Social News 9/6

Condolences sent to Portugal over forest fires

President Tran Dai Quang on June 19 sent a message of condolences to his Portuguese counterpart Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa over human and property losses caused by forest fires in central Portugal.

The same day, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh also extended his sympathies to Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva over the disaster. 

The devastating forest fires broke out on June 17 in Pedrogao Grande city, about 200km south-east of Lisbon capital city, killing at least 62 people and injuring over 60 others, five of them seriously. 

The combination of high temperatures and strong winds appeared to have contributed to the rapid spread of the fires. Portugal is suffering a severe heat wave with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius in many areas.

More than 1,000 firefighters are still battling the blaze, which spread to neighbouring regions of Castelo Branco and Coimbra on June 19. 

Earlier, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced three days of national mourning for the victims of the forest fires. 

In 2016, many fires ravaged the country with 40 homes being destroyed and 5,400 hectares of land burned.

Remains of two American servicemen repatriated

Việt Nam has repatriated remains believed to be of US soldiers who died during the Việt Nam War.

At a ceremony at Đà Nẵng International Airport on Sunday, Việt Nam handed over boxes containing two sets of remains, one set submitted by locals and the other found by a Việt Nam-US team during their 127th joint search between April and June 2017.

The remains have been examined by Vietnamese and American forensic specialists, who concluded they could belong to US servicemen who went missing during the war. They recommended the remains be brought back to Hawaii for further review.

The ceremony marked the 141th handover of missing American soldiers’ remains since 1973.

The previous repatriation was also held in Đà Nẵng in April, during which three sets of remains were transferred following a joint search between February and April this year. 

Hà Tĩnh road named after first journalist martyr

A plaque marking the naming of a road after legendary journalist Trần Kim Xuyến was unveiled at a solemn ceremony in the central province of Hà Tĩnh on Saturday. 

Xuyến, known as Việt Nam’s first journalist martyr, was the first leader of Vietnam News Agency (VNA).

Trần Kim Xuyến Road runs through Phố Châu Town in Hương Sơn District.

Born in 1921 in Hương Sơn, Xuyến was appointed Deputy Director of the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Việt Nam Information Department after the 1945 August Revolution. He was directly in charge of the Vietnam News Agency at the time. He was also a deputy of the first National Assembly. 

He laid down his life on March 3, 1947, at the age of 26, becoming the first revolutionary journalist to die in battle. 

The Trần Kim Xuyến road, more than 2km long and 20m in width, runs from the Phố Châu intersection to Hồ Chí Minh Road. 

Underlining the significance of the event, VNA General Director Nguyễn Đức Lợi said that it reflects the national philosophy: “When drinking water, remember its source.”

It was also a tribute to Xuyến by the Party, State, Hà Tĩnh authorities and people, as well as VNA staff, he said. 

The event is an acknowledgement of the VNA, the first press agency nationwide that was awarded the titles of “Hero of the People’s Armed Forces” and “Labour Hero in the Reform Period,” he said. 

During the wars against French and US forces, generations of VNA journalists and technicians were present at all battlefields, Lợi said, adding that more than 260 of them sacrificed their lives for the nation. 

Speaking at the event, Võ Hồng Hải, Vice Chairman of the Hà Tĩnh People’s Council, called on Party committees, authorities and organisations of Hương Sơn District  at all levels to set up communications and popularise the life and career of Xuyến. 

Thailand’s Supreme Patriarch greets Vietnamese ambassador

The Supreme Patriarch of Thailand His Holiness Somdet Phra Arayawongsakhatayan said the relationship between the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) and the Thailand Buddhist Sangha (TBS) has made noted strides over the past time.   

At a reception for outgoing Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Tat Thanh on June 18, the Supreme Patriarch reviewed the warm welcome of President Tran Dai Quang and other high-ranking Vietnamese leaders for a delegation of Thai and Annam-nikai Buddhists during their first-ever visit to Vietnam last March. 

He said the VBS plays an important international role, which has been demonstrated through Vietnam’s hosting of the United Nations Day of Vesak (Buddha's Birthday, Enlightenment and Passing Away) in 2008 and 2014 and its bid to host the next event in 2019. 

