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Posts Tagged ‘victims’

Outstanding groups and individuals for AO victims to be honoured

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:05 am




Outstanding groups and individuals for AO victims to be honoured


QĐND – Tuesday, January 11, 2011, 21:36 (GMT+7)

PANO – 99 outstanding groups and individuals from movements and campaigns in support of more than 3 million Vietnamese Agent Orange (AO) victims will be honoured at the program, “Gratitude to Golden Hearts to AO Victims”, to be on air at 08.00pm, on January 24th, 2011, on Vietnam Television’s S9 studio.


Among the honoured selected by the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) and its branches in cities and provinces nationwide, are General Vo Nguyen Giap and the late Professor Tran Van Giau.


Addressing a recent press conference in Hanoi, Senior – General Nguyen Van Rinh, Chairman of the VAVA, said the program will be a great encouragement to millions of AO victims and their families as well as organisations and individuals at home and abroad to continue their support to the victims.


According to Colonel Le Cuong, a member of the organizing board, it was not easy to select outstanding figures as thousands of local and foreign groups and individuals have been actively engaged in movements and campaigns supporting Vietnamese AO victims.


The program will be broadcast live on VTV and VTC channels, local TV channels of HCMC, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Lam Dong and Lao Cai provinces. The event is jointly organised by the VAVA, the Southeast Asian Research Association of Vietnam (SEARAV), the People’s Police Newspaper, the ASEAN magazine, and the ASEAN C&C Company.


Duy Minh


Source: QDND

Fund for AO victims in Hanoi launched

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:09 am




Fund for AO victims in Hanoi launched


QĐND – Friday, January 07, 2011, 21:31 (GMT+7)

PANO – The Hanoi People’s Committee has licensed the establishment of a fund for Agent Orange/Dioxin victims and recognised its statutes.


This non-profitable organisation, headed by Mr. Nguyen Sy Thuy, will focus activities to help AO/Dioxin victims in Hanoi.


The information was made public at a press-conference held in Hanoi yesterday by the Hanoi Association for Agent Orange/Dioxin Victims.


* The program, “Honouring Golden Hearts to AO Victims”, will be held at 8pm, on January 21st, 2011, at the My Dinh National Convention Centre in Hanoi to honour outstanding representatives from a movement to support, and campaign for justice and the rights of, more than 3 million Vietnamese Agent Orange (AO) victims.


Translated by Duy Minh


 


Source: QDND

Volunteers keep supporting flood-hit victims

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2010 at 9:26 am




Volunteers keep supporting flood-hit victims


QĐND – Monday, December 20, 2010, 21:48 (GMT+7)

Ha Tinh Voluntary Compatriots Group has offered essentials to flood-hit victims in Central Vietnam.


Specifically, more than 10,000 items of clothing, over 4,000 schoolbooks and notebooks, noodles, VND 150 million in cash and other essential facilities, have been handed over to needy people in 4 communes of Hoa Hai, Thach Xuan, Thu Loc and Song Loc in Ha Tinh Province.


The presentation was under the program “Bringing warm winter to flood-hit areas” launched by Ha Tinh Voluntary Compatriots Group with 108 members.


Since the beginning of this year, the group has launched three programs to give assistance to their compatriots in the Central Province of Ha Tinh. Besides, they participated in the voluntary program, “Giving Strength during University Entrance Season 2010”, carried out in Hanoi.


Translated by Mai Huong


Source: QDND

Anti-Imperialist Court seeks justice for dioxin victims

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2010 at 9:25 am




Anti-Imperialist Court seeks justice for dioxin victims


QĐND – Monday, December 20, 2010, 21:48 (GMT+7)

Thousands of delegates in the 17th World Festival of Youth and Students attended the ‘Anti-Imperialist Court’ held on December 19 as an important part of the event.


Participants presented evidence of the crimes against humanity committed by imperialism. The Vietnamese delegation took part in a hearing that condemned the US using Agent Orange/dioxin in the Vietnam War, which caused severe lasting consequences in Vietnam. The delegation also called for international friends’ support in the lawsuit for justice for Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange poisoning.


The speech by the Vietnamese delegation articulated that from 1961-1971, the US launched about 20,000 sorties to spray about 80 million litres of the poisonous chemicals onto 25,000 hamlets and villages in Vietnam, destroying more than 3 million hectares of natural forest, and leaving about 4.8 million local people infected with dioxin.


Representatives said it was one the most dastardly crimes in human history, with severe and long-term impact on Vietnam.


On January 30, 2004, the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin began legal action against 37 US chemical companies. However, the Supreme Court of the US rejected the trial of this lawsuit in 2009.


