Investment for HCM City’s hospitals approved

The HCM City Oncology Hospital will be one of five hospitals

in HCM City to be rebuilt under a package recently approved by Prime


Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has given the nod to a package worth over VNĐ5.3 trillion (US$236 million) to invest in the construction of five hospitals in HCM City.

The hospitals are at the central and lower levels and include the second facilities of Bạch Mai Hospital, Việt Đức Hospital, HCM City Oncology Hospital, HCM City Paediatrics Hospital and Military Hospital No.175’s Traumatology Orthopaedics Institute.

The money will be sourced from a fund established to support the development of businesses.

The construction of these hospitals is expected to ease congestion and improve the quality of healthcare, leading to better services for patients.

Poster, photo contest on environmental protection launched

A photo and poster contest on environmental protection for teenagers around the country was officially launched at a ceremony in Hanoi on June 30.

The event was held by the General Department of Environment under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, in co-ordination with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Global Environment Fund (GEF).

The contest aims to feature the environmental pollution situation in Vietnam as well as seek reasonable and prompt solutions to protect the environment.

It is also expected to contribute to raising public awareness, particularly among younger generations, of environmental protection and sustainable use of natural resources.

In the photo category themed ‘Open burning – Impact on health and environment’, entries should reflect waste incineration, forest fires, agricultural waste burning and the recycling of metal, cotton and yarn.

The poster drawing category, themed ‘3R – For a brighter future’, will highlight solutions to reduce the amount of generated waste through changes in lifestyles and consumption patterns and improvement of production processes, as well as efficient use of natural resources and emission of waste and exhaust fumes.

The organising board will present two first, four second, three third and 14 consolation prizes, worth VND10 million, VND5 million, VND3 million and VND1 million each, respectively, for the most outstanding entries.

In addition, the works of the first prize winners will be exhibited in Vienna (Austria).

Art exhibition featuring facial expressions opens

An art exhibition themed “Face” by artist Nguyen Cong Hoai opened at the Republic of Korea (RoK) Cultural Centre, 49 Nguyen Du, Hanoi on June 29.

The exhibition is a part of the centre’s prize granted to Hoai in a contest which aimed to seek and support young talented Vietnamese artists, as well as enhance cultural exchanges between Vietnam and the RoK.

The 15 oil paintings displayed reflect the artist’s efforts since taking part in the contest. He tried to feature lives through facial expressions of happiness, sadness, pain and anger, depicting human beings in general.

According to the cultural centre’s director Park Nark Jong, the face shows the emotions and moods of each individual, which can be recognised by all nationals. Hoai has been succesful in depicting the diversity of facial expressions.

He expressed his hope that young Vietnamese artists would continue supporting RoK cultural activities in the future.

The exhibition will last until July 9.

Dong Nai set to get expressway

The Dau Giay-Tan Phu Expressway in Dong Nai province will be built under the build-operate-transfer mode, with the Ministry of Transport’s Project Management Board No. 1 overseeing the construction.

It will be 59.6km long and 17m wide in the first phase, with its four lanes allowing a maximum speed of 80km per hour.

It will be expanded to 24.7m in the second phase, when the speeds will go up to 100-120km per hour.

It will cost 8 trillion VND (358.7 million USD) for the first phase and 6.9 trillion VND (309.4 million USD) for the second.

The expressway will be part of National Highway No. 20, which runs from Dau Giay to Lam Dong province. It is used by 17,595 vehicles daily, while 7,244 use the Dau Giay-Tan Phu section.

By 2020, the highway is expected to be overloaded, making the Dau Giay-Tan Phu Expressway necessary to ease traffic, the board said.

Due to the limited funds available and difficulties in obtaining Japanese official development assistance, the work would be done in BOT mode, it said.

A toll of 1,500 VND per kilometre is planned for 22 years and six months.

If the expressway gets the green light, construction will begin in the first quarter of next year and be completed in three years.-

US Mission in Vietnam seeks candidates for Fulbright US-ASEAN Visiting Scholar Initiative

The US Mission in Vietnam is calling for nominations of outstanding candidates to participate in the 2017 Fulbright US-ASEAN Visiting Scholar Initiative.

The Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Visiting Scholar Initiative is open to university faculty, foreign ministry or other government officials, and professional staff of the private sector, think tanks, and other NGOs in the ASEAN member states to travel to the United States for scholarly and professional research for three to four months on issues of priority to the U.S.-ASEAN relationship.

Nominations will be accepted from all ASEAN member states, the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi said in a press release on Monday.

The Fulbright Program in Vietnam will coordinate to nominate up to three candidates from Vietnam.

It is anticipated that 10 qualified applicants will be selected, preferably representing each of the 10 ASEAN member states, by a U.S.-ASEAN selection committee.

Only online applications with completed supporting documents by 5:00 pm (Vietnam time) on Friday, October 28, 2016, will be considered.

The online application is available at: https://apply.embark.com/student/fulbright/scholars/30/.

Details on the eligibility requirements, expenses and application process can be found at https://vn.edit.usembassy.gov/education-culture/fulbright-program-vietnam/us-asean-fulbright-visiting-scholar/, or Ms. Do Thu Huong, Program Assistant, at (04) 3850-5000 (ext. 6225), or email: vnfulbright@gmail.com.

Vietnam sentences 73-yr-old Aussie woman to death for trafficking drugs

A court in Ho Chi Minh City on June 29 sentenced an elderly Australian national to death for trafficking 1.6kg of cocaine out of Vietnam in late 2014.

Nguyen Thi Huong, 73, received the sentence at her trial on charges of “illegally transporting drugs.”

Huong was arrested at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on December 10, 2014, when she was about to board a flight to Australia, with 36 bars of ‘soap’ in her checked baggage.

Security forces took the suspected products for testing, which later revealed that the ‘soap bars’ were in fact heroin, weighing a total of 1.63 kg.

The Australian woman told the court that she had been gifted those ‘soap bars’ by a woman named Helen, when they were on a trip to the coastal city of Vung Tau. Huong said she only wanted to take those gifts back to Australia with her, not knowing that they were drugs.

However, she failed to prove that there was really anyone called Helen.

Defending Huong at the court, lawyer Nguyen Nguyen Thy and a representative from the municipal foreign affairs department demanded a more lenient sentence for her, citing her bad health and unstable memory at the age of 73.

A representative from the Australian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City suggested that Huong not get a death sentence, as capital punishment has been abolished in all jurisdictions in Australia.

However, the court considered the act of trafficking 1.6kg of drugs is a severe offense that is extremely dangerous to the community, so it upheld the death sentence.

Ford teaches eco-friendly driving tactics

Drivers can and should increase their fuel efficiency and reduce emissions of carbon and other pollutants by following an eco-friendly driving strategy, says the Ford Motor Company.

For the past eight years, Ford has provided free training to some 10,000 young drivers in Vietnam teaching them eco-friendly driving techniques so that they not only drive safely— but in an environmentally friendly way.

On June 29, Ford Vietnam in collaboration with the National Traffic Safety Committee and the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation launched the ninth year of implementing the program.

“About 1,500 young drivers are expected to participate in the program this year,” said a Ford Vietnam representative at the launch.

This year, the program will focus on improving driving skills in foggy weather and specifically target young drivers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Among the many tactics Ford teaches are to keep the motorbike or auto properly maintained, tires pumped up, travel lightly, plan each travel and the timing, don’t idle but shut off the engine, slow down, keep it steady and go gadget free.

On the occasion, Ford announced the donation of US$10,000 (VND220 million) to the NTSC for a program to support victims and their families cope with the tragic aftereffects of traffic accidents.

Highest temperature nationwide reduces slightly

The National Hydrology Meteorology Forecast Center reported daytime temperature nationwide is going to reduce slightly in comparison with the previous years.

It will be mostly sunny in the northern region and Hanoi with a high near 31- 35 degrees Celsius and low around of 21- 27 degrees Celsius.

The daytime temperature in the central region has increased by 1-2 degrees Celsius meanwhile the Mekong Delta region is expected to see medium-heavy rains and thunderstorm at night. The highest temperature is measured at 37 degrees Celsius.

In recent days, Ho Chi Minh City, the southeastern region, Central Highlands and southwestern region have experienced cooler weather with slight sunny and small rains. The high temperature will be around 33- 34 degrees Celsius daytime.

