Airlines, coach operators to add services on holiday


Airlines as well as coach and train services operators will increase services during the long holiday of Reunification Day (April 30) and International Labor Day (May 1) to meet rising demand.

Vietjet said it will operate 140 more flights from on April 28 to May 4, bringing the total daily services to 246, up a staggering 66% against the same period last year.

The no-frills carrier will add four flights a day to the HCMC-Danang run and two daily services to each of HCMC-Phu Quoc, Hanoi-Phu Quoc and Hanoi-Danang routes.

With frequency increases, the airline’s daily flights will be 21 for the HCMC-Hanoi route, five for each of HCMC-Hue and Hanoi-Cam Ranh, six for HCMC-Vinh, six to seven for HCMC-Haiphong, and three for each of HCMC-Thanh Hoa and Hanoi-Dalat.

Vietnam Airlines announced to conduct 136 more flights on nine domestic routes from on April 28 to May 4. It will sell a total of 250,000 seats, chiefly on the routes linking Hanoi and HCMC and coastal areas, in the period, up 10% over normal days and 35% against the same period last year.

Particularly, Vietnam Airlines will offer an extra 49 flights for the Hanoi-Danang route, 22 more for Hanoi-Phu Quoc, 14 more for Hanoi-Nha Trang, 16 more for Hanoi-Hue, and 22 more for HCMC-Phu Quoc.

Soaring demand for air travel during the holiday has pushed airfares up, with economy-class fares of certain routes edging up 20-40% compared to normal days.

Demand for coach services will grow sharply during the long holiday since laborers will have two more days off because Reunification Day and International Labor Day fall on a weekend this year.

The number of passengers at Mien Dong Coach Station in HCMC is forecast to inch up 3% against the same period last year, especially services from the city to Danang and the Central Highlands region. The number could climb to 40,000 passengers on peak days during the holiday.

Coach operators are expected to offer 288 more services during the holiday and revise up fares by 30-40% against the same period a year earlier.

At Mien Tay Coach Station, the total number of passengers traveling to Mekong Delta provinces on April 30 and May 1 is estimated at 47,000-49,000, two times over normal days.

An additional 60 forty-seat buses will be put into service during the holiday to meet travel demand, particularly on the routes to Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, and Can Tho. Fares will go up around 40% compared to normal days.

Saigon Railway Transport Joint Stock Company will add 31 train services from HCMC to Phan Thiet, Nha Trang, and Tuy Hoa. The company knocks fares off 60% for passengers traveling during the upcoming holiday.

Hanoi grants amnesty to 100 prisoners

Hanoi on April 29 decided to grant clemency to 101 prisoners who are serving sentences at the Hanoi police’s detention centres on the occasion of the upcoming 41st anniversary of Liberation of Southern Vietnam and National Reunification Day (April 30, 1975).

Accordingly, 34 inmates will be freed ahead of their set release dates while the remaining will have their jail terms shortened by between one and ten months.

Speaking at the ceremony to announce the decision, Senior Lt. Col. Tran Manh Hung from the city’s detention centre No.1 congratulated the pardoned prisoners and encouraged the others to work harder and be disciplined to be eligible for the next screening.

The pardoned prisoners must not repeat committing an offence and do their best to become a good citizen, he added.

The amnesty policy of the Vietnamese Party and State reflects the humanitarian tradition of the Vietnamese nation, which encourages offenders to rehabilitate and become useful member of society.

HCM City, Hanoi leaders pay tribute to heroic martyrs

A delegation of leaders from HCM City led by Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Dinh La Thang on April 29 offered incense at the City Martyrs Cemetery and Lac Canh Cemetery on the occasion of the 41st anniversary of the Liberation of South Vietnam and National Reunification (April 30).

The delegation members observed a one-minute silence in memory of heroic martyrs who laid down for national independence and unification.

On the same day, Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung led a delegation to offer incense and laid flowers at the two cemeteries.

The delegation included representatives from the Party Committee, People’s Council, People’s Committee and Fatherland Front chapter of Hanoi.

Also on April 29 morning, a delegation led by Deputy Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Secretary Tat Thanh Cang paid tribute martyrs at the martyrs cemeteries and the Ben Duoc-Cu Chi Martyrs Memorial Site in Cu Chi district.

In the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, a grand requiem for martyrs who lost their lives in the Central Highlands battles was held at the provincial Martyrs Cemetery on April 29.

Attending the event held by the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) and its Dak Lak chapter were representatives from the Central Highlands Steering Committee and over 4,000 Buddhist followers, veterans and local residents.

On the occasion, the VBS presented 150 gifts to relatives of martyrs and those who rendered services to the nation in the province.

An Giang general hospital inaugurated

An 600-bed General Hospital officially began operation on April 29 in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang.

With an investment of 1.3 trillion VND (nearly 57 million USD) sourced from the Government bonds and local budget, the hospital is equipped with advanced medical equipment. This is the first hospital in the Mekong Delta region to have a helicopter landing pad.

Construction of the 10-floor facility began in June 2012 on 4.6 hectares.