Despite this, Vietnam has persevered in pursuing this lawsuit and seeking support from the international community. This effort directly involved the human kind’s joint struggle against war and the use of weapons of mass destruction.


A Vietnamese delegate, who is also a second-generation AO victim, spoke about the aftermath of the dioxin poisoning.


Tran Thi Hoan, 24, made the hall silent as she walked with difficulty to the rostrum. She had handicapped legs, which remained from her knees upward. Her left arm was contracted and handless.


In fluent English, Ms Hoan told the audience about the obstacles and unhappiness of Vietnamese victims of AO, including herself, in daily life. Her story received empathy from many international friends.


Canadian delegate Drew Bowering said everyone in the court learned about the consequences caused by the US chemical agent and in his opinion all people needed to take responsibility in assisting dioxin victims. He stressed that he completely supported the struggle for justice for Vietnam’s dioxin victims in the lawsuit against American chemical companies.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Australia resumes hunt for refugee boat victims, toll rises

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:41 am

SYDNEY (AFP) – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Thursday warned further bodies would be recovered after a boat carrying asylum seekers hit rocks and was shattered by huge waves, killing at least 28 people.


The wooden craft, believed to be crowded with up to 100 Iraqi and Iranian asylum seekers and their children, hit rocks at Christmas Island Wednesday and was shattered by huge waves as traumatised residents looked on helplessly.

Residents and police (R) try to rescue refugees from an asylum boat (C) being smashed by violent seas against the jagged coastline of Australia’s Christmas Island on December 15, 2010. AFP

“We do not know with any certainty how many people there were on the boat, Gillard told reporters.


“We have got to prepare ourselves for the likelihood that more bodies will be found and there will be further loss of life than we know now.”


Customs officials told AFP the search for survivors and the dead resumed at first light on the west coast. They could not confirm how long the rescue operation would last.


Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said the death toll from the disaster had risen to 28 — from 27 late Wednesday — while 44 people had been saved with the help of navy personnel and Christmas Island residents.


“The latest report that I have is that we have 44 people rescued and 28 deceased,” he said.


But he warned that survivors had reported that 70-100 people were on board the rickety boat, which witnesses said was thought to be carrying few life jackets. The Flying Doctors have said up to 50 were believed dead.


“I don’t like to speculate on any particular outcome, but obviously the rescuers will be doing their best… to salvage and rescue persons still in the water or to get any bodies they’re able to get out of the water,” Bowen said.


But he also hinted that the chances of finding survivors in “particularly treacherous” seas churned up by an approaching monsoonal storm were dwindling, adding that the exact number of dead would “probably never” be known.


He declined to comment on how the boat managed to get so close to the remote island — closely watched as the main people-smuggling route from Indonesia — without being intercepted by border police.


“I?m not in the position to comment on that one way or another,” Bowen said. “There?ll be an appropriate time for investigation and for further information to be released on that.”


At least 5,000 asylum seekers from Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka have made their way to Australia this year, often on leaky boats from Indonesia.


Lawyers and refugee advocates including Amnesty and the UNHCR said the tragedy highlighted the desperate plight of refugees and urged greater cooperation between nations for more humane solutions.


Shocked survivors of the wreck, including 11 children, huddled in a hospital and a reception centre on Christmas Island, where a makeshift morgue was also set up. Local residents were reeling from the horror of what they witnessed.


Two seriously injured women were flown to hospital in Perth, one with abdominal injuries and the other suffering from respiratory problems from inhaling sea water and diesel, medics from the Flying Doctors said.


Many of the injured were treated by medical services on Christmas Island, home to Australia’s main immigration detention centre for boat people.


Traumatised island residents told how they had watched from the cliffs as the tragedy unfolded.


“There were children in the water. There was one very small child in a life jacket floating face down for a very long time… clearly dead,” said local shop owner Simon Prince.


“It’s something I’m not going to forget very quickly,” he told AFP.


Woken near dawn by the screams of victims, locals gathered life jackets and rushed to the sheer limestone cliffs to offer help, but strong winds blew the flotation devices back onshore.


The terrified group drifted for about an hour after losing engine power and only one man managed an “incredible leap” to safety before the surging waves smashed the rickety vessel apart on the rocks, Prince said.


People were crushed against jagged limestone as navy rescuers battled towering swells to reach them in inflatable dinghies, while locals made a human chain and tried to cast ropes and life preservers down.


Flying Doctors transported patients from the island, which lies 2,650 kilometres (1,650 miles) northwest of Perth.


Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who has cancelled her Christmas holiday to deal with the tragedy, was set to give a briefing alongside her immigration minister later Thursday.


Five Afghan refugees perished last year when their boat exploded off Ashmore Reef, near Christmas Island, injuring 30 others.

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Source: SGGP

Government supports flood victims

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:31 am

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on December 3 decided to extract VND335 billion (US$16,75 million) from the State budget and 8,600 tons of rice from the National reserve in support for central provinces to surmount the flood consequences.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (R) hands emergency relief to flood victims in the central province of Ha Tinh on October 20, 2010.(Photo:VNA)


Accordingly, government will hand over to Quang Tri Province VND30 billion and Thua Thien Hue provinces VND30 billion ($1,5 million) and 1,000 tons of rice.


Quang Nam Province will receive VND30 billion and Quang Ngai Province will receive VND40 billion and 2,000 tons of rice.


Government will provide VND40 billion and 1,000 tons of rice to Binh Dinh Province, Phu Yen VND30 billion and 2,000 tons of rice, Khanh Hoa VND30 billion and 500 tons of rice and Ninh Thuan VND70 billion and 2,000 tons of rice.


The PM also asked local authorities to use localities’ standby budget to overcome flood consequences.


As of November 10, the flood weary southern central provinces in the last few day were buffeted by another deluge which has killed 28 people and left two others missing.


Khanh Hoa Province alone had eight dead, one missing and six injured, total economic losses was estimated to reach VND410 billion (US$20.5 million).


In Binh Dinh Province, the traffic was blocked on some roads in Tuy Phuoc town. 


 

Source: SGGP

US congressmen voice support for VN’s AO victims

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:30 am

A number of US congressmen have voiced support for Vietnamese Agent Orange /dioxin victims, saying the US government must places importance on dealing with the consequences of the toxic chemical.

A march showes support to AO victims (Photo: VNA)

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee John Conyers, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment Eni F.H. Faleomavaega and congressman Bob Filner affirmed the support during meetings with a delegation of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) which paid a visit to the US from Nov. 22-Dec. 4.


Having organized three hearings on the AO/dioxin-related issue in Vietnam , Faleomavaega said he was regretful because he “had yet to do much for Vietnamese AO/dioxin victims”. The congressman also called on the governments of the US and Vietnam to jointly assume responsibility for addressing this issue.


At a working session with the VAVA delegation, headed by its President Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Van Rinh, US Department of State officials in charged for Southeast Asian affairs also affirmed the settlement of the AO/dioxin consequences in Vietnam is a priority of the department.


During the trip, the VAVA delegation and leaders of the Veterans for Peace (VFP) and the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign (VAORRC) discussed the coordination of activities to assist the victims in the coming time, especially on the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the US chemical war in Vietnam (August 10, 1961-August 10, 2011).


The delegates worked with the President of the Ford Foundation and representatives of the Atlantic Philanthropies. They also met with lawyers and scientists who have devoted to the victims’ struggle for justice, as well as a number of overseas Vietnamese who have launched initiatives to enhance relations between the Us-based Vietnamese community and the homeland.

Source: SGGP

SGGP supports flood victims in central province

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 8:19 am

Sai Gon Giai Phong Newspaper on November 23 coordinated with Binh Dinh Newspaper to offer 500 relief aid packs to flood victims in Tuy Phuoc District, the central province of Binh Dinh.

Rescue workers evacuate people from isolated area during the latest flood beginning Monday in the southern central region (Photo: SGGP)

A Sai Gon Giai Phong representative said the relief aimed to help the flood victims at Phuoc Thang, Phuoc Hoa and Phuoc Thuan stabilize their lives soon.


Binh Dinh Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Do Nguyen Hung said SGGP is the first organization to bring relief to isolated areas.


On the same day, SGGP also coordinated with H.C.P.T Co.Ltd to offer 300 relied aid packs to flood victims in Quang Trach and Tuyen Hoa, central province of Quang Binh.


Earlier, SGGP and H.C.P.T Co.Ltd offered 300 relief aid packs to 300 households at Mai Tho, An Loc and Duc Giang communes, Vu Quang District, the central province of Ha Tinh.

Source: SGGP

Pleas for justice as Philippines mourns massacre victims

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 4:51 am

SHARIFF AGUAK, Philippines, Nov 23, 2010 (AFP) – Relatives of 57 people killed in the Philippines’ worst political massacre made emotional appeals for justice Tuesday as the nation marked the slaughter’s first anniversary.


