VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES DECEMBER 9
Addressing the event, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Ha said that to date, despite adverse impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, Vietnam has completed 82.6% of recommendations with many positive results in terms of ensuring and promoting human rights in the fields of labout, society, gender equality and human trafficking combat.
At the conference, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs’ agencies reported on the attainments, difficulties and challenges in the implementation of the UPR third cycle recommendations.
Participants noted that over the past 13 years, Vietnam has shown positive and responsible engagement in the UPR mechanism with a high rate of recommendation acceptance and implementation, reflecting the country’s rising and expanding capacity in institution, resources and finance.
They agreed that the implementation of the UPR recommendations has contributed to further enhancing the rights of disadvantaged groups and labourers, improving social welfare and contributing to ensuring political-economic and social stability of the country, as well as the quality of human rights in Vietnam.
They highlighted difficulties and challenges, and proposed solutions for the better implementation of the recommendations in the time to come, especially the preparations for the building of the national report on the UPR fourth cycle.
Digital exhibition platform on Vietnam’s sovereignty over the sea, and islands launched
From the desire to thicken data on Vietnam's sovereignty over sea and islands, contributing to affirming Vietnam's sovereignty in the digital space, the Ministry of Information and Communications organised a ceremony, on December 8, to launch the digital exhibition platform on Vietnam's sovereignty over sea and islands named "Truong Sa Xanh".
The Ministry of Information and Communications organised a ceremony, on December 8, to launch the digital exhibition platform on Vietnam's sovereignty over sea and islands named "Truong Sa Xanh".
The digital exhibition platform is a multimedia product, integrating rich and vivid materials about Vietnam's seas and islands, including more than 200 photos and video clips posted on the platform of the Foreign Information Service Portal, at vietnam.vn (domain name truongsaxanh.com.vn).
The product promises to provide viewers with a comprehensive, systematic, and multidimensional view of Vietnam's seas and islands over different periods. It also stresses the role and importance of seas and islands in the lives of Vietnamese people from the past to the present.
The representative of the Ministry of Information and Communications, also hopes that in the coming time, the exhibition will continue to receive additional information and data on Vietnam’s sovereignty over the sea, and islands; contributing to asserting sovereignty over the digital space.
The exhibition is considered as a source of reference material, suggesting new ideas for the press and media, to exploit and provide documents on the country's seas and islands, in a multi-faceted way to domestic readers, overseas Vietnamese communities and international friends.
The "Truong Sa Xanh" exhibition is the beginning of a digital exhibition platform on Vietnam's sea and island sovereignty and external information service in the coming time, to create modern digital media products, attracting a large number of subjects and social sectors at home and abroad.
Area in Sydney named “Little Vietnam”
Inner West Council in Sydney, Australia’s New South Wales, on December 8 announced the name “Little Vietnam” for an area where many Vietnamese Australians are living.
The area is located along Illawarra Street from the intersection with Marrickville Road to Warren Road.
According to Inner West Council, naming the area “Little Vietnam” is its recognition of the cultural diversity and national identity imprint of the Vietnamese community in Australia.
Representatives of the Council said that Marrickville is home to one of the three largest Vietnamese communities in Sydney. The Vietnamese community here has long been a significant part of the local identity, sharing its cuisine and culture with the wider community.
Vietnamese, Lao village leaders visit President Ho Chi Minh’s hometown
Nearly 200 leaders of villages in 10 Vietnamese and 10 Laos localities along the shared border on December 7 visited the Kim Lien Relic Site in President Ho Chi Minh’s hometown of Nam Dan district of the central province of Nghe An, where they paid tribute to the late leader who laid the foundation for the special ties between Vietnam and Laos.
Visiting the Lang Sen (Sen Village) relic cluster, the hometown of President Ho Chi Minh, they were moved by stories about the life and revolutionary career of the Vietnamese leader, and his devotion to the friendship and solidarity between Vietnam and Laos.
Boun Thong, a village chief from Laos’ Xiangkhouang province, said that visiting the homeland of President Ho Chi Minh is a dream that comes true for him. He expressed his warm sentiments to the late leader who he described as a symbol of the Vietnam-Laos friendship.
Meanwhile, Thammavong Khola from Houaphan province said that Lao people have always had special sentiments for President Ho Chi Minh in particular and Vietnam in general.
