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Posts Tagged ‘progress’

Vietnam makes much progress in preventing HIV infections

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 10:01 am

The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Regional Director Asia Pacific Steve Kraus delivered a message at a press conference about Vietnam’s success in preventing HIV/AIDS on the World AIDS Day (December 1).

HIV was one of the deadly diseases and there was no effective medication for treating it twenty years ago. However, the world has witnessed great progress in preventing the disease in the Southeast Asian nation.

The rate of HIV infections has not changed and fewer people died of the disease. More important, Vietnam has raised prevention level and the national prevention program has had positive changes which resulted in the low number of infected people in community especially among high risk group including sex worker, as men who have sex with men and injecting drug users.

AIDS-related stigma and discrimination including prejudice, negative attitudes, abuse and maltreatment directed at people living with HIV and AIDS exist worldwide, although they manifest themselves differently across countries, communities, religious groups and individuals. Any nation can resolve the problem, they can reduce the rate of HIV infections and vice versa.

The government should not force or impose any punishments on people of high risk group but enhance treatment and good behaviors to them. In addition, HIV infected people have right to access to best healthcare services.

As poor HIV patients hardly buy antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, which maximally suppress the HIV virus and stop the progression of HIV disease, UNAIDS will help to expand treatment services and clinics in the next time. furthermore, UNAIDS will ask pharmaceutical companies to decrease the price of the medication.

Vietnam has young population and limited budget, it should therefore apply prevention measures which proved to be most effective. The government should publicize information and educate young people of the disease and reproductive health.

Source: SGGP

US looking for progress on yuan by January

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2010 at 9:23 am

Canada encouraged by Afghanistan’s progress: minister

In Uncategorized on July 23, 2010 at 11:17 am

HANOI, July 23, 2010 (AFP) – Canada is encouraged by Afghanistan’s progress towards self-reliance despite criticisms that Western nations are too eager to pull their forces from an unpopular war, Ottawa’s foreign minister says.

“I’ve just gotten back from Kabul where, indeed, I am encouraged by the way the transition is going,” Lawrence Cannon told AFP in an interview on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), Asia’s biggest security dialogue.

In a picture taken on July 22, 2010 Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon is pictured during an interview with AFP. AFP photo

Under a motion passed by Canadian legislators, Canada’s more than 2,800 troops in Afghanistan are scheduled to return home next year.

Other Western nations are also planning to withdraw from the war against the Islamist Taliban, sparking criticism that Afghanistan will not have time to properly build its own army and police.

A conference in Kabul on Tuesday drew representatives from around 80 countries and organisations which endorsed a proposal by President Hamid Karzai that Afghan forces take over responsibility for national security by 2014.

“The benchmarks have been put out there, so that once this transition period is finished Afghanistan will have the capability to provide for its own protection and security”, Cannon said.

The conference also endorsed the Afghan government’s plan to forge peace to end nine years of war, and to take greater control of aid projects.

The minister said Canada helped bring Afghanistan and its neighbour Pakistan together for dialogue aimed at improving their border management on issues including drug trafficking.

Along with Canada and the US, Pakistan is a member of the ARF whose ministers held talks in Vietnam on Friday.

Canada has also played a significant role in an initiative trying to improve infrastructure on the impoverished border with Pakistan, Cannon added.

“Those are all things that reassure me”, he said.

The death of a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan on Tuesday brought to 151 the number of Canadians killed there since Ottawa deployed troops to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in 2002.

Cannon said Canadian legislators have set a firm deadline for the pullout of Canadian soldiers, who operate in volatile Kandahar province.

“Post-2011 we will be continuing with development and aid as well as our diplomatic relations,” he said.

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday said his country could start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan next year. Britain has the second-largest troop contingent after the United States.

US President Barack Obama has set a deadline of July 2011 as the start of a gradual drawdown of American troops, while Dutch soldiers are set to start leaving next month.

Cannon said the ISAF withdrawal and Afghan security takeover will be done “hamlet by hamlet, city by city, town by town”, and backed by changes in the government structure.

