Buddhist monk bids high for painting of Gac Ma island battle

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The oil painting depicts Vietnamese naval soldiers building and protecting the island against the gun barrels of Chinese invaders. A Buddhist monk recently offered 400 million VND (about 18,600 USD) for a painting recalling the bloody naval battle in Vietnam’s Gac Ma Island, the highest bid for the picture so far. The oil painting by Bui Le Trang, measuring 1.6 metres by 2.2 metres, depicts Vietnamese naval soldiers building and protecting the island against the gun barrels of Chinese invaders. Sixty-four Vietnamese soldiers were killed in the battle on March 14, 1988. Trang donated his work "Gac Ma – Vong tron bat tu" (Gac Ma – Immortal Circle) to the Tri Viet Book Company, which organised an auction to commemorate the fallen soldiers on War Invalids and Martyrs Day (July 27). The money raised from selling the painting will be donated to the families of the 64 martyrs. Venerable Thich Thanh Phong, Head of Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City, said he would … [Read more...]

Timor Leste supports COC building in the East Sea

Timor Leste’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Hernani Coelho (Photo: jornalbisnistimor)

(VOVworld) - Timor Leste’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Hernani Coelho, has expressed his concerns about recent tensions in the East Sea after China expanded island construction on the Truong Sa archipelago. Coelho said the East Sea issue was complicated and required the good will of all parties involved, and that all territorial disputes should be addressed via peaceful means and with respect for international law. He called for an agreement on a Code of Conduct in the East Sea adding that as a country applying for ASEAN membership, Timor Leste strongly supports the promulgation of such a document as a binding legal tool for all to settle disputes. Coelho insisted on the importance of fostering a peaceful environment between ASEAN and China to ensure regional peace, stability, and prosperity. … [Read more...]

Painting to be auctioned to support Gac Ma Island

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A painting by Bui Le Trang will be sold at an auction to raise funds to support families of 64 navy soldiers killed by Chinese soldiers who invaded Viet Nam's Gac Ma Island, part of the Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago, on March 14, 1988. Trang donated his painting Gac Ma – Vong Tron Bat Tu (Gac Ma – Immortal Circle) to the Tri Viet Book Company, which will organise an auction to commemorate the fallen soldiers on War Invalids and Martyrs Day (July 27). The oil painting (1.6m by 2.2m) recalls the bloody naval battle of 27 years ago. It depicts Vietnamese navy soldiers building and protecting the island, and the gun barrels of the Chinese invaders. All of the money raised from selling the painting will be donated to the martyrs' families, said Nguyen Van Phuoc, director of the Tri Viet Book Company. Major General Le Ma Luong has offered VND50 million (US$2,500) to buy the painting. Tran Minh Hung, director of AMA Viet Nam, has bid VND80 million. … [Read more...]

27-yr-old nightmare may be re-created by China in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratlys): lawmaker

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A scenario similar to China’s use of force to illegally occupy Gac Ma Island (Johnson South Reef) in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago in 1988 may be repeated in other parts of the islands in the future, a Vietnamese lawmaker has warned. >> Vietnam legislature should issue resolution against China’s illegal acts in East Sea: lawmaker Nguyen Anh Son, head of the delegation of lawmakers from the northern province of Nam Dinh, gave the warning while talking with reporters on the sidelines of the Monday meeting of the 9th session of the law-making National Assembly (NA) that started on May 20. Son’s warning came a few days after the NA agreed to his proposal that the legislature’s agenda include a report by the government on Beijing’s illicit land reclamation work and building of artificial islands in the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa archipelagoes in the East Vietnam Sea, despite strong protests from Hanoi as well as the … [Read more...]

Unseen photos of sappers building facilities in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratlys)

Graves of the sappers who died in action in Truong Sa  Deputy Admiral Le Van Xuan, former commander in chief of the Navy’s Political Department, is seen at a house built by the first generation of sappers in Truong Sa.

Tuoi Tre News presents photos of the sappers who contributed massively to the construction of infrastructure in the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago during the 1970s and 1980s, with many killed in the process. During the periods, the sappers of Regiments 131 and 83 worked tirelessly to perform such tasks as building and repairing houses, roads and bridges, and laying and clearing mines in Truong Sa, which is administered by the south-central province of Khanh Hoa. They worked under extreme conditions, risked their own lives and braved omnipresent enemy threats, insiders recalled. Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters paid a recent visit to Le Nhat Cat, chief commander of the first sapper group tasked with building houses and facilities in Truong Sa. In late April 1976, Captain Cat, leader of Battalion 3 under Naval Sapper Regiment 83, headed for the archipelago along with almost 70 military construction officers and soldiers. Cat’s regiment came into being in late 1975 … [Read more...]

