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Social News Headlines 14/5

 Rare species released into Tram Chim National Park; Contraband seized at Tan Son Nhat airport; UN project combats human trafficking in Southeast Asia; Fishermen determined to continue fishing in Hoang Sa waters

Rare species released into Tram Chim National Park

The management board of Tram Chim National Park in the southern province of Dong Thap has just released into the park 10 wild animals, some of which are rare species.

Among the animals, which were rescued elsewhere by the Wildlife Rescue Centre in Ho Chi Minh City, there are four Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinerea), two

leopard cats (Prionailurus bangalensis) and one king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), all listed in Group IB (strictly banned from commercial exploitation and use) in Vietnam’s Red Book of endangered species.

In addition to the animals, the park management, in coordination with the aquatic resource management centre of Tam Nong district, released 10,000 fish fry into ponds in the park.

Established in 1985, the 7,313-hectare Tram Chim became a national park in 1998 and then the fourth Ramsar site in Vietnam in 2012.

The park’s plentiful green vegetation is inhabited by more than 130 species of higher plants featuring six main types of floristic societies.

Water life in the park is also bustling seeing the presence of over 150 species of freshwater fish, with some listed in Vietnam’s Red Book like clown feather-back fish,

common archerfish and giant barbs, nearly 180 algae species, 26 epifauna species, 350 species of plankton and 34 species of amphibian.

Tram Chim is home to 198 bird species, including 16 rare ones such as red-headed cranes, black-faced spoonbills, black eagles, great-billed herons and spotted-billed pelicans. It was recognised as an important bird sanctuary in Vietnam.

Contraband seized at Tan Son Nhat airport

Customs officers working with local police on May 13 arrested two Vietnamese passengers aboard a flight preparing to depart Tan Son Nhat Airport, seizing a significant amount of foreign currency.

Police identified the two suspects as C.A.V, 22 years old, in possession of US$20,000 and Nguyen Tan Hung, 37 years old, with US$40,000.

The suspects were preparing to board a flight to the Philippines.

The HCM City Customs Department handed the suspects over to Tan Binh District’s police for further investigation.

Meanwhile, customs officers also detected a shipment sent from China to an individual in HCM City, which included prohibited cargo of three metal 1.1 meters long swords

and 11 sets of electronic devices capable of interfering with telephonic waves.

These items belong to the list of prohibited weapons and possession of them is considered a serious violation of national security and social order.

UN project combats human trafficking in Southeast Asia

A five-year regional project to fight human trafficking across Southeast Asia was launched in Hanoi on May 13 by the United Nations Action for Cooperation against Trafficking in Persons (UN-ACT).

The Asia-Pacific region records by far the highest rates of human trafficking in the world. The International Labour Organisation estimates that some 20.9 million people globally are in conditions of forced labour at any given point in time, and more than 50 percent - 11.7 million people - are in the region.

Trafficking in the region takes place for labour and sexual exploitation, begging, forced marriage, illegal adoption, and other purposes.

As in many parts of the world, human trafficking is a serious problem in Vietnam, which is both a source and destination country for victims.

Males and females of all ages are trafficked for sexual exploitation, forced labour and marriage, and begging.

In recent years the Government has shown commitment to fighting human trafficking through policy intervention, prosecution, protection, and prevention – referred to as the "4 Ps" in anti-trafficking work.

Vietnam has implemented a National Plan of Action against trafficking in persons and endorsed a national anti-trafficking law.

It has also ratified the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crimes and the Protocols.

However, important challenges remain as the scale of human trafficking in the country remains significant.

Since 2005 law enforcement efforts have uncovered more than 3,000 trafficking cases with more than 5,000 offenders involved and 6,200 victims deceived and exploited.

UN-ACT will work closely with governments, civil society, academic and research organisations, as well as the private sector, to strengthen policy and operational responses to human trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and beyond.

By liaising with both government and non-governmental organisations, both centrally and at the local level, the project will help to translate what takes place at the policy level into effective action on the ground and vice versa.

The aim is to ensure that governments are able to deliver the services that victims are entitled to and effectively punish perpetrators.

Speaking at the launch, UN Resident Coordinator Pratibha Mehta emphasised the importance of UN-ACT.

"Human trafficking is an issue of great concern," she said.

"It exploits vulnerable people, resulting in severe suffering and grave violations of human rights. Working in a concerted and mutually supportive way is key not only to reducing, but also eventually to eradicating this form of modern slavery.

"Let us build on the strong foundation of cooperation established under UN-ACT, as we continue to work together."

