- Posted September 29, 2012 by
Nguyen Tan Dung is hell-bent on getting Vietnamese dissidents in line
On September 12, 2012, Nguyen Tan Dung declared war on Vietnamese bloggers by issuing a government decree that prohibits government employees from reading blogs Dan Lam Bao, Quan Lam Bao, and Bien Dong.
Blog Dan Lam Bao has been reporting anything that the government aka Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) forbids, i.e. corruption and dissidence.
Blog Quan Lam Bao started( in July 2012) although reportedly champions for the anti-corruption cause, only reports corruption cases that are related to Nguyen Tan Dung, his son Nguyen Thanh Nghi, his daughter Nguyen Thanh Phuong and her husband (Harvard-trained) Nguyen Bao Hoang.
Blog Bien Dong only discusses about South China Sea disputes, between China and Vietnam, the Philippines. Pictures and videos showing Vietnamese or Filipino demonstrators against China are strictly forbidden by the VCP.
On September 24, 2012, Nguyen Tan Dung, via Saigon’s criminal court, handed out harsh sentences to bloggers Dieu Cay (17 years: 12 years of jail time + 5 years under house arrest), Ta Phong Tan (15 years: 10 years in jail + 5 years under house arrest), and AnhBaSG (7 years: 4 years in jail + 3 years under house arrest). Ta Phong Tan’s mother, Mrs. Dang Thi Kim Lieng died from self-immolation on July 30 to protest her daughter being unjustly jailed. Nguyen Tan Dung accused both bloggers Dieu Cay and Ta Phong Tan of being members of the “terrorist” Viet Tan party, a U.S.-based group that advocates non-violence to affect social changes in Vietnam, without providing any shred of evidence. Both bloggers denied Nguyen Tan Dung’s frivolous charges.
On September 26, 2012, Nguyen Tan Dung, via Nghe An’s appeals court, sentenced democracy activists Chu Manh Son to 30 months in jail, Tran Huu Duc 38 months, and Dau Van Duong 42 months.
All six defendants have one thing in common with other currently-jailed dissidents such as Dr. Cu Huy Ha Vu, Vi Duc Hoi, Le Van Tung, etc. : exercising their freedom of expression and thoughts (1) to fight corruption in the government, and (2) to protest peacefully against China’s illegal occupation of the Paracel and Spratly’s islands, which Vietnam claims absolute sovereignty.
Nguyen Tan Dung is very much fearful of Viet Tan since he and the Politburo believe strongly that Viet Tan is behind all the unrests in Vietnam, from unsanctioned labor strikes to farmers’ protests (against having their tilled land wrongly confiscated by corrupt communist officials) to intellectuals like blogger Me Nam, whose “crime” is to write down on her blog what she thinks.
The reason I read facebooker Me Nam’s Sept. 26, 2012 note with alarms is her chilling account of being interrogated by both national security agents and local police in Nhatrang province.
The chief interrogator, whose name is Nguyen, continuously put blogger Me Nam on a guilt trip by accusing her of being a member of Viet Tan, a pretext to later on get her to spend a long time in jail, similar to what Nguyen Tan Dung has given bloggers Dieu Cay and Ta Phong Tan.
Another accusation that security agent Nguyen made to blogger Me Nam is her close online association with Australia-based blogger Nguyen Xuan Chau, who vouches for blog Quan Lam Bao’s anti-corruption’s reports, and encourages his readers to support Quan Lam Bao in his fight against Nguyen Tan Dung & Co. Blogger Nguyen Xuan Chau is not shy about his ambition: to replace Nguyen Tan Dung as Vietnam’s Prime Minister once the VCP has been swept out of office. Hence, chief interrogator’s Nguyen’s interests in getting further information from blogger Me Nam about Nguyen Xuan Chau.
Furthermore, chief interrogator Nguyen might and will use today’s (Setp. 26, 2012) interrogation session with blogger Me Nam in reference to blogger Nguyen Xuan Chau to charge her with violating the Criminal Act 88 for “being a friend of someone, namely blogger Nguyen Xuan Chau, to overthrow the government”, if charging her of being a Viet Tan party member does not hold up in (international) public court of opinions.
Throughout the interrogation, blogger Me Nam has courageously stood her ground despite being threatened by chief interrogator Nguyen.
Blogger Me Nam did not mention CNN’s interview in her facebook’s note, but she did talk about Front Line Defenders and SEAPAC when queried by chief interrogator Nguyen as to why she had to travel to Thailand to learn about issues that are dear to her heart such as human rights, democracy, and journalism.
Personally, I think blogger Me Nam is about to be arrested anyday now if CNN, SEAPAC, Front Line Defenders choose to remain silent now that Nguyen Tan Dung and his band of thugs and thieves have decided to declare war on all freedom-loving people in the world.
China’s chẹckbook diplomacy has proven to be very successful in Southeast Asia, especially in its “divide-and-conquer” strategy among ASEAN’s members.
Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge, wrestled control of Cambodia from China-backed Pol Pot’s regime in 1978 with the help from the VCP. He consolidated his power when relegating Sihanouk’s son and opposition parties (a coaltion backed by the U.S. and China) to the sideline by assassinating, murdering, bribing, intimidating anybody who dared to oppose him.
Sensing the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union and still distrust of the U.S., the VCP’s Politburo decided to normalize with China in 1990 despite getting “couple lessons” from China with the short-but-high-intensity border war in 1979, and losing some islands from the Spratly archipelago in 1988.
Communists use the euphemism “proletarian dictatorship” to silence opposition effectively and efficiently. Resorting to terror, murdering, assassination, etc. to justify the end is the norm, not the exception among communists. Stripped of the politics cover, communists behave exactly like Sicilian mafia, down to observing the Cosa Nostra code.
Hun Sen, at the great risk of getting killed by the VCP’s assassins, decided to test ASEAN’s founding members’ resolve last July when Cambodia, as the host country, declined to issue the standard communiqué to finalize the annual ASEAN meeting, whereas Vietnam and the Philippines asked for and got approval from other ASEAN members to get China to abide the COD as well as to negotiate multilaterally in South China Sea’s disputes. To every “international observer”‘s surprise and to SEATO’s members’ consternation and embarrassment, Hun Sen is still alive – politically and personally – minus some feather ruffling (getting accused of being sold out to China).
Hun Sen is no fool for surviving for so long threading the lines between China and his savior, the VCP. To placate nationalist fervor in Cambodia and Vietnam, both Hun Sen and the VCP, with master China’s blessing, would rhetorically oppose China’s assertiveness in Southeast Asia’s affairs. In return, China would provide safe haven for Hun Sen and the VCP’s leaders if “things go wrong”, i.e. other ASEAN’s members wise up to what China has been up to (thousand-year-old ambition of southward expansion via Vietnam), and they would collectively kick China’s stooges out of the club.
Sorry fates of Tibetans, Urghurs, Mongolians, Manchurians being assimilated into Hans serve as a clear example.
One fourth of the Cambodian population got killed by Pol Pot in less than 3 years is another constant reminder for anybody who toes Beijing’s line.
World War II and six million Jews perished in Nazi’s death camps was allowed to happen when everybody else in the world had the attitude ‘that it could never happen to me’.
China has been a threat for thousand years to Vietnam. Bloggers Me Nam, Dieu Cay, Ta Phong Tan, and Sundays’ demonstrators in Hanoi, Saigon against Chinese exterminators. They also know about ‘enemies from within’ like Nguyen Tan Dung