The Thai royal family has always paid attention to the Annam-nikai sect which has greatly contributed to the development of Buddhism in Thailand, he said, recalling its contributions to the requiem for King Bhumibol Adulyadej on March 21.

The host also highlighted activities organised by Vietnamese pagodas in Thailand, which, he said, have helped bring pragmatic ties to the public. 

For his part, Ambassador Thanh congratulated Somdet Phra Arayawongsakhatayan on his appointment as the 20th Supreme Patriarch of Thailand and his upcoming 90th birthday. 

He thanked the support of Thailand’s royal family, Buddhist Sangha and Government for Vietnamese pagodas in the host country. 

The diplomat noted his hope that the TBS will continue to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese Buddhists to learn at Buddhism schools in the country, contributing to enhancing mutual understanding between the two countries and tightening relations between their Buddhists.

Khanh Hoa: More than 25 million USD for flooding, erosion prevention

The central coastal province of Khanh Hoa plans to spend more than 580 billion VND (25.52 million USD) on 60 infrastructure projects to prevent flooding, river erosion and saltwater intrusion in 2017-2018.

The investment includes more than 360 billion VND (15.84 million USD) sourced from state budget while the province and its districts will invest 99 billion VND (4.35 million USD) and 114 billion VND (5 million USD), respectively. 

Erosion at the riverbank is endangering hundreds of households in Dien Khanh District and Nha Trang city. The most serious case is the riverbank along Cai River in four communes in Nha Trang city that needs almost half of the total investment, or 250 billion VND (11 million USD), to build embankments. 

The erosion has affected 150 houses in which 600 people reside in Vinh Thanh Commune and more than 350 houses inhabited by 1,000 people in Vinh Trung, Vinh Phuong and Vinh Ngoc Communes.

It has also hit the banks of the Dau Stream in Dien Thanh Commune, the Cho River in Dien Xuan Commune, Dien Khanh District and the riverbanks of Lop River and Dinh River in Ninh Hoa town and Can River in Cam Ranh City.

It was estimated that floods at the end of 2016 caused landslides along 5.3 kilometres of riverbank in Khanh Hoa.

Lowlands in Cam Thinh Dong Commune, Cam Ranh City face serious flooding with water 0.5 – 1 metre deep in the wet season and saline intrusion in the dry season that affects up to 100 hectares of farm lands.

According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the area is home to about 750 households with 3,000 people.

Some 100 billion VND will be used to build canals and dykes in Cam Thinh Dong while 70 billion VND will be spent to construct canals in Dien Dien and Dien Khanh Communes, Dien Khanh District to prevent saltwater intrusion.

Bac Ninh provides HIV/AIDS health insurance support

The northern province of Bac Ninh has become the first locality nationwide to provide health insurance support to all people living with HIV/AIDS and taking antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.

The assistance is part of the province’s efforts to fulfil the UN 90-90-90 goal, which targets 90 percent of all people living with HIV knowing their HIV status, 90 percent of all people with diagnosed HIV receiving sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90 percent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy achieving viral suppression. 

The support is sourced from the leftover funds from the 2016 health insurance fund.

According to the provincial Centre for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, as of the end of April 2017, the province had 2,448 HIV-infected patients and more than 1,000 people living with AIDS, while 958 had died from AIDS.

In the first four months of this year, Bac Ninh recorded 58 new cases of HIV infection.

Since 2015, Bac Ninh has welcomed two projects for HIV/AIDS prevention, including a Global Fund project to supply free ARV to HIV/AIDS patients. However, the supply will be cut off from July 1, 2017 when ARV will be covered by health insurance. This will pose difficulties to the needy, most of whom are living in poverty.

Along with strengthening communications on HIV/AIDS prevention, the province plans to popularise the rights of health insurance card holders, especially among high-risk groups.

However, many HIV/AIDS patients still struggle to buy health insurance due to a lack of legal documents.

Quang Nam: Free cataract surgeries for policy beneficiaries

As many as 500 policy beneficiaries and poor people in the central province of Quang Nam received free cataract surgeries at the provincial General Hospital on June 18.

