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Vietnam’s second UN peacekeeping sapper unit unveiled in Hanoi
Vietnam’s second UN peacekeeping sapper unit unveiled in Hanoi hinh anh 1
At the ceremony. (Photo: VNA) 

Vietnam’s second sapper unit for United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations stepped out at a ceremony held by the Ministry of National Defence in Hanoi on December 27.

With 203 members, including 22 female sappers, the unit is expected to be sent to the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).

In the first phase, 28 members of the unit will depart in May 2023. Another 156 will set off in the second phase in the middle of June. The remaining members will continue receiving professional training in healthcare, logistics and English.

At the event, Deputy Minister of National Defence Hoang Xuan Chien, head of the ministry’s steering committee for participation in UN peacekeeping operations, urged relevant units to make preparations and organise more training courses before their deployment.

Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Viet Hung, head of the sapper unit 2, pledged to carry out directives from the Minister of Defence.

The country’s sapper unit 1 was established in 2014 and charged with a peacekeeping mission at the request of the UN.

It was launched on November 17, 2021 with 203 members, including 184 official and 19 reserve members. During its mission in Abyei, the unit has provided humanitarian aid, helping UN peacekeeping missions complete their tasks, contributing to peacekeeping, national reconstruction, and bringing about a peaceful, stable life to host countries.

Clean water project donated to remote schools

More than 2,000 students and teaching staff at five schools in Dien Ban town, Duy Xuyen Dong Giang and Nam Giang districts in Quang Nam province have benefited from clean water systems donated by Lifestart Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation based in Hoi An.

The five clean water systems worth 227 million VND (9,800 USD) were set up at Pham Phu Thu High school, Luong The Vinh Secondary school, Le Van Tam Secondary school, Ta B’hing Kindergarten and Zuoich Primary school as part of donation programme supporting remote schools across the central province.

Karen Leonard OAM, founder of Lifestart Foundation, said: “In an effort to provide clean and safe drinking water for the children, Lifestart Foundation is delighted to have donated water filtration systems to remote schools in disadvantaged areas in central Vietnam, especially areas that are not privileged to have easy access to such basic resources.

"Prior to this round of donations, Lifestart Foundation also provided clean water systems for more than 4,000 children at 13 remote schools in the province. The previous donations totalled 590 million VND. These water systems will contribute to ensuring the safety of drinking water for the children.”

Up to now, the Lifestart Foundation has committed 817million VND worth of Clean Water Systems to help more than 6,000 students in need at 18 schools across Quang Nam province.

Founded in 2000 by an Australian named Karen Leonard OAM and supported by a team of dedicated volunteers, Lifestart Foundation is a grassroots, not-for-profit charity that helps disadvantaged Vietnamese families to become self-sufficient.

This is achieved through their two largest projects, Education Scholarships for disadvantaged students and their Housing Improvement project. To date, Lifestart Foundation’s investment in the disadvantaged youth of central Vietnam  is in excess of 26 billion.

Paintings of Vietnamese, RoK artists on display

An exhibition of 300 paintings by artists from Vietnam and the Republic of Korea opened at Hanoi Museum on December 27, aiming to promote cultural exchange between the two countries.

The event was jointly held by Nguyen Trai University and the Vietnam Fine Arts Association in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Vietnam-RoK diplomatic ties.

The works on display include those by outstanding artists such as Vu Trong Tuan, Hoang Dang Nhuan, Truong Be and Vu Duong from Vietnam and Han Heewon, Chae Jongkee, Lee Johnlip and Kim Sungnam from the RoK.

The exhibition is an opportunity to popularise the image of Vietnamese people and culture to the RoK people, and at the same time help Vietnamese people understand more about Korean culture through paintings.

The exhibition will last until the end of March 2023.

First national press award on NA, People’s Councils launched

Permanent Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Tran Thanh Man launched the first Dien Hong award – the national press award on the NA and People’s Councils, during a ceremony in Hanoi on December 27.