The weather experts predicted that the weather would be comfortable for students attending the National High school Exit Exam in the upcoming days.

Concert commemorates late musician Trinh Cong Son

A concert commemorating the late famous and beloved song writer in the country, Trinh Cong Son will be held at Hanoi’s French Cultural Centre L’Espace on July 17.

Music lovers will have a chance to enjoy his famous love songs performed by artists, vocalist Giang Trang, guitarist Le Thu and flutist Le Thu Huong.

Three artists, who live and work in different countries, will have a talk over the melodies and lyrics of songwriter Trinh Cong Son. Sometimes the conversation, is busy, sometimes it’s calm. It is empty and full of singing and sounds of guitar and flute, making a return to the serene space of Trinh Cong Son music.

Each song has its own origin, bringing a memory that embeds the audience in a quiet area, which floats between memory, forgetting and melancholy.

Over VND 6,200 billion to be spent to build new highway to connect Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has just proposed the Prime Minister about construction project of Beltway No. 4 connecting Long An province to Ho Chi Minh City.

Accordingly, the first section interacted between Ho Chi Minh – Trung Luong Expressway in Ben Luc town, Long An province; and the last section is located at Hiep Phuoc Industrial Port in Nha Be district of the city.

The construction project with the total length of 36 kilometers  will cost VND 6, 273 billion under build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract. It will start in the first quarter of 2017 and complete within three years, aiming to strengthen regional link and key economic development of the southern metropolis Ho Chi Minh City.

Beltway No. 4 will run through five provinces of Ba Ria- Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Long An and Ho Chi Minh City. Total investment capital costs VND 98, 537 billion (exclude fee for building over-bridge) under bond funds of Government, Official Development Assistance (ODA) and others.

32 pharmaceutical companies fined for violating regulations

The Drug Administration of Vietnam under the Ministry of Health announced the list of 32 pharmaceutical companies receiving administrative fines for their violations.

From the beginning of the year to May 31, 2016, health inspectors detected 32 companies to breach the law. Eight companies were fiend for it produced low-quality drugs. They are Minh Dan Pharmaceutical Company; United International Pharma Company; Sao Kim Company; Young – il Pharm Company; Medico Remedies Pharma Company; Usarichpharm plant; Precise Chemipharma Private Limited Company and Aceeess Healthcare.

Ten companies violating brand name include PT Dexa Medica, Kyongbo Phamaceutical, Khandelwal Laboratorie, Marksans Pharma Ltd-India, Gufic Biosciences Limited, Scott Edil Pharmacia, Il Hwa; Kukje Pharma; Genome Pharmaceuticals;  and Scott Edil Pharmacia.

Nine enterprises selling drugs higher than written in the list are Viet Hung Pharma, Tri Khang Commercial Company, MK Vietnam Pharmaceutical, Nguyen Danh Company, Tay Son Company, Bao Son Commercial Company, Thuy Truc Company, Sohaco, and French Alpha Company.

Three cosmetic companies being fined are Samsara Commercial Company,  Viet Duc Company, and Viet-Duc (Viet-German) Company.

Amongst them, Nhat Nhat Company has been fiend two times for violating advertising regulation.

Ferring Pharmaceutical Company was fined for selling drug Minirin with the registered number VN-18893-15 with illicit label.

Centre for Heritage Research and Conservation makes debut

The Hanoi History Association (HHA) and Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA) on June 29 announced the establishment of the Centre for Heritage Research and Conservation.

Chairman of HHA Dr. Nguyen Van Son said that over the past few years the association has conducted a lot of work related to heritage conservation but it needs legal status to gather leading scientists, leading to the establishment of the centre.

Currently, it has gathered 16 leading experts to participate in the work related to research and preservation of heritages in Hanoi and across the country.

The centre, which is under the management of HHA, operates in the fields of science and technology, history, archeology, and museology. It also performs services including science and technology advice for conservation and preservation of relics and restoring historic culture; providing training and scientific and technological information; and organising conferences, symposiums and international co-operation in history.

The centre also co-operates with experts, researchers, and scientists to carry out research in the fields of history, archeology, museums, and preservation, while consulting and organising research activities and conservation of national cultural heritage values.

