Author Archives: Viet Nam Right Now

Vietnam looks to Japan for help against China

The General-Secretary of Vietnam’s Communist Party, Nguyen Phu Trong, is visiting Japan this week – with security and defence concerns high on the agenda. Vietnam and Japan are the two Asian countries that feel most threatened by the growing power…

Cambodia to send back Montagnard refugees

Cambodia says some 200 Montagnards, who fled to the country claiming persecution in Vietnam, must return home within three months or face forced repatriation. 13 of the Montagnards  – ethnic minorities from the Central Highlands of Vietnam – have been…

Divisions in leadership could delay party congress

The Communist Party may delay its upcoming national party congress because of divisions over key issues according to a prominent foreign observer of Vietnamese politics. “There are signs that consensus has not been reached on a number of issues including…

Lack of regulation blamed for alarming surge in cancer rate

Cancer patient Mrs Nguyen Thi Nhan has been living in a narrow and dingy corridor at the Oncology Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City for the last four years. The 60-year-old gets up at 4 o’clock every morning to help…

Failure to release political prisoners condemned

A US congressman has written to President Truong Tan Sang to express “extreme disappointment” that no political prisoners were included in a mass amnesty granted to mark National Day on September 2. Some 18,000 convicts were released, the second largest…

Veteran activist detained at airport

A prominent government critic, Dr Nguyen Quang A, was detained by police for 15 hours at Hanoi airport on Tuesday  September 1 after he arrived back from a foreign trip. He said the police wanted to find out where he…

No political prisoners freed in amnesty

Vietnam will release no political prisoners as part of this year’s amnesty to mark  independence day on September 2. 18,298 prisoners are to be freed under the amnesty decreed by the president – the second largest ever, according to government…

Opposition to costly Ho Chi Minh statues

Opposition is growing to the government’s recently announced plan to erect  lavish statues across Vietnam to the former president, Ho Chi Minh. In the forefront of the criticism are some 140 intellectuals, religious figures and activists from civil society groups….

Fear of “currency war” sparks devaluation of dong

Vietnam’s devaluation of its currency this week is being seen as an attempt to keep weakening exports competitive in the light of the nearly two per cent devaluation by China on August 11. Despite much heated talk of currency wars…