Lieutenant General Do Kim Tuyen, deputy head of Vietnam's COMMIT Task Force, was quoted as saying in a press release from the UN Communications Office in Hanoi:

"As UN-ACT is a successor to the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking, we look forward to a continuation of unique, dynamic and creative interventions to effectively support countries in this region to counter human trafficking."

Southern localities celebrate Buddha’s birthday

Ho Chi Minh City and southern provinces celebrated the 2,558th birthday of Buddha on May 13, with traditional rituals attracting tens of thousands of Buddhists.

At a ceremony, Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Hua Ngoc Thuan extended his greetings to all local Buddhist dignitaries and followers, saying that the municipal chapter of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha will sustainably achieve more progress.

In An Giang, Chairman of the provincial Vietnam Fatherland Front chapter Huynh Cong Muoc praised local Buddhists for their contributions to the locality in the past.

Many local pagodas presented gifts to the poor and the disabled in response to Buddha’s birthday.

While in Ninh Thuan, Buddhist dignitaries offered incense to war heroes who laid down their lives for national liberation.

A series of music performances and a vegetarian feast captivated visitors coming to the province. As many as 860 local residents living in poverty enjoyed the celebrations thanks to the help of philanthropists all over the country.

In Binh Phuoc, delegations visited Thanh Long and Quang Minh pagodas on the occasion.

The latter joined with the Binh Phuoc Association for Orphans, the Poor and the Disabled and the Dong Xoai Red Society Committee to donate 500 gifts to underprivileged families in Dong Xoai township.

Germany grants scholarships to Dien Bien ethnic students

Representatives from the German state of Hessen on May 13 presented scholarships to ethnic minority students in the northwestern mountainous province of Dien Bien.

The 25 selected have all received remarkable academic results from the Economic and Technical Junior College and the Boarding High School for Ethnic Students in Dien Bien.

Bui Cong Tho, Chief Representative of the Hessen State Office in Hanoi, said that students with scholarships will receive more assistance when they study at a higher level in either Vietnam or Germany.

Supported by Hessen’s Ministry of Science and Arts and the World University Service of Germany (WUS), the accolade is a result of cooperation between the Vietnamese Government’s Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs and the two German partners.

Vietnamese in Russia celebrate ‘Culture Day’

The Vietnamese Embassy in Russia in co-ordination with the Overseas Vietnamese Association organized Vietnam Culture Day in Vladimir City, Russia on May 12.

The event attracted a large gathering and featured the elegance and beauty of Vietnamese women garbed in the nation's traditional long dress (Ao Dai) in front of the city’s central theatre along with a traditional lion dance to bring good luck.

Many young people working and studying in Vladimir City wore shirts embroidered with a red flag and yellow star or white shirts with the letter S and words “I love Vietnam”,creating a patriotic and colourful mosaic.

The culture day highlighted an array of art performances as well as folk songs and dance performances of Russia’s “Ulu” art troupe.

On this occasion, an open letter supporting Vietnam’s measures to solve disputes in the East Sea after China’s illegal installation of its drilling rig Ocean-981 in the country’s waters was signed by hundreds of Overseas Vietnamese and Russian friends.

A bridge for Bac Giang’s heritage sites

The northern upland province of Bac Giang has announced construction of Tay (West) Yen Tu spiritual and cultural area in Tuan Mau Hamlet, Son Dong Township.

The 13.8 hectare area will have four new pagodas Trinh, Ha, Trung and Thuong, along with an extensive infrastructure system such as roads, public services and cable car system.

A road network that connects the complex and the various existing Buddhist temples and ecotourism sites around the region will also be developed. The VND308 billion project is scheduled for completion by 2025.

The first phase of the project in 2014-2018 will begin with construction of Thuong and Ha pagodas. In the second phase, from 2018 to 2020, Trinh and Trung pagodas will go up.

The infrastructure system will be completed in the final phase between 2021 and 2015.

Bac Giang boasts many must-see natural sites including the famous Mount Yen Tu that has long been a place of great spiritual importance in Vietnam’s history.

Many kings in the past built pagodas and temples in the region to practice Buddhism and lead a reclusive life.  

The construction of the Tay Yen Tu complex is also aimed at preserving the rich and diverse natural, spiritual and cultural features of Bac Giang and promote local tourism development.

Banking students concerned about few job openings

Banking students expressed their concerns about a lack of job opportunities while meeting with representatives of more than 60 banks, enterprises, auditing companies, accounting associations and training centers at a job fair in HCMC over the weekend.

