Author Archives: Viet Nam Right Now

Once loyal – defiant farmers question party leadership

In her late teens Mrs Hao used to mop floors for the French Foreign Legion and hope for a Communist victory. Now, at the age of 80, she comes to Hanoi from her village each week to protest outside government…

Battered and bruised, Green campaigners vow to fight on

Miss Thao might appear at first sight the perfect poster child for the Communist Party of Vietnam. From a hardscrabble upbringing in an ethnic minority village near the Chinese border, she has just qualified as a doctor at Hanoi’s most…

Kerry calls for more freedom in Vietnam

The American Secretary of State, John Kerry,  has said the United States will continue to defend basic freedoms despite improving relations with the Communist leadership in Vietnam. Speaking before talks in Hanoi with top leaders Mr Kerry said no-one should…

Dissident Voices: Nguyen Van Dai retains his optimism

Human rights defender, Nguyen Van Dai, does not lie awake at night wondering if Big Brother is watching him. He knows he is. The police recently installed two video cameras across the street from his apartment – one trained on…

Uncle Ho complex criticised

The poor rural province of Son La in the mountainous northwest of Vietnam needs much from the central government. But should the first priority be to lavish  tens of millions of dollars on political monuments ? Not according to many…

Cameron stresses trade not rights in Hanoi

The British prime minister, David Cameron, is reported to have urged Vietnamese leaders to embrace political change during his two day visit to the country ending on Thursday. But the focus of his talks with the country’s three most senior…

Taboo on politics fuels conspiracy theories

And so it seems, rumours of the general’s death were much exaggerated. After weeks of frantic speculation and outlandish theories on social media, the Defence Minister Phung Quang Thanh, has appeared in public. In full uniform and flanked by other…

Blogger “beaten and arrested” at Nha Trang vigil

The prominent blogger Me Nam, or “Mother Mushroom”, has accused the police of using violence to break up an attempt by activists to campaign for the freedom of political prisoners. She said police attacked her and other activists as they…

Joyous return for defiant farmer

A woman sentenced to fifteen months in prison in one of Vietnam’s most bitterly contested land disputes has been released to a tumultuous welcome after completing her sentence. Relatives, neighbours and other farmers came out in force to greet Can…

Tree campaigners in “partial victory”

Activists campaigning to save Hanoi’s famous old trees from the government axe are claiming victory – up to a point – following an admission of mistakes by the city government. A statement on July 21 from the Hanoi People’s Committee…