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May 27 2013

Au Vietnam, une petite fille sur une photo...

La petite fille sur cette photo légendaire prise par Nick Ut pendant la guerre du Vietnam n'aurait pas du survivre. Kim Phuc a eu 50 ans le 6 avril 2013 : elle vit avec sa famille au Canada. Le 8 juin 1972, une attaque aérienne des forces américaines sur le village de Trang Bang a forcé Kim Phuc, deux de ses frères, son petit cousin et sa grand-mère à quitter le temple de Cao Dai où ils avaient trouvé refuge. Sur la route, tous furent touchés par une bombe au napalm. Nick Ut, un jeune photographe (...) - Visions cartographiques / Vietnam, Guerre du Vietnam, Photographie

May 24 2013

Vietnam App Helps Motorbike Taxi Passengers

Tech in Asia features Aloxeom, a web-based service that allows passengers to search for motorbike taxis in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Tech in Asia features Aloxeom, a web-based service that allows passengers to search for motorbike taxis in Hanoi, Vietnam.

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May 18 2013

Indochina Art Project

Participants of the 'Indochina Project' are asked to submit artworks that answer this question: “What does Indochina mean to you?”

Participants of the ‘Indochina Project’ are asked to submit artworks that answer this question: “What does Indochina mean to you?”


May 11 2013

Posters During Vietnam War

Hello Saigon uploads some posters during the Vietnam War era. One poster features a quote from Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh:

For the interest in ten years, [we] have to plant trees. For the interest in 100 years [we] have to plant man.

April 05 2013

Vietnamese Farmer Faces Murder Charges

The family of Vietnamese soldier-turned farmer Doan Van Vuon who is facing murder charges for defending his land against government eviction forces issued an online appeal:

These were people who came to rob us of our land, and our defensive response was only normal.

March 18 2013

Computer Science Education in Vietnam

Neil Fraser visited a Vietnamese elementary school and was quite impressed with the computer science curriculum for young students:

I had walked into that class prepared to help them in any way that I could. But instead of the school learning from my experience, I learned from them. They showed how computer science education should be done.

March 12 2013

Digitizing the National Library of Vietnam

Since 2006, the the National Library of Vietnam has partnered with the Vietnamese Nôm Preservation Foundation to digitally preserve the special collection of the library which features some 4000 ancient texts in Hán and Nôm, the former ideographic writing systems of Vietnam.

March 10 2013

The State of Torture in the World in 2013

On January 23, 2013, an excerpt from the annual report of l'ACAT-France, A World of Torture 2013, makes a fresh assessment of the state of torture in the world [fr]:

“A report called A World of Torture in 2013, assesses torture practices that continue to be alarming, from Pakistan to Italy, by way of South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Bolivia. From authoritarian regimes to democratic countries, none are exempt from criticism on the topic. In 2013, torture remains as endemic, omnipresent and multi-faceted as ever”.

February 09 2013

Vietnam: Web Filtering Data

In 2012, Herdict received over twenty thousand inaccessible reports from Vietnam, making it the country with the second-highest number of inaccessible reports, behind China.

Marianna Mao summarizes the 2012 Herdict report on Vietnam

January 12 2013

Long Prison Terms for ‘Dissident’ Vietnam Bloggers

After attending a training course in Bangkok organized by Vietnam Reform Party or Viet Tan, 14 people were arrested by Vietnam authorities for allegedly participating in “activities aimed at overthrowing the people's administration.” The arrested individuals were mostly Catholic students, bloggers, and human rights activists. Last January 9, a local court found them guilty of subversion by citing Article 79 of the penal code. Long prison sentences were handed out to the convicted individuals:

1. Ho Duc Hoa (13 years in prison, 5 years house arrest)
2. Dang Xuan Dieu (13 years in prison, 5 years house arrest)
3. Paulus Le Son (13 years in prison, 5 years house arrest)
4. Nguyen Van Duyet (6 years in prison, 4 years house arrest)
5. Nguyen Van Oai (3 years in prison, 2 years house arrest)
6. Ho Van Oanh (3 years in prison, 2 years house arrest)
7. Nguyen Dinh Cuong (4 years in prison, 3 years house arrest)
8. Nguyen Xuan Anh (5 years in prison, 3 years house arrest)
9. Thai Van Dung (5 years in prison, 3 years house arrest)
10. Tran Minh Nhat (4 years in prison, 3 years house arrest)
11. Nong Hung Anh (5 years in prison, 3 years house arrest)
12. Nguyen Dang Vinh Phuc (probation)
13. Nguyen Dang Minh Man (9 years in prison, 3 years house arrest)
14. Dang Ngoc Minh (3 years in prison, 2 years house arrest)