Tran Hoang Ngan Ha, a junior student of the Banking University of HCMC, said many graduates of previous years had failed to look for jobs at banks.

In response, Tran Xuan Hoang, deputy general director of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), said this bank gave priorities to the graduates of universities’ banking faculty nationwide. But he advised students to equip themselves with English, computer skills and other soft skills.

As many students said it was hard for banking students to find jobs after graduation, Hoang said most of the banks were now coping with a host of difficulties and challenges after years of economic slump. This has resulted in reduced demand for newcomers in recent years.

Hoang said BIDV planned to recruit only 500-600 employees this year but the bank received 1,600 applications only one day after the recruitment program was launched on May 10. The number is predicted to surge to 10,000.

According to the HCMC Center of Forecasting Manpower Needs and Labor Market Information (FALMI), the demand for jobs in this city increased 12.2% last month over March with job seekers in audit-accounting making up over 25, office administration for more than 8%, sales for 7.78%, construction and architecture for 6.43%.

Bazaar attracts over 20,000 jobseekers

A job bazaar entitled “Boulevard to Success” held by VietnamWorks in HCMC last week attracted more than 20,000 jobseekers with over half of the applicants having at least two years of work experiences.

More than 20 companies participated in the event, offering nearly 100 jobs in different fields. They included Aeon Vietnam, Nestle Vietnam, Prudential Vietnam, Bao Viet Insurance Corporation, Vietnam Food & Beverages Services Ltd. Co (VFBS), VNG Corporation, Vietnam Esports, Vietnam International Bank (VIB), CapitaLand and Cargill Vietnam.

As observed by the Daily, the demand for software and electronics engineers, production and sales managers, product group leaders and customer care professionals accounted for more than 60% of the total.

A recent survey conducted by VietnamWorks with more than 40,000 participants of the leading job recruitment service provider’s events in Hanoi and HCMC showed sales, engineering, electronics high technology and accounting attract a majority of applicants in both cities.

The “Boulevard to Success” bazaar will be repeated at the National Convention Center in Hanoi on May 24.

More war heroes repatriated from Laos

The remains of 32 Vietnamese volunteers and experts who lost their lives in Laos during wartime were laid to rest at a cemetery in Bo Trach district in the central province of Quang Binh at a May 14 ceremony.

The remains were gathered during the 2013-14 dry season beginning in October last year, with close coordination between Quang Binh and Laos’ province of Khammoune.

At the ceremony, representatives from the two localities offered incense to war heroes who devoted their lives to Laos’ national liberation, thus helping tighten the two countries’ special friendship and solidarity.-

Thanh Hoa fishermen receive latest sea, island information

A briefing held in Sam Son township, the central coastal province of Thanh Hoa, on May 13 updated local fishermen with the latest information about their sea and islands, in order to ensure their safety when they work at sea.

Organised by the Thanh Hoa Border Guard High Command and the Central Coastal Radio Station, the function updated fishermen from Quang Tien ward on the recent East Sea situation, including the violation of Vietnam’s waters by foreign ships.

The attendees also received an overview on the Tonkin Gulf Demarcation Agreement between Vietnam and China.

Additionally, regulations on the catching of seafood in the sea were provided to them, together with telephone numbers for search-and-rescue teams in case of emergencies.

At present, more than 170 fishing vessels of Quang Tien ward are operating in joint fishing grounds of Vietnam and China.

VBS Supreme Patriarch calls for peace in East Sea

Supreme Patriarch of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) Thich Pho Tue has called on Buddhist monks and followers worldwide to raise their voices against China’s illegal placement of a drilling rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

The appeal was made during a ceremony held at Hanoi-based Quan Su Pagoda on May 13 to celebrate Lord Buddha’s 2,558th birthday.

In his message for peace in the East Sea, which was sent to Buddhist leaders and followers all over the world, including those in China, Thich Pho Tue said that China seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty as it has placed its Haiyang Shiyou-981 rig and ships in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, defying international laws.

He also underlined his approval of the Ninh Binh Statement at the United Nations Vesak Day 2014 on May 10, which called on political leaders to resolve disputes related to sovereignty, sovereign right, territorial integrity and jurisdiction over exclusive economic zones and continental shelves through negotiations and other peaceful means, in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea ( UNCLOS ).

China’s deed is going against the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) between China and the ASEAN member nations, he stressed.

During his speech at the ceremony, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Nguyen Ba Trinh appealed for Buddhist followers nationwide and abroad to respond to the statement and the Patriarch’s message.