Overseas Vietnamese visit Truong Sa

Flower wreaths released to the sea in commemoration of fallen soldiers at Gac Ma Island

PANO – A delegation of Overseas Vietnamese, led by Ambassador Tran Duc Mau, Deputy Chief of the State Commission on Overseas Vietnamese, visited Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago and DK1 platforms between April 21st and 28th. They presented gifts and equipment worth over VND 1 billion to troops and islanders on the islands and platforms. During the trip, the expatriates joined a series of meaningful activities, such as a flag saluting ceremony, artistic exchanges with naval soldiers, and offering incense to martyrs at cemeteries on the islands. During the visit, they could learn more about efforts and iron will of the Vietnamese troops in overcoming all difficulties to firmly protect national seas and islands. PANO would like to introduce some images of the delegation’s visit to Truong Sa: Translated by Pham Huy … [Read more...]

Veterans gather to mark 40th anniversary of Truong Sa (Spratlys) liberation

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A solemn ceremony was conducted in the coastal city of Nha Trang on Friday evening to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago in the East Vietnam Sea (April 29). >> Vietnam opposes China’s construction work in Truong Sa (Spratlys) The event was organized by the Truong Sa Soldiers Liaison Committee of the south-central province of Khanh Hoa, drawing more than 400 war veterans who used to serve on the archipelago and representatives from the Naval Zone 4 and the Vietnam Naval Academy. Nha Trang is the capital city of Khanh Hoa and Truong Sa is an island district of the province. Le Xuan Ba, head of the liaison committee and the former chairman of the People’s Council of Truong Sa District, told the ceremony about his memories of the days when the first units of the Vietnam People's Navy arrived at and liberated Truong Sa. Tuoi Tre The archipelago has increasingly developed over the past 40 years and the life … [Read more...]

Is the East Sea going to be covered with China’s artificial islands?

China is accelerating illegal construction of artificial islands in the East Sea.

VietNamNet Bridge – Contrary to the cooling-off statements of Chinese leaders, what has been happening in the East Sea since the end of 2014 is quite different from what has been stated. The recent photos of rocks and shoals in the East Sea where China has been conducting construction activities show that these places are being expanded. The scale and speed of the expansion of rocks or reefs that China is illegally controlling in the Truong Sa Archipelago (Spratly Islands) of Vietnam has worried the entire region. On May 2, 2014, tensions in the East Sea seriously escalated when China unilaterally deployed the HD-981 oil rig in the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam. Nearly two weeks later, on May 13, the Philippines announced the photo showing that China was building a runway on the Gac Ma Island. The same day, a confidential report from the presidential office of the Philippines said that China was also performing construction activities in Tu Nghia … [Read more...]

Social News 15/4

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Ha Noi to collect over $13 million of road maintenance fee The Ha Noi People's Committee has set a target to collect more thanVND286 billion (US$13.3 million) as road maintenance fee from motorcyclists in the city during 2015. In a recently issued decision, the committee said the charge would be VND50,000 (US$2.4) per year for motorcycles of less than 100cc and VND100,000 ($4.8) for motorcycles of 100cc and above. The committee asked the city transport department and the road maintenance fund to supervise localities in the implementation, management and effective use of the collected fee source. In addition, the city also asked districts and towns to submit monthly results of the fee collection to the road maintenance fund and the city's finance department, so that reports could be submitted to the city authorities and the transport ministry. Newspapers fined for violating dietary supplement advertising code Inspectors from the Ministry of Information and Communications have … [Read more...]

Social media begin to have a voice in Vietnam

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It is now more common for Vietnamese Internet users to express their opinions, objections or protests on social networks, and sometimes end up seeing the changes they have demanded really put in place. This can be evidenced by several recent headline-grabbing issues, which indicates that authorities are apparently listening to what their citizens discuss on Facebook or Twitter, and that social media currently have a certain say in Vietnam, which has been unfairly alleged to block social networks. Last month a plan to chop down 6,700 trees across Hanoi in three years was halted less than halfway through, seemingly following strong criticisms against it on both social and conventional media. Hanoi authorities had cut down only 500 trees when the capital city’s leader suspendedthe plan. Shortly after the tree-cutting plan was made public, a Facebook page was created, aimed at attracting 6,700 followers, equaling the number of trees set for the ‘massacre,’ to … [Read more...]

