Phạm Thanh Nghiên * Translated by Danlambao - Late on 25 May 2016, according to VnMedia, team 14th of the Hanoi traffic police detained a Hanoi-bound truck carrying four tonnes of rotten fish.
The early investigation report showed the truck, registration number 36C - 082.86, as operated by hired driver Bùi Văn Lâm. The actual owner of the rotten fish was Nguyễn Văn Linh from Tĩnh Gia Thanh Hoá.
A mass of dead fish, caused by sea pollution, has been a maritime environmental disaster in Central Vietnam for nearly two months. In that time, the Vietnamese government has not given people any scientific and responsible explanation.
More than that, the dead fish case shows that the government views its people as enemies. Vietnamese citizens have been beaten, harassed, tortured, arrested, and abducted as they gathered for peaceful protests. As of now, the disaster has been all but buried.
Vietnamese citizens have the right to ask the government:
- Why have so many fish and sea creatures died?
- What are the causes of this sea pollution?
- How will fishermen of the four impacted provinces make a living in view of this environmental damage?
- Who benefits most from Formosa Steel, which caused this damage?
- How long will we have to wait for the government’s answer, as promised by police who said the government had already taken care of the case and would soon have an answer?
- What did the government do in response to the disaster? How long will it take to clean up the polluted sea and undo the environmental damage? What is it doing to provide aid and relief to those affected?
- Why are dead fish from the Central regions still smuggled into Hanoi in trucks, even though these polluted areas have become “prohibited zones”? In this area, Trương Minh Tam and Chu Mạnh Sơn have been arrested and tortured for seeking the truth. People who just wander into the region must turn around go away immediately as they are threatened by security agents’ look of death. Under that tight guard, how can fish be transported from these regions into Hanoi without being having official protection behind them?
- Was that truck intercepted on 25 May 2016 the only one transporting fish to the consumer? How many shipments have passed undetected?
- Where would the dead fish be delivered other than Hanoi?
- In 90 million Vietnamese, how many have been or will be ill, poisoned or even killed by those contaminated fish?
- How many litres of fish sauce have been or will be made from polluted sea fish?
- How many tonnes of salt will be produced from the Central Vietnam polluted sea water?
- Can everyone be sure that they and their family will not be affected in any way by the maritime catastrophe?
If the state continues to cover up the truth and oppress people’s the right to speak out, the disaster will not stop there in its environmental consequences. It will lead to an entire crisis in the country: in health, economy, culture, and politics. The crisis will turn into a huge catastrophe if not resolved, and it will be called the Vietnamese catastrophe.
We cannot just sit and wait for our bleak future.
Translated by Danlambao from the Vietnamese original article: “Ai mang cá chết từ miền Trung ra miền Bắc?” of Phạm Thanh Nghiên