He also urged Buddhist dignitaries, monks, nuns and followers to uphold the tradition of unity within the religion as well as with other religions and with non-religious people to denounce China’s acts and request the Chinese government immediately stop its violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction in the East Sea, as well as respect international laws, especially the UNCLOS, to ensure peace and stability in the region and the friendship between the two countries.

More fallen war heroes brought home

A ceremony was held for the reburial of nine Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts, who lost their lives in Laos during wartime, on May 13.

The service was held at the Nam cemetery for war heroes in Huong Son district, the central province of Ha Tinh.

The remains of the fallen, who have yet to be identified, were retrieved from the Lao province of Bolikhamsay by the Ha Tinh Military Command during the 2013-14 dry season.

The team has brought home 694 war heroes from Laos since 1999, according to the provincial Military Command.

Fishermen determined to continue fishing in Hoang Sa waters

Dozens of offshore fishing vessels from the central region, including Da Nang, headed out to sea on May 10-11 , regardless of the possibility of aggressive actions by the Chinese ships, according to a local newspaper.

The Da Nang Today online said many local fishermen a t the city’s Tho Quang fishing wharf were busy making preparations for their next trips to the Hoang Sa (Paracel) waters. Their supplies of fuel, food, fresh water and ice have been loaded.

Le Van Chien from Thanh Khe d istrict affirmed that his offshore fishing vessel will operate in the location where China has illegally positioned its drilling rig.

He added that the upcoming trips to the Hoang Sa waters might result in dangerous situations. However, it is a great honour to him and the other local fishermen to support the Vietnamese coastguards in their fight against China’s intentional infringement of Viet n am’s sovereignty.

Another fisherman, Tran Trung Thang , who has more than 20 years’ experience of offshore fishing , said his upcoming fishing trip is very special to him because it will be conducted for the purpose of safeguarding the nation’s sovereignty.

He affirmed that the nation’s sea and islands are integral parts of its territory, and they play a vital role in securing the survival and prosperity of the country. For this reason, the Vietnamese G overnment and every resident across the country, including every fisherman, will uphold their responsibilities for protecting the nation’s waters.

The strong-willed man also vowed that he and other local fishermen would boost their solidarity and mutual support activities at sea.

Meanwhile, Captain Le Van Xin of the DNa 90026 offshore fishing boat remarked that Da Nang boasts a rich revolutionary tradition and the local people are dauntless.

He promised that he and the other local fishermen would increase the number of fishing trips to help those who are directly involved in protecting the nation’s sovereignty, and to boost the power to stop China’s illegal moves.

Xin emphasised that the local fishermen will keep calm to try to effectively resolve possible future incidents at sea.

Hoang Sa is an island district of the central city of Da Nang.

Students linked to protect national sea sovereignty

A national flagpole will be built by students on Tho Chu island, southern Kien Giang province, to raise their sense of responsibility to protect the country’s sea and island sovereignty.

This forms part of the “Students towards the nation’s sea and islands 2014” programme from May 15-18, with the participation of 900 students nationwide.

In its May 12 announcement, the Vietnam Students’ Association said the programme responds to the 2014 Volunteer Youth Year and the year’s Sea and Island Week slated for June 1-8.

The students are set to join in environmental clean-up activities on Phu Quoc and Tho Chu islands and repair local schools.

Besides, they will be equipped with knowledge on the Law of the Sea of Vietnam, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

Initiatives and solutions to boost socio-economic development in the country’s sea and islands and environmental protection as well as support fishermen will be highlighted in the programme.

Early nutrition vital for children

The importance of nutrition in the intellectual development of children was highlighted at a seminar in HCM City on Sunday.

Major infant brain growth occurs during pregnancy and throughout the first two years of life, with the brain reaching about 80 per cent of adult size at two years, according to Dr Craig Jensen from the department of pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, the US.

During this period infants have the greatest need for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA), important nutrients that play a key role in the structure and function of neural tissues, most notably those of the retina and brain.

So it is important that infants obtain DHA and ARA from their diet in the golden stage from zero to two years to ensue an optimal brain and retinal development.

Breastfeeding is the best way to ensure an infant gets these nutrients, but if mothers are unable to feed their children, it is recommended that infants are fed supplemented formulas containing both DHA and ARA, he said.

Fatty fish, meat, and eggs are rich in the two substances.

Some studies have shown that infants who get optimal levels of DHA during gestation have better visual acuity, Jensen said.

Similarly, children who get adequate DHA and ARA in early life performed better in tests on sustained attention, psychomotor development, mental processing, and others compared to babies fed non-DHA-enriched formula.