The hospital aims to provide residents in the province and neighbouring localities with better access to treatment and ease the overload at central level hospitals.

Rules issued on steering committees for animal epidemics control at all

The Prime Minister has issued rules on the establishment and operation of Steering Committees for Animal-Borne Epidemics Control and Prevention from central to grass-roots levels.

Accordingly, when an animal-borne epidemic is announced under Article 26 or Article 34 of the Law on Veterinary Medicine, the Prime Minister or Chairpersons of People’s Committees at all levels have the responsibility to set up Steering Committees for Animal-Borne Epidemics Control and Prevention at corresponding levels.

The national committee will be led by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, while a Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and a Deputy Minister of Public Health will be vice chairmen. Members of the committee will be representatives from ministries, the Government Office, Vietnam Television, Radio The Voice of Vietnam, the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee, the Vietnam Red Cross Society Central Committee and the Vietnam Farmers’ Association Central Committee.

The committee will assist the Prime Minister in coordinating work of ministries, agencies and related organisations to pool resources, as well as help with the implementation of urgent plans on animal epidemics control.

The rules also stipulate the structure and memberships of steering committees at provincial, district and communal levels, which are tasked with assisting Chairpersons of the People’s Committees at the corresponding levels in countering animal epidemics.

The committees will automatically disperse themselves after fulfilling assigned tasks.

National Reunification Day celebrated overseas

On April 29, the Association of Cambodians of Vietnamese origin hosted a meeting to mark the 41st anniversary of National Reunification Day (April 30) in Phnom Penh.

The Association Chairman, Huynh Minh Phu, said they will continue to stay united in building a stronger community, and maintain and promote solidarity and friendship between Vietnam and Cambodia.

The Vietnam Embassy in Seoul in the Republic of Korea organized a get-together to mark the occasion.

Ambassador Pham Huu Chi highlighted the April 30th victory in Vietnam’s history. After 41 years, the country has grown from a poor country to a developed one which is actively integrating globally to find an important place on the world stage.

New features at 2016 Hue Festival

Preparations for the 2016 Hue Festival have been put in place for the opening ceremony on April 29. Trial flight anticipating air balloon festival in Thua Thien-Hue Hue gastronomy festival takes place from April 28 to May 2 Jetstar Pacific to open new Hue-Nha Trang route

15 stages have been set up for large-scale performances. The grand opening and closing ceremonies will be held at Ngo Mon square and an extravagant Ao dai show will take place at Bia Quoc Hoc square instead of Trang Tien Bridge as at previous festivals. Several international art troupes will bring their exotic performances.

Nguyen Dung, Deputy Chairman of Thua Thien – Hue provincial People’s Committee, says, “22 art troupes from 18 countries and 12 Vietnamese troupes will perform at the festival. All the art troupes in Hue will join the festival. We’ve rehearsed the opening ceremony. The festival aims to promote Hue’s cultural and historical value.”

Along with artistic programs showcasing Vietnamese and foreign cultures, Hue’s folk and street arts will be given a chance to shine.

Diverse cultural activities offer plenty of choices for visitors including exhibitions of photos and calligraphy, cuisine, kite flying, sports contests, scientific workshops, and trade fairs.

The 9th Hue Festival honoring the 710th anniversary of Thua Thien-Hue will take place from April 29 to May 4.

Jetstar opens flights from Hanoi to Chu Lai and Phu Cat airports

Jetstar Pacific has announced new regional routes, with the budget airline set to fly from Hanoi into Chu Lai International Airport in Quang Nam Province and Phu Cat Airport in Binh Dinh Province.

The airline announced on April 29 it has already started selling tickets on the new routes and would start flying them three times a week on June 1 utilizing 180 passenger Airbus A320 aircraft.

The route comes about as part of a new code-sharing strategy between Jetstar Pacific and national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, said Le Hong Ha, CEO of Jetstar, and is part of a strategy to diversify and promote tourism in the localities.

On the occasion, Jetstar is offering special US$1.50 one-way regional launch fares through May 1 for the first 2,000 purchasers.

Tickets are available at website

Firm caught replacing expiration date stamps in Hanoi

Environmental police and market surveillance officers in Hanoi discovered employees of a Vietnamese firm re-labeling expired goods during a facility inspection on Wednesday.

Two employees of the HD Commercial and Manufacture Service JSC, Yen Hoa Ward, Cau Giay District, were caught red-handed placing biscuit packets from Thailand with expiry dates of April 8, 2016 into packaging with expiry date stamps of September 20, 2017, police said.

During the inspection, police found about 3,000 boxes of biscuits and sweets along with packaging tools.

“All devices and products related to the illegal act were confiscated for investigation,” Le Manh Hung, leader of the market surveillance team, said.

“The business owner could be fined up to VND200 million [US$8,972] for the offense.”

The Hanoi Market Surveillance Board and Hanoi police said that they have charged about 700 offenders with manufacturing out-of-date goods and counterfeit products since January.