After that, the delegates visited President Ho Chi Minh Memorial House, which is a gift from the Lao government to Nghe An. The site is keeping objects and images of President Ho Chi Minh and his close ties with the Party and State of Laos, especially President Kaysone Phomvihan and Prince Suphanuvong during the tirelessly struggle for peace of the two peoples.
Exhibition showcases cat-inspired lacquer artworks
Unique cat figurines crafted by lacquer artisan Nguyễn Tấn Phát will be displayed at a solo exhibition that opens at Huyen Art House in HCM City on December 9.
The Meo (Meaw) exhibition features nearly 60 lacquer artworks, a part of the artisan’s collection of 2023 cat figurines created in the past two years to welcome the lunar new year 2023 – the Year of the Cat on the Vietnamese zodiac calendar.
The special feature of the cat collection is the uniqueness of each item, meticulously crafted from the indigenous materials of Sơn Tây Town on the outskirts of Hà Nội – jackfruit wood and laterite – in combination with Vietnamese traditional lacquer art.
Vietnamese folk stories, songs and traditional architecture have also been richly integrated into the unique collection “to enhance national pride," he said.
The cat figurines are integrated with various functions. They could be used as a box, a flower vase, a table or a chair, which makes images of cats dearer to art lovers.
This is the third unique collection of artworks by the lacquer artisan. He completed 1,010 buffalo figurines on the occasion of the 1,010th anniversary of Hà Nội in 2021 and another 2022 tiger figurines to welcome 2022, or the Year of the Tiger.
Meo (Meaw) exhibition will run until December 17.
Ho Chi Minh City Hot Air Balloon Festival kicks off
Many interesting activities are held at the second Ho Chi Minh Hot Air Balloon Festival, which is taking place in Thu Duc City from December 8-11.
In addition, to admire colourful hot air balloons, visitors to the festival will have the chance to enjoy an exciting music space, unique culinary quintessence and creative art projects.
Notably, visitors can register to fly with hot air balloons to see the whole city from a height of 50 metres. Besides, a special area will be arranged for children during the festival.
The Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Department said the second Ho Chi Minh Hot Air Balloon Festival will contribute to the vibrant and energetic atmosphere of the cultural, tourism and sports events, within the framework of the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Week.
Restoring clarity to rivers in Hanoi
Black water, bad smells and garbage on the riverbanks are common themes in many of the capital's rivers, reports Báo Tài Nguyên & Môi Trường (Resources & Environment Newspaper).
Pollution is so bad that the river cannot be used for irrigation and cultivation, not to mention for daily life. This has affected the lives of citizens living nearby.
But some of the effects cannot be seen by the eye: methane and sulphur gases surround the area, poisoning and weakening the health of people.
Eighty per cent of unhandled wastewater is flowing directly to these rivers, according to recent studies.
Tô Lịch river is one of the most polluted. With a length of 14.6km, it has 300 drains from six districts discharging into Tô Lịch, with more than 150,000cu.m of unhandled wastewater.
Another river suffering from mass pollution is Nhuệ River, specifically in the section running through Hà Nội. Around 2,500 sources of wastewater, including industrial and household wastewater are directly discharged into the 63km of river.
Although facing a massive amount of wastewater, Hà Nội's eight treatment facilities are only capable of handling 35 per cent of the required amount. Yên Xá Wastewater Treatment Facility, capable of treating 270,000 cubic meters daily, is still in construction.
However, according to some experts, revitalising rivers does not only rely on centralised wastewater collection and treatment plants. Instead, wastewater should be collected and distributed along the drainage lines on both sides of the river, with the responsibility for coordination and direct management transferred to localities.
This will give clear, efficient and economical results, with many more benefits than a centralised treatment plant solution.
Increased train operation for central localities on New Year occasion
The Saigon Railway Joint Stock Company has announced plans to operate more trains to meet the rising demand in the coming New Year.
In addition to the current daily trains: SE1/2, SE3/4, SE5/6, and SE7/8 for the Saigon-Hanoi route; SE21/22 for the Saigon-Danang route; SNT1/2 for the Saigon-Nha Trang route; SPT1/2 for the Saigon-Phan Thiet route, the firm will run trains SNT4 from Saigon to Nha Trang and SQN2 from Saigon to Quy Nhon, which will begin departing on December 30.
The company will also operate train SNT5 from Nha Trang to Saigon and SQN1 from Quy Nhon to Saigon beginning January 2. The company will consider conducting more trains if the demand continues surging.