The programme was jointly held by the National Institute of Ophthalmology (VNIO), the Vietnam Youth Federation and the Vietnamese Young Doctors Association as part of the activities to mark the 70th anniversary of Vietnam War Invalids and Martyrs’ Day (July 27).

The operations were carried out in a mobile eye surgery coach, which is equipped with modern eye examination devices and equipment like ophthalmic ultrasound scanner and ophthalmology surgery microscope.

VNIO Director Dr Nguyen Xuan Hiep said Quang Nam province has a high rate of blindness caused by cataract. The mobile cataract surgery campaign would make significant contributions to bringing light to the blind in the locality, he said.

The VNIO’s statistics show that 70 percent of Vietnamese in rural areas and poor people have eye-related diseases but they could hardly get access to healthcare services. The mobile cataract surgery campaign, launched in 2007, has improved eye care for tens of thousands of patients in impoverished regions.

Start-up competition for students held in Da Nang

The final round of the Da Nang Startup Runway 2017 took place in the central city on June 17 with the participation of 10 outstanding teams.

The competition, which jointly held by the University of Economics – the Da Nang University and Cork Academy of Ireland as part of a project sponsored by the Irish Aid, drew more than 80 teams in the qualifying round.

The C-Tek group won the first prize with the combination of a coat and a sleeping bag. The team received a cash prize worth 10 million VND (440 USD) and a training course at the Rubicon start-ups centre of the Cork Academy.

TOMATO group came in second with online fashion shopping app EZCLO and WHATEVER group finished third with pet care app Petla.

All the three teams come from the University of Economics - the Da Nang University.

Assoc. Prof. Dr Nguyen Manh Toan, Rector of the University of Economics, said the competition offered opportunities for students to sharpen their skills and practice foreign languages. It also enhance the start-up spirit among university students in Da Nang in particular and Vietnam’s central region in general.

Responsive activities to climate change in agriculture

Measures to tackle climate change’s impacts were the main theme of a recent conference on the agricultural sector in the context of implementing the Paris Climate Accord.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that the agricultural sector has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emission by eight percent and even by 20 percent if receiving support from the international community.

Data has shown that climate change has caused negative impacts on agriculture, especially through erosion of river banks, estuaries and coastal areas.

In 2015, Việt Nam joined the Paris Agreement Accord with roughly 200 other countries to begin implementing national plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The ministry has devised an action programme to deal with climate change in 2016-20, targeting reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent every 10 years.

President meets former volunteer soldiers in Cambodia

President Tran Dai Quang on June 17 met with Vietnamese former volunteer soldiers who helped Cambodia in the 1979-1989 period. 

At the meeting, the President said he was moved to meet the Vietnamese volunteer soldiers, who stood side by side with the Cambodian people in the struggle against the genocidal Pol Pot regime, helping the neighbouring country gradually revive and develop.

He praised achievements recorded by the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Association over the past time as well as the initiative to admit the veterans to the association, contributing to enhancing the traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries. 

The Cambodian State and people as well as the Vietnamese Party, State and people have appreciated great contributions and sacrifice of the volunteer soldiers, the leader stressed. 

He urged the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Association to further spread information about the fine bilateral relations among Vietnamese and Cambodian people, especially on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the two countries’ bilateral ties.

President Quang tasked authorities of different levels with supporting the association in organising the Vietnam – Cambodia Friendship Year 2017.

He assigned the presidential office to work with relevant agencies to ensure welfares for former Vietnamese volunteer soldiers, who helped Cambodia during its past struggle against the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime. The office was also demanded to propose authorised agencies commend and reward units and individuals that are yet to be honoured. 

He also urged organisations and businesses to help former volunteer soldiers in Cambodia visit the country this year on the occasion of 40 years since the end of the genocidal regime in Cambodia.-

NGOs urged to unite to protect kids

Many public organisations and NGOs operate in the field of children protection in HCM City but do not work closely with one another, according to experts.

Speaking at a workshop on the child abuse and trafficking situation and ways to combat them held on June 16 by the HCM City Child Welfare Association, they said these organisations should collaborate to develop a common strategy and action plan to improve the effectiveness of measures to safeguard children from abuse and trafficking.

