From Đồng Tâm incident: Experience and lesson of listening to the people


About two weeks after the Dong Tam commune incident, in which villagers held over 30 people hostages including police officers, local officials and some journalists. The stand-off started on Saturday in My Duc's Dong Tam commune after police came to restore order and stability due to land dispute in the area.
According to the law, all land in Vietnam is ultimately the state’s ownership, people have rights of users but must give back for the country’s infrastructure and defence projects. Unfortunately, for times land disputes have erupted due to land users’ refusal because of inappropriate compensation or misbehaviours of local authorities.
Land disputes have increased as the government of Vietnam pursues its development goals, often turning over large swathes of state-owned agricultural land to commercial interests and national firms. However, the violent nature of the My Duc incident is rare. Despite multiple dialogues and attempts to resolve the situation, "the situation is escalating." However, whatever reasons were, the capture of officials and policemen was totally wrong and violated laws. If there are mistakes or fraud, it’s the authority’s tasks to deal with, the people should not spontaneously act like the Dong Tam’s case.
To understand more about the incident, let review the whole story about this land dispute in Dong Tam commune, My Duc district.
In 1980, an area of 50.03 hectares spanning My Luong, Tran Phu and Dong Lac communes of Chuong My district and Dong Tam commune in My Duc district was allocated to the Ministry of Defence to build Mieu Mon airport. Since October 2014, the entire area has been used by the Air Defence-Air Force Service as the base of Brigade 28. Under Decision 551/QD-TM dated March 27, 2015, the Ministry of Defence recovered the land, including 46 hectares in Dong Tam commune, and allocated it to the military-run telecommunication Viettel Group to use for the AI defence project. Earlier, due to poor management of the local government, a number of residents in Hoanh village, Dong Tam commune, had trespassed on the military-managed land farming and building residential structures. When the Ministry of Defence reclaimed the land, many of the residents lodged their complaints on the issue to authorized district and municipal agencies.
The administrations of My Duc commune and Hanoi have been holding dialogues and various communications measures to settle the matter but those residents failed to strictly abide by legal regulations related. Since late 2016, security and social order in Dong Tam commune has been complicated mostly due to those locals’ activities to “retrieve” the land piece, which has been confirmed by the authorized agencies of My Duc district, Hanoi and the Ministry of Defence as military land. They organized various activities causing disorder in the locality, especially when the Viettel Group received the area to implement the project. Hanoi Police and the Criminal Investigation Agency under the Ministry of Defence and other relevant agencies have gathered documents and evidence relating to the organized violations as these are serious, negatively affecting local security and social order as well as normal operation of local agencies, enterprises and schools.
On March 30, 2017, the Hanoi Police started legal proceedings against the case on “causing public disorder” under Article 245 of the 1999 Criminal Code while the Criminal Investigation Agency under the Ministry of Defence launched legal proceedings for the case on “resisting against on-duty officials” and the case on “violating regulations on land use” in line with Article 257 and Article 173, respectively, of the Code. The Hanoi Police Department summoned those pertaining to the cases three times but they did not show up and continued opposing activities. On April 15, 2017, the Hanoi police arrested four violators to serve the investigations into the “causing public disorder” case, but their vehicles were held and damaged, and 38 city policemen and officials of My Duc were illegally apprehended. Municipal leaders came to the locality, explained the illegal actions to the locals and requested them to release the captured officials and police. At the same time, the city also sent two working groups to the commune to work with the locals, who, however, did not cooperate and even threw sand and rocks to the officials, injuring some of them. On April 18, four citizens arrested on April 15 were released as they showed signs of repentance.
But, claiming that the disputes are being handled by corrupt local officials, the villagers refused to cooperate. There were also a lot of dangerous acts carried by Hoanh’s villagers, not only detaining police officers and threatening to kill them if security personnel attack again. Some sources reported that the farmers said they treated the detainees well, though some so-called activists and rights group Defend the Defenders said that the farmers kept them in a closed room and were prepared to “burn them with petrol” if authorities attacked the village.
Hanoi authorities have since appealed for the hostages to be released, calling on villagers to stand on the right side of the law. The authorities quickly took measures to rein in the situation with priority given to rescuing the detained officers. Local authorities also urged the residents to stay calm and cooperate and ensure the safety of the officers. Yet Dong Tam’s people refused to cooperate and required to talk with the Hanoi’s municipal administration. The situation fell into stand-off for nearly a week.
In this incident, we also saw how quickly hostile forces and reactionary elements sensed and took advantages of it to launch anti-government campaigns. Nearly after the stand-off began, some opportunist so-called activists like Lã Việt Dũng, Lê Mỹ Hạnh, Trịnh Bá Phương (son of Cấn Thị Thuê, who was judged and sentenced to prison on public disorder charges for protesting government-sanctioned evictions used to clear the way for commercial development in Duong Noi, sending her back to prison to serve a 20-month term imposed two months earlier.) and some opportunist lawyers like Trần Vũ Hải recorded clips and posted comments on some websites and social networks Facebook. Taking sand to a beach, hostile forces like BBC, CNN, VOA, RFA, RFI, etc and many other social network accounts, inside and outside the country, jumped in with wave of distorted and slanderous posts and articles about the incident aiming to undermine the Vietnamese government’s image, blaming for the State and the country’s political system and incited people to protest all over the country.
As Ha Noi Moi newspaper reported that “outside forces,” including lawyers and civil society workers, were working to incite the Dong Tam farmers by posting information about the standoff on social media “in the name of democracy”. Fortunately, Dong Tam’s people recognized these plots and deterred them from entering the village. Not just that, like vultures many anti-Vietnam organizations and groups such as Viet Tan also tried to exploit the incident to conduct their wicked schemes and steered it into false direction against the Vietnamese State’s policies.
To diffuse the heat and protect the hostages’ lives, also respecting the people’s rights and interests, the Chairman of Hanoi’s people committee Nguyen Duc Chung quickly responded to meet Dong Tam’s people and held an open-minded talk with them. At the meeting, Chung listened to the people’s aspirations and requirements and made pledges to launch a fair investigation about the management and use of land in My Duc District’s Dong Tam Commune and guarantee the people’s rights. With these tolerant and appropriate approaches, the Hanoi’s authority has settled the case smoothly and properly which has reassured the whole country. The residents were satisfied and freed all of the remaining hostages. Now, let the authorities do their jobs.
After this incident, it’s believed that the government and all local authorities in the country would have more experience in managing and serving the people, especially in land clearance. To people, we should be aware of fake news and distorted and slanderous information from toxic websites and sources. Do not let hostile forces and reactionary elements deceive and take to wrong activities against the State./.
Chia sẻ bài viết ^^
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All comments [ 4 ]

Jane smartnic 1/5/17 22:16

People should keep calm and believe in the government. Don't let hostile forces abuse to participate in bad activities.

Only Solidar 2/5/17 03:05

This issue has been settled in a reasonable and tolerant manner of the government for listening to the people.

MaskOf Zero 2/5/17 03:08

Seeing many hostile elements would want to exaggerate the incident to a so-called revolution, people should be aware of their plots of causing chaos and disability.

yobro yobro 2/5/17 18:15

Hostile vurtures! But it must admit that there is some mistakes of local authorities have caused the people's frustration. The government must manage and stop that.

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