04/22/2010, 00.00
VIETNAM
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Da Nang: forbidden to bury the dead. The cemetery will become an exclusive neighbourhood

The project also provides for the expropriation of farmland and houses in the village of Con Dau. They, along with the parish church are the common property of the peasants. Threats to raze the church With bulldozers.

Da Nang (AsiaNews / EDA) - Municipal authorities of Da Nang have stopped the burial of the dead at the cemetery Con Dau to "free" space and turn it into land for construction. The project provides for the recovery of the cemetery and other farmland around the village of 2 thousand inhabitants, to build a "green",  luxury residential area, built thanks to foreign investment.

The parish cemetery has an area of 10 hectares and is located about one kilometre from the church. It has been functional for 135 years and previously was listed among the protected historical sites by the Hanoi government. There was some hint on March 10 last, when some security agents entered the cemetery and set a sign saying: "Absolute prohibition of burying the dead in this place." At the protests of the faithful present, the chief of police blew up the contents of a tear gas cartridge in the face of one of the unfortunate victims, who is now unconscious.

The villagers flocked to the cemetery and have forced police to call an ambulance and pay for the care of the wounded man, who to date is still in hospital.  

A week before a member of the Patriotic Front and two Religious Affairs Bureau officials visited the parish priest to tell him to warn the faithful that burials in the cemetery are now prohibited. The priest refused, explaining that the cemetery and church belong to the whole village and that there are ownership documents to prove it.  

The faithful remain opposed to the project that wants to destroy their homes, land and the resting place of their ancestors. The government is pressing on however, threatening that by May they will send bulldozers to raze the parish.

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