Category: Opinions

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…

Departing diplomat sees “very positive developments”

Vietnamese human rights and democracy activists have paid an emotional farewell to a Swedish diplomat who has done much to support their cause in recent years. Elenore Kanter, the Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission at the Swedish Embassy, said…

Bloggers react with joy, alarm and anger to White House meeting

The sight of the General-Secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party being greeted in the Oval Office has been met with mixed emotions by Vietnamese at home and those resident in the United States. Bloggers expressed a wide range of sentiments…

Trong walks tightrope in United States

Four decades after the fall of Saigon the warm welcome afforded a Vietnamese Communist Party leader in the Oval Office appears to signal a new phase in relations between the two former enemies. The presence of Nguyen Phu Trong in…

Dissident voices: Dr Nguyen Quang A

Dr Nguyen Quang A laughs as he explains the cat and mouse games he’s obliged to play with the police and Communist party henchmen. As a prominent intellectual and dissident, he and a network of fellow writers face frequent warnings…

Military official sees same-sex marriage as American plot

A top defence and intelligence specialist in the Vietnamese military has alleged that the US ruling on same-sex marriage is part of a political plot aimed principally at Russia. In an article carried by state media, Colonel Le The Mau…

SEAPA on media freedom in Vietnam: Neither side gives way

The Southeast Asian Press Alliance has just released their annual report on media freedom in regional countries, in which the section of Vietnam is still marked with arrests, assaults, site attacks, even cyber wars on Facebook.  Freedom of expression remains…

Criminal justice in Vietnam: Compassionate communists

The Economist – The party allows a smidgen of penal reform.  ONE ordinary farmer, Nguyen Thanh Chan, is now a celebrity in Vietnam. In 2004 he was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a woman in Nghia Trung,…