“Re-labeling outdated goods, along with faking products, brings lucrative profits so many firms choose a dishonest path and neglect consumer health,” Hung worriedly said.

From December 12, 2015 to April 17 this year, 690 food safety violations were discovered with products collectively worth VND 4.5 billion ($201,870), according to the Hanoi Market Surveillance Board.

Memorials held to commemorate fallen soldiers on 41st anniversary of national reunification

Politburo member and Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City municipal Party Committee led a delegation of officials from HCMC, Hanoi and the Military Zone 7 to offer incense to fallen soldiers at the HCMC Martyrs’ Cemetery on April 29.

This was part of activities held across the nation to mark the 41st anniversary of Reunification Day (April 30).

Delegates held a minute of silence to pay tribute to heroic martyrs who sacrificed for national independence, freedom and reunification.

The same day, a delegation led by Deputy Secretary of HCMC Party Committee Tat Thanh Cang laid wreaths to express gratitude to martyrs at Cu Chi district’s Martyrs’ Cemetery and Ben Duoc Memorial Temple.

* Also on Friday, over 4,000 Buddhist followers, veterans and locals in central province of Dak Lak joined in a requiem held at Dak Lak Martyrs’ Cemetery to commemorate fallen heroic soldiers who sacrificed for national independence and freedom on battlefields in the Central Highlands.

Speaking at the ceremony, President of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha Executive Council Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon said that the requiem aimed at paying tribute to heroic martyrs and their contributions to the Fatherland, and educating younger generations on the national tradition to build a country of peace, independence, territorial integrity, wealth, and democracy.

On the occasion, the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha presented 150 gifts to martyrs' families in Dak Lak.

Vietnamese Cultural Days to take place in Russia

Vietnamese Cultural Days will be held from June 4-12 in Moscow and Volgograd, Russia.

The event aims to advertise Viet Nam’s cultural and tourism values to Russian people via art performances, exhibitions, and tourism promotion workshops. These activities are expected to consolidate understanding, friendship, cooperation between peoples of the two countries.

Accordingly, an opening art performance will be held in Moscow. Another will take place in Volgograd. A silk picture exhibition hosted by the Viet Nam Art Museum will be held.

Tourism promotion programs in Moscow and Volgograd are expected to introduce Viet Nam’s tourism potentials and foster cooperation among Vietnamese and Russian entrepreneurs./.

State leader hails contributions by former volunteers in Laos

President Tran Dai Quang appreciated the valuable contributions made by former Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and military experts to the traditional amity and special solidarity with Laos.

Meeting the liaison board for the former volunteer soldiers and military experts in Laos, in Hanoi on April 28, he stressed that the two neighbours’ relations have been nurtured by the sacrifice of many generations, including the former volunteers.

The Vietnamese and Lao leaders are resolved to intensify bilateral ties and have agreed to strengthen educating the young about the significance of that relationship, he noted.

The President also praised the former soldiers and experts’ current efforts to build the grassroots political system, in crime prevention, and imparting sound traditions to young people.

At the meeting, the liaison board reported that Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and military experts were present in Laos from 1949 and finished their tasks in 1987. More than 500,000 soldiers went to Laos to assist the local army and people during the wars against the foreign colonialists and imperialists to gain their independence. About 40,000 of them laid down their lives in the country.

The Lao Party and State have bestowed nearly 10,000 orders and medals of different types upon the former soldiers and specialists. Many volunteer military units have also been presented with the title “Hero of the People’s Armed Forces” by the Vietnamese Party and State.

At present, the liaison board has affiliates in 32 provinces and cities across Vietnam involving about 75,000 former volunteers.

It said, over the past years, the board has applied itself to educating young people in Vietnam and Laos about the countries’ friendship, searching for the remains of the volunteers sacrificed in Laos, and supporting the veterans and their children.

Vietnam, China localities enhance tourism cooperation

Vietnam’s capital Hanoi and China’s southwestern province of Guizhou have stepped up tourism cooperation, Quan Doi Nhan Dan (People’s Army) newspaper reported.

An agreement to promote a Guizhou-Hanoi tourism package was signed in Hanoi by the Guizhou Provincial Tourism Organisation, China’s Homnican Group, the Vietnam Tourism Ltd Company (Vitours) and the Viet My Tourist Company.

On the occasion, representatives from the Guizhou Provincial Tourism Organisation introduced attractive tourism products of its locality to their Vietnamese counterparts.

Currently, there are direct flights from Guizho’s capital Guiyang to the central city of Danang and southern central province of Khanh Hoa.

A direct flight linking Guizhou to Hanoi is expected to open in July.

Traditional boat racing highlights Đồng Hới Culture and Tourism Week

The culture and tourism week of Đồng Hới City in the central province of Quảng Bình, which began on Tuesday, features seven activities, according to the city People’s Committee.

They include a food festival, art and music performances, and a traditional boat racing planned for the week-long celebration.

Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or tents to sit along the river and enjoy the racing.

The city has asked authorities to pay particular attention to food hygiene and safety.