Source: SGGP

Obama sees Mideast ‘progress’ possible this year

In Uncategorized on June 10, 2010 at 10:53 am

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama Wednesday pledged unwavering commitment to forging significant progress in the Middle East this year, despite the furor whipped up by Israel’s raid on a Gaza aid flotilla.

Welcoming Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to the White House, Obama promised the “full weight” of US diplomacy on the latest crisis and to coax Israelis and Palestinians out of a “dead end” and into direct peace talks.

US President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC. AFP photo

He also unveiled 400 million dollars of US aid for Gaza and the West Bank for housing, education and infrastructure, calling the humanitarian situation “unsustainable,” and warned a Palestinian state was the only long-term solution.

The White House talks came with the Arab world still livid about the Israeli raid on the aid flotilla on May 31, which killed nine activists, and amid frantic US efforts to stop the uproar derailing peace efforts.

“I believe that potentially we can make some significant progress before the end of the year,” Obama said, telling Abbas in the Oval Office he remained deeply committed to spending personal political capital in the Middle East.

The US leader said that the 400-million-dollar aid package was meant to reaffirm US commitment to improving the “day-to-day lives of Palestinians.”

He said it may be possible to take the “tragedy” over the Gaza aid convoy and turn it “into an opportunity to create a situation where lives in Gaza are actually, directly improved.”

Abbas said that the aid package was “positive.”

But he told Obama in front of reporters that he needed to see progress in the current US-mediated “proximity” talks with Israel, before proceeding to direct discussions.

“We are working in order to make progress. President Obama is working for that, to see progress,” Abbas said.

As Obama seeks to inject new momentum into peace moves, both the White House and the Israeli government said they were trying to finalize arrangements for a visit to Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this month.

The Israeli leader had been due here last week, to smooth over tensions which flared during his last visit, but had to cancel because of the Gaza crisis.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat, who was in the Oval Office meeting, meanwhile told AFP that US envoy George Mitchell would go back to the Middle East next week for more proximity talks.

Erakat said Abbas had come to the United States with the message that progress was urgently needed.

“Time is of the essence, that’s his message, we need to see genuine movement in the direction of a two-state solution and ending the occupation,” he said.

The US leader also called on Israel to live up to UN Security Council conditions on probing the flotilla raid, which laid out the need for “credible, international involvement.”

“I’ve said to the Israelis directly … it is in Israel’s interest to make sure that everybody knows exactly how this happened so that we don’t see these kinds of events occurring again,” Obama said.

But Israel has rejected any international inquiry into the affair, amid calls for an easing of the three-year blockade of Gaza.

Earlier, Netanyahu said he was in talks with “several members of the international community” but said a probe should not focus on the role of Israeli soldiers in the raid.

Obama, while saying Israel had a right to make sure arms were not infiltrated into Gaza, also said that it should be possible to work out some kind of framework to avoid a repeat of the flotilla raid.

“It seems to us that there should be ways of focusing narrowly on arms shipments, rather than focusing in a blanket way on stopping everything and then, in a piecemeal way, allowing things into Gaza,” he said.

The White House said aid package for Palestinians would help “increase access to clean drinking water, create jobs, build schools, expand the availability of affordable housing, and address critical health and infrastructure needs.”

The money will be largely be funneled through the US Agency for International Development and the United Nations Relief Works Agency, which deals with Palestinian refugees.

The United States avoids dealing with Gaza’s ruling Hamas, which it deems a terrorist organization, and has worked to shore up the West Bank government of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Source: SGGP

Obama vows help as BP sees oil spill progress

In Uncategorized on June 5, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Louisiana, June 5, 2010 (AFP) – US President Barack Obama promised Saturday to use “every resource” to help oil spill-stricken Gulf of Mexico residents recover from the worst environmental disaster in US history.

The pledge came as energy giant BP offered the first indications that a cap placed over a ruptured undersea well would finally bring the catastrophe under control, more than six weeks after the leak started.

AFP/Getty Images – A laughing gull coated in heavy oil wallows in the surf on East Grand Terre Island, Louisiana.

