of Blogs

Then there is s need for blogs.

Blogs are the voice of the people. It doesn’t matter if the blogger is a housewife, or a journalist. They are people voicing their opinions.

If the opinions are anti-government, then there is something wrong with the government, not the people voicing their opinions.

Vietnam prime minister targets anti-government blogs

Human Rights Watch says Vietnam is continuing to jail bloggers and activists

Vietnam’s prime minister has hit out at three blogs critical of the government, ordering that those behind them be ”seriously punished”.

A statement on a government website said PM Nguyen Tan Dung had ordered police to investigate and take action against those responsible.

He has also ordered civil servants not to read the blogs, which he said, had “agitated against… the state”.

Media in Vietnam is state-owned and operates under strict regulations.

Three blogs – including the popular Dan Lam Bao (People Doing Journalism) and Quan Lam Bao (Officials Doing Journalism) – were named in the government statement.

“This is a wicked plot of the hostile forces,” the statement said, adding that the blogs had “slandered the country’s leadership, fabricated and distorted information, agitated against the party and the state, and caused suspicion and mistrust in society”.

‘Secret world’

Two of the blogs said they would keep publishing, with one saying its bloggers were prepared to be jailed.

The government, which does not allow freedom of expression, has been under pressure from a number of blogs and bloggers over corruption cases or human rights issues.

“Dan Lam Bao and its companions are prepared to be repressed and imprisoned rather than leading the life of a dumb dog that dares not to bark, subservient to those who abuse their power,” one of the blogs being targeted said in response to the statement.

Quan Lam Bao began publishing only in May but quickly became one of the most popular blogs in Vietnam.

It mostly publishes unverified sensational news about the power struggle at the top of the leadership and details of personal lives of Communist Party leaders, says the BBC’s Nga Pham.

In an atmosphere lacking information and transparency, it offers a glimpse – albeit unsourced in many cases – into the secret world of these leaders, our correspondent says.

The blog also clearly targets the prime minister and this may be the reason why he is targeting the blog, she adds.

Human Rights Watch has accused the Vietnamese government of jailing dozens of bloggers and peaceful activists.

In July, the mother of a prominent blogger died after setting herself on fire to protest against the detention of her daughter, Ta Phong Tan, who is among a group of bloggers facing charges of anti-state propaganda.

Opinion:

Any government, Vietnam included, who is afraid of blogs has good reason, because the blogger is the power of the people.

Any government who controls any form of media needs to be removed.

Vietnam is not alone in this struggle, there are many countries around the world who are in the same boat; even the ‘mighty’ USA dictates what mainstream media can and cannot print.

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Fear of the Blogger

Yet another story of a government repressing bloggers with tragic consequences.

Mother of Vietnamese blogger ‘burns herself to death’

Vietnam

The mother of a prominent Vietnamese blogger has died from her injuries after setting herself on fire in front of government offices, her family says.

She was protesting against the detention of her daughter, Ta Phong Tan, who is facing charges of anti-state propaganda, another daughter told the BBC’s Vietnamese service.

Dang Thi Kim Lieng set herself alight in southern Bac Lieu province.

Her daughter faces trial in August and could be jailed for 20 years.

Dang Thi Kim Lieng went alone, without telling anyone, to the local government building in Bac Lieu, the second daughter told the BBC.

Ex-policewoman

The police have made no comment, but activists and lawyers said that Mrs Dang died while being taken by police to a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City.

She was said to be extremely worried about the fate of her daughter, who she had not seen since her arrest last September.

Ta Phong Tan was arrested by the authorities with other bloggers, who are also accused of subversive activities in a state that controls the media and has little tolerance for criticism.

She is a former policewoman who built up a following with her reports on police abuses and injustices in the legal system.

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Opinion:

Governments are stupid. It doesn’t matter if it is Vietnam, Ethiopia or the USA. The world of communication has changed, through blogs the people have more voice than before. Controllable media like TV and newspapers are going the way of the dinosaurs for those who want the truth.

If the government fears the blogger, then the government is doing something wrong. Not the bloggers.

The governments need to change their attitudes; not the other way round.

