We Want To Know - Dân Làm Báo

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We Want To Know

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Freedom of speech is closely related to free access to information. Every citizen has the right to access information from the State such as national policies, activities of politicians, and/or the operation of the ruling party in all fields: education, environment, health, and social security to national sovereignty. It is one of the most basic rights of the people. 

To provide accurate information, transparency and accountability is the duty of the State. 

On the other hand, the right to access information from the State helps the people to assimilate, evaluate, voice criticism or support. This is the fundamental element of democracy. Ignoring that basic right only exists in anti-democratic and dictatorial regimes.

Have you ever asked the question: do the people have the right to know the terms, the signing of treaties that involve national sovereignty or not?

In May 2014, when the Chinese Communists brought its HD-981 rig to encroach the waters of Vietnam, it was for the first time that the 1958 diplomatic note signed by the former Prime Minister, Pham Van Dong, relating to the sovereignty of Paracel and Spratly islands, was publicly mentioned on national media. And it astounded the people of Vietnam because of its extremely damaging content.

It doesn't matter how the State now tries to justify its action, this 1958 diplomatic note, which was signed with the sole purpose to approve the claim made by the government of the People's Republic of China on its territorial sovereignty, (including that of the Paracels and Spratlys that belong to Vietnam), has made any citizen concerned about his/her fatherland, must raise the question: why the terms and signed treaty affecting Vietnam's sovereignty have been kept secret for more than half a century? And this information was only released reluctantly by the Vietnamese government when China had announced it as "evidence" of its so-called jurisdictional right to "own" Vietnam's Paracels and Spratlys.

The right to be informed is the basis for the people to exercise their right to govern their country. In this case, every title-holder of Vietnam must be informed in order for them to effectively join forces to protect their own legitimate rights, as well as the rights of the whole nation.

In fact, the inter-related interests of the top two groups in the Communist Party of Vietnam and China always compel them to cover information relating to sovereignty, human rights, and economic, social, and cultural issues in Vietnam.

What are the consequences of this "keeping-them-in-the dark" strategy, of this "black hole"? 

The people of Vietnam often are caught unprepared by China's aggressive moves, and confounded by information released by the Chinese government. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese regime represses anyone who wishes transparency, and tries to shed light upon this existing "black hole" and seeks the truth of what has happened and is happening. 

One of the agreements that impacts national interests is the "secret" Chengdu treaty in September 1990. Until now, nearly a quarter of a century has passed, and still there is no official information regarding this signed agreement from the Vietnamese government.

Based on the information leak, every citizen is concerned about the prospect of Vietnam turning into a part of China.

There have been individuals, and groups collectively requesting the Vietnamese government to disclose the information. In response, there is only the same strategy "wool hat covering the ears"; ignoring, patronizing, irresponsible behaviour from the State.

The country is in peril. It requires the people to be informed, and the right to know the agreements that have been signed behind their back, and on their backs, 24 years ago, between the two Parties and governments, that detrimentally affect Vietnam's independence since then and in the future.

We have the right to know, and we want to know what has and is happening. 

You - the people of Vietnam whose hearts are heavy with patriotism, with responsibility towards his forefathers and future generations: let us fight resolutely and persistently and demand the right to know based on the basis of our right to know.

Let us start with the Chengdu Treaty's content in Sept. 1990.


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