An adequate intake of these nutrients might also help children improve immunological outcomes, he added.

According to the Viet Nam Paediatric Association, Viet Nam faces two challenges in relation to child nutrition: On the one hand, malnutrition remains a problem in most rural areas; on the other, the obesity rate among children is increasing, especially in major urban areas.

Parents should therefore improve their knowledge about children's nutrition to provide their child with the optimal diet to ensure both physical and mental development, it said.

Around 500 medical workers in the south took part in the seminar organised by the association and Mead Johnson Nutrition.

Phu Tho risks rabies outbreak

The northern province of Phu Tho is facing a high risk of a rabies outbreak due to hot weather conditions, said director of the provincial Preventive Medicine Centre,Nguyen Trong Oanh.

More than 1,700 people have been diagnosed with the disease so far this year, a substantial increase of 199 cases compared with the same time last year, according to the centre's statistics.

As many as 42 people have died from the disease during the past three years, the highest number in northern area. The disease reportedly claimed ten lives last year, all of whom had not visited medical centres to receive vaccines after being bitten by rabid dogs.

"The worrying problem is that many local residents use Vietnamese traditional medicines after being bitten by mad dogs and cats instead of going to medical stations to receive the vaccine," said Oanh.

In an effort to contain the disease, the province set up a detailed plan last month to raise awareness of the disease among residents. Information on how to prevent the disease and provide first aid will be disseminated using local newspapers, provincial radio and television stations and leaflets, according to Oanh.

Around six training courses will kick off next month and in July with participation from more than 600 village heads from districts facing a high risk of the disease, such as Tam Nong, Yen Lap and Cam Khe.

A further three training courses will be held from next month for medical workers in various communes.

Meanwhile, extra workers have been assigned across 14 vaccine centres, while more than 80,000 doses of the vaccine have been provided. Pets kept in residential quarters are also being forced to receive vaccinations against the disease, while owners allowing dogs to roam the streets will incur penalties.

Software can track infectious disease

The Department of Preventive Medicine has announced that beginning this July, a software to monitor infectious diseases will be applied in all 63 provinces and cities nation-wide.

The department, which functions under the Ministry of Health, said the software had been successfully piloted in seven provinces and cities including Ha Noi, Yen Bai, Thai Binh and Binh Dinh since July 2012.

Since then, 49 provinces and cities have already used the software, which was designed to receive data about infectious diseases from medical stations at all levels.

Depending on different levels, software users can access information or set up, read and adjust reports.

The software will be managed by the Department of Preventive Medicine.

Department experts said that the software will be a great improvement on the earlier practice of localities reporting the incidence and spread of diseases via mail, email, fax or telephone. The resultant delay in communicating crucial information had prevented timely application of measures to present further occurrence and spread of infectious diseases, they said.

Dang Van Huynh, deputy director of the Ha Giang Department of Health, said that the new software improves data collection and enables quicker responses.

However, he also noted that some medical workers, especially at commune levels, were not competent enough to use the software. He said the Department of Preventive Medicine should conduct computer training courses for medical workers at grassroots levels.

UN head sends Vesak Day wishes

At a time of increased tensions in parts of Asia and elsewhere, Buddha's message of peace, compassion, and love can help guide governments and the international

community, UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon has said in a message to the Vietnamese Government on Vesak Day.

Delivered on his behalf by Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam, on the occasion of Lord Buddha's 2558th birthday, it said: "It is a great pleasure to greet all those who have come together to celebrate Vesak Day, which marks the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha.

"In the shadow of enormous tragedies, the Buddha's message of peace, compassion and love for all living beings resonates strongly. It tells us to open our hearts and embrace our fellow human beings, especially those in need."

"The Buddha's teachings can inspire our efforts to address many of the broader challenges confronting our planet, from conflict to inequality to climate change. In each of these areas, we have to rise above narrow self-interest, and think and act as members of one global community."

Elsewhere, HCM City's Buddhist Sangha yesterday organised a solemn ceremony to celebrate Buddha's birthday at the Viet Nam Quoc Tu Pagoda in District 10.

The immense contributions made to the cause of religious freedom and national liberation by Vietnamese Buddhists were recalled at the ceremony, which was attended by members of the Buddhist Sangha Patronage Council and the Dhama Executive Council of the Vietnamese Buddhist Sangha and city leaders.

Thich Bao Nghiem of the VBS said the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha has continued the 2,000-year tradition of Vietnamese Buddhism and received support from the State and people.

