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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Police And Thugs Thwart Church Charity Event For Disabled South Vietnam Veterans

    Police and thugs broke up an event organized by the Catholic Church for disabled South Vietnamese military war veterans in the southern province of Tien Giang this week, a priest who organized the event told RFA’s Vietnamese Service Tuesday.

    Rev. Le Ngoc Thanh of Sau Bong Redemptorist Church in the city of Can Tho in Vietnam's Mekong Delta region told RFA that police officers and thugs in plainclothes mobilized to stop the former soldiers from accepting donations.

    The event on Monday was held by volunteers in cooperation with Rev. Ho Dac Tam of the Redemptorist Church in the Tien Giang town of Can Gio, said the priest who runs a Vietnamese injured veterans program.

    “We distributed donations to injured soldiers from 13 provinces,” Thanh said. “A few weeks ago we also had events like this in Kien Giang, Bac Lieu, and Ca Mau, and everything went well.”

    “But yesterday the situation was tense,” he said. “Veterans gathered at Cai Lay to wait to receive their gifts [for the Vietnamese New Year, known as Tet]. The first 10 veterans got their gifts without any problem, but after that, the police interfered and stopped the program.”

    Vietnam’s communist and officially atheist government does not endorse such events, though they serve a crucial role by helping elderly and disabled veterans who would not otherwise receive assistance from the government.

    Church organizers and volunteers then moved the event to the city of My Tho in Tien Giang province, but traffic police, a rapid response police squad, other security forces, and local security personnel disrupted the event, Thanh said.

    “The people who interfered with our event were uniformed policemen, traffic policemen, security people wearing masks, and thugs,” the priest said.

    “There were three to four people stationed every meter from the church,” he said. “They did not let veterans sit outside the church.”

    ‘We got our gifts’

    A veteran who participated in the program but did not want to give his name for safety reasons told RFA that he fears the Vietnamese government, which persecutes the Catholic Church in the country.

    “People at the church told me to come there at 9:30 a.m., but they did not let us inside when we arrived,” he said. “We walked around until we met some of the church’s people outside. They told us to wait for our gifts. We got our gifts.”

    The veteran said he was a marine injured in the Battle of Quang Tri, the northernmost provincial capital of the U.S.-backed former Republic of South Vietnam during the 1968 Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War.

    “My right hand was injured, and now I can’t do anything,” he said. “Life is tough.”
    “I was very happy to hear that we would receive some gifts, but I’m scared,” he added. “I am afraid of the government because I was associated with the South Vietnam government.
    RFA could not reach Tien Giang police for comment.

    The gift-giving event for disabled veterans of the South Vietnam military was initiated by the Saigon Redemptorist Church in 2013. It had been held annually until this May when Le Ngoc Thanh, who was in charge of the program, was transferred.

    On Sept. 19, the Redemptorist Church in Can Gio announced that it would resume the program.

    After the fall of Saigon to Communist North Vietnam in 1975, more than a quarter million South Vietnamese soldiers were sent to “re-education” camps where they suffered torture and malnutrition, historians record.

  2. #2
    harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Today @ 07:22 PM
    That's a very chinky thing to do.

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