|An exchange between Việt Nam and Laos villagers in Quảng Trị Province. — Photo baoquocte.vn|
QUẢNG TRỊ — The central province of Quảng Trị, in recent years, has been actively promoting cooperation between communes along the border of Việt Nam and Laos.
The cooperation aims to protect the border area and contribute to raising the awareness of people on both sides about agreements, treaties and legal regulations of the two States to tighten bilateral friendship and mutual development.
Quảng Trị has two districts, Hướng Hoá and Đakrông, sharing a borderline of over 187km with Laos.
For 15 years, the people of La Lay A Sói Village of Lao's Salavane Province and La Lay Village of Đakrông District have always been closely linked.
The two villages share more than 10km long border with four national landmarks, so the two villages were selected for twinning in January 2007.
Since then, the people on both sides of the border have jointly protected the border, and national landmarks and helped each other develop their economies and life.
Currently, the security situation in the border area is stable, and people's lives are improving.
Hồ Văn Thủy, head of La Lay Village, said that during the cooperation, the two villages had often helped each other in socio-economic development. The two people had given each other seedlings and animal breeds and exchanged farming techniques.
"With the support of the border guard force, the two sides actively organised information dissemination for the people to observe village security and order well, actively participate in activities to protect borders and landmarks and regularly exchange and inform the two sides' situation to help each other," Thủy said.
"Thanks to that, the life of the people of the two villages in the border area had been getting better and better since the day of cooperation."
The model of village twinning has been implemented since 2005.
Up to now, there have been 25 pairs of twinning villages between Quảng Trị and Lao's Savannakhet and Salavane provinces.
The authorities of the two sides at all levels have organised information dissemination activities for ethnic minority people on territorial sovereignty, national consciousness, border markers, the observance of the provisions of the agreement on the regulation of the border between Việt Nam and Laos, and the legal provisions of each country on getting married on both sides.
The activities have helped increase awareness of all levels, sectors and people on both sides about territorial sovereignty and national borders and promote the power of the masses in the management, protection, and building of a border of peace, friendship, and cooperation.
Every year, Quảng Trị uses the local budget to carry out projects such as building schools, clinics, electricity and water supply works, supplying seedlings and animal breeds, expanding afforestation, and industrial crop areas and organising a training course on information technology and Vietnamese language classes for Lao women in border villages.
In addition, villages often exchange agricultural production and business experiences, support scientific advances in production, and give each other favourable conditions for product consumption.
Colonel Nguyễn Xuân Linh, the border guard at La Lay International Border Gate, said that the Việt Nam – Laos village twinning model has contributed to strengthening the special and traditional friendship and solidarity between the two countries.
According to the Border Guard Command of Quảng Trị, over the past 15 years, there have been 238 rounds with 2,076 people from the two countries participating in patrolling to protect borders and landmarks. The people of both sides provided 6,314 sources of information, including 2,843 related to drug trafficking.
Colonel Lê Văn Phương, Chief Commander of the Border Guard Command of Quảng Trị Province, said that the organisation of twining villages was the right policy, showing the high unity of the leaders of Quảng Trị and Savannakhet and Salavane provinces.
The model affirmed the great role of the people in building and protecting the sovereignty and security of the national border between Việt Nam and Laos, Phương said.
The model has contributed to maintaining political stability in the border area, strengthening the solidarity relationship between the two countries and peoples of all ethnic groups sharing the border, serving economic and social development, raising knowledge, eradicating hunger and reducing poverty, he said.
He added that the twinning model would continue to be maintained and improve its effectiveness. — VNS