National Reunification Day celebrated in France

A ceremony to mark the 41st anniversary of the liberation of South Vietnam and national reunification (April 30) was held at the Vietnamese Embassy in France on April 28.

The event was attended by Vietnamese Ambassador to France Nguyen Ngoc Son, Head of the Vietnamese Permanent Delegation to UNESCO Le Hong Phan, Vietnamese expats in France, representatives from the France-Vietnam Friendship Association, ministries and agencies as well as leaders of Choisy-le-Roi city.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Son recalled the historic victory, highlighting that Vietnam remembers the international support for the country during the struggle for national liberation and development, including support from the French.

He also hailed the national Doi moi (reform) in the past three decades, which has brought advancements in socio-economics, defence and security as well as diplomatic relations.

The 12th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam held in January promoted reforms for rapid and sustainable development, he added.

Alain Ruscio, Director of CID-Vietnam, a French-based information centre focusing on contemporary Vietnam, highlighted France’s special sentiment and support for Vietnam during war as well as during national construction.

He expressed his hope that Vietnam will reap further successes following the achievements brought about by Doi moi.

Sapa Tourism Week to host cultural events

From April 28 to May 2, the northern mountainous province of Lào Cai will hosts numerous activities for Sapa Culture and Tourism Week 2016.

The opening ceremony featured a traditional folklore and cultural performance themed “Colour of cherry blossoms on Fansipan” with the participation of artists and people of ethnic minorities.

Visitors can attend the In-the-Cloud festival and a cultural festival of the Mông people’s Cát Cát Village, experience “a day as a farmer” at Tả Phìn Commune, learn to pick and use medicinal herbs, and weave brocade according to the traditional process of the Dao Đỏ minority.

The People’s Committee of Sa Pa District expects to attract over 50,000 tourists to the event.

Vingroup provides luxurious health services in Khanh Hoa

Vinmec Nha Trang, the fourth member of Vingroup’s high-end hospital chain, was inaugurated in the central province of Khanh Hoa’s Nha Trang city on April 28.

With an investment of 630 billion VND (28.35 million USD), the 150-bed hospital is equipped with advanced medical equipment.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien praised Vingroup’s investment in the sector given that the State budget for public health remains limited.

He said Vinmec Nha Trang hospital should work closely with State-run medical units in Khanh Hoa to better serve local residents and tourists.

Vingroup operates similar hospitals in Hanoi, Phu Quoc and Ho Chi Minh City.

Countries congratulate new Vietnamese leaders

Country leaders have cabled messages of congratulations to Vietnam’s newly-elected leaders, including President Tran Dai Quang, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

President Tran Dai Quang was congratulated by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Panamanian President Juan Carlos Valera Rodriguez.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc, received congratulations from his Australian, Irish, Bulgarian, Azerbaijani and Serbian counterparts.

President of the Indonesian Senate Irman Gusman, Speaker of the Parliament of Turkey Ismail Kahraman, Venezuelan Minister of People’s Power for Women and Gender Equality Gladys Requena, Chairman of the Mexican Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee for Asia-Pacific, Senator Teofilo Torres Corzo and Secretary of the Chamber of Deputies’ Committee for Foreign Affairs of Mexico Giorgana Jimenez Victor conveyed cheers to Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

In their messages, foreign leaders expressed belief that friendly cooperation between Vietnam and their respective countries will progress further.

Disaster-hit Tra Vinh households provided with financial aid

As many as 4,000 households hit by drought and saline intrusion in the southern province of Tra Vinh have received financial assistance worth 500,000 VND (22.7 USD) each.

The aid is sourced from the Relief Fund of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee and the VFF’s Hanoi chapter.

Le Van Han, Chairman of the VFF’s Tra Vinh chapter, said the support aims to relieve affected households by helping them buy necessities during the disaster.

Nearly 41,000 households have lost over 29,000ha of rice, while more than 1,500 others have lost about 700ha of vegetables and 567ha of fruit in Cau Ke and Tra Cu districts.

Around 181ha of fisheries has also suffered.

The total farming loss is estimated at roughly 1.1 trillion VND (50 million USD).

Among 19,000 households in need of water, close to 10,000 in the communes of Phuong Thanh, Dai Phuoc, Dai Phuc, Nhi Long, Nhi Long Phu and Duc My (Cang Long district) and Long Duc commune (Tra Vinh city) face serious water shortage.

Deep sea fish found in shallow water amid mass death fears

Several fish whose common habitats are situated in deep sea levels have been spotted near coastal areas in Thua Thien-Hue Province, the latest in a series of oceanic environment issues recently emerging in central Vietnam.

The fish, which usually live some 15 to 20 meters under the sea surface, have been found swimming near the coastline in the past three days, fishermen in Loc Vinh Commune, Phu Loc District, affirmed on April 28 morning.

The incident first occurred on April 25 as the fishermen spotted several types of deep sea creatures, including stingrays and goatfish, in the water about three to four meters below the surface.

With the aquatic animals still alive, local fishermen have tried to catch them for food, believing they are not contaminated, thus edible, said Tran Luy, a 46-year-old fisherman in Loc Vinh.