Social News 22/3

Danish firm to help control flooding in HCMC Denmark-based firm Cold Flood Prevention is expected to pilot a project to control flooding caused by high tides at Phu Dinh Wharf in HCMC’s District 8 in the third quarter of this year. In December last year and January this year, the HCMC Department of Transport and related agencies met with representatives of Cold Flood Prevention to discuss the feasibility of using its technologies to control flooding in the city. The department also invited the company’s representatives to inspect some flood-prone areas in districts 7, 8, and Binh Thanh before suggesting effective technological solutions to protect these areas from flooding. The firm later decided to carry out a pilot project free-of-charge at Phu Dinh Wharf. On February 6, the department suggested the city government allow Cold Flood Prevention to implement the project and got approval in a document signed by HCMC vice chairman Nguyen Huu Tin. The firm plans to build a … [Read more...]

Minister of health helps matyr’s daughter find a job

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The Minister of Health, Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, has extended help to the daughter of a martyr who died in a fight with Chinese forces in the Spratly archipelago, so that she could have a job to support her poor family. Phan Thi Trang, the daughter of matyr Phan Huy Son, from Dien Chau District, Nghe An Province, has been unable to find a job after graduating from a medicine college. Trang has recently sent a letter to the Facebook page of the Minister of Health to call for help. In her letter, Trang said that she urgently needs a job to support her mother who is suffering from a serious kidney problems and her disabled brother. "My father was a military doctor and died in 1988 during the Gac Ma Island battle with the Chinese forces," Trang wrote. "My mother had struggled to raise my brother who was born with disabilities and me." Trang said she decided to follow her father's career and managed to get into a local medicine school. Director of Nghe An Province Department of Health, … [Read more...]

March 9-15: First fuel price hike of the year

PM Nguyen Tan Dung receives Venezuelan Vice President Elias Jose Jaua Milano.

Domestic petrol prices shoot up by over VND1,600 per litre The Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex), the country’s largest fuel wholesaler, raised the retail price of several fuel varieties as of 15:00 pm on March 11, the second adjustment and the first rise this year. Accordingly, the prices of petrol RON95 and petrol RON92 jumped VND1,610 per litre to VND17,880 and VND17,280 per litre, respectively, while bio-fuel E5 price increased by VND1,600 per litre to VND16,950. The prices of kerosene and diesel also increased by VND900 and VND700 per litre respectively while a litre of mazut rose by VND900 a kilogram. NA Standing Committee convenes 36th session The 13th National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee convened its 36th session on March 9 with a special focus on final preparations for the 132nd Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (IPU-132) to be held in Hanoi later this month. The last rehearsal for the IPU-132 opening ceremony was held on March 15 at the NA … [Read more...]

Social News 15/3

Resettlement efforts for Lai Chau hydropower plant accelerating Over 1,800 of the 2,000 households living in the area designated to be the reservoir of Lai Chau hydro-power plant have been relocated to new resettlement areas in the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau. These areas in Nam Nhun and Muong Te districts have access to paved roads, schooling, electricity, power and other welfare facilities like cultural houses and medical stations. The displaced will also receive farming land to ease their transition. The remaining households will move into their new homes by the second quarter of this year, according to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment. Nearly 90 percent of the funds allocated for compensation has been disbursed, said Acting Chief of the resettlement project Tran Van Dung. Construction on the 1,200MW Lai Chau hydropower plant began in early 2011 in Nam Hang commune, Nam Nhun district, with a total investment of 35.7 trillion VND (1.7 billion … [Read more...]

Laying wreaths to commemorate fallen soldiers from Gac Ma Island battle

A minute of silence to commemorate the 64 fallen heroes.

