Fury in Cambodia as US asks to be paid back hundreds of millions in war debts

    I forwarded this first to a delegation of Veterans For Peace who are now touring Viet Nam for 17 days, and I am accompanying them. They have seen some of the terrible legacies of the war in Viet Nam — consequences very similar to what neighboring Laos and Cambodia have experienced.  So this article has special resonance for them.

    It is also a reminder of the hard bargain the U.S. insisted upon during negotiations with Viet Nam which led to normalization of diplomatic relations in 1995.  The current government of Viet Nam was required to repay an old debt of the Saigon regime which collapsed in 1975, loans which had been provided during the war totaling some $145 million US dollars.  The Vietnamese eventually agreed, and repaid the first installments totaling about $15 million before then-Sen. John Kerry and Sen. John McCain intervened (and rightly so, in the opinion of many veterans) with congressional action which converted that debt to an “education” fund to provide study opportunities for Vietnamese students in the U.S. and American students in Viet Nam.  That was better than an outright repayment, of course — particularly when U.S. humanitarian assistance at that time was less than $4 million a year, for efforts related to UXO cleanup and disability programs that might bring some relief to families facing the awful consequences of Agent Orange.

    Sometimes simple fairness and justice, common decency, and morality must take precedence over the U.S. government’s bookkeeping requirements.  (It might occur to some of us that the U.S. Ambassador in Cambodia should be reminded of that.)

MARCH 11 201

Fury in Cambodia as US asks to be paid back hundreds of millions in war debts


Lindsay Murdoch

Half a century after United States B-52 bombers dropped more than 500,000 tonnes of explosives on Cambodia’s countryside Washington wants the country to repay a $US500 million ($662 million) war debt.

The demand has prompted expressions of indignation and outrage from Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.

Over 200 nights in 1973 alone, 257,456 tons of explosives fell in secret carpet-bombing sweeps – half as many as were dropped on Japan during the Second World War.

The pilots flew at such great heights they were incapable of discriminating between a Cambodian village and their targets, North Vietnamese supply lines – nicknamed the “Ho Chi Minh Trail.” Tiếp tục đọc “Fury in Cambodia as US asks to be paid back hundreds of millions in war debts”

Vietnam seeks environmental protection help from foreign scientists

Tuoi Tre News

Updated : 03/09/2017 17:32 GMT + 7

Vietnam needs assistance from foreign scientists in its efforts to protect the environment, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha remarked at an international conference on environmental pollution, restoration, and management on Wednesday.

Speaking to more than 200 experts from 25 nations and territories in Quy Nhon City, the capital of the south-central province of Binh Dinh, Minister Ha confirmed that Vietnam faces many environmental challenges, including rising pollution, decreasing biodiversity, limitations to environmental management, lack of forecasting capability, and insufficient resources to deal with environmental incidents. Tiếp tục đọc “Vietnam seeks environmental protection help from foreign scientists”

Dancers set Kong’s Vietnam premiere ceremony on fire, literally


Updated : 03/10/2017 09:41 GMT + 7

A ten-meter tall model of the cinematic beast King Kong caught fire on Thursday at the Ho Chi Minh City premiere of ‘Kong: Skull Island’.

The ceremony was held in front of the SC Vivo City shopping mall in District 7, where government officials, U.S. diplomats, celebrities, and representatives from Warner Bros. Pictures gathered to celebrate the opening of the first Hollywood blockbuster to be shot mainly in Vietnam.

Towering of the ceremony’s stage was a ten-meter tall model of King Kong, the enormous fictional ape-like beast whose name was given to the film’s title.

At around 7:10 pm, when the event’s emcee was delivering a monologue following a lively performance from fire dancers in tribal costume, smoke and flames began to rise from the left hand of the Kong model. Tiếp tục đọc “Dancers set Kong’s Vietnam premiere ceremony on fire, literally”

Hà Nội’s lakes cleaned up

Update: March, 09/2017 – 17:45

Lake cleaners pour Redoxy-3C to purify a lake in Hà Nội. – Photo thanglong.chinhphu.vn

HÀ NỘI — All lakes in the inner city and 36 of the 140 polluted lakes on the outskirts have been cleaned, the Hà Nội Water Drainage Company said on Wednesday.

Of the 36 lakes, 14 are in Đông Anh District, six are in Thạch Thất District and six are in Ba Vì District, said Phan Hoài Minh, deputy director of the company. The remaining ones are in Chương Mỹ, Gia Lâm, Sơn Tây, Thanh Oai, Ứng Hòa and Mê Linh districts.

Minh said that in 2016, following proposals submitted by district and town authorities, the company assessed the pollution level of 150 lakes on the outskirts of the capital city. Of these, 140 lakes were severely contaminated and needed urgent clean-ups to protect their bio-systems, safety levels and the surroundings. Tiếp tục đọc “Hà Nội’s lakes cleaned up”