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Viet, Brit hold dialogue on anti-corruption in Hanoi

HANOI, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) — The 11th Vietnam-UK dialogue on prevention and fight against corruption was held in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi on Thursday under the theme “Anti-corruption in localities: Reality and Solutions”.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc stressed that corruption becomes a global challenge regardless of geographic locations, political system or level of development.

Anti-corruption is a long-lasting fight that requires coordination from all nations worldwide, said Phuc, adding that the Vietnamese government and local authorities have pledged to carry out anti-corruption through strong and timely actions.

British Ambassador to Vietnam Antony Stokes made assessments on Vietnam’s anti-corruption work, noting that the country has made three major developments in this field in 2012. They included a revision of the Law on Anti-corruption; reports on anti-corruption with in-depth analysis and research made public; and commitment made by local authorities to anti-corruption.

However, authorities at local levels should have stronger actions against corruption, especially in the public affairs, said the ambassador.

According to the Vietnam National Steering Committee for Prevention and Fight against Corruption, remarkable results were made in the fight against corruption in various localities over the five years from 2007 to 2012.

However, participants to the dialogue shared a view that corruption is taking place under various forms and at various sectors that is causing great concern to the public and becomes a challenge to the government.

To prevent and curb corruption with more efficient results, the capacity of inspecting, investigating, auditing and judging corruption cases should be enhanced, along with improvement in related laws and legal regulations, among others, according to delegates at the dialogues.

Anti-corruption at the local level in Vietnam was first put under discussion during such kind of dialogues between Vietnam and the United Kingdom.

The dialogue is co-chaired by the Vietnamese Government’s Inspectorate and the Vietnam National Steering Committee for Prevention and Fight against Corruption, the British Embassy in Vietnam and the United Kingdom Department for International Development.

Written by Kham

06/12/2012 at 9:14 pm

Vietnam returns endangered turtle to Cambodia

In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 photo released by Education of Nature Vietnam (ENV), a mangrove terrapin sticks out his head from the water at Suoi Tien Park in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The critically endangered turtle that somehow made it to Vietnam decades ago has been returned to its original home: Cambodia. The mangrove terrapin was handed over to Cambodian authorities in a ceremony in southern Ho Chi Minh City on Friday, Oct. 5. The conservation group ENV said the turtle would be introduced into a conservation breeding program in Cambodia. (AP Photo/Education of Nature Vietnam) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

AP, 5-10-2012
HANOI, Vietnam — A critically endangered turtle that somehow made it to Vietnam decades ago has been returned to its original home: Cambodia.

The mangrove terrapin was handed over to Cambodian authorities in a ceremony in southern Ho Chi Minh City on Friday.

The conservation group Education of Nature Vietnam said the turtle would be introduced into a conservation breeding program in Cambodia.

The turtle was first spotted by ENV staff in 2010 in a park in Ho Chi Minh City.

The park bought the turtle from local people in the 1980s, but the conservation group says it is unclear how the terrapin ended up in Vietnam.

Written by Kham

05/10/2012 at 7:22 pm

Vietnam PM’s future uncertain as communists meet…Dung in troubles

Nguyen Tan Dung, Viet PM and Hun Sen’s big brother,is on the sliding board

AFP, Oct 03, 2012

BANGKOK – The political future of Vietnam’s prime minister is hanging in the balance as communist party chiefs gather for talks overshadowed by financial scandals and economic malaise, experts say.

Nguyen Tan Dung, 62, has had little reason to celebrate since the communist-controlled parliament formally approved his appointment for a second five-year term in July 2011.

Hit by a string of scandals and a growing list of economic problems, observers say his leadership may be in danger, although his removal appears unlikely in the immediate future.

Rising public dissatisfaction over slowing economic growth, resurgent inflation, rampant corruption and banking turmoil have put Dung under growing pressure as the Communist Party’s 175-member Central Committee meets this week.

The gathering is likely to see “a showdown between the prime minister and his critics”, according to Vietnam expert Carl Thayer, emeritus professor at Australia’s University of New South Wales.