‘Dissident' bloggers on trial. From Facebook page of Viet Tan

Viet Tan is a United States-based opposition political group which is banned by the Vietnamese government. They issued this statement on the day of the trial:

These activists, most of whom are in their 20s and early 30s, have tirelessly advocated for social justice, engaged in citizen journalism and participated in peaceful demonstrations against Chinese territorial encroachment. By persecuting these individuals for their peaceful expression and political advocacy, the Hanoi regime has shown once again its fear of civil society.

Human rights groups immediately reacted to the news and demanded the freedom of the convicted bloggers. Shawn Crispin of the Committee to Protect Journalists described the ‘harsh sentence’ as a suppression of independent reporting:

These harsh sentences demonstrate the outrageous lengths that Vietnamese authorities are willing to go to suppress independent reporting. We call on the authorities to reverse these convictions and release all journalists currently held behind bars on spurious national security-related charges.

Brad Adams of Human Right Watch suggests that Vietnam should honor the activists and not imprison them:

The conviction of yet more peaceful activists is another example of a government that is increasingly afraid of the opinions of its own people. Instead of imprisoning critics, the Vietnamese government should be honoring them for their efforts to address the myriad problems facing the country that the government itself has also identified.

Whatever the reason, the government appears despotic to its own people and the world when it says that someone who tries to uphold the rights of others is a threat to the state.

Friends and relatives of ‘dissident' bloggers outside the courthouse. Photo from Viet Tan

Rupert Colville of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urges a review of Vietnam’s Criminal Code:

We urge the Government of Vietnam to review its use of the Criminal Code to imprison people who are critical of its policies, and to review all such cases violating freedom of expression and association in the country

Amnesty International thinks the charges against the activists are baseless:

To misconstrue the activities of the activists as trying to overthrow the government is baseless – they have been imprisoned only for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

Meanwhile, blogger Nguyen Hoang Vi narrates how she was sexually harassed by police authorities while covering the trial of the imprisoned bloggers last December 28:

Today I'm very happy for claiming two victories against you. The first is despite the fact that you did mobilize a lot of people and efforts to stop me from leaving the house. But you failed, I did arrive at the court house where I wanted to go. The second, you used your vile and dirty acts wanting to hurt my soul to instill fear in me, causing me to give up my cause. But I want to let you know that while it is true that violence and your vile acts may cause people to surrender before you, but that only works for the weak. With people like me those acts only strengthen my spirit and my determination. You should convey my words to those who ordered you to carry out these vile acts. And don’t forget to add that your skills are poor and inferior to a woman like me that you had to rely on those dirty tricks.

Why is Vietnam an S-Shaped Country?

An animation video made by Duong ToDao about the history of Vietnam.


January 06 2013

Vietnam Tech News Websites Need to Cover Local Updates

It’s not easy for the layman to get news about new technology companies, new products, or cutting edge trends in Vietnam… Everybody knows about the latest iPhone, nobody knows about Setech Viet.

Anh-Minh Do explains why most Vietnamese tech news websites provide more coverage to global technology news updates.

December 23 2012

Vietnam's Dipping Sauces

Vietnam is a wonderful world of sauces… At Hanoi's bia hơi establishments, for every four or five dishes ordered there will be a corresponding number of sauces coming to table, too.

Mark Lowerson or @stickyinhanoi introduces Vietnam's popular dipping sauces.

December 05 2012

Activists Reject Southeast Asia’s Human Rights Declaration

More than 50 human rights groups in Southeast Asia issued a statement criticizing the recent unveiling of a Human Rights Declaration drafted by the 10-member nation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The signing of the joint declaration was done during the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh last month. The initiative to establish the region’s first joint declaration on human rights was discussed in Laos in 2010 but key stakeholders and other human rights advocates complained that they were not consulted.