Blogging has brought about levels of transparency that governments have never deal with before. The people are demanding the truth. Governments can no longer hide their criminal activities.

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South China Sea

I have been critical of China’s claim to much of the South China Sea, and I remain critical of the majority of the claim as China is clearly being a greedy bastard.

But, I must side with China over the Paracel Islands, but not fully.

Paracel Islands

In this case it is Vietnam who are ignoring the 200 mile Economic Zone.

Most of the Paracel Islands are clearly in Chinese territorial waters with the exception of the south-western island of Triton Island which is in Vietnamese territorial waters.

The demarcation line is quite clear.

Both countries should resolve this dispute and accept the internationally accepted 200 mile Economic Zone.

However, this does not alter my views on the rapacious claims of China in respect to  other areas of the South China Sea. The area of the dotted red line claiming the Spratly Islands and almost the beaches of Sarawak and Brunei is nothing short of ridiculous.

The Spratly Islands are almost equally divided in respect of the 200 miles limit between the Philippines and Malaysia (one third each), one island in Brunei, one part in Vietnam and the rest (one third) in international waters.

Any claim by China to any part of the Spratly Islands is beyond comprehension. China needs to pull its avaricious neck in and worry more about its human rights record at home if it wants to become a respected member of the international community.

“China has decided “in principle” to build a supply dock on an island it disputes with Vietnam in the South China Sea.

The province of Hainan is looking to build on what is known as Jinqing in China and Duy Mong in Vietnam in the Paracel islands as part of tourism plans, according to a statement.

There have been tensions over both countries’ claims to the chain of small islands and reefs.

China has occupied the area since 1974.”BBC News Read more

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I said ‘Watch this Space!”

I have been warning of this for some time. My last rant I have said before; and I’ll say it again! was back in mid-November, and today in the headlines:

Hu Jintao tells China navy: Prepare for warfare

China's military build up has caused concern elsewhere in the region

China’s navy should speed up its development and prepare for warfare, President Hu Jintao has said.

He told military personnel they should “make extended preparations for warfare”.

China is locked in territorial disputes with several other nations in the South China Sea. Political tension is also growing with the US, which is seeking to boost its presence in the region.

After Mr Hu’s comments, the US said China was entitled to defend itself.

“Nobody’s looking for a scrap here,” said Pentagon spokesman Admiral John Kirby in quotes carried by the AFP news agency.

“Certainly we wouldn’t begrudge any other nation the opportunity to develop naval forces.”

Senior US and Chinese officials are currently holding talks on military issues.

The one-day meeting takes place every year, with the stated aim of ensuring there are no misunderstandings between the two nations.

‘Sovereignty dispute’

China has recently acquired its first aircraft carrier and has been vocal about its naval ambitions.

But its military remains primarily a land-based force, and its naval capabilities are still dwarfed by the US.

Mr Hu told a meeting of military officials that the navy should “accelerate its transformation and modernisation in a sturdy way, and make extended preparations for warfare in order to make greater contributions to safeguard national security”.

The word “warfare” was used in official media, but other translations used “military combat” and “military struggle”.

Analysts say Mr Hu’s comments are unusually blunt, and are likely to be aimed at the US and Beijing’s rivals in the South China Sea.

Both the Philippines and Vietnam have repeatedly accused China of overt aggression in the region.

They are among the nations claiming sovereignty over islands in the sea in the hope that there could be oil and gas deposits there.

And US President Barack Obama announced last month that the US was boosting its presence in the region, and will base a full Marine task force in northern Australia.

Analysts say the US move is a direct challenge to China’s attempts to dominate the area, and is likely to bolster US allies in the South China Sea dispute.

Source: BBC News

Opinion:

China has absolutely no respect for the rest of the world. Chinese domination is the agenda.

China is a direct threat to peace in the region.

This latest declaration shows their determination.

The rest of the world are bloody fools. Sucked in by China, moving American jobs to China attracted by the slave wages, helping to enrich China to the point that it’s military is strong enough to challenge.

American jobs that should be for Americans, have helped make China a bigger bastard than it was.