Without such cooperation, they could well duplicate each other’s work, leading to a waste of human resources, they said.

Ly Thi To Mai, a member of the HCM City Association for Child Rights Protection’s lawyers panel, said not only girls but also boys face a grave risk of abuse and trafficking.

“The latest case, which I do not know how to resolve, involves a 12-year-old boy in District 9 who was seduced by a 28-year-old man. The boy dropped out of school to go and live with the man.”

When Mai met the boy and asked him if he was seduced, he denied it.

“How to protect such boys?”

Nguyen Van Tinh, deputy head of the children protection and care division of the city Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said many families with boys are not aware of the risks and allow them to stay at others’ places overnight.

In the city, there have been 100 cases of child sex abuse and violence in the last 18 months, he said.

But in reality, many more are unreported by victims’ families for various reasons, he added.

Nguyen Minh Giang, programme manager at anti-trafficking NGO Pacific Links Foundation, said Vietnam is a country with a high incidence of trafficking.

“Of the victims aged less than 18 trafficked in the UK, the number of Vietnamese is the highest.”

Colonel Phan Van Tang of the HCM City Police’s criminal police division admitted the police are yet to uncover a single child in the city trafficked to other countries.

According to Mai, social organisations in the city should have programmes to propagate the skills and knowledge required to prevent children abuse and trafficking.

More mock courts should be held in schools, she added.

Pham Dinh Nghinh, head of the Social Welfare Centre for Children, said such courts should also be held in residential areas and industrial parks to warn people.

Hanoi values contributions of news agencies

Hanoi authorities had a meeting with representatives from central-level and Hanoi news agencies on June 17 on the occasion of the 92th anniversary of Vietnam Revolutionary Press Day (June 21, 1925 – 2017).

Chairwoman of the municipal People’s Council Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc acknowledged the press’ role in capturing Hanoi’s growth progress and building the image of a dynamic capital city.

She expected the news agencies to continue covering the local political and socio-economic affairs as well as reflecting the voice of the city’s residents, organisations and businesses, which could be conducive to its policy making and management.

Participating journalists took note of the city’s prompt disclosure of pressing issues, but urged local authorities to be more open to the public.

Previously, as the press day came closer, leaders from the municipal Party Committee, People’s Council and People’s Committee visited and congratulated journalists at the Vietnam News Agency, the Radio Voice of Vietnam, and People’s Army Newspaper, among others.

Gala promotes Vietnamese culture in Cuba

Vietnamese culture has been introduced to Cuban friends at a gala night in Havana University held by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union’s chapter in Cuba. 

With 12 performances, the Alma Vietnam 2017, featured Ao Dai (Vietnamese traditional long dress) and traditional dances, along with songs depicting the spiritual life of Vietnamese people as well as praising heroic mothers and soldiers who laid down their lives for the nation.

This year’s event also saw the participation of Cuban artists. 

First held in 2015, the annual programme has helped intensify the solidarity among Vietnamese students in the Caribbean country.

Can Tho in merry mood with Yoga Day

More than 1,500 people in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho took part in the third International Yoga Day on June 17.

The mass yoga practice is part of the series of activities to mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and India and 10 years of their strategic partnership.

Addressing the event, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Van Tam said it is a people-to-people exchange activity that aims to boost mutual understanding between Vietnamese and Indian people.

Can Tho and India have worked together in various projects in agriculture, information technology, and human resources training, he said, wishing for more joint cultural exchanges between the sides in the future.

Can Tho hopes to welcome art troupes, investors and tourists from India, the official stressed.  

Smita Pant, Indian Consul General to HCM City, said yoga is a key to a healthy and balanced body and mind.

She said she hopes the day will help increase the population of Yoga practitioners in Can Tho.

The event is scheduled to run in Hanoi, Vinh Phuc, Vinh, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Long An, Can Tho, and Dong Nai from June 17 to July 2, and finally reach Ho Chi Minh City on June 25.

Thanh Hoa busts smuggling of 1,200 synthetic pills

Police in the central province of Thanh Hoa, on June 15, captured a man for transporting 1,200 synthetic pills.

Ho Van Po, born in 1962, was caught red handed on the 15C national highway’s section in Nhi Son commune, Muong Lat district.

