Re: Delegation of the Embassies of Germany, France, Italy, Holland, England and EU visited Interfaith Council of Vietnam to find out the situation of Freedom of Religion and Human rights.
5/16/2018- Vietnam: Interfaith Council of Vietnam said that at 09 AM, on May 16, 2018, at Giac Hoa Pagoda, No Trang Long, Binh Thanh, Saigon, the delegation of embassies of Germany, Italy, Netherlands, France, Britain and the European Union visited Interfaith Council of Vietnam to find out the situation of religious and human rights in Vietnam today.
To meet the delegation, dignitaries of the Interfaith Council had to find ways to weave to Giac Hoa Pagoda from many directions in order to avoid the local authorities’ stoppages.
– Ms. Fabienne RUNYO, First Secretary of Political and Press of French Embassy.
– Mr. Nicolo Costatini, First Secretary of Politics, Culture and Journalism of Italian Embassy.
– Ms. Catherine Welter, Politburo Committee attaché of Political, Press and Information of the European Union delegation in Vietnam.
– Mr. Tim Krap, Holland Embassy.
– Mr. Konrad Lax, Germany Embassy.
– Ms. Hanh, interpreter of British Embassy.
Interfaith Council attended including:
– Most Venerable Thich Khong Tanh, Co-chair of the Interfaith Council, representing Buddhism.
– Dignitary Hua Phi, Co-chair of the Interfaith Council, representing Cao Dai.
– Pastor Nguyen Hoang Hoa, Co-chair of the Interfaith Council, representing Protestant.
– Dignitary Le Van Soc, Co-chair of the Interfaith Council, representing Hoa Hao Buddhism.
– Father Nguyen Duy Tan, representative of Father Phan Van Loi who could not leave Hue, representing Catholic.
– Dignitary Le Quang Hien Dao, Secretary, representing Hoa Hao Buddhism.
– Dignitary Nguyen Bach Phung, Treasurer, representing Cao Dai.
– Venerable Thich Phuoc Vinh, Buddhist member.
– Dignitary Nguyen Kim Lan, Cao Dai member.
– Dignitary Le Thi Nho, Cao Dai member.
In addition, a number of civilian support members were also present.
This meeting was arranged previously between Interfaith Council of Vietnam with officials of Foreign Affairs of 5 European countries and the European Union consisting of 28 member states. This was an important meeting after the deluge of news of Vietnam communist government of religious persecution and human rights in 2017 and in recent days. Many dignitaries were prevented to the meeting by the authorities, but eventually all four co-chairmen were present. Only being absent regard to no government’s permission, Father Phan Van Loi was represented by Father Nguyen Duy Tan, who was recently harassed by the the authorities due his criticism of dictatorship, corruption and injustice.
Delegations and dignitaries Interreligious Council meet very affable.
Mr. Konrad Lax, delegation representative, had his opening remark and talked about the meeting purpose of learning about Interfaith Council of Vietnam and activities of religions after the communist regime’ s Religious State Law in effect.
Next, Venerable Thich Khong Tanh, representing Interfaith Council of Vietnam, presented the establishment of the Council and the regime’s harassment and repression of religions.
After 1975, the communist authorities have adopted a policy to destroy religions in advocating atheist as everyone already knows. The authorities have persecuted all religions and founded state-controlled religious organizations. The independent religions were intensively persecuted. Facing that situation, some religious organizations independently established Interfaith Council of Vietnam to fight for freedom of religion, human rights, helps for disabled veterans, injustice victims, disaster and flood victims. Lien Tri Pagoda was used as Interfaith Council of Vietnam’s headquarter where democracy organizations gathered. So that the authorities have sought to destroy Lien Tri Pagoda and the monks and nuns must stay at Giac Hoa Pagoda. Interfaith Council was increasingly and intensively persecuted, especially the prohibition of Hoa Hao Buddhist memorial service of Master Huynh Giao Chu. Dignitary Hua Phi, Cao Dai, was in right hemiplegia condition due to police harassment. The Buddhism, Catholic, and Protestant as well as other other religions have all been repressed. Venerable Thich Khong Tanh proposed to the delegation of democracy nations with the petition as follows:
- Please regularly monitor the human rights situation in the totalitarian communist regime in Vietnam, since 1954 in the North and since 1975 throughout Vietnam, which has only built by violence and lies, on the tears and blood of their citizens and their compatriots. Aids for such a nefarious and unfair regime needs to be carefully considered, otherwise it will help dictatorship and cruelty.
- Please always put the conditions of human rights in your relations with the Vietnamese government, whether in economic, cultural, commercial or military terms, and be ready to take sanctions, for example, the CPC list in the United States, when Hanoi has repeated serious human rights abuses. In reality, there are too many cases.
3- Please quickly and actively apply the Magnitsky Global Human Rights Act (established by Canada and the United States) in order to effectively deter the ruling elite in Vietnam, who have deprive their citizens, organizations, and religions’ possessions and seek to run to the West to enjoy their leisure.
4- Please note that only Vietnamese people who love justice and truth and only the government that respects human rights and democracy, are true friends of your countries. At that time, your economic, cultural and scientific supports to our country will bring real results and the Vietnamese people will appreciate your helps.
- In the immediate future, please support the movement for democracy and human rights in our country to be successful so that we can practice religion freely and our people enjoy freedom and democracy as your countries. Please pressure the authorities to release about 200 prisoners of conscience.
Next, The Venerable submitted many reports about violations of religious and human rights in English and Vietnamese, Then, each dignitaries and representatives presented their cases of religious persecutions.
In response to this, representatives of the delegation said that this was a special encounter different from the last one here in Hanoi. They heard all the words presented more specific, explicit and fuller of the suppression of independent religions.
German delegation representative said “from now on, you will be safer” if there is any problem, let them know immediately.
Finally, Mr. Konrad Lax, delegations’ representative, thanked the dignitaries in Interfaith Council of Vietnam who has managed all remote roads and obstacles to attending this meeting.
The meeting ended at 11pm the same day .
UNITED COUNCIL OF VIETNAM IN HOMELAND AND OVERSEAS
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