When the declaration was made public this month, it was immediately dismissed by regional human rights organizations for containing provisions that allegedly distort universal standards on human rights protection. In particular, they question the wording of the declaration’s general principles which balance rights with duties and responsibilities imposed by member countries.

Hundreds join a protest action in Phnom Penh to assert the human rights agenda during the 21st ASEAN Summit. Photo by Erika Pineros, Copyright @Demotix (11/16/2012)

The controversial provision reads this way:

…the realisation of human rights must be considered in the regional and national context bearing in mind different political, economic, legal, social, cultural, historical and religious backgrounds.

The exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of others, and to meet the just requirements of national security, public order, public health, public safety, public morality, as well as the general welfare of the peoples in a democratic society.

Indeed, several fundamental rights were identified in the declaration like the right to vote, the right to participate in government, and the right to form and join trade unions, but these supposedly universal rights are apparently applicable only if they conform to existing national laws and policies.

Prachatai published the statement of civil society groups which criticized the declaration:

The document is a declaration of government powers disguised as a declaration of human rights.

It is deplorable that the governments of ASEAN have insisted on making a Declaration that implies that their people are less deserving of human rights than the people of Europe, Africa or the Americas. The people of ASEAN should never accept a lower level of protection of their human rights than the rest of the world.

The Declaration fails to include several key basic rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to freedom of association and the right to be free from enforced disappearance.

It is highly regrettable that governments in the ASEAN who are more democratic and open to human rights succumbed to the pressure of human rights-hostile governments into adopting a deeply flawed instrument.

This Declaration is not worthy of its name. We therefore reject it. We will not use it in our work as groups engaged in the protection of human rights in the region. We will not invoke it in addressing ASEAN or ASEAN member states, except to condemn it as an anti-human rights instrument.

According to Maruah, a human rights group in Singapore, the declaration subverts the concept of human rights:

This is objectionable and self-defeating…This provision in the (declaration) is prohibitive and subverts the concept of human rights. We are very concerned with this inclusion of ‘public morality’ as it is subjective and can be interpreted in such a manner that affects people, particularly women from fulfilling their rights. This provision is objectionable, as subjectivities in the interpretation of morality will adversely increase the vulnerability of certain communities…instead of embracing universality, it has marginalised certain communities by exclusions.

Karapatan, a human rights network in the Philippines, is worried that the declaration might be used as a ‘blueprint for further rights violations’:

These are not just mere loopholes of the declaration which may be suited to the State parties’ interests, but we fear these provisions will be used to justify the States’ continuing violations of human rights in the region. The declaration will not only be deemed meaningless in the promotion, protection and realization of human rights, it may likewise be used as a blueprint for further rights violations

The Committee to Protect Journalists notes that the document ‘lacks a corresponding mechanism for enforcement.’

November 30 2012

South China Sea or Austronesian Sea?

Le Minh Khai thinks that “Austronesian Sea” or “Nusantao Sea” are more appropriate names for the South China Sea referring to Austronesian peoples who navigated the territory in the past. There are maritime disputes in the area involving China and several Southeast Asian countries. The Philippine government has recently renamed it as West Philippine Sea.

November 20 2012

Global Support for Jailed Vietnamese Bloggers


Nguyen Hoang Vi, a Vietnamese blogger who was imprisoned for writing critical commentaries about the government


October 18 2012

Vietnam: Cost of Rescuing Trafficked Children

It's definitely worth stopping to count the cost of rescuing trafficked girls and boys. When we do so, we see that the cost of NOT rescuing them is even higher.

Blue Dragon explains the value of helping trafficked children in Vietnam.

Vietnam: Impact of Agent Orange

Aaron Joel Santos uploads photos which show the negative legacy of the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

October 04 2012

Etre étudiant au Vietnam

Face a une crise qui n'a pas épargné le Vietnam, l'espoir d'ascension sociale passe plus que jamais par une meilleure instruction, voire par l'accès à l'enseignement supérieur. / Vietnam, Finance, Fonction publique, Jeunes, Protection sociale, Service public - (...) / Vietnam, Finance, Fonction publique, Jeunes, Protection sociale, Service public - 2012/04
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