He called on monks, nuns, and believers within and outside Viet Nam to remember the merits of ancestors and heroic martyrs who had sacrificed their lives for the nation's

independence and peace.

Hua Ngoc Thuan, deputy chairman of the People's Committee, praised the outstanding contributions and services of Buddhist dignitaries and followers to the nation's construction and defense.

Yesterday, the Supreme Patriarch of the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha, (VBS) Thich Pho Tue, called on Buddhist monks and followers worldwide to raise their voices against China's illegal placement of a drilling rig in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

Officiating a ceremony celebrating Lord Buddha's 2,558th birthday at the Quan Su Pagoda in Ha Noi, he sent a message of peace in the East Sea to Buddhist leaders and followers all over the world, including those in China.

Thich Pho Tue said China had seriously violated Viet Nam's sovereignty by placing its Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig and ships in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and

continental shelf. He said the action defied international law and expressed approval of the Ninh Binh Statement at the United Nations Vesak Day 2014 on May 10, which called on political leaders to resolve disputes through negotiations and other peaceful means, in line with international law.

At the same ceremony, Le Ba Trinh, Vice Chairman of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee, appealed to Buddhist followers nationwide and abroad to respond to the statement and the Patriarch's message.

He also urged Buddhist dignitaries, monks, nuns and followers to uphold the tradition of unity within the religion, with other religions and with non-religious people to denounce China's actions.

They should request the Chinese government to immediately stop violating Viet Nam's sovereignty and jurisdiction in the East Sea, respect international laws, especially the UNCLOS, to ensure peace and stability in the region as well as friendship between the two countries, Trinh said.

Ha Noi dyke faces landslide danger

Ha Noi needs about VND30 billion (US$1.4 million) to prevent a landslide along a 2.4-km stretch on the left side of the Day River's dyke system through My Duc District.

The stretch is said to be degraded and facing high risk of collapse.

Vice Chairman of the Ha Noi People's Committee, Tran Huu Viet, has told the Agriculture and Rural Development Department to quickly assess the situation in co-operation with other agencies.

The People's Committee of My Duc District suggests the work should be divided into three parts.

The first part lies between Phuc Lam Commune and My Thanh Commune; the second part is in Bot Xuyen Commune, and the last part runs from Bot Xuyen Commune to An My Commune.

Previously, Ha Noi People's Committee ordered Thanh Oai District's authority to deal with potential landslides on the right side of the Day River's dyke system.

An 800m stretch of dyke passing through Kim Thu and Phuong Trung communes in the district is reported to pose a threat to lives and property.

The Thanh Oai People's Committee had been told to reinforce the dyke along a stretch passing through the communes before the flood season starts, Viet said.

Day River, about 240km in length, runs through Ha Noi City and the provinces of Ha Nam, Nam Dinh and Ninh Binh.

In Ha Noi, the river flows through suburban districts including My Duc, Thanh Oai and Hoai Duc. It plays an important role in providing water and preventing floods.

Firms lax on social insurance

Up to half of the 300,000 businesses currently operating failed to pay social insurance premiums for their workers, according to the Viet Nam Social Insurance Collection Board.

Head of the board Tran Dinh Lieu said at a press briefing on Monday that the number of enterprises owing social insurance premiums was continually increasing and that the debt amounted to thousands of billions of dong.

Many employers did not sign long-term contracts or signed agreements less than three months in duration so that they could save money by not paying social insurance premiums.

Under current regulations, the maximum administrative fine for such violators is only VND30 million (US$1,430), while insurance premiums can total billions of dong.

Enterprises who fail to make social insurance payments are subject to criminal prosecution.

Last year, social insurance agencies nationwide filed lawsuits against more than 1,800 enterprises with social insurance debt of more than 13 months.

However, Lieu said social insurance agencies had discovered many violations that they were not authorised to punish.

In order to better protect workers, he suggested adding a supplement to the Law on Social Insurance allowing social insurance agencies to inspect and punish businesses that failed to pay social insurance premiums.

Only 11 million workers have registered to join the compulsory social insurance scheme, accounting for 69 per cent of the total employed population.

Fishermen saved near Vung Tau

Six fishermen were saved yesterday by border police of Ba Ria-Vung Tau after their fishing boat broke in half by an unidentified boat.

According to reports, the fishing vessel owned by Nguyen Van Luong was stationed about 23 nautical miles in the southeast direction from Vung Tau shore.

The fishermen were brought onshore for health checks and an investigation.

