|State President Truong Tan Sang presents gifts to people on the Truong Sa Archipelago. — Photo Nguyen Khang
HA NOI (VNS) — President Truong Tan Sang has sent presents to officials, soldiers and locals on the Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago in the central province of Khanh Hoa ahead of the Lunar New Year.
The officials and solders replied with a thank-you letter to the President vowing to do their utmost to fulfill their mission of guarding national sovereignty over the sea and islands.
Disadvantaged people and religious communities across the country are also enjoying a warmer Tet thanks to support from the Government and many organisations.
As part of the efforts, Ha Noi People's Committee, in collaboration with VietinBank, has handed over 70 houses to poor people, including many from ethnic minority groups in Ba Vi and My Duc.
The same day, local authorities in Tay Ninh Province visited and presented gifts to local religious organisations such as the provincial chapter of the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha, the Cao Dai Church, and Catholic, Protestant and Islamic communities.
The Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union also organised a New Year's party for needy children with music performances and gifts yesterday.
In Lai Chau Province, more than 34,500 presents worth over VND14.4 billion (US$671,078) were presented to households living under the poverty line.
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc received delegations of the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) Central Committee and the Viet Nam Catholic Church's Episcopal Council ahead of the Lunar New Year (Tet) in Ha Noi yesterday.
The Deputy PM hailed the VBS's religious activities over the past year, particularly the success of the 2014 United Nations Vesak Festival at Bai Dinh Pagoda in the northern province of Ninh Binh that was attended by nearly 1,500 foreign delegates from 95 countries and territories.
He expressed his hope that the VBS would continue to uphold the motto of "Religion-Nation-Socialism", encouraging monks and nuns and followers nationwide to contribute more to the country.
Most Venerable Thich Thanh Nhieu said he hoped the Government would continue its efforts for a prosperous, strong country, and a fair, democratic and civilised society.
At a separate meeting with the Viet Nam Catholic Church's Episcopal Council vice president, Archbishop Le Van Hong, Deputy PM Phuc said the Party and State recognised the great contributions that the Catholic community had made to national construction and defence.
He reiterated that the Party and State respected and ensured the people's right to religious freedoms, and pursued a consistent policy of meeting the legitimate rights and interests of religious followers.
Archbishop Hong said the Government had brought a lot of happiness to the public, including Catholics, and wished the Deputy PM good health in the New Year.
The same day, Phuc offered New Year's greetings to staff at the Ministry of Public Security's General Department of Security.
He praised them for their work to ensure political security and social safety last year.
The Deputy PM stressed the need for the department to ensure security for the 12th National Party Congress.
President of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan visited Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue, Supreme Patriarch of the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha, and other Buddhist dignitaries, in Hanoi yesterday ahead of the Lunar New Year.
Over years, the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) had been an active member of the VFF, Nhan stated.
He expressed his hope that the VBS would accompany the nation on the path towards industrialisation and modernisation. — VNS