Category: Opinions

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…

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…