Po currently resides in Laos’ Houaphan province.

The case is under investigation.

Over 394 billion VND spent on gifts for revolutionary contributors

A budget of over 394.6 billion VND (17.36 million USD) has been earmarked for gifts to revolutionary contributors in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the War Invalids and Martyrs Day (July 27, 1947-2017).

Under a plan submitted to the President, there will be two categories of gifts, with those for heroic mothers and seriously injured war invalids worth 400,000 VND (17.6 USD) each, and those for war invalids with less severe injuries and martyrs’ families, worth 200,000 VND (8.8 USD) each. 

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) is in charge of the tribute programme.

According to MoLISA Minister Dao Ngoc Dung, the country has over 9 million people recognised as having rendered service to the revolution and the country, making up nearly 10 percent of the total population. More than 1.4 million of revolutionary contributors and their families are receiving monthly allowances.

Photo contest on climate change launched

A photo contest themed “People and nature in the context of climate change for sustainable development” was launched on June 16 by the National Hydro-meteorological Service (NHS) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in conjunction with the Vietnam Pictorial of the Vietnam News Agency. 

The contest forms part of activities marking the 50th anniversary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)/World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Typhoon Committee and the 50th session of the committee to be held in Vietnam in 2018. 

It also aims to promote Vietnam’s contribution to multilateral international cooperation while affirming the country’s position as one of the 14 members of the UNESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee.

Since Vietnam officially joined the committee in 1979, the country has received support from the committee as well as the WMO and the UN Economic Commission for Asia and Far East (UNECAFE), the predecessor of UNESCAP, in research and training, thus serving the hydro-meteorological forecasting in the country. 

The UNESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee is an intergovernmental organisation established in 1968 under the auspices of the UNECAFE and the WMO in order to promote and coordinate the planning and implementation of measures required for minimising the loss of life and material damage caused by typhoon in Asia-Pacific. 

NHS Deputy General Director Tran Hong Thai, who is also head of the photo contest’s organising board, said the event is due to raise public awareness of natural disaster prevention and mitigation, and promote the role of the hydro-meteorological sector in managing and exploiting the hydro-meteorological forecasting network to serve the country’s sustainable development. 

The contest will last from June 16-September 30, 2017, calling for the participation of professional and amateur Vietnamese photographers both at home and abroad. 

Topics will focus on impacts of the nature, people joining hands in the context of climate change, and efforts to mitigate natural disasters to serve sustainable development.

Children taught about participation rights

More than 40 children aged from 9 to 14 from south eastern localities including Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai and Tay Ninh, were taught about the participation rights of children at a course in Binh Duong on June 16.

The course was held by Department of Child Care and Protection under the Ministry of Labours, Invalids and Social Affairs in coordination with Binh Duong province, with the aim of providing basic knowledge for children when joining group activities as well as how to notice signs of abused children. 

The participants were taught skills to exercise their participation rights, skills in negotiation, planning and self-protection, among others.

The same day, a conference took place in Ho Chi Minh City to look for ways to prevent and stop the abuse and trafficking of children.

According to statistics of the city’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, there were 104 cases of child abuse reported in the city during 2016 and the first half of 2017.

Nguyen Van Tinh, deputy head of the Child Care and Protection Office under the Department said that many families of the victims did not report their cases to authorities, making it more difficult for investigation.

Lawyer Tran Thi Ngoc Nu stressed the necessity to raise awareness for women, as mothers should report and calmly gather evidence when there are signs that their children are victims of abuse.

Participants suggested that stricter penalty should be imposed on child abuse criminals while law enforcement agencies should be more flexible in collecting evidence. They also called for specialised training for female police officers on child abuse investigation.

Thai Binh University of Medicine and Pharmacy honoured by Cambodia

The Thai Binh University of Medicine and Pharmacy in the Red River Delta province of Thai Binh hosted a ceremony on June 16 to receive Friendship Orders bestowed by the Kingdom of Cambodia on the university staff and 12 lecturers.

Established in 1968 with its original name as the Thai Binh University of Medicine, the university was tasked with training human resources, transfer science-technology and provide public healthcare services and products to care for and protect people’s health.