Japanese NGO donates wheelchairs

A Japanese NGO yesterday donated 160 wheelchairs to the Red Cross Associations of Hai Duong, Hung Yen, Ha Nam, worth about US$19,000.

The NGO, called the Volunteers Group to Send Wheelchairs to Overseas Children, collects and restores used wheelchairs before donating them to children with disabilities abroad.

The wheelchairs were also partially funded from Japanese ODA.

Former officials face embezzlement charge

The Quang Nam Police yesterday began legal proceedings against three former officials of the Hoi An City Land Use Right Register Office for alleged embezzlement.

The three persons are Vo Dang, 56, former director of the office; Nguyen Thi Hong, 27, former accountant; and Hoang Thi Cam Lai, 27, former cashier.

The Hoi An City People's Committee had discovered that the office had a deficit of nearly VND1.1 billion, or US$52,380. Dang admitted to have taken VND43 million, or

$2,000, from the office's fund for his personal use, whereas Hong and Lai confessed that they took VND10 million, or $470, each.

The police searched the houses and offices of the accused on the same day and seized documents related to the case for further investigation.

6,000 young doctors to provide free medical screening for elderly, poor

More than 6,000 young doctors from around the country will take part in a massive medical screening campaign for poor and elderly people in all 63 provinces and cities on May 18.

The young doctors, volunteering to assist with community health following uncle Ho's teachings, will provide free examination and medicines for over 100,000 people and perform eye surgeries on 1,000 older people.

They will also train 5,000 teachers in 700 kindergartens and primary schools in first aid and donate around 13,000 units of blood.

To buy medicines and gifts for the elderly and poor people at the screening organized by the Viet Nam Youth Federation and Viet Nam Young Physicians Association, companies and others have donated more than VND10 billion (US$474).

At a press conference in Hanoi on May 13, the organizers said there will be an official event to mark the campaign at the Tan Trao historic site in the northern province of Tuyen Quang.

Chinese hackers continues to attack Vietnamese websites

Chinese hackers have continued to attack Vietnamese websites, with 25 organizations, businesses, and individuals becoming victims on May 12, taking the total number in four days to 240, according to

Websites with domain extension account a third of the 240, followed by .vn and .com. Seven sites ending with have also been hacked.

SecurityDaily and CMC Inforsec Company said hacker group 1937cN has carried out the most attacks.

The hackers have taken advantageous of gaps in server systems to control websites, change their contents, delete data, and deliver malicious codes.

The group set up website to incite Chinese hackers to attack Vietnamese websites.

It is supposed to be the strongest one in China, according to CMC Infosec, and has carried out 36,820 attacks so far.

Their victims include domain name system servers of and, which were hacked last August.

Businesses should appraise and strengthen their security systems, remove malicious codes, and backdoors to prevent possible damages, Nguyen Hong Phuc, an expert from HVA, one of Vietnam’s oldest Internet security forums, said.

They should also warn their staff against clicking on strange links.

Activities to mark President Ho Chi Minh's birthday

Various activities are being held across the country to mark the 124th anniversary of the birthday of President Ho Chi Minh (May 19).

In Hanoi, an exhibition entitled ‘Modest but Noble Examples’ opened on May 13 at Ho Chi Minh Museum, displaying more than 200 pictures and documents of outstanding followers of President Ho’s moral examples throughout the country.

The display features moving stories of organisations and individuals, who overcame difficulties to make the country better and more beautiful. It also offers clear insight into the thought and moral examples of President Ho Chi Minh.

On the same day, Army Corps No. 1, Military Zone 2, People's Army Newspaper and the Army Broadcasting Centre held a talk themed ‘Uncle Ho’s Words – the Sacred Order’ in Phu Tho province, with the participation of generals and war veterans of Division 308, who were in direct contact with Uncle Ho at the Hung Kings Temple in 1954.

The reports at the talk highlighted the value of President Ho Chi Minh’s statement “The Hung Kings founded the country, you and I must protect it”. Since then, this teaching has been a sacred order for the entire army and people across Vietnam.

Under the same theme, Military Zone 2 organised an artistic exchange to praise the Party, President Ho Chi Minh and the patriotic heroes and martyrs who made sacrifices for the nation’s independence and freedom.

Dac Nong province also reviewed the three-year implementation of the Poliburo’s Directive on continuously promoting both study and adherence to President Ho Chi Minh’s moral example.

Additionally, Bac Kan Provincial Party Committee also commended outstanding secretaries, who completed their mission at offices, villages and communes. The secretaries contributed to develop the economy, further the poverty alleviation movement and eliminate social evils.