The fisherman said they normally catch some 15 to 20 kilograms of these types of fish after several days of offshore fishing.

“Since the incident happened, I have been able to gather hundreds of kilograms of the fish within only two days,” he added.

Water for daily lives should receive top priority

Ensuring water for people’s daily lives should be the top priority in the face of the severe ongoing drought, said Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung at a conference in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang on April 28.

The event, held to seek measures to cope with the drought and saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta, saw the participation of representatives from 11 regional cities and provinces affected, including Long An, Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Kien Giang, Hau Giang, Vinh Long and Can Tho.

Deputy PM Dung asked the localities to continue keeping a close watch on the salinisation and mobilise the entire political system, especially the public, in their efforts.

They were also requested to swiftly disburse their budgets in support of production, instruct local farmers to restructure crop production and step up their coordination in the combat against the disasters.

In the long-run, it is a must for competent agencies to adjust their climate change scenarios, enhance their weather forecast capacity, build plans adaptable to climate change, devise policies assisting localities hardest hit by natural disasters and strengthen their international collaboration in this field, he said.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said salinity is expected to linger on fiercely and complicatedly, urging that a closer eye be kept on its development, to have suitable technical solutions to offer the local farming sector.

The conference was informed that about 225,800 households in the Mekong Delta are facing water shortages. More than 208,000 hectares of rice, over 9,400 hectares of fruit trees and about 2,000 hectares of shrimp farming areas have been affected by the drought and saltwater intrusion.

Statistics released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development show that since the end of 2015, saltwater entered 50-150 km deep into the mainland in areas around the Vam Co, Tien and Hau rivers, much higher than the average figure recorded in previous years.

Although water released from hydroelectric dams arrived in the region in early April, only just half of the regional farming land has been cultivated, as the amount of water that arrived is not enough.

Caravelle wins ASEAN Green Hotel Award

The Caravelle Saigon picked up the ASEAN Green Hotel Award in April from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, in recognition of its efforts on its endless Green journey.

The ASEAN Green Hotel Award is held by ASEAN Member States, honoring those who comply with the ASEAN Green Hotel Standard, including specified criteria whereby the assessment is carried out by a national authorized body in each respective country.

The objective of the award is to enhance environmental-friendliness and energy conservation and to establish a professional green hotel operation, in environmental planning, green products, human resources, and environmental management, which enables the environment and the community to benefit from a collective approach to operational professionalism.

The Caravelle Saigon was the first ever property in Vietnam to receive an Earth Check Gold Certificate 2015 and has the opportunity to sustain the prestigious achievement over the next five years.

Thousands protest against polluting company in Ninh Binh

Thousands of people in Yen Khanh District in Ninh Binh Province have complained about untreated waste water which they claim local authorities have turned a blind eye to.

People in Phu Hao Village have claimed that Chia Chen Industrial Ltd. which specialises in the production of machine accessories has been discharging untreated waste water into the local environment.

Oily black liquid from the company's discharge pipes runs directly into the river and all the plants around the pipes have died.

A Dan Tri (DTiNews) reporter visited the area on April 27 and was shocked by the bad smell of rotten fish from a river that runs alongside the village. Lots of dead fish were floating in the river, which is only some 50 metres away from the company's discharge pipes. At the mouth of these pipes, oily black liquid runs directly into the river and all the plants around the pipes have died.

According to local people, buffalos and cows have also died after drinking water from this river. They have reported the problems to local authorities but nothing has been done to curb it.

On April 25, around 200 villagers gathered to protest at the company. They wanted the company to stop operations until the local authorities inspect their waste water system.

“Following our protest, the provincial authorities have sent people to come and take waste water samples from the company," a local woman said. "They haven't announced the result yet and we’re very worried.”

Head of Phu Hao Village, Truong Hong Phu, said that since the company came into operation in 2010, the lives of the 1,450 people in the village have been seriously affected by the pollution.

"We really hope that the provincial authorities will soon find out a solution to this problem," Hao said.

At the headquarters of Khanh Phu Commune People's Committee, the chairman, Nguyen Ngoc Lam, refused to talk about the problem with DTiNews reporter.

DtinewsThousands of people in Yen Khanh District in Ninh Binh Province have complained about untreated waste water which they claim local authorities have turned a blind eye to.

Vietnam Bar Federation elects new president

Mr. Do Ngoc Thinh has been elected as the new President of the Vietnam Bar Federation (VBF), receiving 97.4 per cent of total votes.

On April 27 the National Council of Lawyers held its fourth meeting in Hanoi to elect a new President of the VBF for the second term and to approve priority tasks for 2016.

The meeting gathered together 79 official delegates who are members of the National Council of Lawyers and represent the more than 10,000 lawyers around the country.

Mr. Thinh said he felt honored and also mindful of the heavy responsibility of being President. He promised to make every effort to complete his assigned tasks.