“So we will continue to leverage every resource at our disposal to protect coastlines, to clean up the oil, to hold BP and other companies accountable for damages,” Obama said in his weekly radio address.

In remarks broadcast from Grand Isle, a Louisiana coastal community bearing the brunt of the spill, he also promised to do all he could to “to begin to restore the bounty and beauty of this region — and to aid the hardworking people of the Gulf as they rebuild their businesses and communities.”

An estimated 20 million gallons of crude has poured into the Gulf since an April 20 explosion tore through the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig, 50 miles (80 kilometers) off Louisiana.

Eleven workers were killed in the blast, and Obama, who toured the disaster area Friday, will meet their families in a White House ceremony next week.

The president said the spill had “upended whole communities,” and local residents were angry not just about the money they had lost, but because of “the wrenching recognition that this time their lives may never be the same.”

The scale of the disaster has forced the president to postpone a trip to Australia and Indonesia for the second time.

Shocking images of pelicans and seabirds writhing in oil along the Louisiana coast broadcast on US television networks and splashed on the front pages of newspapers underscored the rising environmental costs.

Spreading in oily ribbons, the slick is now threatening Alabama, Mississippi and Florida after contaminating more than 125 miles (200 kilometers) of Louisiana coastline.

But Obama said the cap that BP placed over the well late Thursday appeared to be “making progress” in trying to pump oil to the surface.

BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles said the cap — an upside-down, funnel-shaped container — would capture the “vast majority” of the oil.

The official in charge of the US government response to the spill, Admiral Thad Allen, said the cap was collecting about 1,000 barrels a day of oil.

But that is far short of the 12,000 to 19,000 barrels a day that have been spewing into the sea and a live video feed showed clouds of oil still gushing from the pipe.

Obama acknowledged that “regardless of the outcome of this attempt, there will still continue to be some spillage until the relief wells are completed.”

He noted that his administration had ordered BP to pay economic injury claims and sent the company a preliminary bill for 69 million dollars to pay back some of the costs of the clean-up.

And he promised to do everything necessary to prevent such environmental disasters from happening again, adding: “If laws are inadequate – laws will be changed.”

US authorities reopened a section of more than 16,000 square miles (41,000 square kilometers) of previously closed fishing area off the Florida coast, closed on June 2 as a precaution.

At the same time, BP chief executive Tony Hayward announced the formation of a team to work with locals and officials in the aftermath of the cleanup, led by one of the oil giant’s managing directors, Bob Dudley, a US citizen.

The appointment is a sign that the cleanup and looming legal battles will likely last for years. The CEO has faced growing anger about a series of blunders.

BP said it will be sending a second advance payment during June to individuals and businesses along the Gulf Coast to compensate for the loss of income, bringing its total to 84 million dollars.

Source: SGGP

British parties report ‘progress’ in govt talks

In Uncategorized on May 10, 2010 at 12:49 pm

The front door of 10 Downing Street in London. AFP photo

LONDON (AFP) – Britain’s main opposition parties voiced hope Monday they could soon strike a deal on forming a new government to break a four-day post-election deadlock.

Negotiating teams from David Cameron’s centre-right Conservatives and Nick Clegg’s centrist Liberal Democrats held an hour-and-a-half of talks before coming out to consult with their leaders.

William Hague, one of the four Conservative negotiators, said there had been “further progress” in the talks. “The negotiating teams are working really well together.”

Lib Dem negotiator Danny Alexander echoed these comments, saying “further progress has been made” and that he was going to report to Clegg and fellow lawmakers.

Earlier, Clegg told reporters that politicians were “working flat out, around the clock” to secure a deal, promising an announcement “as soon as is possible.”

If the two parties do strike a deal, it would likely pave the way for Cameron to become prime minister, taking over from Gordon Brown who is still in office despite his Labour party falling to second in Thursday’s polls.

Brown’s centre-left Labour has been putting pressure on the two opposition parties to announce an accord or admit failure in the hope that the Lib Dems could still do a deal with his party.

Finance Minister Alistair Darling urged the Conservatives and Lib Dems to strike an accord within hours to reassure financial markets and the country as a whole.