“At the very least it is likely that the Vietnam Communist Party will attempt to cut back on the enormous powers accumulated by the prime minister and his office,” he wrote in a report on Tuesday.

“The big question is whether the prime minister’s critics will push for his dismissal,” Thayer added.

The secretive Communist Party’s Central Committee meeting began on Monday and is expected to last two weeks – twice as long as usual – highlighting the growing to-do list facing Vietnam’s political mandarins.

“It is rare for so many subjects to be on the menu of a plenum and for it to last so long,” Communist Party Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong, seen as one of Dung’s main rivals, was quoted as saying by party mouthpiece Nhan Dan.

“Most of the topics that we have to discuss and make decisions on are very important, difficult and sensitive,” he added.

Experts noted that the Central Committee, which includes Dung, has the power to oust any member from its ranks or from the powerful 14-member Politburo, comprising top leaders.

Vietnam’s authoritarian government is struggling to keep a lid on growing public discontent because of the rising popularity of blogs and other social media sites as an outlet for political expression.

The authorities have sought to crack down on bloggers with a series of harsh jail sentences, but online political blogs remain a hugely popular news source in the heavily censored country.

“Never before has a prime minister been so vigorously attacked in public because of economic problems and corruption,” a Communist Party official said on condition of anonymity.

“It’s a fight between one force which has the money and another which has the power, at the heart of the party, to tackle corruption and clean out its ranks,” he added, referring to Dung and his economic allies on one side and his political rivals on the other.

Dung, a former central bank governor who took office in 2006, is said to have become the country’s most powerful prime minister ever.

Seen as a moderniser when first appointed, he used his power to aggressively push for rapid economic growth and champion South Korean chaebol-style development, relying on state-owned giants to drive the economy.

But in recent months economic growth has slowed sharply, inflation has picked up again, foreign direct investment has plunged and fears about toxic debt in the fragile banking system have mounted.

The near collapse of scandal-tainted shipping behemoth Vinashin in 2010 put the spotlight on the financial troubles of state-owned giants, while the arrest of a disgraced multi-millionaire banker seen as an ally of Dung, in August, shook investor confidence in the country and triggered a run on deposits.

Growing concerns last week prompted Moody’s to downgrade Vietnam’s credit rating, citing weaknesses in the banking system and “an elevated risk” of a costly government banking bailout.

Observers say Dung’s rivals, notably Communist Party Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong and President Truong Tan Sang, appear to want Dung to pay for his failures.

“With Vietnam’s economy facing such deep-seated economic problems, the risk of an escalating power struggle between the PM and President Truong Tan Sang that could result in the ousting of the PM and his political allies is increasing,” said Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist at the IHS Global Insight consultancy firm.

But Dung, observers note, has weathered past political storms and could do so again.

“Dismissing him is not an easy thing,” said the party official.

Interpol-wanted Viet official Duong Chi Dung arrested…Dung ordered arrest Dung?

Tuoi Tre News, 5 September 2012

PM Dung ordered Dung arrest on alleged corruption charge

Vietnam police have captured Duong Chi Dung, a former director of the Vietnam Maritime Administration, on Tuesday, the Ministry of Public Security said Wednesday.

Dung, 55, was nabbed reportedly in a Southeast Asian nation, and then extradited to Vietnam by the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol).

Dung has been wanted internationally since May 19 following his alleged economic offences when he was board chairman of the state-owned Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) corporation.

An indictment and arrest warrant was issued for him one day earlier but he was not found at home or in office.

According to the Interpol documents, Dung “intentionally flouted state regulations on economic management, leading to serious consequences” when selecting bidders to provide a floating dock worth millions of dollars for Vinalines during his term at the corporation.

Local investigators have also accused Dung and his associates of going against the Prime Minister’s directives on the construction of a ship repair facility in southern Vietnam.

Dung may be imprisoned for life if convicted.

Police previously arrested Mai Van Phuc, former Vinalines CEO, and Tran Huu Chieu, former Vinalines deputy CEO, for similar purported economic wrongdoings at the state giant.

The arrest of the former maritime chief came just days after Ly Xuan Hai, ex-general director of Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank (ACB) and Nguyen Duc Kien, one of Vietnam’s most powerful tycoons were arrested on August 23 and August 20 respectively.