Thousands of mourners gathered at a remote hill in the southern province of Maguindanao where the carnage took place to pay their respects and demand the powerful Muslim clan accused of orchestrating the massacre be held to account.

Supporters along with relatives of the 57 people killed in the November 23, 2009 massacre attend a memorial service at the massacre site in Ampatuan, Maguindanao province on the southern island of Mindanao on November 23, 2010. AFP

“I am praying by the will of God that we can get justice,” Tom Teuto, 50, who lost his sister and 13 other relatives in the massacre, told reporters at the site on the outskirts of the provincial capital of Shariff Aguak.


“I am calling on the president to intervene. It has been a year. It has been very painful.”


The Ampatuan clan, which had governed Maguindanao since 2001, allegedly orchestrated the murders of at least 57 people in a futile bid to stop a member of a rival Muslim clan from running for the provincial governorship.


Those killed were relatives and supporters of the rival, Esmael Mangudadatu, who were to have filed his election nomination papers, as well as at least 32 local journalists who had travelled in the convoy.


Their bodies were later found in shallow pits, and witnesses who have testified in an ongoing trial in Manila for Andal Ampatuan Jnr, the clan patriarch’s son and namesake, said he gunned down most of the victims.


President Benigno Aquino declared Tuesday a “day of remembrance” and ordered government employees to wear black to symbolise unity with the victims’ relatives.


“Today we again offer our condolences to the families of the victims and vow to do everything in our power to achieve a timely resolution of this case and ensure this does not happen again,” Aquino said in a statement.


At the massacre site, religious leaders led prayers during an emotional service in which white doves and balloons were released to remember the victims.


Radio and television stations across the country also silenced their broadcasts for 58 seconds at 7:00 am to remember those killed and urge authorities to speed up the prosecutions of those accused.


Although the death toll is officially 57, a 33rd journalist, Humberto Mumay, is believed to have been killed as well.


Mumay’s death would bring the toll to 58 but the Ampatuans are being prosecuted for only 57 murders because Mumay’s body has not been found and he is officially declared as missing.


Ampatuan Snr and Jnr, and four other clan leaders, have been charged and are behind bars.


But Ampatuan Jnr is the only clan leader whose trial has begun and there are fears the court proceedings in the Philippines’ notoriously over-burdened justice system could last for years.


Meanwhile, many members of the Ampatuans’ private army remain on the loose and allegedly can receive calls from their leaders to stage attacks in an effort to eliminate or intimidate witnesses.


“They remain very dangerous and can receive instructions any time (from the Ampatuan leaders) through mobile phones,” Mangudadatu, the rival politician and now provincial governor, told AFP.


Human rights groups have said at least one key prosecution witness has been killed.


The Ampatuans deny being involved in any killings.


The Ampatuans had ruled Maguindanao with the support of then president Gloria Arroyo, who supplied the family’s private militia of up to 5,000 men so they could be used as a proxy force against Muslim separatist rebels.


However, rights watchdogs say Aquino, who took office on June 30 this year, must also address the bigger picture of abolishing all private armies run by politicians across the country.


The government still funds and arms some of these militias to supplement the under-resourced military, and critics say Aquino has either been unwilling or unable to disband the militias.


“The fact that private armies continue to operate a year after the Maguindanao massacre is an affront to the victims and an invitation to further disasters,” said Amnesty International’s Asia director, Sam Zafiri.

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Source: SGGP

US sends ‘deep condolences’ to Cambodia stampede victims

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 4:50 am

WASHINGTON, Nov 22, 2010 (AFP) – The United States on Monday extended its “deep condolences” for the nearly 350 lives lost during deadly stampede in Cambodia’s capital.


“On behalf of President (Barack) Obama and the people of the United States, I offer our deep condolences for the tragic loss of life and the injuries in Phnom Penh during Cambodia’s annual Water Festival,” said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims and with all the people of the Kingdom of Cambodia,” she added in a statement.


Clinton remarked on the “strength and resilience” of the Cambodian people she observed “first hand” during her recent visit earlier this month to the country.


“I am confident that they will pull together and persevere through this difficult time,” she added.


Cambodia began the grim task Tuesday of identifying 347 people — two thirds of them women — crushed to death in a bridge stampede when revellers panicked at a huge water festival in Phnom Penh.

A Cambodian rescue team carries an unconscious woman near a bridge in Phnom Penh where hundreds of people were crushed during a stampede on November 23, 2010. AFP

More than 400 people were also injured in the disaster, Cambodia’s deadliest in decades, which took place late Monday on an overcrowded narrow bridge as millions celebrated the end of the annual three-day event.

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Source: SGGP