“I don’t think it will do any good to let this process drag on,” he told BBC radio. “I hope by the end of today they can decide whether they can do a deal or not.”

Fears that London’s stocks would be hit by the political uncertainty Monday proved unfounded as it surged over five percent, largely on the European Union agreement for a huge rescue deal for eurozone countries.

Whether or not the Conservatives and Lib Dems agree a deal, Brown — who remains prime minister due to a constitutional quirk — is expected to have to resign within days.

Even if there is no Tory/Lib Dem deal which would force him out of office, there are suggestions he could stand aside to make any subsequent talks on a deal between Labour and the Lib Dems easier.

Thursday’s general election delivered a hung parliament — where no one party has overall control — for the first time since 1974.

The Conservatives won the most seats and pushed the ruling Labour party into second.

But under Britain’s first-past-the-post voting system, it was not enough to for them to govern alone and they are trying to win the extra support needed to rule by working with the Lib Dems, who came third.

Besides the main power-sharing talks, a series of other meetings involving the parties were scheduled throughout the day.

Cameron met Clegg Sunday for the second time in 24 hours, a further sign the two sides could be inching towards a deal, and the pair spoke again by telephone Monday.

Brown also met Clegg at the weekend, in a meeting described by sources as “amicable” — and on Monday Sky News television reported that they had met for a second time.

One key potential stumbling block the Tories and Lib Dems face is reaching agreement on reforming the voting system. This is one of the Lib Dems’ key policies but is opposed by the Conservatives.

Clegg has hinted he may compromise on electoral reform but the goal is cherished by many Lib Dem activists.

Any alliance involving the Lib Dems which threatens their “independence of political action” has to be approved by party lawmakers, the ruling executive and potentially the full membership in a complex system known as the “triple lock”.

If a deal cannot be done, Cameron could try to rule as leader of a minority Conservative government, relying on ad hoc support from smaller parties.

Source: SGGP

Hoi An struggling to balance progress, preservation

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2010 at 5:32 am

Over the past two decades, Quang Nam Province leaders and experts have sought measures to preserve the ancient town of Hoi An while continuing to draw visitors. But so far, none of the proposed solutions have proved effective in saving the town from continual dilapidation.

Disagreement over how to preserve the ancient town of Hoi An while developing eco-tourism in the area has left authorities at a loss (Photo: SGGP)

Since Hoi An was recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage in 1999, it has become a well-know tourist destination in Vietnam’s central region and receives tens of thousands of domestic and foreign visitors annually.

During peak times, the ancient city welcomes over 3,200 tourists a day, 80 percent of which are foreigners.

Hoi An is thus a great financial boost to Quang Nam Province, contributing to total turnover of VND28 billion (US$1.5 million) annually from tourism to the area.

But with a focus on attracting more profits rapidly, many locals have rushed to destroy ancient, culturally valuable homes to create more space to carry out business.

Rather than investing in restoring vulnerable architecture and heritage, many businesses have bought several old homes located close together and simply torn down their walls to create one large area from which to conduct business.

Experts say that with this approach, Hoi An is in danger of one day losing its unique cultural value all together.

Unsatisfied residents

Nineteen ancient, privately owned houses in need of restoration in Hoi An have so far been renovated, with town authorities subsidizing VND800 million ($42,000) for each one.

However, the total cost of refurbishing each house is estimated at around VND1 billion ($52,000), meaning residents must put up the remaining money themselves.

For those whose homes are located in busy tourist areas, the restoration costs are considered worth it as families can profit from home-run businesses.

Yet for 13 other households whose culturally significant homes need renovations but are not located in high-traffic areas, the restoration costs are simply not worthwhile.

Hence, even though local officials have offered to pay up to 75 percent of refurbishment costs, the residents have refused, saying that even with the subsidies they would be left at a financial loss.

Hoi An town thus continues to seek solutions to sustainable development while keeping its original charm and character intact.

Le Van Giang, chairman of the Hoi An Town People’s Committee, said the ancient town should keep striving to develop into an environmentally friendly destination rich in cultural heritage.

