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Nation remembers beloved former PM

Update: November, 23/2012 - 10:20

 

The late Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet visited ethnic minority people in Central Highland Gia Lai Province's Chu Pa District in February 1996. — VNA File Photo
Ha Noi (VNS)— Today marks the 90th anniversary of the birth of the late Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet, also known as Sau Dan, who is loved by many Vietnamese people for his services to the country.

The People's Council, People's Committee and the Viet Nam Fatherland Front Committee in southern Vinh Long Province held a ceremony to celebrate the birth anniversary of the late Prime Minister yesterday.

On behalf of the Party Central Committee and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, Le Hong Anh, a Politburo member and a permanent member of the PCC Secretariat, said that PM Kiet was a loyal communist fighter, an excellent student of President Ho Chi Minh, a reputed leader of the Party, State and people and an elite child of the people of Viet Nam in general and Vinh Long Province in particular.

At the ceremony, Hong Anh said the Party and State highly appreciated the comprehensive achievements of the province.

He expressed his hope that the Party, army and people of the province would further promote traditions of province where the late PM was born and make more effort to implement the tasks of the 11th National Party Congress' resolution and the 9th Party Congress of Vinh Long Province to contribute to the province's development.

Kiet was born on November 23, 1922 in Vung Liem District, in the Vinh Long Province of the Mekong Delta.

He started participating in revolutionary activities at the age of 16. During his life he went on to serve in many important positions in both the Party and Government.

From a cadre operating at the grassroots level, he was promoted to senior party positions at district and provincial level before joining the Nam Bo Party Committee. He was later elected to the Party Central Office for South Viet Nam and then the Party Politburo. In March 1988 he was appointed as the Acting State President and the Chairman of the Ministers' Council and the Prime Minister.

He gave his full effort and commitment to every position he was assigned to. Viet Nam's socio-economic achievements in the early stage of the renewal process (launched in 1986) have been heavily attributed to his contributions.

Vo Van Kiet was proactive in opening Viet Nam's door to the outside world, starting with fellow Southeast Asian nations. He sent a clear message to the international community about a new Viet Nam which was ready to be a friend and reliable partner to all countries in the world, while pushing for world peace, co-operation and development. It was he who actively pushed for Viet Nam to join the Association of the South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and canvass the United States to lift its embargo against Viet Nam – which proved a crucial step towards the normalisation of relations between the two nations in 1994.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Viet Nam's economy was in a state of crisis with 3.5 million people in Ho Chi Minh City suffering a severe shortage of food. As the city's top leader, he took the brave step of introducing new measures encouraging local business development and the free flow of commodities. His decision brought a new life to the city and helped facilitate the formation of the Party's 1986 renewal policy at the 6th National Party Congress.

This policy allowed Kiet, in his later capacity as Prime Minister, to work with other party and government leaders to lead the country away from the centralised economy towards a new market socialist oriented economy. The country's socio-economic conditions greatly improved as a result, as did people's living conditions.

Kiet's other major contribution to the nation was his decision to dig a long irrigation system in the Mekong Delta, bringing in fresh water to de-alkalise the water in the Plain of Reeds and the Long Xuyen Quadrangle. This scheme meant that farmers in the region were able to grow two different crops with a high yield every year, rather than one crop with a low yield.

The country's 500KV North-South transmission line, and the Thang Long-Noi Bai Express Way linking Ha Noi to Noi Bai International Airport are two other milestone projects that were initiated under his daring and effective leadership.

Vo Van Kiet died on June 11, 2008, but his services to the nation will remain forever. — VNS

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