In 1982, the university was entrusted by the State to train doctors for Cambodia.

Assoc. Prof. Dr Hoang Nang Trong, rector of the university, said over the past 35 years the university has always created the best conditions for foreign students, including those from Cambodia, to pursue their studies. It has trained 426 Cambodian students to become doctors, he said.

In the 2016-2017 school years, the university received 26 more Cambodian students, increasing the total number of Cambodian students studying at the university to 178, he noted.

Most of them pursue education under the signed agreement between the Vietnamese and Cambodian governments, he said.

Cambodian Ambassador to Vietnam Prak Nguon Hong spoke highly of the cooperation in medical training between the university and his country.

Many Cambodian doctors trained at the university have made active contributions to the country’s public healthcare, he noted, stressing that this demonstrates the deep friendship, solidarity and mutual assistance between the two neighbouring nations over the past five decades.

On the occasion, the Cambodian Embassy in Vietnam presented the friendship orders to the university staff and its 12 outstanding lecturers.

The same day, the university held a graduation ceremony for 31 Lao and Cambodian students.

Workshop discusses action plan for green growth in building sector

A workshop was co-held by the Ministry of Construction and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in Hanoi on June 16 to implement the action plan for green growth in the building sector.

Speaking at the event, Le Trung Thanh, Director of the Department of Science Technology and Environment at the Ministry of Construction, stressed the side-effects of economic development which have caused pollution, resource exhaustion, and energy crisis over the past few years.

Vietnam is among countries suffering the most from impacts of climate change, for example, sea level rise, droughts and flooding so that the government has designed a national action plan for green growth from 2014-2020.

With support from the USAID’s “Vietnam Clean Energy Programme: Energy Efficiency Promotion”, the Ministry has formulated the action plan for the building sector by 2020 with a vision to 2030.

The program offers building owners free technical support to provide building energy simulations that can help them achieve substantial energy and Green House Gas (GHG) reductions for their newly-designed and retrofitted building demonstration projects. 

It also offers training on integrated design, building energy simulation and incorporation of energy code requirements into construction processes. Furthermore, it provides urban managers and leaders with the expertise from American green building and sustainable urban energy development experts.

USAID Vietnam Director Michael Greene said Vietnam is among countries with the fastest urbanisation that leads to an increase in GHG. Energy consumption may triple between 2010 and 2020, he noted.

He underlined the necessity to integrate the Vietnam Energy Efficiency Building Code (VEEBC) into the building sector’s action plan for green growth.

So far, some 3,000 architects, engineers, project managers, government officials and practitioners from 40 provinces have benefited from the program’s training courses, receiving technical knowledge and skills to effectively enforce and implement the VEEBC. The program has surveyed 280 buildings to develop a national database on building energy performance.

President meets chiefs of Vietnamese representative offices abroad

President Tran Dai Quang presented the President’s decisions to appoint chiefs of Vietnamese representative offices abroad for the 2017-2020 tenure at a ceremony in Hanoi on June 16. 

At a following reception, he asked them to continue fully grasping and effectively implementing the Party’s and State’s resolutions and decrees on external affairs and global integration, particularly the Resolution adopted by the 12th National Party Congress and the Resolution No.6 NQ/TW by the Party Central Committee (12th tenure). 

They were requested to realize productively the key external relations tasks of maintaining a peaceful and stable environment and gathering foreign support; firmly safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity; and improving the country’s stature on international arena. 

The host underscored the need to fully grasp comprehensive diplomacy, under which, political diplomacy should be soundly combined with economic, cultural, and national defence-security diplomacy.

He asked the diplomats to make the best use of opportunities and solve challenges to best serve the nation’s sustainable development and security goals.

As protectionism is emerging worldwide, the chiefs of Vietnamese representative offices should continue boosting global integration in ways that match the country’s conditions and interests, he said, adding that they are tasked with properly position Vietnam in the world’s mainstream that suits national interests. 

He noted that they must properly settle border and territorial issues by pooling support of the international community in political and legal terms while mobilizing the Vietnamese nationals abroad to stay united and look towards the homeland. 

On behalf of the diplomat, Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh expressed honour to hold such noble responsibility and vowed to do the best to fulfill the missions entrusted by the Party, State and people.