Recently, the company has applied attractive discounts. For instance, people who buy return tickets will be offered a discount of 5%.
Department proposes free entry to Hanoi park
The Hanoi Department of Construction has just proposed to the municipal People's Committee to offer free entrance to Thong Nhat Park from January 1, 2023.
According to the department, the charge of VND 4,000 per adult and VND 2,000 per child at the ticket stalls has only brought in enough funds to pay 50 percent of staff members.
The department also said that it was unfair that people wearing sports clothes are allowed to enter the park for free while other visitors have to buy tickets. So it suggests that the park should be open for free to all people.
Occupying an area of over 50 hectares in Dong Da District in downtown Hanoi, Thong Nhat (Reunification) Park has been a popular place of leisure and entertainment for local people and visitors over the past 60 years.
Currently, Hanoi has over 40 parks, some of which are being upgraded. The capital city has also set a goal to build nine new parks by 2025.
MOLISA suggests not to abuse, prolong Lunar New Year holiday
Minister of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs (MOLISA) Dao Ngoc Dung, on December 7, signed an official letter requesting administrative and non-business agencies, political organizations, socio-political organizations, businesses, and employers strictly comply with regulations on the schedule of the Lunar New Year holiday and the National Day holiday in 2023.
According to the plan approved by the Government, civil servants and public officials will have the Lunar New Year holiday from Friday, January 20, 2023 (the 29th day of the last month in the lunar calendar) to the end of Thursday, January 26, 2023 (the 5th of the first month in the lunar calendar).
This holiday includes five days off for the Lunar New Year and two days off to compensate for the weekly rest as prescribed in Clause 3, Article 111 of the Labor Code.
According to the above plan, the total duration of the Tet holiday is only seven days, until the end of Thursday, so civil servants and public officials will have to go to work on Friday, then will rest for the weekend on Saturday and Sunday (the 7th and 8th days of the first month in the lunar calendar). As a result, there may be a situation where civil servants and public officials will skip work on Friday (January 27) to rest until the end of Sunday (January 29), causing delays in necessary administrative procedures for people or assigned tasks.
Hanoi’s GRDP growth set to hit 8.89% in 2022
Hanoi’s economy has been on a steady path of recovery, with the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth set to reach 8.89% in 2022.
Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Ha Minh Hai gave socio-economic details of Hanoi at the 10th session of the municipal People's Council held on December 7.
Hai attributed such high growth to the firm leadership of the Government and the municipal Party Committee, as well as the active response of businesses and people during the fight against Covid-19 and the subsequent socio-economic recovery. Another highlight included the high budget revenue at VND333 trillion ($14 billion), 6.8% higher than the yearly estimate and up 2.7% year on year.
According to Hai, since the reopening of the economy on March 15, the local authorities have provided financial support for 2.6 million people with VND2.6 trillion (US$109 million), while creating new jobs for 183,000 locals, exceeding the year’s target by 14.3%.
Hai noted the effective management of the city’s trusted fund at the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies – Hanoi Branch helped 1,400 households escape poverty and 6,670 others out of the near-poor status.
Under the Government’s instruction, the local authorities have also cut value-added tax for over 72,000 businesses for a total of VND13 trillion ($544.7 million); extended payment due date for taxes and land rental fees for 19,000 others for VND12 trillion ($503 million).
In addition to economic development objectives, Hai suggested the city prioritize sociocultural aspects.
Hanoi police arrest nine suspects for illegal online gamble
The Hanoi Police Department on December 6 announced the arrest of nine individuals for having reportedly hosted illegal online gambles, loans, and bets worth a total of VND600 billion (US$25 million).
The Hanoi Police Department reported that a police raid was underway in both Hanoi and HCM City on December 3 to catch the said individuals red-handed at nine locations.
On scene, the police seized 12 cellphones, one piston, more than 100 bullets, more than 200 kilograms of explosives, two cars, and other evidence.
The gang is led by 43-year-old Le Van Thang and 35-year-old Nguyen Thanh Nam. Their operation has been active since 2021, with some VND1 billion worth of transactions each day, making the total sum of illegal money worth VND600 billion.
Hanoi plans to protect children on the Internet
The Hanoi People's Committee has just published a plan for the protection and support of children on the Internet environment for the period 2022-2025.
The move is for the fact that children are spending a lot of time learning, playing, and exploring things online but threats are also part of the exploration in cyberspace.