Professor Hoang Dao Kinh, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Association of Architects, agreed, saying Hoi An should be built into a tourist-friendly eco-city.

Source: SGGP

EU-Russia summit sees climate progress, rights row

In World on November 19, 2009 at 9:55 am

EU criticism of Russia’s rights record and fears Moscow will delay its WTO entry clouded EU-Russia talks Wednesday, but the two sides aligned on climate issues ahead of a key summit in December.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L) poses in front of Russian, EU and Swedish flags with EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (C) and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt during the summit between the European Union and Russia in Stockholm. (AFP Photo)

Russia agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 to 25 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels, raising its target from 15 percent and aligning itself with the EU’s objectives, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said.

“With the Copenhagen conference (on climate issues) starting in just over two weeks, we have made very important progress today,” he said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev did not comment on the new emissions target, but a source in the Russian delegation quoted by Russian news agency Interfax confirmed Medvedev had revealed the proposal during the talks in Stockholm.

He hopes to meet the target by improving Russian factories’ energy efficiency by 40 percent, the source said.

The EU has vowed to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020, raising the target to 30 percent in the event of an international agreement on the issue.

Moscow’s tougher climate stance also ups the pressure on other heavily polluting industrialised and emerging countries, such as the United States, China and India.

But the summit, hosted by Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt whose country holds the EU presidency, also laid bare discord between the two sides as Reinfeldt took a swipe at Russia over its rights record.

“We exchanged views on human rights, the rule of law and democracy in Russia, especially the situation for human rights defenders in Russia,” he said. “This is an increasing cause for concern.”

Medvedev did not respond directly to the criticism but said that on the Caucasus, “we have some differences here that should be acknowledged,” notably on the situation in Georgia and the secession of its two pro-Russian republics, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

“But we don’t have to dramatise the situation, on the contrary we should discuss it,” he said, reiterating his view that Tbilisi’s actions during the 2008 war with Georgia over South Ossetia were an “aggression.”

Rights groups have accused Russian forces of committing abuses during the Georgia war, while also saying that many killings of Russian journalists and activists go unsolved.

Earlier Wednesday, rights groups including Memorial in Russia and Human Rights Watch urged the EU presidency to pressure Moscow.

In a statement, they accused Russian authorities of neglecting to investigate recent killings and kidnappings in the Caucasus.

Friction was also apparent on the issue of Russia’s membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Moscow has said it plans to form a customs union with Kazakhstan and Belarus and tie its WTO membership application to that of the two other countries.

But the EU, which would like to see Moscow join as soon as possible to put it on a trade par with Western countries, fears that such a move would delay its entry.

“We fully understand their interest in having a customs union,” Barroso said, but Europe was “concerned” that such a union would lead to tariffs that could be “detrimental” to EU member states.

“Our concern is that (the customs union should) not delay the WTO accession,” he added.

Medvedev rejected the EU fears, saying it mattered little to Russia whether it joined the WTO as a bloc or as individual countries in coordination.

“For us the most important thing is that we join quickly,” he said.

Russia and the EU also hailed an energy early warning agreement signed on Monday in Moscow aimed at averting a sudden disruption of gas supplies.

Europe well prepared for any winter gas crisis: experts

Russia supplies a quarter of the gas consumed in the European Union, with most of it transiting Ukraine, which regularly has rows with Moscow over bills.

European nations saw gas shortages last winter during one such payments row.

An expert group said Wednesday that EU countries are well prepared to handle such shortages this year.

The EU gas coordination group — including national and industry experts as well as consumers’ representatives — made the reassuring announcement after studying gas consumption and storage levels throughout Europe.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Japan says no progress on territorial row with Russia

In World on November 15, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama (L) shakes hands with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) prior to their talks during the APEC Summit in Singapore on November 15 (AFP photo)

SINGAPORE, Nov 15, 2009 (AFP) – Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama indicated he made little headway in talks Sunday with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on a decades-old territorial row.

