|A young Vietnamese soldier lights a candle at the grave of an unknown martyr at the nation's largest Truong Son military cemetery in Quang Tri Province. — VNS Photo Viet Thanh
HA NOI (VNS) — Over 8,000 cases of unidentified war martyrs have been referred to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs for DNA testing to establish a link to their alleged families.
Speaking on the occasion of commemorating the 68th war invalid and patriotic martyr day (27 July, 1947 – 27 July, 2015), Minister Pham Thi Hai Chuyen said the ministry had co-operated with three genetic analysis centres, the Institute of Biotechnology, the Institute of Biochemical and Professional Documents, and the National Institute of Forensic Medicine, to take samples of these cases to analyse their genes.
The ministry has managed to take 2,000 samples of the relatives of martyrs, which were delivered by the Viet Nam Martyrs' Families Support Association. These samples have been analysed and showed initial results.
The Government's approval of upgrading the three genetic analysis centres would facilitate the process, so more martyrs can be identified and returned to their families, Chuyen said.
With regard to former military personnel who died during the resistance war against the US, Chuyen said the Party and State had always accepted their responsibility and created supportive policies for these people. The Government has assigned the Ministry of Defence to make lists of beneficiaries.
In terms of the next generation of war martyrs, the Party's preferential treatment for the children of war martyrs during their study time has been implemented and includes financial assistance to buy books annually or a school fee exemption.
Chuyen also said that the war had been over for a long time, but its heavy influence still remained, as proven by victims of Agent Orange (dioxin victims). The Government has specific policies in place for those directly involved in the war who were affected by Agent Orange and for their children.
People directly involved in areas affected by Agent Orange suffered from any of up to 17 kinds of diseases. After being assessed, they receive support accordingly. Their children, who suffered from physical abnormalities, were also eligible under the policy.
Currently, the third generation of war martyrs who suffered from dioxin is not on the list for receiving assistance. The ministry will propose that the Government take comments from related agencies to produce specific studies on the impact of the hazardous substance on the third generation. — VNS