Who did this? Your government, the corporations and the bankers!

America is not solely to blame, other major economies too have all had their fingers in the collective pie; it’s just that the American situation is so grossly out of control that it is the obvious target for finger pointers.

 

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I have said before; and I’ll say it again!

China is a dangerous and treacherous blight on this planet!

From the BBC News:

Wen warns US on South China Sea dispute

China has warned “external forces” not to get involved in its maritime disputes with neighbouring countries over the South China Sea.

In comments apparently directed at the US, Premier Wen Jiabao said that the disputes should be resolved by “relevant sovereign states”.

Mr Wen spoke at a regional summit in Bali that US President Barack Obama is also attending.

But other nations want the contentious issue to be tackled at the forum.

The South China Sea contains some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, as well as oil and gas reserves.

China claims a huge U-shaped area of the sea – a claim that overlaps areas which Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Brunei say belong to them.

China’s increasingly assertive behaviour over its claim in recent months has alarmed several of its neighbours.

They are keen to negotiate with China as a bloc – but China prefers to tackle the issue through bilateral negotiations, and it does not want the US involved at all.

“External forces should not use any excuse to interfere,” he said in a speech carried by state news agency Xinhua.

“The dispute on the South China Sea is a matter that been going on for years. It should be resolved by the relevant sovereign states through friendly consultation and discussion directly.”

Read the rest on BBC News

Opinion:

China has, in the past, shown a direct aversion to “friendly consultation and discussion”.

Did China have “friendly consultation and discussion” with Taiwan?

Did Chine hava “friendly consultation and discussion” with Tibet?

Did China have “friendly consultation and discussion” over Tiananmen Square?

China is not interested in “friendly consultation and discussion.” China just wants and China just takes.

As they will try and do over the South China Sea. As you can see by the map above, China’s claims are totally out of all proportion to accepted international standards and maritime limits.

The Chinese sovereign greed is insatiable.

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Watch this Space: China

China's growing naval power has encouraged it to be more assertive

South China Sea tensions rattle China’s neighbours

Chinese leaders like to talk about their country’s “peaceful rise” – and Europe’s financial traumas are giving Beijing plenty of scope to assume the role of a benign new force on the world stage.

President Hu Jintao has presented himself as a “friend in need” during encounters with European supplicants while stopping short, for now, of committing China to a specific contribution.

But China has been showing a very different face to countries closer to home in an increasingly tense confrontation over rival claims to the resource-rich waters of the South China Sea.

It is a region where the peaceful nature of China’s rise is starting to be questioned as it pushes a long-standing maritime claim that stretches deep into South East Asia.

“China is becoming much more confident in the region and there are signs it is becoming giddy with success. It has become much more influential much more quickly than it expected,” says Dr Kerry Brown of the Asia Programme at Chatham House in London.

Vietnam and the Philippines in recent months have seen the snarl of a resurgent regional power that is fast losing patience with the gripes of smaller neighbours over maritime borders.

“If these countries do not want to change their ways with China, they will need to prepare for the sound of cannons. It may be the only way for the dispute in the sea to be resolved,” said the state run newspaper, the Global Times, in a recent editorial.

Hard power

Chinese officials have been more restrained in their comments, but foreign ministry spokesmen have issued a series of warnings about what they see as encroachments into Chinese waters.

Beijing says it does want a peaceful solution. But Vietnam and the Philippines say Chinese ships have stepped up harassment of vessels involved in oil exploration and fishing.

China's stance on the South China Sea is making neighbours like Vietnam worried

“The growth of Chinese military spending is beginning to translate into hard power,” says John Hemmings, an analyst at the Royal United Services Institute.

“This is the first major sign that a more confident Chinese grand strategy is emerging. It is in the South China Sea that there is a real risk of discord between the US and China.”

Source: BBC News Read more, it gets even more interesting.

Opinion:

I have been long saying that China has a different agenda than it is showing to the West. Their track record with Taiwan and Tibet, amongst others, has shown that they are a treacherous and dangerous country. The West will only learn this when it is too late and at great cost of Western civilisation.

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