US Congressmen's claims of attacks in Viet Nam refuted
HA NOI — A number of US congressmen have presented totally fabricated statements about an incident that took place in Con Dau Parish in the central city of Da Nang.
Their presentations were made at a US Congressional hearing on the exercising of religious rights and freedoms in Viet Nam in front of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on August 18, 2010.
The sheer fabrications aim to smear Viet Nam and to deceive US public opinion. The claims centre on an allegation that Catholic followers were attacked by police during a funeral.
The hearing also heard that local authorities had prevented the funeral of Maria Dang Thi Tan from taking place, and had attacked and injured people in an incident that had caused the death of Nguyen Thanh Nam.
Allegations were also made that many local people had been detained in relation to a land dispute involving Con Dau Cemetery.
The allegations related to an incident that occurred in early May 2010. On the afternoon of May 6, the spokesperson of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry stated, "The truth is that this case (the Con Dau Parish) has nothing to do with religion."
Con Dau Cemetery is to be relocated as part of Da Nang City's widely publicised new residential area development scheme. The city is currently providing compensation for the site clearance work to local residents and the cemetery is no longer available for use.
Da Nang City's Religion Board said extremist elements had taken advantage of Tan's funeral to deliberately cause public disorder and attack police in Con Dau Hamlet, Hoa Xuan Ward, Cam Le District.
Some of these people admitted repentantly later that they had incited the deceased woman's family to attack the police during her funeral.
Many Catholic residents who attended the funeral expressed their criticism at the turn of events. 58-year-old Huynh Thi Phan, from Hoa Xuan Ward, was one of those lured to join the extremist group, but is now sorry for getting involved. She said: "I see I had been doing wrong."
Fifty-three-year-old Nguyen Truong, another Hoa Xuan Ward resident, who had worked as head of Con Dau Parish's Theology Committee for 19 years, said: "They, [the extremists] did bad things to the deceased old woman's soul."
According to Da Nang City's Religion Board, Nguyen Thanh Nam, born on December 24, 1967, and residing in Hoa Xuan Ward, Cam Le District, was found dead at home by his family at 1.30pm on July 3, 2010.
His family, which had a history of cardio-vascular problems, reported his death from a stroke to local authorities. His family held a funeral for him at the Hoa Son Cemetery with the assistance of local authorities.
However, US congressmen at the hearing before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission deliberately inflated a local dispute at Con Dau Parish to distort Viet Nam's policies regarding the practice of religious freedom and beliefs in an attempt to compel the US administration to add Viet Nam back onto the US State Department's list of "Countries of Particular Concern" (CPC).—VNS