Speaking at the event, Vice Chairman Man highlighted the significance of the award which is concurrent with the 75th anniversary of the Vietnamese NA’s general election, giving journalists as well as voters and people nationwide an insight into activities of the legislature and People’s Councils, and creating social consensus on their decisions.

NA Secretary General and Chairman of the NA Office Bui Van Cuong said the annual award is a joint effort between the NA Office and the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education, the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Vietnam Journalists’ Association and Vietnam Television.

He said entries should focus on the role of the legislature in actively accompanying the Government and State agencies to build policies and laws that meet requirements for national development, the outcomes and success of the election of deputies to the 14th NA and People’s Councils at all levels for the 2021-2026 tenure, the NA’s outstanding events from 2021 to April 2023, the significance and outcomes of the NA’s meetings, including the 15th NA’s first and second extraordinary meetings.

Cuong also suggested entries feature the performance of functions, tasks and authority of the legislature in constitution making, legislation, supreme supervision and decision on important national issues; the results of the NA's external activities in performing the Party and State's foreign policy, the NA Standing Committee’s guidance and supervision over the People’s Councils; the position, role and activities of the People’s Councils; renewal in the organisation and working methods of the People’s Councils, aspirations and suggestions of voters and people to the NA and People’s Councils.

Vietnamese citizens at home and abroad, including overseas Vietnamese, who have articles meeting the award’s criteria are entitled to submit them as entries to the NA Office’s Department of Information no later than April 30, 2023.

They must be published or broadcast in Vietnamese language or ethnic and foreign languages translated into Vietnamese by licensed press agencies from March 1, 2021 to April 30, 2023.

The award ceremony will be held in June 2023, honouring one special prize worth 95 million VND (4,100 USD), six A prizes worth 45 million VND each, 12 B prizes valued at 30 million VND each, 16 C prizes worth 20 million VND each and 30 consolation prizes worth 10 million VND each.

In subsequent years, the award ceremony is scheduled to take place on January 6, the first general election day of the Vietnamese NA.

Archer Nguyen Thi Thanh Nhi wins Asian Cup title in first tournament abroad

Nguyen Thi Thanh Nhi has won a gold medal at the Asian Archery Cup which wrapped up in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates last weekend.

The 21-year-old defeated powerful Yeom Hyejeong of the Republic of Korea in the women's individual recurve event 26-26, 27-26, 28-25, 28-28.

Li Tsai-chi of Chinese Taipei earned a bronze.

Earlier, in a group with teammates Do Thi Anh Nguyet and Ha Thi Ngoc, Nhi also grabbed a bronze in the team recurve event, beating India 47-50, 51-46, 55-49, 51-47.

Chinese Taipei took the gold and the RoK claimed the silver.

It was Nhi's third international tournament in her career. Earlier, she took part in the 31st SEA Games in May in Hanoi where she earned a silver in the women's team recurve. Four months later, she grabbed two golds in both individual and team recurve events at the Singapore Open.

In Sharjah, Vietnamese athletes also competed in the compound events but none of them could advance to the top three. Their best result was fourth place in the men's compound team, losing 55-58, 58-56, 52-55, 56-58 to Bangladesh in the third-place playoff.

The Asia Cup was held from December 22-25 with the participation of 270 athletes from 31 countries.

Tet speciality festival opens in HCM City

More than 10,000 agricultural and other specialty products from across the country are being sold at the “Tet Xanh qua Viet – Xuan Quy Mao 2023” festival, which opened in Ho Chi Minh City on December 27.

It has nearly 100 booths set up by start-ups, craft village co-operatives and businesses from various provinces and cities.

The products meet Vietnamese and international quality standards such as OCOP, VietGap, organic, HACCP, and ISO and have High-quality Vietnamese goods certification, High-quality Vietnamese goods - integration standard certification and geographical indication, or are typical agricultural products of various localities.

Many have a firm foothold in the international market.

Visitors can easily find ‘new, green - clean - safe’ products, especially for gifting during the upcoming Lunar New Year, those made by start-ups and OCOPs such as vegetarian products by Bien Phuong Trading Service and Binh Loan Company, dried shrimp and crab-based products from Con Tom Co., Ltd, grapes and apples from Chang Chang Farm, brown rice, and wind-hanging persimmon products.

