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SOCIETY IN BRIEF 2/5

Aid handed to hapless Quang Ngai fishermen; Prisoners handed Liberation amnesty; Big Lao drug ring busted; Lao drug trafficker seized; Vietnam aims to clear bomb-polluted areas
Aid handed to hapless Quang Ngai fishermen

Five fishermen from central coastal Quang Ngai Province whose boats were wrecked at sea on March 20 have received VND805 million (US$39,000) total in aid to buy new ships, provincial Labour Federation chairwoman Ngo Thi Kim Ngoc said yesterday, May 1.

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Illustrative image.—VNA/VNS Photo

 


The aid was provided by the Golden Heart Fund of Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper through a programme to support fishermen in Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos.

Prisoners handed Liberation amnesty

The province has granted amnesty and reduced sentences to 97 prisoners on the occasion of the Liberation Day on April 30.

The prisoners were granted sentence reduction from 3-15 months. The province had announced the policy several months ago and had provided training for the prisoners on how to integrate into society.

Big Lao drug ring busted

Dien Bien Border Guards, in co-ordination with Lao security police, yesterday, May 1, confiscated heroin and weapons worth VND30 billion (US$1.4 million) in house raids close to the Lao border.

The contraband was detected in the homes of three alleged heroin traffickers in Phong Saly District. The traffickers are said to have admitted that they transported the heroin from Laos to Viet Nam for sale.

Police confiscated 34 cakes of heroin, more than 15kg of powdered heroin, 64kg of additives used in processing heroin, five guns and nearly 30kg of dynamite.

Investigations showed that, in the past 10 years, the traffickers trafficked more than 10,000 cakes of heroin to Viet Nam.

Lao drug trafficker seized

Border guard at ThanhHoa province’s Na Meo International Border Gate on April 30 caught red handed a Lao man trafficking 1.2 kg of opium from Laos to Vietnam.
Trafficker is Chu Xo (born in 1969) in Houaphanh province, Laos.

Chu Xo confessed he had bought the opium from an unknown man in Viengxay, Laos, and transported to Vietnam.

The Quan Son district People's Committee gave rewards to the Nam Meo Border Post.

Vietnam aims to clear bomb-polluted areas

Vietnam is seeking further global assistance to clean up bomb and mine contaminated areas.

Pham QuocTru, deputy head of the Vietnam Permanent Mission to the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and international organizations said that Vietnam has made every effort to clear bombs and mines left from the war over the past several decades.

He added that after the war ended in 1975, more than 20 percent of Vietnam’s territorial areas were polluted with bombs, mines and explosives. So far, nearly 4 percent of the land has been cleaned up.

In April 2010, the Prime Minister adopted the 2010–2025 National Action Programme on overcoming the consequences of post-war bombs and mines, and established a State Steering Board on this programme, known as Steering Board 504, which he heads himself.

The programme aims to mobilise domestic and global resources to minimise and surmount the consequences of bombs and mines, ensure the safety for people and help victims settle down their lives.

Vietnam has received assistance from Japan, the US, Norway and international organisations like the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, Golden West Foundation, Norwegian People’s Aid and Vietnam Peace Trees.

Regarding Vietnam’s role in the Conference on Disarmament (CD), Tru said Vietnam has actively worked at CD forums since it became a member in 1996.

Vietnam has expressed its stance on disarmament, peace and security maintenance as well as other issues discussed at CD forums, he said.

Tru added that in honour of bomb and mine victims, the artwork “Broken Chair” by Swiss artist Daniel Berset was placed in front of the Palace of Nations, Geneva in August 1997, three months ahead of the signing of the Ottawa treaty, known as the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and their Destruction.

Initiated by Switzerland’s Handicap International, the monumental sculpture is made of 5.5 tonnes of wood and stands over 20 metres high. It symbolises an opposition to mines and cluster bombs, and acts as a reminder to politicians visiting the European country.

Illegal frog, fish meat seized from market

Ha Noi Market Watch seized nearly 1,100 frogs and over 600 mullet suspected of being illegally imported from China last week.

The owner, Tran Thanh Lam, 32, of northern Hung Yen Province, failed to show documents to prove their origin.

An initial investigation has allegedly revealed that Lam hired people to go through Mong Cai Border gate in northern Quang Ninh Province to buy mullets and frogs in China and sell them in Yen So market in Hoang Mai District.

130 students to receive French scholarships

As many as 130 disadvantaged Vietnamese students have been selected for scholarships in the second term of the 2012-2013 school-year.

The information was confirmed by leaders of the Paris-based Companion Fund in Paris on April 29.

The scholarships will provide the needy students a chance to study in France and help them overcome difficulties and pursue their dreams.

Established in 2001 by a group of Vietnamese students at École polytechnique in Paris, the fund has so far presented 250 scholarships annually to Vietnamese students from 12 universities across the country.

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