For that reason, the plan will continue to equip children with digital knowledge and skills to help protect themselves and interact safely in the Internet environment, especially by reporting acts and cases of online child abuse.
In addition, strict measures will be taken to protect children's privacy in the Internet environment. Solutions will also be tightened to prevent abuse of the network to commit prohibited acts against children in any form, as prescribed by Vietnamese law.
Along with this, communication on knowledge, support skills and guidance for children to interact safely, healthily and creatively in the Internet environment will be carried out.
Viet Nam, China bolster cooperation in maritime law enforcement
The Viet Nam Coast Guard and the China Coast Guard held high-level talks on promoting cooperation in maritime law enforcement in the region within the framework of an exchange program in Ha Noi on December 7.
They pledged to establish a level-2 contact point between the Coast Guard Region 1 Command of the Viet Nam Coast Guard and the China Coast Guard's Nanhai bureau.
The level-2 contact point will be in charge of informing each other about violations of the two countries' ships, organizing joint patrols, and coordinating to handle unexpected incidents in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin.
In 2023, the two sides will continue to follow the important common perceptions reached by the leaders of the two Parties and countries in the "MoU on cooperation between the Viet Nam Coast Guard Command and the China Coast Guard, respect the two countries' requirements for COVID-19 prevention and control, and renew and expand cooperation forms.
The agencies will organize two joint patrols in the waters adjacent to the demarcation line in the Gulf of Tonkin, professional exchanges, and search and rescue exercises.
Every month, the two sides will notify each other of information related to violations of fishing vessels, and promptly handle incidents arising at sea.
They will also work to restart visits of the coast guard ships to each other, and exchanges of young officers./.
Thu Duc needs new mechanism for development
Despite its huge development potential, Thu Duc City still faces numerous outstanding issues and obstacles; therefore, the city needs to be granted a special mechanism for development, according to the Institute for Policy Research and Media Development (IPS).
Asynchronous infrastructure and narrow roads are major reasons for frequent traffic congestion in Thu Duc City. Many infrastructure projects cannot be implemented due to the city’s lack of capital. Meanwhile, the projects that have secured funding have been executed at a snail’s pace.
The city was allocated VND3,460 billion for 36 state-funded projects this year but only 1% of the capital had been disbursed by October.
The above situation resulted in severe flooding in Thu Duc City after heavy rains and during flood tides.
An expert of IPS said that Thu Duc has an area of over 21,000 hectares and a population of 1.2 million people, equal to that of Danang City. However, it is treated as a district-level jurisdiction.
Thu Duc City now incurs annual damage totaling over VND1,200 billion, mainly resulting from failure to properly cope with traffic congestion and flooding. However, the indirect losses on the economy and impacts on residents’ lives are estimated at 3-4 times higher than that figure.
Tickets for Vietnam’s matches in AFF Cup 2022 to be sold from December 10
The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) on December 8 announced that it will sell tickets for the matches between Vietnam and Malaysia and Myanmar in the group stage of the AFF Cup 2022 at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, from December 10.
Ticket prices for the upcoming matches range from 300,000 VND (12.6 USD) to 600,000 VND (25.2 USD). The VFF will sell tickets via online registration on app VinID. Each person can buy up to 4 tickets per match.
The Vietnam - Malaysia and Vietnam – Myanmar matches will take place respectively on December 27, and January 3, 2023, from 7.30 pm.
At the AFF Cup 2022, Vietnam is in Group B, meeting Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar and Laos. Group A consists of Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines and Brunei.
French Senate President inaugurates headquarters of French Institute in Vietnam
French Senate President Gérard Larcher attended a ceremony in Hanoi on December 8 to inaugurate the new headquarters of the French Institute in Vietnam, as part of his ongoing official visit to the Southeast Asian country.
Gérard Larcher said that the institute serves a pillar in the culture exchange between France and Vietnam, through the organisation of events in all fields, from cinematography to music, from performing arts to visual arts, and heritage.
The inauguration marks a new start for the institute's activities, opens up opportunities for the institute in relations with Vietnamese partners, and strengthens links and cultural and linguistic exchanges, he added.
Vietnamese Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung said that this event marks a new development of the institute after 18 years operating in Vietnam, and part of a ceremony to kick-start events in celebration of the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties in 2023, co-chaired by Gérard Larcher and his Vietnamese counterpart Vuong Dinh Hue earlier the same day.