Vu Kim Anh, deputy director of the Business Studies and Assistance Centre (BSA) and deputy head of the festival organising committee, said: “We also organise many programmes for visitors such as culinary and Tet dishes experience and instructing how to decorate a five-fruit tray for Tet, making essential oils and healthy products from natural herbs, and arranging rice grains into paintings.

Calligraphers will gift works that wish people luck, good health and others for Tet for hanging at home, a popular practice during the Lunar New Year, she said.

There will be a culinary programme by chefs who have won top prizes in the Golden Spoon cooking contest, professionals from hotels and restaurants and culinary masters, and artisans from traditional and ethnic villages from Thai Binh, Nghe An, Hànoi, HCM City, and Can Tho will perform.

Organised by the Business Association of Vietnamese High quality Products, BSA, Leading Business Club, the Traditional Fish Sauce Association, and the Center for Gastronomy Culture Conservation, the festival at Vinhome Central Park will go on until January 1.

Exhibition recalls air battle in Hanoi 50 years ago

An exhibition opened at the Hanoi Museum on December 27 to give visitors an insight into the fierceness of the war and the bravery of local troops and residents during the 12-day-and-night battle against US airstrikes 50 years ago.

The event, titled “Hanoi 1972 - Aspiration for Peace”, was held by the municipal Department of Culture and Sports in celebration of 50 years since the “Hanoi - Dien Bien Phu in the Air” victory (December 1972 - 2022).

On display are more than 300 photos, documents, and objects provided by the Hanoi Museum and witnesses to the fight against the US imperialists in the capital.

In a section named “Khoang lang” (Silence), the exhibits help visitors learn about local residents’ preparations, from evacuating, digging tunnels and trenches, to setting up artillery arrangements.

The “Doi mat” (Facing) section demonstrates local troops and residents’ unyielding struggle and victory against the US Air Force in the skies of Hanoi from December 18 to 29, 1972.

The last, named “Hoa binh” (Peace), spotlights the city’s recovery and rebuilding efforts, along with people’s life nowadays.

During 12 days and nights resisting the US Air Force, the troops and people of the North shot down 81 aircraft, including 34 B-52s, and caught or killed hundreds of US pilots. That forced the US administration to deescalate, invite Vietnam to return to the negotiations in Paris, and prepare for the signing of the agreement on ending the war and restoring peace in Vietnam in January 1973.

The victory, which name derives from the victory of the Dien Bien Phu Campaign in 1954 that put an end to French colonial rule over Indochina, was an epic battle by the Vietnamese people in the 20th century. It was one of the most glorious feats of arms in the country’s history of fighting foreign invaders, and forever a symbol of the Vietnamese people’s mettle and wisdom in the Ho Chi Minh era.

DRVN to focus on building and perfecting regulations related to roads

The Department for Roads of Việt Nam (DRVN), under the Ministry of Transport, should prioritise building and perfecting regulations related to roads, a senior official said.

Deputy Minister of Transport Lê Đình Thọ was speaking at the conference to review the works in 2022 and implement the tasks of the 2023 plans.

He pointed out that there are still many problems in the road industry, such as strategies, mechanisms, planning, construction investment, maintenance management and transportation.

The road industry has only two mechanisms: public passenger transport and bus station investment.

The Deputy Minister has requested the DRVN to continue to study and propose a mechanism for mobilising financial resources for long-term investment.

Therefore, we need to implement with focus, prioritise dealing with traffic accident black spots, upgrade and expand roads to ensure sustainability."

In five fields of traffic, the road industry has pioneered the application of science and technology, especially in road maintenance.

DRVN also needs to study and build a data centre because the road industry has many data types, such as driver training, transportation, and road and bridge data.

Nguyễn Xuân Cường, DRVN's Director, said that in 2022, in terms of road maintenance, the was assigned nearly VNĐ10,500 billion to maintain more than 25,000 km of national highways.