In 2016 the VBF will focus on training lawyers through studying and understanding the guidelines and policies of the Party and the law of the State, gradually raising the quality of lawyers, strengthening legal aid, and enhancing the protection and support of the legitimate rights of practicing lawyers.

Third ASEAN forum on labour safety, hygiene held in Da Nang

The third ASEAN forum on labour safety and hygiene was held in the central city of Da Nang on April 28, attracting nearly 200 delegates from 10 ASEAN member states, the International Labour Organisation and regional enterprises.

The event was part of the 17th annual conference of the ASEAN Occupational Safety and Health Network (ASEAN-OSHNET) held in Da Nang from April 26-28, offering a venue for regional member countries and partners to share experience in carrying out labour safety and hygiene programmes and learn about difficulties in creating a safe and friendly working environment.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Doan Mau Diep informed the participants on the outcomes of the ASEAN-OSHNET conference, saying that it adopted the 2016-2020 action plan, on the pillars of further improving labour safety and hygiene standards, improving workforce quality and generating a safe and friendly working environment.

At the forum, several participants shared their experience in conducting labour safety and hygiene programmes.

Work starts on Bac Lieu’s rural electricity project

Work on a project to connect rural areas in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu to the national grid by 2020 began in Hong Dan district on April 28.

Implemented with a total investment of over 1.13 trillion VND (50.8 million USD), the project will build 971 km of medium-voltage line and 869km of low-voltage line, and install over 1,100 transformer stations.

Once completed, it is expected to bring electricity to 39 communes in five districts, and run 400 pump stations supplying water to over 67,000 ha of farmland across the province.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Le Minh Khai said Bac Lieu always pays attentions to developing rural electrification and considers this as one of the key factors to promote industrialisation and agricultural modernisation in the locality.

The local authorities have mobilised many resources to build and upgrade electrical systems in rural areas, significantly contributing to transforming the rural economic structure and facilitating agricultural and handicraft development.

This also helps improve living standard for local people and promote new-style rural building and poverty reduction.

On the occasion, representatives from the Phuong Nam Electric Technology Co., Ltd – the project’s contractor, presented 50 scholarships worth 1 million VND (45 USD) each, to the education encouragement fund of Hong Dan district, to support local students in difficult circumstances.

WB reviews agriculture transformation project in Hau Giang

A working group from the World Bank had a working session with leaders of the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang on April 27, aiming to examine the implementation of the Vietnam Sustainable Agriculture Transformation (VnSAT) programme in the locality.

With a total budget of over 300 billion VND (13.5 million USD), the WB-funded project is being carried out in six districts, covering an area of 120,000 ha of rice cultivation.

Using advanced technology in production, the project supports local farmers in adapting to climate change and in shaping a large farm-production area that can meet export demand. It also helps improve incomes for locals through changing production methods, applying crop-converting models, and making use of agricultural waste for mushroom growing.

According to WB representatives, local authorities should focus on addressing difficulties related to investment, towards reaping sustainable benefits from the project.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Commitee Truong Canh Tuyen highlighted the significance of VnSAT for Hau Giang, saying that the local Department of Agriculture and Rural Development was required to complete an action plan to effectively implement the project.

The VnSAT, part of the World Bank’s national cooperation strategy, is being implemented in five Central Highlands provinces and eight Mekong Delta localities from 2015 to 2020 with a total capital of over 300 million USD, of which 230 million USD comes from the WB’s preferential loans.

Its objectives are to help promote agricultural restructuring through increasing the sector’s institutional capacity, renewing sustainable cultivation methods and raising the value chain for rice production in the Mekong Delta and coffee crops in the Central Highlands.

Dong Nai reborrows ODA capital to develop water supply project

The Dong Nai Water Supply Joint Stock Company and the HCM City Housing Development Bank (HD Bank) on April 28 signed a contract to finance phase 2 of the Nhon Trach Water Supply System.

The contract allows Dong Nai Water JSC to reborrow nearly 3 trillion VND (132 million USD) from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with a repayment period of 25 years.

The second phase of the project has a total capital of about 3.57 trillion VND (157 million USD) and will be implemented in seven years, beginning from 2016.

Upon completion, the water plant’s capacity will increase from 100,000 cu.m to 200,000 cu.m per day, to meet growing demand from households and businesses.

Dinh Quoc Thai, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said the southern province of Dong Nai currently has a population of three million with 29 industrial parks, which creates a huge demand for water.

The project also helps reduce drilling for underground water, which depletes water resources and creates environmental pollution, he added.

Quang Ninh: Last island commune linked to national grid

The northern province of Quang Ninh has fulfilled its target of bringing electricity to all island communes after Cai Chien island in Hai Ha district gained access to the national electrical grid on April 28.

The project, part of the first phase of the provincial programme to take electricity to Tran, Co To and Cai Chien islands, was built at total cost of nearly 200 billion VND (8.97 million USD).

It includes the construction of a 30.43 kilometre medium-voltage line, three tranformer stations with a total capacity of 460 KVA, 11,918 kilometres of low-voltage line and 37 electricity meters.

