Letter to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung

Sender: Le Trung Thanh, Vietnamese Citizen, Overseas Archictecture Student in Taipei, Taiwan

To the respected Prime Minister:

On April 29th, the Olympic torch relay ceremony will take place in Ho Chi Minh City. On the occasion of the torch coming to Vietnam, I write to you to express my desire to organize a successful demonstration against China for violating Vietnamese sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly Islands.

I believe this is also the desire of all the Vietnamese people who are passionate about our national territories in the face of China’s deceptive plans of invasion.
I trust that you share the same opinion that if we organize a peaceful and non-violent demonstration, it also means that the Olympic torch relay ceremony is a success. That is the reason why I am writing this letter to you.

It was for this same purpose that on April 19th, I came to Bangkok, Thailand in order to send out a message to the international media that “Paracel and Spratly Islands belong to Vietnam” in order to protest China’s violation of Vietnamese territories.

My message received much attention from international news agencies and friends present at the event that day, along with good feelings that they reserve for our country.

This was a source of great encouragement and a good experience for myself and my friends in order to have appropriate behavior on April 29th in HCMC.
I would like to share the following with you:

1. The Thai government and police left a very beautiful impression for everyone when they reserved a very special place in front of the United Nations office for the contingent of protesters, and gently asked them to avoid provocative behavior.

Supporters as well as protester expressed their individual feelings orderly and the police accomplished their responsibility of keeping security and order.

2. I believe that both you and I are Vietnamese citizens, so we have the responsibility to protect and be faithful to our Country. This has been indicated clearly in the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 1992 (Articles 8, 9, 31, 69, 76).

In the issue of “Paracel and Spratly Islands” we both have the duty to raise our voice in protest, because our silence means that we agree to lose the Paracel and Spratly Islands.

But if there are diplomatic concerns, the Vietnamese government can assist Vietnamese citizens to demonstrate peacefully against China so that they may implement their duty to their country in a constitutional and legal way.

3. At 11 in the morning on April 29, 2008, we, who carry in ourselves Vietnamese hearts will gather in front of the City Opera House, along with banners and slogans protesting China’s violation of Vietnamese sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly Islands, will demonstrate in the spirit of peace and non-violence.

On the side of the government, I propose that you order the security forces and police to carry out their responsibility of ensuring security for the contingent of protesters.

4. I have also informed the international media who will come to observe and record pictures so that the world will look onto us with good feelings.

That is, Vietnamese citizens carry out their right to love their Country, demonstrate peacefully against China’s deceptive plan of using the Olympics to annex Vienamese territories.

That is also the behavior of the police forces of Vietnam, which seriously ensure security and order for both the 2008 Olympic torch as well as the protesters of the politicisation of the Olympics.

As Vietnamese people, we have never been afraid of the Northern imperialist forces. I invite you to review the pages of our people’s glorious history in order to have more courage in the face of difficult decisions:

“Nguyen Trai’s Poem:Proclamation following a victory over the Chinese” [excluded in translation]

Respected Prime Minister, throughout our history of thousands of years of building and maintaining our country, our forefathers have never been afraid to face Northern imperialist forces. Today, I also believe that all Vietnamese people, myself and you included, desire that the rights and the civic duty of Vietnamese people will never come under China’s decisions.

Therefore, on April 19th in Bangkok, even though I carried in myself the will to fight for my country, I was very ashamed that I had to kneel on the land of a foreign country to fight for my own Fatherland.

Please note that when this letter arrives in your hand is when it has also been publicized on the mass communication outlets. We, the Vietnamese people who are concerned with the destiny of the country await your response.

Lastly, I send you my regards for good health and clear mind in order to prudently lead, protect, and build the Fatherland.

With respect,

Le Trung Thanh

Translated by Le Duc


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