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PM orders Tet security measures to continue in coming months

Update: February, 13/2014 - 09:20
The Prime Minister has also asked the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to ensure safety and economy in the organising of post-Tet festivals.— VNA/VNS Photo The Duyet
HA NOI (VNS)— Several measures undertaken to maintain security and order during the recently concluded Tet (Lunar New Year) festival have to be persisted with in the coming weeks and months, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has ordered.

He has also asked government offices to ensure that official working hours are not used by employees to attend to personal matters including attending festivals.

Among the measures that local authorities have been asked to continue is the enforcement of the ban on production and use of firecrackers.

In an urgent instruction sent on Monday, the PM has also asked ministries and other agencies to promptly implement keys tasks set for the New Year.

He has urged local authorities to investigate and report immediately on illegal activities related to firecrackers that happened during the festival. They should also carry out drastic measures to prevent their recurrence, he added.

During the unusually long Tet holiday (January 28-February 5) this year, police nationwide discovered 281 violations of the firecracker ban involving 334 people. Of these, 231 people were arrested or punished for firing firecrackers illegally.

Senior Lieutenant-colonel Le Quy Thuong, chief of the police department's office in the northern province of Hai Duong, where the majority of illegal firecracker activities were report during Tet, said they had taken steps to carry out the PM's instructions as soon as they received them.

"We understand that the mission will be tough because illegal firecracker activity will continue to happen in the first month of the lunar year as there are many festivals during this time," Thuong told Viet Nam News yesterday.

Thuong said that even before the Prime Minister's message, the police had consulted with the provincial People's Committee on steps needed to maintain law and order in the coming weeks.

"After receiving the Prime Minister's instructions, we have sent official messages to grassroots level police departments, asking them to take responsibility for illegal firecracker activities in their localities," Thuong said.

He said regular checks and strict punishments have failed to prevent firecracker violations in the province, especially in the districts of Thanh Mien, Kim Thanh and Ninh Giang.

However, the violations were trivial and occurred mostly in remote and mountainous areas, he added.

Over the last two months, police in Hai Duong have discovered 161 violations and confiscated more than 257 kilos of firecrackers, which they say is a decrease of 80-90 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The Prime Minister has also asked the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to ensure safety and economy in the organising of post-Tet festivals.

He said people should be encouraged to embrace frugality, especially during festive events.

He also said officials at all levels, from ministries to grassroots administrations, should only attend festive events when necessary and related to their State management functions.

Civil servants and State employees should strictly follow work ethics and not use working hours or State vehicles to attend festivals, except for those who are assigned to be on duty at these events.

The PM also asked the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to co-ordinate with local People's Committees to ensure sufficient labour supply for the manufacturing industry, especially at establishments in industrial parks.

He said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should direct localities in ensuring sufficient supply of food after the festival and the cultivation of winter-spring crops.

The ministry should also promote traditional Tet tree-planting activities nationwide and activate this year's afforestation plans, he said. — VNS

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