The project offers opportunities for the island to develop tourism services, making contributions to realising local socio-economic targets while protecting national sovereignty.

According to Nguyen Son Ha, Secretary of the communal Party’s Committee and Chairman of the communal People’s Committee, local people’s support for the project facilitated the land clearance process, which helped push forward local access to the national power grid.

Ex-Petromanning JBC executive jailed for management violations

The Hanoi people’s court imprisoned former chairman of the PetroVietnam Manpower Development and Services Joint Stock Company (Petromanning JBC) Dao Thanh Long on charges of “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management to cause severe consequences” after a trial lasting from April 27-28.

Long, the former Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of the Petromanning JBC, received a nine-year sentence.

Long’s accomplices Nguyen Khanh Tuan, a former land registry official at Trung Hoa ward, Cau Giay district, and Nguyen Thi Bich Huan, a resident in Ba Dinh district’s Doi Can ward, in Hanoi, got 15 years and 10 years in jail, respectively.

Tuan and Huan were charged with “taking bribes” and “giving bribes”.

According to the court, in October 2010, Long, who was not yet Petromanning JBC’s chairman, bought two pieces of land covering nearly 800 square metres from Tran Thi Tam, a resident in Trung Hoa ward. The purchase was agreed at 58.8 billion VND.

In December 2010 when becoming the company’s chairman, Long submitted his land purchase plan, specifying the aim to build a mini apartment building for sale, which was estimated to make a profit of more than 4 billion VND for the company.

To get a land use certificate for the land, Long was introduced to Huan who brokered a meeting with Tuan. Tuan got a document from the Trung Hoa ward people’s committee certifying the eligibility of the land bought by Long. The document enabled Long to get a land use certificate from the Cau Giay district people’s committee. The land use certificate cost a total of 13 billion VND.

A construction licence for the mini apartment building also cost more than 7 billion VND.

Long then instructed his staff to re-ink the land purchase contract with Tam’s family for 85 billion VND, 26.2 billion VND higher than the first contract’s amount.

Ha Tinh to support farmers affected by mass fish deaths

Authorities of the central coastal province of Ha Tinh will provide 15 kilogrammes of rice per capita per month for a month and a half to households in coastal areas of Ky Anh town who are suffering losses caused by mass fish deaths.

The information was revealed at a meeting held by the provincial Party Standing Committee held on April 27 to review the incident.

The committee discussed issues relating to production recovery in the area affected by the incident as well as measures to support local fishermen and households that are engaged in aquaculture.

Provincial Party Committee Secretary Le Dinh Son asked the provincial People’s Committee to count the losses of the affected households.

Over the past two weeks, residents in coastal areas in the four central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue reported an unusual number of dying or dead fish near the shore.

It is estimated that some 2 tonnes of farmed fish, 7 tonnes of shrimp, and 60 tonnes of oyster with a total value of 4.71 billion VND (204,000 USD) have been lost in Ha Tinh alone.

Photo exhibition on Nguyen dynasty held in Hue

A photo exhibition themed “The Nguyen Dynasty and ancient Hue” opened in Hue city, the central province of Thua Thien-Hue on April 28.

The exhibition, organised by the Hue Relics Conservation Centre, showcased 164 documentary photos and 18 poems written by the Nguyen kings (1802-1945).

Also on display were 16 paintings which are versions of ancient drawings which reflect the Nguyen court’s activities.

On the occasion, the centre held a ceremony to hand over a project worth 8 billion VND (347,000 USD) to restore the Duc Lang corridor in the Hue Imperial Citadel.

Over the past ten years, the centre has restored 14 sections of corridor with a length of about 760 metres.

The same day, the Museum of Hue Culture held a display of gem stone artworks.

French authors unveil photo book about Hue

The French Cultural Centre in Hue hosted a launch event for the photo book Hue –The City of Crying Stones by Philippe Bouler and Sébastien Laval on April 29.

Alongside the launch, an exhibition showcasing some of the photos from the book will also be open to the public until May 27.

Photographer Laval has held several photo exhibitions in Vietnam on the country’s 54 ethnic groups.

Bouler, the first art director of the Hue Festival and many other art performances in Vietnam, has visited the former imperial city several times.

Sharing a passion for the streets, landscapes and people of Hue, the duo composed the photo book. Some photos were chosen to be exhibited in the Dien Tho Palace’s backyard, at the Dai Noi Palace, and at La Résidence Hotel.

The French Cultural Centre is at 1 Le Hong Phong Street.-

Tourist volumes to soar over holiday

The number of people flocking to tourist destinations nationwide is expected to skyrocket during the upcoming holiday, the Vietnam Administration of Tourism (VNAT) said on April 28.

According to VNAT, the figure might double its normal self, posing a high risk of overloading and social problems during the four-day holiday between April 30 and May 3.

The railway sector has reported it will be working at full capacity, while airlines have committed to increasing flights .

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has directed authorities of different levels and travel agencies to ensure safety for holidaymakers.

By contrast, the tourism sector in the central region is likely to face a huge loss during the holiday and following summer over a recent occurrence of massive fish deaths.

