DAK LAK — Pride in the comprehensive achievements of the past 35 years should make the people of Dak Lak Province realise their heavy responsibility to the future, President Nguyen Minh Triet told a ceremony yesterday to commemorate the victory at Buon Ma Thuot.
The victory opened the way to the historic campaign that liberated southern Viet Nam.
The President offered his assessment while presenting the province with the Ho Chi Minh Order and Buon Ma Thuot City with Labour Order, first class, on behalf of the Communist Party of Viet Nam and the State.
Construction Minister Nguyen Hong Quan also read the Prime Ministerial Decision that makes Buon Ma Thuot a first-ranking city.
President Nguyen Minh Triet offers the Ho Chi Minh Order to Dak Lak Province officials. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Ha
"From a poor province, Dak Lak has quickly developed a high rate of gross-domestic-product-growth – 11 per cent last year – that has generated considerable improvement in the people's living conditions," the President said.
These successes were due to the efforts of the Party committees and the people of different ethnic origin in both the capital, Buon Ma Thuot, and Dak Lak Province.
The president said he was convinced that with their ardent patriotism and the will to succeed, the people of both Buon Ma Thuot and all of Dak Lak Province would unite - and led by the Party - overcome all difficulties and challenges.
In so doing, they would honour the expectations and earn the love of the entire nation.
The President said the Dak Lak Provincial Party Committee's immediate task was to ensure thorough preparation for the forthcoming party congresses from the grassroots to the centre and including each cell.
"Party members should listen to what people say and further seal the bond between the party and the population, particularly the ethnic minorities during the preparations," he advised.
Victory at Buon Ma Thuot on March 10, 1975, liberated the Central Highlands and provided a crucial strategic advantage that led to the fall of Sai Gon, now HCM City.
It opened the 1975 Spring General Offensive and the Ho Chi Minh Campaign that led to the total liberation of South Viet Nam on April 30, 1975.
Reunification followed in July, 1976.
Party Central Committee Secretary and National Assembly Deputy Chair Tong Thi Phong together with fellow Central Committee Secretary and Mass Mobilisation Commission head Ha Thi Khiet attended the ceremony.
So too did Russian and and Indian diplomats; representatives of the Lao province of Sekong and more than 5,000 representatives of the 44 minorities living in Dak Lak Province.
The ceremony was followed by a military parade; cultural and art performances and a spectacular fireworks display.
An increasing proportion of industry and services augmented Dak Lak Province's 11 per cent increase in GDP last year.
Total food production was almost 990,000 tonnes with more than 380,000 tonnes of coffee bean - more than 50 per cent of Viet Nam's entire crop. Average income per capita was VND13.9 million ($800) and the rate of poor households dropped to 12.4 per cent from 20 per cent in 2007.
Poor households classified as especially disadvantaged no longer exist.— VNS