By December 15, more than VNĐ9,500 billion had been disbursed ( reaching 91 per cent of the yearly plan).

By the end of December 2022, it is expected that 100 per cent of the 2022 spending estimate will be completed.

In 2022, the DRVN detected and handled 26 black points in traffic accidents; newly-built road markings and signs repaired many damaged road works.

Project to improve capacity of Mekong Delta waterways approved

A transport infrastructure project costing VNĐ2.1 trillion (US$88.1 million) has been approved to increase the transport capacity of inland waterways in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta, according to the Ministry of Transport.

The Minister of Transport has signed a decision approving the first phase of the project, which will include building nine new bridges, upgrading and renovating one bridge and dismantling one bridge crossing the inland waterways of the city of Cần Thơ, and the provinces of Long An, Đồng Tháp, Bến Tre, Kiên Giang and Vĩnh Long.

It is expected to reduce congestion on roads and improve the freight transport capacity of inland waterways between HCM City and major ports in the delta.

The project’s total investment capital will be sourced from the State budget, including VNĐ598 billion ($25 million) for payment of land compensation and resettlement support works.

Construction of the project is expected to start in 2023 and be completed in 2025.

The ministry has assigned its Management Board for Waterway Projects to be responsible for the design appraisal and selecting contractors for the project.

As the country’s main rice bowl and the source of seafood and fruits, the delta has a river system about 28,000km long, so waterway transport plays a key role in the region.

However, the delta's inland waterway transport has not yet fully exploited its potential because of the current poor transportation infrastructure and the lack of investment in inland waterways.

Many localities and seaport companies have complained that many main canals are showing signs of serious deterioration which are considered “bottlenecks” for the transportation of agricultural products in the delta.

Therefore, it is necessary to invest more in the delta region’s seaports and logistics services, which will promote the export of agricultural products and develop the region's economy. 

Selected works highlight bond between soldiers and people

Việt Nam Fine Art Museum is showing selected artworks from the modern art collection at an exhibition in downtown Hà Nội.

The exhibition entitled Tình Quân Dân (The Bond Between the Army and the People) introduces over 50 works of art of different genres and mediums.

Most of them were created during the national resistance wars against France and the US, highlighting the bond between the army and the people.

The great support and shelter from people are vividly depicted in such works as lacquer paintings Gathering by Nguyễn Hiêm in 1954 or Night At The Rear Area by Hoàng Tích Chù in 1966.

Notably, the image of President Hồ Chí Minh, the symbol of national solidarity, was impressively portrayed in the 1969 oil on canvas painting titled Uncle Hồ Visiting the Hồ Tây Artillery Unit by Nguyễn Kao Thương.

Equally important are beautiful and emotional works created in peacetime, reflecting the artists’ memories of wartime as well as the traditional bonds between soldiers and people.

These include the woodcut Welcoming Soldiers To The Village by Cao Trọng Thiềm in 1984, the silk painting Preparing Meals in The Trường Sơn Highlands by female painter Vũ Giáng Hương in 1994, the terracotta sculpture An Afternoon in The Air Defence Battlefield by Nguyễn Xuân Thành in 1981 and so on.

The exhibition The Bond between the Army and the People not only appreciates the warm sentiment between soldiers and people and national unity, but also enhances the understanding of today's young generation of the past as well as the history of the People’s Army of Việt Nam, according to museum director Nguyễn Anh Minh.

The exhibition aims to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the victory of Hà Nội – Điện Biên Phủ in the Air and the 78th anniversary of the founding of the People's Army of Việt Nam. It runs until December 30 at 66 Nguyễn Thái Học Street. 

Mỹ Sơn heritage site restoration project: evidence of Việt Nam-India friendship

The joint project to restore the Mỹ Sơn World Cultural Heritage site in the central province of Quảng Nam is vivid evidence of the solidarity, friendship and effective cooperation between the governments and peoples of Việt Nam and India, said Indian Deputy Ambassador to Việt Nam Subhash P Gupta.

Speaking at a recent ceremony in the province's Duy Xuyên District to conclude and hand over the project, the diplomat said that the project generated good results with all objectives completed.