NDO – A memorial service was held in Da Nang on March 14 for the 64 martyrs who died in a battle against Chinese forces to protect Gac Ma Island, part of Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, in 1988.>>> Work begins on memorial complex commemorating Gac Ma soldiers Many veterans and former officers and soldiers of Vietnam’s People's Navy burned incense and stood in memory of their comrades who died protecting the Truong Sa Archipelago. Delivering his memorial speech, Senior Lieutenant Colonel Hoang Van Hoan, former political commissar of the Brigade 83, one of the units directly involved in the Gac Ma battle in 1988, read the 64 fallen hero’s names. He emphasised that the memorial service was in remembrance and gratitude to the sacrifice of the 64 soldiers to protect the nation's sacred sea and island sovereignty. National sovereignty is inalienable, he stressed, while reminding younger generations to firmly defend the Fatherland. Sixty-four … [Read more...]

Memorial park for fallen Truong Sa martyrs a symbol of patriotism: Vietnam official

>> Vietnam to start work on monument to fallen Truong Sa combatants this year    Dang Ngoc Tung, president of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor (VGCL), gave the comment in an interview with  Tuoi Tre

A memorial park that will be built in south-central Vietnam this year in memory of 64 Vietnamese naval soldiers who fell while protecting the country’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago against Chinese invaders in 1988 will become a symbol of patriotism, a labor official has said. (Youth) newspaper on Thursday, one day before a ceremony was held to lay foundation stones for the park in Cam Lam District of the south-central province of Khanh Hoa, of which Truong Sa is an island district. The historical battle on March 14, 1988 on Gac Ma Island (Johnson South Reef) of the Truong Sa archipelago in the East Vietnam Sea has become an imprint that will never fade in the heart of every Vietnamese, said the VGCL leader, who is also a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam. "At that time, Vietnamese naval soldiers were doing their duty of safeguarding the fatherland and building works to serve the life of soldiers and people in Truong Sa when … [Read more...]

Construction of Gac Ma memorial complex commences

Dang Ngoc Tung (left side), representatives of Truong Sa district, and relatives of the Gac Ma soldiers take photo with the first stone to build the memorial complex

(VOVworld) - Khanh Hoa province began the construction of a memorial complex dedicated to 64 naval soldiers killed during the battle to defend Gac Ma Island in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago 27 years ago. President of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, Dang Ngoc Tung, said at the opening ceremony on Friday that the battle, which took place on March 14, 1988, was an unforgettable event for all Vietnamese people. "We aim to convey a message to all Vietnamese and foreign friends that the Vietnamese people will never forget the soldiers who laid down their lives to safeguard the national sovereignty of Gac Ma Island. I call for Vietnamese inside and outside the country to contribute to the construction of the complex." Covering 2.5 hectares in Cam Hai Dong commune, Cam Lam district, the complex consists of a Monument, a museum, and green space. The construction cost was funded by donations from across the country to the "Love for Hoang Sa-Truong Sa" … [Read more...]

Work begins on memorial complex commemorating Gac Ma soldiers

At the foundation stone laying ceremony (Credit: laodong.com.vn)

NDO – The Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) today launched the construction of a memorial complex commemorating Gac Ma soldiers with a foundation stone laying ceremony in Cam Lam district’s Cam Hai Dong commune in central Khanh Hoa province. The complex is aimed at honouring and paying tribute to the 64 soldiers of the Vietnam People’s Navy who lost their lives in the 1988 naval battle to protect Gac Ma Island (Johnson South Reef) of Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago against Chinese invasion. Addressing the ceremony, Dang Ngoc Tung, President of the VGCL, emphasised that the naval battle on March 14, 1988 is an indelible part of national history. Vietnamese naval forces bravely fought against a Chinese invasion on Gac Ma Island and laid down their lives while protecting the national flag affirming Vietnam’s sovereignty over the reef. Tung called for continuous response from labourers nationwide to the ‘One brick for Gac … [Read more...]

Work commences on Gac Ma memorial park

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Ceremony to launch the construction on Gac Ma memorial park. (Photo: VNA) A ceremony was held on March 13 in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa to launch construction on a memorial park dedicated to 64 naval soldiers killed during a battle to defend Gac Ma Island in Vietnam ’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago 27 years ago. The battle, which took place on March 14, 1988, is an unforgettable historical event where soldiers laid down their lives to protect the national flag and safeguard the country’s sovereignty of Gac Ma Island, said Dang Ngoc Tung, President of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL). Tung also called for the continuous engagement of officials and labourers nationwide in the programme entitled "A Brick for Gac Ma" that helps build the park. Covering 2.5 hectares in Cam Hai Dong commune, Cam Lam district, the park includes statues, a museum and trees. Funding for the park was sourced through donations from labourers across the … [Read more...]