According to Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Vo Tuan Nhan , based on reports from ministries, localities and scientists, the phenomenon may be caused by the impact of chemical toxins discharged from human activities on land and at sea, and by red tide, which is a type of harmful algae bloom.

Since April 26, local tour agencies have received myriad calls requiring information on the case. Many travellers who have already booked tours to the central region said they intend to switch to other destinations.

In the first four months of 2016, Vietnam welcomed 3.24 million foreign arrivals and 22.8 million domestic visitors, raking in nearly 136 trillion VND (6.2 billion USD) in revenue. The turnover increased by 19.6 percent compared to the same period last year.

Vietnamese Cultural Week dazzles Argentina

The Vietnamese Cultural Week wrapped up in Argentina’s Cordoba on province on April 24 with a string of attractive activities, disseminating the beauty of the people, culture and landscape of the Southeast Asian country.

Jointly organised by the Vietnamese Embassy in Argentina and the Argentina-Vietnam Cultural Institute (ICAV), the event received warm response from locals.

During the week, talks on history, people and the rich traditional culture of Vietnam were held with the participation of local professors, while Le Thanh Xuan, a representative from the Vietnamese embassy, presented Vietnam’s socio-economic achievements during the Doi Moi (Renewal) progress.

Alongside this, many Vietnamese famous and award wining movies such as “ Con chim vanh khuyen” (The Zosterops), “Canh dong hoang” (Abandoned Field), “Dung dot” (Don’t Burn) and “Chuyen cua Pao” ( Pao’s story) were screened at the event.

On the occasion, Argentinean friends who love Vietnam also discussed the establishment of an ICAV branch in Cordoba.

Earlier, the Vietnamese Culture Week opened in the Latin American country’s capital city of Buenos Aires, running from April 1-9 at La Boussole Club, attracting the great interest of locals.

Festival highlights ethnic cultural colours

A festival featuring ethnic cultural colours will be held from April 30 to May 3 at the Culture Tourism Village of Vietnamese Ethnic Groups in Hanoi, announced the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on April 25.

The festival, part of activities to celebrate the 41st anniversary of the liberation of south Vietnam and national reunification (April 30) and the 130th International Labour Day (May 1), will highlight the cultural space of the northern uplands region’s markets.

The northern mountainous market will include over 40 pavilions on local special foods from the ethnic minority groups of Mong, Dao, Thai, Muong, and Kho Mu in the provinces of Dien Bien, Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Bac Kan, and Hoa Binh.

Ethnic folk games, folklore singing and dance performances, and shows on cultural and daily life ethnic minority groups in the Northwest and the Central Highlands will also be held during the festival.

Youth help residents in drought-hit areas access drinking water

Residents in An Duc commune, Ba Tri district, in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre, on April 24, flocked to the communal People’s Committee Office to get drinking water under a desalination programme launched by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU) Central Committee.

Under the programme, water filters were also given to residents to help them access clean water in the context of increasing seawater encroachment.

Vice Secretary of the provincial Party’s Committee Tran Ngoc Tam said prolonged drought has caused severe clean water shortages and devastating saline intrusion that damaged agricultural production in the province.

HCYU Secretary Nguyen Anh Tuan said the situation is forecast to get worse, adding that the programme aims to ease the water shortages.

Dredging wells, installing water pipelines and building water tanks will be conducted under the programme. Assistance will also be provided to construct effective irrigational systems and dikes to stop seawater intrusion.

An additional six desalination systems will be given to disadvantaged areas in Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, Ca Mau, Tien Giang, and An Giang, targeting 300 people in the provinces.

Binh Phuoc: 367 prisoners granted clemency

Authorities of the southern province of Binh Phuoc on April 27 decided to release or reduce the jail terms of 367 prisoners.

The move is a part of celebrations for the 41st anniversary of the country’s Reunification Day (April 30) and International Labour Day (May 1).

Of the total, 63 are released ahead of time and the remaining 304 received a reduction of their terms.

The amnestied prisoners are those who had shown good conduct and received positive habilitation while in prison.

The amnesty policy of the Vietnamese Party and State reflects the humanitarian tradition of the Vietnamese nation, which encourages offenders to rehabilitate and become useful member of society.-

Downpour brings relief to drought-stricken Long An

Heavy rain fell on parts of the Mekong Delta province of Long An at 16:00 pm on April 27, cooling the locality after months of intense heat and drought.

The downpour, which lasted more than one hour, gave relief to drought-hit crops in local districts like Ben Luc, Thu Thua, Tan Tru and Tan An city.

More rain will fall in the next few days before the temperature soars again, the province’s Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said, adding that the drought is likely to ease when the rainy season arrives by the end of May.

According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, drought and saltwater intrusion have damaged more than 8,600 hectares of rice in the locality, causing approximately 100 billion VND (4.48 million USD) in economic losses.

Farmers have also left a large area of land fallow due to water shortages while thousands of households have not had water for daily use.

Local authorities sent water tank trucks to supply water to residents.