Once the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom, Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary is located within a hilly landscape in Duy Phú Commune of Duy Xuyên District, about 70km southwest of Đà Nẵng and 40km from Hội An ancient town in Quảng Nam.

The temple complex, comprising eight groups of 71 monuments built between the seventh and 13th centuries, was recognised as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO in 1999.

The project to restore the site focused on preserving the three tower groups of A, H and K. It was implemented over six years with the assistance of Indian experts.

Phan Hộ, director of the Management Board of the Mỹ Sơn World Cultural Heritage site, said that the restored towers have become attractive destinations for domestic and foreign tourists.

During the restoration process, 734 artefacts were discovered, including unique items of Champa sculpture, which will bolster the research of Chăm cultural history. In particular, Indian and Vietnamese experts discovered an intact sandstone altar with a set of monolithic linga-yoni. This is the largest monolithic linga-yoni set of Champa sculpture found so far, and it is expected to be recognised as a national treasure.

Vice Chairman of the Quảng Nam People’s Committee Trần Văn Tân said that the project has helped enhance the management capacity of local officials and workers.

It has also enabled visitors to the heritage site to admire the unique value of Chăm art that flourished there without interruption from the seventh to 13th century as well as the results of the cooperation between Việt Nam and India, he noted.

The project, launched in 2017, has successfully restored the site, thus completing the architectural space of Mỹ Sơn.

So far this year, the site has welcomed over 105,000 visitors, surpassing the target by 110 per cent.

Saigon Heat ready for ABL in Singapore

Saigon Heat are ready for the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) 2023, which will start on January 2 in Singapore after a three-year lull because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the 10th time the Heat have participated in the ABL, and they are one of the teams participating in the tournament the most.

Most of the players of the Heat at the regional event will be domestic players who won the Vietnamese Basketball Association (VBA) League 2022, such as Nguyễn Huỳnh Phú Vinh, Võ Kim Bản, Dư Minh An, Đinh Khải Tâm, and Khoa Trần.

In this event, the Heat registered two overseas Vietnamese players, including Dominique Tham, a rookie who has made a good impression in the jersey of Nha Trang Dolphins at the VBA this year.

Matt van Pelt, who helped the Heat successfully defend the VBA championship in the 2022 season, will lead the team.

The upcoming ABL will attract the participation of eight teams. They are Cooly Bangkok Tigers of Thailand, Hong Kong Eastern from China's Hong Kong, Louvre Indonesia of Indonesia, Macau Black Bears of China's Ma Cao, NS Matrix of Malaysia, Saigon Heat of Việt Nam, Singapore Slingers of Singapore and Zamboanga Valientes of the Philippines.

Notably, the ABL 2023 will not play in the home-away format as before. Instead, it is divided into four stages of the group stage, and each stage will take place in a different location.

Specifically, stage 1 will occur in Kallang, Singapore, on January 2 - 8, 2023; Stage 2 in Palembang, Indonesia, on January 12 - 18; Stage 3 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on February 3 - 8; and Stage 4 in HCM City on February 12 - 17.

After finishing the four stages of the group stage, the four best teams will advance to the knockout stage (semi-finals and final), which will take place in Singapore on March 3 – 5.

HCMC to take back 11,000 square meters of land in District 10

District 10 will take coercive measures to take back 11,000 square meters of land at 419 Le Hong Phong Street, according to a proposal presented by the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and the Environment.

According to the Vietnam News Agency, Nguyen Tien Dung, deputy chief inspector of the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, stated that the department had submitted the proposal to revoke the land to the HCMC People’s Committee.

On 28 May 2021, the city people’s committee issued a land revocation decision on the land leased by the Saigon Shoes Joint Stock Company, also known as the G Saigon Education Joint Stock Company, for lease expiration in 2020 without renewal permission.

As of now, the businesses failed to comply with the regulation and other units still use the land as parking lots and unlicensed coach stations at the city center.

Currently, the Land Fund Development Center under the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment is tasked with stepping up the land revocation.

Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes


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