‘Napalm Girl’ Photographer Draws Viet Blog Ire

‘Napalm Girl’ Photographer Draws Viet Blog IreA spasm of stories in the world media heralded April 30, 2015, the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. In Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon, a choreographed military parade and patriotic speeches marked the event. Front and center among the visiting dignitaries were two dozen survivors of the hundreds of…

Violence Against Viet Protesters Extends to the Streets

Violence Against Viet Protesters Extends to the StreetsDespite warnings that the country’s stance on civil rights could harm its international standing in connection with a major trade pact, Vietnam’s security forces continue to attack dissidents, staging 31 physical attacks in 2014 and another 17 this year, according to a dissident group based in Hanoi. The latest occurred on May 19 – the…

Vietnam’s 40 Years of Peace and Dubious Prosperity

Vietnam’s 40 Years of Peace and Dubious ProsperityIt is over now and the parades through the city are finished, but last week marked the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War and the Fall / Liberation of Saigon. In the lead-up there were all sorts of reminiscences over the war and long profile pieces on Vietnam today and how it…

Vietnam Passes Sham UN Rights Protection

Vietnam Passes Sham UN Rights ProtectionVietnam's National Assembly has ratified the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which was hailed by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Bangkok as "an important step towards ensuring the prevention and prohibition of torture." But no matter how many international treaties the regime has signed, human rights conditions in the…

Vietnam’s Cable Car Mania

Vietnam’s Cable Car ManiaAt least a couple of times a year, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism  is torn apart in the local press, along with the agency’s and often-terribly strange ideas for tourism promotion.  Most recently has been a cable car in a cave. Such a venture does, superficially at least, sound rather charming. The only problem…

Vietnam’s Higher Education System Overload

Vietnam’s Higher Education System OverloadFor Vietnamese youth, a university degree is the entry ticket to the middle class and a promise, often unfulfilled, of an urban professional job. Vietnam’s enrollment in higher education has grown from 162,000 in 1992 to more than 2 million last year, some 25 percent of the nation’s college-age population. Business, finance and foreign trade degrees…

Police Brutality in Vietnam

Police Brutality in VietnamJust at an inconvenient time when Vietnam is seeking a pact with the United States for the supply of weapons, an inconvenient and exhaustive report on police brutality and “public insecurity” in Vietnam released by the New York-based Human Rights Watch has brought to light "extensive" abuses in the judiciary system.  The report alleges at…

Media Censorship in Vietnam

Media Censorship in VietnamAlthough The Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications says media agencies are steadily increasing, the hidden fact is that all of these media outlets are controlled by the government in various forms. But they are fighting a losing battle against hundreds of people who are using social media to defy authority. Vietnam Right Now, just…

Breaking the ‘Silos’ of Drug Use

Breaking the ‘Silos’ of Drug UseVietnam has made remarkable progress over the last decade in not only making harm reduction and HIV services available and accessible for people who use drugs but also reforming laws for supportive health policies on the ground. Khuat Thi Hai Oanh who leads Vietnam’s Center for Supportive Community Development Initiatives, was a plenary speaker at…

Vietnam War’s Tragic Legacy

Vietnam War’s Tragic LegacyA demining team carefully removed a pile of rusty explosives – each one still able to kill or maim – from a quiet ploughed field in Quang Tri Province where fierce fighting once raged in the Vietnam War. Shortly after the lethal mortars and grenade launcher rounds were taken away, an anxious farmer in her…
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