Two days after Kien’s arrest, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung attended the 18th session of the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption in Hanoi where he praised police forces in launching an investigation into illegal activities aimed at hostile takeovers in the banking sector, causing instability.

At this meeting, the Prime Minister also ordered the speedup of the investigation and manhunt for Duong Chi Dung.

The information in this article was contributed by Tuoi Tre News. For more information, visit the website http://www.tuoitrenews.vn/.

‘Penis-head’ fish discovered in Vietnam…deep fried or grilled,sir?

AFP,29 August 2012

Viet new found delicacy: Penis Head fish…Fried or grilled sir? Recommended for PM Hun Sen lunch on flight

A new species of fish with a penis onits head has been identified in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, researchers said on Wednesday.

Phallostethus cuulong is the newest member of the Phallostethidae family — small fish found in Southeast Asian waters that are distinguished primarily by the positioning of the male sexual organ.

Male phallostethids have a copulatory organ, termed the priapium, under the throat for holding or clasping onto females and fertilising their eggs internally, according to conservationists.

“We have scientifically identified a new penis-head fish in Vietnam,” researcher Tran Dac Dinh from Can Tho University told AFP.

The fish was known to Vietnamese people in the Mekong Delta but had not been described scientifically before a team identified the species last year, he said.

Cambodia, Vietnam Elevate Cooperation in Border Area

AKP Phnom Penh, August 29, 2012 –

An international conference on building the Cambodia-Vietnam border of peace, friendship and cooperation for development was held on Tuesday in the Cambodian northeastern province of Rattanakiri.

The event, which is part of activities of the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Year to mark the 45th Anniversary of the establishment of the two countries’ diplomatic ties, was jointly organized by the National Council of the Solidarity Front for the Development of the Cambodian Motherland and the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee.

Leaders of the two fronts presented a report on the implementation of cooperation agreements and contents of the joint communique signed between the two fronts and 10 Cambodian and 10 Vietnamese provinces at their conference in 2010 in Vietnam’s southern province of Tay Ninh, Vietnam News Agency quoted a joint communiqué issued after the conference as saying.

Both sides have implemented the joint communique through various means, said the report, stressing that the friendly cooperation among localities along the common border plays a significant role, directly contributing to maintaining peace, stability, cooperation and development between the two countries.

The border provinces have assisted each other in poverty reduction and maintaining security and social order. Two-way trade between border localities made up more than half of the two countries’ total.

Both sides also encouraged people in the border area to assist with landmark planting and demarcation task forces to soon complete the work.

The two sides have exchanged delegations at all levels, organized training and held regular exchange of expertise in work from central to grassroot levels.

In addition, they also encouraged and acted as a bridge for the two countries’ businesses and entrepreneurs to invest in socio-economic development projects with respect to each country’s laws and customs.

Both sides reached consensus on organizing the conference biennially to assess the implementation of cooperation agreements and agreed contents.

The two fronts will organize their delegations to annually examine activities of their cooperation agreements.

By SOKMOM Nimul

Vietnam, Australia boost defense ties…Viets prep-strategy for Sino offense

HANOI, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) — Vietnamese Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh and his Australian counterpart Stephen Smith co-hosted a press briefing here on Wednesday, saying the two countries will boost their defense ties.

At the press briefing, Vietnamese Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh spoke highly of his Australian counterpart’s visit to Vietnam, which contributes to further strengthen the comprehensive cooperative relations between Vietnam and Australia.

Stephen Smith, for his part, thanked Vietnamese Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh for his warm welcome, adding that this is the third visit of Australian defense leader to Vietnam since the two countries established defense relations.

The two ministers summarized the outcomes of Vietnam-Australia defense cooperation in recent years and exchanged measures to further boost ties in line with the Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation signed in 2010.

The two sides expressed pleasure about witnessing the development of defense cooperation, especially in training activities and vowed to continue expanding cooperation on exchanging delegation and supporting Vietnam in demining activities.

Vietnam and Australia established diplomatic relations in 1973.

Written by Kham

29/08/2012 at 6:27 pm