The two nations have yet to sign a peace treaty ending World War II because of the dispute over a chain of Pacific islands seized by Soviet troops in 1945, known as the South Kurils by Russia and the Northern Territories by Japan.

“I told President Medvedev that the Japanese people cannot understand the proposal of returning two islands (out of four), and that we are expecting that (Russia) would offer a proposal beyond that,” Hatoyama told reporters.

The Japanese leader said Medvedev told him it was meaningless to be stuck in Cold War-era thinking.

“This time our discussion ended here,” Hatoyama said. “There was no concrete proposal. He showed only a way of thinking.”

“I believe that this issue has to be resolved at the leaders’ level,” he added. “President Medvedev and I agreed that we could make telephone calls at any time to discuss the issue.”

Medvedev had said at the start of the meeting, held on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit in Singapore, that he hoped to discuss a range of issues including “the most difficult ones that we inherited.”

In October, Japanese Land Minister Seiji Maehara became the first cabinet minister in five years to view the disputed islands when he surveyed them from the sea.

Maehara said afterwards that Japan should keep demanding that Russia return them and called their seizure an “illegal occupation”, provoking an angry response from Moscow.

Hatoyama, who has a history of personal ties with Russia, said Sunday he planned to build “new Japanese-Russian relations”.

His late grandfather, former prime minister Ichiro Hatoyama, visited Moscow in 1956 and signed a joint declaration reopening dialogue after the war. The new prime minister’s son also teaches at Moscow State University.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Leaders address progress of plans for HCM City

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2008 at 1:28 pm

HCM CITY — Ho Chi Minh City has reached and exceeded its primary targets despite various difficulties, said Le Hoang Quan, chairman of HCM City People’s Committee.

Speaking at a meeting on Thursday, Quan said the city’s revenue exceeded this year’s projections by 17 per cent, topping a rounded VND115 trillion (US$7 billion).

The numbers strengthened the city’s possibility of reaching its target of VND122 trillion ($7.5 billion) for 2009. In the meantime, November’s Consumer Price Index continued to contract by retreating 0.69 per cent compared to the previous month.

However, according to Quan, over the last few years the city’s budget has been inadequate to accelerate the infrastructure projects needed to enhance economic growth.

Therefore, Quan said, he would recommend to the Government that it raise the cap on the city’s budget allocation.

Street barricades

“All the barricades will be removed to facilitate transport during Tet,” pledged Tran Quang Phuong, director of the city’s Department of Transport.

However, he said new barricades will be added in the districts of Binh Thanh and Phu Nhuan to allow for work on the city’s sewage and drainage system.

“Some bridges are to be completed and put into operation prior to Tet,” Phuong added. These include the Khanh Hoi and Calmette bridges which link the busy downtown areas of District 1 to District 4.

Chairman Quan said digging up the street is necessary for improving the city’s infrastructure, but the work needs to be tidy to avoid upsetting people’s lives.

For the sake of workers

Quan asked the city’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to carry out more inspections at factories to ensure compliance with labour law and to be tough on offences.

The department was also charged with settling disputes between employers and workers, thus preventing strikes or worker slow-downs.

Tran Trung Dung, deputy director of the department, said that he had required enterprises to revise their payrolls in line with new regulations on the minimum wage.

“This must be done and publicised to the workers before the regulations take effect on January 1, 2009,” Dung added.

Prep for Tet

“The focus for the last month of the year is to prepare for Tet,” Quan reminded his subordinates.

An official from the Department of Industry and Commerce revealed that the city has granted over VND400 billion of zero-interest credits to big suppliers in order to help them secure enough essentials for Tet.

The city’s People’s Committee deputy chairwoman Nguyen Thi Hong confirmed that despite projected rises by 20–30 per cent, the peoples’ demand will certainly be met with an adequate surge in supplies.

Hong also asked market monitors not to relax their watch on the prices of goods and to act promptly.

She also required an immediate check on transport fees (taxis, long-range buses), which jumped with the rise in fuel costs, but then remained in place as gas prices fell.

The city leaders said they look forward to a safe, happy and prosperous Tet for its people. —