The center will organise compilation, printing and distribution of publications related to cultural heritages; hold competitions on historical landmarks, heritages and traditional villages; collect and translate history documents related to cultural heritages; and collaborate with domestic and foreign institutions to provide training in the field of research and conservation of cultural heritages.

Nearly 2,000 communes meet new rural area standards

As of late May, 2016, 1,965 communes or 22% of the total achieved the new rural area status, up 4.9% against the same period last year.

Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue (standing) at the working session with theCentral Steering Committee for the National Target Program, Ha Noi, June 28, 2016 – Photo: VGP/Do Huong

The Central Steering Committee for the National Target Program on new rural construction on June 28 convened a meeting to review their operation in the first half and define orientations in the rest of the year.

The Central Steering Committee reported that 23 wards nationwide have been granted the status. Ten others are preparing documents to submit to the PM for consideration.

This year, the country plans to raise more than VND 263.1 trillion (US$11.95 billion) for the program, including over VND 7.3 trillion from the State budget.

Addressing the meeting, Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue tasked the Ministry of Planning and Investment to examine the program so that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development could refine the set of criteria to submit to the PM for approval.

As scheduled, Viet Nam is striving to have nearly 25% of communes nationwide meeting the criteria for new-style rural areas later this year.

The leader asked relevant ministry to address delayed payment of debts for construction in building new-style rural areas.

He also suggested that the criteria on building of new rural areas should vary in each locality and take into account socio-cultural, security and order, and environment aspects.

RMIT event to promote fashion production

RMIT University HCMC will host a three-day event themed “Producing Fashion – Made in Vietnam” from July 5-7 to give participants an opportunity to explore how fashion is produced and consumed.

It is designed to open up conversations about opportunities for fashion in Vietnam. Each day explores a different theme inviting participants to contribute through formal presentations, world café-style sessions and informal get-togethers. At night, there will be various dinner party options to encourage lively discussion and sampling of local food.

Day 1, 2, 3 will respectively have theme on creativity, connecting with industry and growing the future. Some highlights are “Producing Fashion: Made in Vietnam,” “Twenty Years of Vietnamese Fashion,” and “New Models of Craft – Working with New Materials,” “The Role of Education – Jobs of the Future,” and “Identity of Vietnamese Fashion.”

Morning sessions will be held at RMIT University in HCMC’s District 7. Afternoon sessions will be in a scholarly café style at various locations around town.

Those interested in this event are advised to visit https://fashioncolloquia2016.eventbrite.com.au for registration for one day up to three days of the event.

Vietnamese splurge on children’s education in Australia, US

Duong Bao Ngoc spends some US$35,000 every year on her daughter’s study at a college in the US. She considers it a major investment that will certainly pay off.

“If you want your children to thrive and succeed in the future, you should send them to schools abroad,” she said. “A degree from overseas will help them compete better against their peers.”

For many parents, overseas education gives their children more than just a prestigious degree but also practical knowledge, foreign language proficiency and social skills.

This belief is growing strong, particularly among the country’s upper-middle class who think the local education system is too rigid and riddled with problems and scandals. Many better-off parents have jumped on the bandwagon of sending children to international-style private schools, and later, to colleges and universities overseas.

Many education experts said the Vietnamese educational system is widely regarded as being in crisis at all levels. Teaching methods remain too passive, with students having little chance to interact with their teacher, discuss issues, or ask questions.

Vietnamese universities have been churning out a degree-holding workforce that falls short of its economic and societal demand. Foreign companies have lamented that the poor quality of universities will hinder Vietnam’s economic growth, claiming that they still find it difficult to recruit graduates in finance, management and information technology.

Another parent, Nguyen Thanh Trung, has decided to give years of savings to his two children’s education. His daughter left for Australia last week.

“It will cost my family dearly, but I think it is worth it. She cannot study here in Vietnam,” he said.

His other child, 15, is being prepped for a school overseas as well.

The trend of studying abroad moves in tandem with Vietnam’s economic growth, which has lifted many out of poverty and created an increasing large high-income fraction. The annual income per capita has risen to more than US$2,100 – for the nouveaux riches that amount may only be equal to the stipend for their children overseas.

More than 110,000 Vietnamese students are reportedly studying in 47 countries around the world, spending an estimated US$3 billion a year.

