» 03/06/2012, 00.00
Hanoi against Saigon Redemptorists as more land seized
J. B. An Dang
Authorities demolish kindergarten perhaps to sell the land for money. Religious request clarification, the government responds with silence, in contravention to its own laws. The long list of violence against the Redemptorists.
Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) - More Redemptorist land has been seized by the government. This time a kindergarten and a pre-school complex seized a few decades ago by authorities. Recently the building was demolished and the ground leveled. In all probability it will either be sold or used for private purposes, given the hunger for urban realestate that dominates the country in the grip of a robust economic development. Usually these sales are to increase the personal wealth of some party secretary.
But according to Vietnamese law, land no longer required for "public utility" should be restored to their rightful owners.
But the Redemptorists, who sent letters and requests for clarification, but have received no response.
In a protest letter dated March 3, Fr. Joseph Dinh Huu Thoai, head of the local secretaries of the Redemptorists, accuses the government of violating its own laws. A state law provides that "criticism and complaints must be examined by state agencies within a period of time established by law". Instead all the complaints sent by the Redemptorists, fell into silence.
Fr. Thoai Joseph, spokesman for the order in Vietnam, says: "We have already sent three petitions, with all the evidence to the legal committee of the people and all those responsible, but so far we have not received any response from any office. Meanwhile , the properties of which we are the legal owners, has been violated. "
The Redemptorists are not new to this confrontation or abuses by the government. In recent years they have resisted the seizure of land in the parish of Thai Ha, near Hanoi, one of their monasteries was destroyed, their church in Saigon has been torn down, their Provincial was placed under investigation, forbidding him to leave the country .
Last week meeting between the Vatican and Vietnamese delegations to move toward diplomatic relations was held at the Hanoi. On occasion, the representatives of Vietnam claimed full religious freedom is enjoyed by the Christian communities in the country.
Thai Ha property has also become a public park
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Vietnamese authorities try again to seize Thai Ha Parish land
The neighbourhood People’s Committee says it wants to build a plant to treat wastewater from a nearby hospital. Parishioners protest. In a letter, the Redemptorist superior writes that the only solution “is the end of the water treatment project and the return of the property”.
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The accusation is that they destroyed property and disturbed public order, but even the police left off the first charge initially. It refers to the toppling of a three-meter section of a wall, which the authorities then destroyed completely to create a public park.
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In spite of the commitments made, laborers have begun work on the building of the former nunciature, while another demonstrator has been arrested in Thai Ha, and the people's committee has ordered parishioners to "liberate" the land that the parish is asking to have restored.
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