Category: Opinions

Parents squeezed by health insurance hike

Parents have reacted with alarm and anger to a recent sharp rise in mandatory insurance premiums for school children. Some say the increase, from 3% to 4.5% of the minimum wage (1,150,000 dong or US$52) puts too heavy a burden…

Released blogger to continue fight from California

The independent blogger, Ta Phong Tan,  believes her release from prison at the weekend after serving three years of a ten year sentence was down to foreign pressure on the Vietnamese government. Speaking to Vietnam Right Now from exile in…

Return of farmer who battled nature – and the government

Doan Van Vuon is a hero to farmers across Vietnam for the desperate resistance he put up when the police came to evict him from his land. He and his family caused a national sensation in 2012 when they fought…

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…

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…

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…

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…