Vietnam ranks sixth, after China, India, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Canada, among all sending countries at US institutions, mostly colleges and universities but also boarding and day schools, according to a new report in The Value of Education series from HSBC.

Australia and Canada are also the favorite countries for Vietnamese students. English-speaking environment is one of the main reasons.

Parents put their child’s education at top of their financial priorities and most worry about cost when sending their child to study abroad.

Kris Werner, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Vietnam, said, “The financial sacrifices that parents are willing to make to fund their children’s education are proof of the unquestioning support they will give to help them achieve their ambitions.

Many would also consider topping up a domestic university education with a study abroad program to increase their child’s chances of succeeding in their future careers.”

But many now warn that a shiny new degree from overseas may not always translate to good employment prospects.

Despite spending a lot of money on their programs, many graduates have still struggled to find their dream jobs in Vietnam after returning home. Some demand high salaries while others lack the experience needed.

Phan Truong Son, director of an electronics trader in Hanoi, said many graduates from overseas universities often think that they have better qualifications than those from local ones, so they ask for higher pay.

“Many overseas graduates expect starting salary of US$1,000 at least. This is just too high for entry level positions,” Son said.

Son said employers are willing to pay more for strong candidates. “But no employers would offer high salaries only because you graduated abroad.”

Amid high demand for international education, some experts said the government should encourage more foreign investors to set up quality schools here in Vietnam.

They said the government should ease restrictions for foreign investors in the sector. Currently, to open an education institution, investors have to apply for three different licenses and they have to repeat the similar procedures when they want to open a new branch of their existing institutions.

During their operation, investors are also obliged to repeatedly acquire assessments and certifications from different agencies, which costs a lot of money and time, they said.

At the moment, Vietnam only has a few international universities, including RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) Vietnam and the British University of Vietnam.

Foreign investors pledged a total of US$732 million for education and training projects in Vietnam in the first half of this year, down from US$822.31 million in the same period last year, according to figures released by the Foreign Investment Agency.

Gov’t owes $66.5 mln reward for new rural development

The Government has so far owed localities VND1,482 billion (US$66.5 million) of reward for their good performance in new rural development program, reported the Central Committee for Emulation and Commendation at a conference in Hanoi yesterday.

According to the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 1620 in 2011, each province will receive a bonus of VND30 billion for its achievements in the program. The reward is VND10 billion for districts and VND1 billion for communes.

However authorized agencies assigned to allocate the state budget for the reward have owned 13 provinces, 57 districts and 521 communes a total money of VND1,482 billion.

The Ministries of Planning and Investment Finance have proposed to use provincial budgets to reward districts and communes. Still, the Central Committee for Emulation and Commendation said that the prize money should be taken from the central budget as per the Prime Minister’s decision.

In addition, 52 provinces and cities now owe VND15,212 billion (US$682.4 million) of funds that have been spent on basic infrastructure construction.

Vietnam has had 1,965 communes meeting new rural standards by the end of May, accounting for 22 percent of the total number of communes in the country and up 4.9 percent over last yearend. The Prime Minister has signed decisions to recognize 23 new rural districts, an increase of eight over last December.

So far, total capital mobilized for the new rural development program has approximated VND263,127 billion (US$11.8 billion) including VND7,347 from the central budget. The rest amount has been raised from localities, businesses and citizens.

Representatives of ministries suggested adding new norms into the program in the new phase of 2016-2020. The Ministries of Health and Finance proposed to supplement standards on fresh water, health insurance and rural environmental hygiene.

Former Minster of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Huy Ngo said it is needed to reconsider the way of understanding about new rural development. The program should focus on improving the lives of residents and creating opportunities for them to earn high income rather than only building electricity, traffic, school and health clinic systems. Solving of citizens’ urgent matters should also be on focus.

New rural development will not efficient if following achievements, he said. Material infrastructure construction is necessary but it has left over VND15 trillion arrears for localities. A commune now incurs a debt of VND1.5 billion (US$67,000).

Vietnam targets 25 percent communes meeting new rural standards by the end of this year and 30-35 districts recognized as new rural areas, said the Central Steering Committee on the National Target Program on New Rural Development. New rural criteria will increase at least by one norm for communes, it added.

Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said that the National Assembly has passed the new rural development program in the phase 2016-2020. Hence, the task set out now is to build up new criteria together with circulars and instructions for localities to implement the program.

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said that after five years of the program, the face of many villages has clearly changed. Still, it is necessary to review new rural planning and improve the planning quality to efficiently carry out the new phase.

Central and local agencies should complete supplemental criteria within July to submit to the Prime Minister for approval and guidelines. The new rural criteria should be built flexibly to suit characteristics of each locality.

Arrears in basic infrastructure construction should be reconsidered to learn from experiences. In addition, authorized agencies should glorify individuals and businesses making much contribution to new rural development, he added.

The Government will speed up related ministries to solve the reward arrears as soon as possible, he said.

The conference was hosted to review the national target program on new rural development for the first half of the year and debate implementation in the second half.

VND 13.2trln to be invested in highway linking Bo Y to Pleiku

Kontum People’s Committee has proposed Ministry of Transport to build up the highway linking Bo Y international border gate (Kontum) with Pleiku City (Gia Lai) under BOT (build operate tranfer).

Accordingly, the highway will have investment capital of VND 13.2trillion. Under the plan, the route from Bo Y to Ngoc Hoi and Pleiku will have 11km in length with its speed of 100km per hour and 6 vehicle lanes.

Kontum People’s Committee said the highway will help boost local economic development and improve the transport of goods from Thailand, Myanmar, Laos to Vietnam through Bo Y international border gate.

In addition, it is expected that Vietnamese enterprises will speed up investment into Laos after Vietnam officially joins in ASEAN Economic Community Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Kontum authority suggests to be built up the highway before 2020 as if the project is approved by the Prime Minister.

50 historical drama shows introduced to students

In order to encourage students to learn about the country’s history and theatre, the Department of Education and Training in Ho Chi Minh City and Thai Duong Art Company organized 50 historical drama shows free of charge for preschool and primary students.

The shows will take place in seven outlying districts including Go Vap, Thu Duc, Tan Phu, Cu Chi, Hoc Mon, Nha Be and Can Gio. The performances will last 90 minute and introduce about the historical drama – Giong Saint.

Hoa Binh village for orphans in central province established

Authority in the central province of Quang Nam yesterday decided to establish Hoa Binh (Peace) village for orphans in  Phu Ninh District’s Tam Dan Commune.

As per the decision, the village was set up on the base to merge old Hoa Binh village and the center for raising orphans in the province managed by the Department of Labor, Invalids and the Social Affairs. The village is a reliable place which benefactors can support.

The village will be built on the area of 34,000 meter square and include three areas: two areas for children reside and one area for the village’s office.

The village is currently raising 105 orphans, disabled kids and disadvantaged ones and employing 51 staffs including nurses and baby-sitter.

The village director Vo Thi Hong Hanh said that the merging of the two centers aims to make it easy for managing and receiving children as well as their health and financial support of domestic and international organizations and individuals.

Historical sites exploited by tasteless greed

Anything can happen in Vietnam, including the most ridiculous of things, such as being given permission to build a construction on top of a tomb of a former king.

King Tran Anh Tong’s tomb on Yen Tu Mountain, Quang Ninh Province, is classified as special national heritage site but that hasn’t protected it from being violated. Van Huy Company blatantly brought machines and equipment to the mountain, filled up part of Trai Loc 1 Lake and already built a series of small houses there.

The public again were outraged. This is not the first time that historic sites have been violated or damaged. Some were renovated for the worse despite criticism from the public and regulations.

Local authorities and managers must take the primary blame for letting this become a common issue. They have either ignored the problem or were bribed because there’s no way such huge construction could be carried out without help from the authorities.

In 2013, the Van Huy Company was allocated 1,000 square metres along Trai Loc 1 Lake for tree planting yet the land was used to build houses. The company said these were guard houses to monitor the project. Van Huy Company was then told to demolish the houses in 2014 but they continued to build more. On September 15, 2015, the authorities of Dong Trieu Town People’s Committee fined the Van Huy Company VND45m (USD2,045) and instructed the company to demolish the houses immediately. But still nothing was done.

Tran Van Vinh, the town vice chairman, simply said Van Huy Company had asked to legalise the construction. The company is also seeking permission from the provincial authorities to build a service area for eco-tourism there.