Son La: illegal drug transporters arrested

The police of Song Ma district, the northern mountainous province of Son La, have detained two men for illegally transporting 10 cakes of heroin (about 3.5 kg). 

The arrested are Song A Trang, 23, residing in Phieng Pan village, Mai Son district, and Giang A Tung, 20, in Na Nghiu commune, Song Ma district.

They were arrested in Le Hong Phong village, Na Nghiu commune, Song Ma district on June 19. 

They confessed that they bought the heroin from a strange man in the border area and intended to sell to earn some profit.

The case is under investigation. 

Son La borders Laos and is home to some ethnic minority groups.

Da Nang ensures power supply for APEC 2017

The central city of Da Nang has exerted efforts to ensure stable power supply for the socio-economic development of the city as well as activities of the APEC 2017 that the city will host in November this year.

According to the Da Nang Power Company, on June 17, the city’s commercial power production hit 10 million kWh per day.

The production rose over 8.3 percent over the peak figure in 2016 and 25 percent over the average daily production since early this year.

The city experienced a hot month in June with the record demand for power. The total power consumption on June 17 was 473MW, with daily use of 10.027 million kWh, the city’s highest figures so far. 

Earlier this month, the city put into operation an upgraded transformer of the Hoa Khanh 2 110kV transformer station in Hoa Khanh industrial park, Lien Chieu district.

Gov’t jobs open to non-City residents

People who are not residents of HCM City can now apply for civil service jobs.

The chairman of the city’s People’s Committee, Nguyễn Thành Phong, officially announced that the criterion requiring household registration in the city for civil service applicants has been abolished.

Lê Hoài Trung, deputy director of the city’s Home Affairs said the move was expected to ensure fairness for all applicants, the Tuổi trẻ (Youth) online newspaper reported.

At present, almost all local State agencies only recruit candidates with household registration in the city. Trung said the city is in need of 500 civil servants this year.

He added that the Ministry of Home Affairs requires successful applicants to be qualified in both written tests and interviews, instead of only written tests as before. Thus, the city will apply the model to recruit civil servants this year, he said.

Huỳnh Thục Phương, a third-year student of the Foreign Trade University in HCM City, said the move was appreciated. “No one can choose where to be born, and using the criterion of household registration for employment creates a disadvantage for applicants living in other localities who want to work for State agencies in this city,” she said.

Đỗ Thị Ngọc Linh, a fourth-year student of HCM City University of Physical Education and Sports, said the decision opens up opportunities for migrants like her to get a Government job.

Nguyễn Quang Hiếu, a fourth-year student of Việt Nam National University in HCM City, said removing the residence criterion means local students will have to compete more fiercely to get a Government job.

Unlike HCM City, many localities in the country do not require household registration as a recruitment criterion for Government jobs, including Cần Thơ and Đà Nẵng. — VNS

More than $25 million planned for flooding, erosion prevention

The central coastal province of Khánh Hoà plans to spend more than VNĐ580 billion (US$25.52 million) on 60 infrastructure projects to prevent flooding, river erosion and saltwater intrusion in 2017-18.

The investment includes more than VNĐ360 billion  ($15.84 million) sourced from State budget while the province and its districts will invest VNĐ99 billion ($4.35 million) and VNĐ114 billion ($5 million), respectively.

Erosion at the riverbank is endangering hundreds of households in Diên Khánh District and Nha Trang City. The most serious case is the riverbank along Cái River in four communes in Nha Trang City that needs almost half of the total investment, or VNĐ250 billion ($11 million), to build embankments.

The erosion has affected 150 houses in which 600 people reside in Vĩnh Thanh Commune and more than 350 houses inhabited by 1,000 people in Vĩnh Trung, Vĩnh Phương and Vĩnh Ngọc communes.

It was estimated that floods at the end of 2016 caused landslides along 5.3 kilometres of riverbank in Khánh Hòa.

According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the area is home to about 750 households with 3,000 people. 


Condolences sent to Portugal over forest fires, Remains of two American servicemen repatriated, Hà Tĩnh road named after first journalist martyr, Start-up competition for students held in Da Nang