Fishermen supported to continue fishing in traditional area

Captain Nguyen Van Loc of QNg 96416 TS fishing boat, which was attacked and damaged by Chinese ships on May 7, received over VND400 million (US$18,800) on May 12 to pay for the cost of repairing the boat.

The Vietnam Fatherland Front of Quang Ngai province presented VND10 million (US$470) and the provincial fishermen’s support fund granted VND400 million (US$18,800) to captain Loc to buy fishing tools, repair the boat and return to fish in the shortest possible time to the traditional fishing area around Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago.

The People’s Committee of Ly Son island district also provided VND9 million (US$423) to Loc and 16 other fishermen on the boat to encourage them in overcoming difficulties, to continue fishing in the traditional area and contribute to the protection of national sovereignty in the East Sea.

Loc’s boat was fishing in an area about 15 nautical miles south of Linh Con Island, an island in Da Nang’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago located some 70 nautical miles east of the site where China has illegally positioned Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone. A Chinese warship appeared, firing warning flares and demanding the boat stop. The fisherman said he took evasive maneuvers to avoid the ship, but the Chinese vessel got closer and soldiers on board threw heavy objects, including hammers and large bolts, at the fishing boat, breaking its cabin windows.

Loc said that after a nearly four-hour chase, the Chinese warship called in another ship, a vessel from the Chinese fisheries administration force, for help. The Chinese fisheries administration ship rammed into the Vietnamese fishing boat, breaking its right side and the wall of the cabin, and then sailed away. The Chinese warship remained at the site. Water began to flow onto Loc’s boat, but luckily, the crew members managed to make emergency repairs and return to the island.

The damage to the fishing boat was estimated at more than VND500 million (US$23,500).

Mass associations continue opposing China’s illegal acts

The Vietnam War Veterans’ Association (VWVA) and the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) on May 13 strongly protested China’s illegal placement of a drilling rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

In its statement, the VWVA said that on May 2, China stationed the drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude. The location is 80 nautical miles deep in Vietnam ’s continental shelf and 119 nautical miles to Vietnam ’s Ly Son Island.

China has also deployed a large number of escort ships and aircraft to the site. These ships have repeatedly attacked Vietnamese ships in the area, causing heavy material damage and threatening human life.

“China’s rig and escort ships are operating entirely in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf stipulated in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” the statement affirmed.

China ’s acts defied international law and seriously violated Vietnam ’s sovereignty and the UNCLOS to which China is a signatory. They ran counter to the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) signed between China and ASEAN, complicating the situation, causing instability and threatening the freedom of maritime trade in the East Sea.

China’s new and serious actions went against the joint statements of the two countries’ leaders and agreements on strengthening the strategic partnership, seriously hurting the friendly neighbourliness between the two peoples.

As a socio-political organisation representing war veterans, the VWVA strongly opposed and asked China to immediately stop the illegal acts, withdraw the rig and escort ships from Vietnam ’s waters, and prevent the recurrence of similar acts in the future.

The association strongly affirmed Vietnam ’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos, sovereign right and jurisdiction over the country’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in the East Sea in line with the provisions of international law.

It demanded the Chinese side to strictly abide by international law, especially the 1982 UNCLOS, and commitments in the DOC between China and ASEAN, as well as agreements reached between high-ranking leaders of the two countries.

The association voiced its total support for the policy and efforts by the Vietnamese government and authorities in safeguarding Vietnam ’s legitimate sovereignty through peaceful measures.

It called on countries and veterans’ associations and individuals all over the world to raise their voice in the protection of justice and international law, and said it stands ready to do its utmost to, together with the whole people, encourage the Vietnamese young generation to resolutely safeguard the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and interests.

The VWU also issued a statement condemning China ’s brazen violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, sovereign right and jurisdiction. It is also a violation of the 1982 UNCLOS and the DOC, running counter to commitments the two countries’ leaders have repeatedly affirmed.

The statement voiced VWU and all of Vietnamese women’s discontent to China ’s wrongful and dangerous move that seriously hurts the friendship between the people, especially women, of the two countries.

The union called on international partners and women all over the world, including those in China , to raise their voice in the protection of peace and justice, demanding the Chinese government to abide by international law and to immediately withdraw the rig and escort ships from Vietnam ’s waters.

It pledged to do all it can to nurture the international solidarity and friendship, thus contributing to the goals of equality, development and peace as jointly pledged by women throughout the world at the 4 th world women’s conference held in Beijing in 1995.



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