Vietnamese, Lao parties hold ninth theoretical workshop
The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) held their ninth theoretical workshop in Vientiane on December 8, focusing on experiences in handling economic and financial issues.
Head of the Vietnamese delegation to the workshop, Nguyen Trong Nghia, Secretary of the CPV Central Committee and head of the CPV Central Committee’s Education and Popularisation Commission, stressed that issues discussed at the 9th workshop are important to each country’s renewal and socio-economic development.
He shared the perceptions and viewpoints of the CPV on developing the socialist-oriented market economy, and lessons that Vietnam has learnt during the 35 years implementing Doi Moi (renewal).
Nghia also presented major orientations for the socialist-oriented market economy in Vietnam to 2030 with a vision to 2045.
Head of the Lao delegation Khamphan Pheuyavong, Secretary of the LPRP Central Committee and head of the Commission for Propaganda and Training of the LPRP Central Committee affirmed the Lao Party’s affirmed the important results that Laos has gained over the past time.
During the two-day workshop, delegates will continue to discuss theoretical issues and look into each country’s experience in maintaining macro-economic stability and ensuring social security, implementing monetary and financial policies, attracting investment and controlling inflation.
Three die in Hai Phong house fire
Three people have died and one other seriously injured in a house fire in the northern city of Hai Phong.
According to a report from local police, the fire broke out at a temporary house in Le Chan District on Thursday afternoon.
"The house's owner, Phan Thi Lieu, 65, was filling petrol for her motorbike inside the house when cigarette ashes coming from her friends caused the fire to break out," the report said. The fire quickly spread over the 40-square-metre house, killing Lieu and her two friends Ha Thi Loi, 62, and Nguyen Van Loi, 59. Meanwhile, another friend Nguyen The Diep, 63, managed to escape the fire but suffered serious burns."
According to some witnesses, the house lies separately near a rice field so when people noticed the fire and rushed to it, the fire had already spread all over the house.
"When we arrived, we heard screams from the house but the gate was locked," a witness said. "We tried to put off the fire from outside while calling the police. But only a man was rescued and brought to hospital while three bodies were found inside the house."
Hai Phong police are further investigating the cause of the fire.
Lucia – most beloved Swedish feast opens in Hanoi
Lucia, one of the most beloved feasts in Sweden, was celebrated at Daewoo Hotel, Hanoi, on December 7 to enable the Vietnamese audience to witness a classical Swedish Lucia procession.
On December 13 every year, Lucia is truly celebrated everywhere in Sweden, in schools and kindergartens, in workplaces - from the factory floor to the board rooms, in the parliament and royal palace, in churches and folk museums, in houses for elderly people and hospitals and all embassies abroad.
This year’s celebration in Hanoi marked the performance of Åsa Jäger, a dramatic soprano who brought the audience the best of Swedish musical tradition through her divine singing.
Attending the ceremony, Do Hung Viet, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the Embassy of Sweden hosted its signature Lucia celebration in Hanoi, among other activities, to help bring the centuries-long culture of the Nordic country to the people in Vietnam, contributing to strengthening the people-to-people links between the two countries.
Speaking at the event, Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Ann Måwe highlighted the progress in Sweden-Vietnam relations over the past 53 years when Sweden became the first Western country to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam.
This year Team Sweden in Vietnam has arranged a series of activities under the banner “Pioneer the Possible” – a concept that shares examples of new cutting-edge Swedish innovations for the green transition, in line with Vietnam’s trajectory towards an inclusive and environmentally sustainable development for the country.
Ton bags finswimming gold at National Sports Games
Athlete Danh Thành Tôn won a gold medal for Quảng Ninh in the men's 400m immersion event during the ninth National Sports Games on December 7 in Hà Nội.
He finished first with a time of 2min 52.35sec at the Mỹ Đình Water Sports Palace.
Lê Quý Đôn of Military Team came second, clocking 2:53.53, and Nguyễn Tiến Đạt from HCM City was third on 3:03.54.
Tôn, 20, is a young athlete of the Quảng Ninh Sport Training and Competing Centre. He is expected to be in the top three of the men's 800m immersion event.
The finswimming events are from December 5-8. Almost 150 athletes from 19 cities and provinces are competing in 30 categories for men's, women's and mixed disciplines. HCM City, Hà Nội and Hải Dương are the favourites for the top team ranking.