It sounds ridiculous. First Tran Anh Company can be accused of grave trespassing as outlined in black and white in the Criminal Code. Those who dig or damage graves and tombs to steal or violate the bodies can face one year of non-custodial reform to two years imprisonment or five years in more serious cases.

They can also be charged for infringing historic and cultural relic sites and may be fined from VND2m to VND20m. Violators face three years of non-custodial reform or up to seven years of imprisonment if causing serious consequences.

This case can be prosecuted but it looks like the local authorities are considering legalising the illegal construction.

Lao PM conveys condolences over military aircraft accidents

Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on June 29 extended a message of condolences to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc over the SU 30MK2 and CASA 212 military aircraft accidents that happened on June 14 and 16.

In the message, the Lao leader said he has kept a close watch on the incident, considering it a great sacrifice and loss to the army, Defence Ministry and people of Vietnam.

On behalf of the Lao Party, government and people, he conveyed his deep sympathy to the Vietnamese government and people as well as the Vietnamese army and Defence Ministry, particularly the families of the fallen officers and soldiers.-

Congratulation to China’s Communist Party on founding anniversary

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) has cabled a congratulatory message to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on its 95th founding anniversary (July 1, 1921).

Vietnam and China established diplomatic relations in 1950, since then the two countries have always attached importance to maintaining friendly neighborliness and win-win cooperation.

Poster design contest for environmental protection launched

A photo and poster design contest for environmental protection was launched in Hanoi on June 30.

The contest, organised by the Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), is open for children aged 10-15.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, VEA deputy head Hoang Van Thuc said the contest is aimed at improving the public’s awareness of protecting the environment through 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) measures.

The contest includes two categories, a photo creation themed “Open burning affects health and environment” and poster design themed “3R for a brighter future”.

There will be two first prizes worth 10 million VND (430 USD) each, four second prizes worth 5 million VND (215 USD) each, and three third prizes worth 3 million VND (130 USD) each.

The contest’s winners will have a chance to display their works at an exhibition to be held in Vienna, Austria.

China and Việt Nam continue to promote mutual tourism

China and Việt Nam will continue to promote tourism between the two countries to enhance better mutual understanding, experts said at a conference yesterday in Hà Nội.

The conference which was jointly organised by Henan Tourism Administration and Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) to promote tourism in Henan, China’s 5th largest provincial economy.

Henan is the birthplace of Chinese civilization, with over 3,000 years of recorded history. It was China’s cultural, economical, and political center until about 1,000 years ago. The ruins of the Shang Dynasty capital city Yin, the Shaolin Temple, and four of the eight great ancient capitals of China – Luoyang, Anyang, Kaifeng and Zhengzhou – are all in Henan.

Kou Wu Jiang, director of Henan Tourism Administration, said at the conference that in 2015, two million Vietnamese tourists visited China, demonstrating Vietnamese interest in China’s landscapes and culture.

Last year Việt Nam launched its biggest ever promotional campaign in China, its largest visitor market, and brought a new wave of Chinese tourists to Việt Nam, said Nguyễn Văn Tuấn, director of VNA.

The coastal city of Nha Trang in central Việt Nam remains a top destination for Chinese travelers.

Thể Công triumph at Military Volleyball Open

Thể Công beat Biên Phòng 21-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-9 to triumph at the Military Volleyball Open tournament’s men category on June 29 in Hà Nội.

Making full use of their advantage as the host, Biên Phòng established their domination in the first set with the outstanding performance of spiker Nguyễn Hữu Hà.

The team took the lead from the beginning, quickly finishing the first set 25-21.

However, the tide turned in the next set, when Thể Công limited Hà’s strong volleys while their setter Nguyễn Xuân Thanh worked hard to provide smart balls to teammates, leading them to a 25-23 win and then again with 28-18 and 25-9.

It was Biên Phòng’s second loss at a final in two months. Earlier, they were defeated by Sanest Khánh Hòa in the Hùng Vương Cup in April.

In an early match of the day, Tiến Nông Thanh Hóa won 3-1 against PVD Thái Bình, taking the bronze medal for the women’s team.

On June 28, Liên Việt Postbank took the women’s title. Vietinbank came in second.


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