» 01/25/2013, 00.00
Vietnamese intellectuals and Catholics sign a petition for the end to single party rule
At least 800 Vietnamese personalities call for constitutional reform, with the separation of state powers. Appeal joined by Bishop of Vinh and vicar general of Saigon. Bishop Nguyen Thai Hop calls for "full respect for religious freedom." A few sites that have re-published the petition censored by the government.
Hanoi (AsiaNews) - Hundreds of
intellectuals, religious leaders and political leaders in Vietnam have signed
an online petition, which call for a revision of the national Constitution and
a multi-party system, separating the executive, legislative and judicial powers.
the points for reform, is also the reform of land ownership (now in the hands
of the State) and the demand for full religious freedom still subject - in the
practice of worship - to state control. Among
the more than 800 signatories are also prominent Catholic Church figures: among
them the Bishop of Vinh Msgr. Paul
Nguyen Thai Hop, Fr. Mary
Joseph Le Quoc Thang of the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace and Fr. Huynh
Cong Minh John Baptist, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City.
Published recently by a popular
Vietnamese site, the petition stems from an appeal made by the same communist
authorities in Hanoi, for "public suggestions" to amend the
those who signed the document is the former Minister of Justice Nguyen Dinh Loc
who states "it is obvious that changes must be made," and it is
"only to understand to what extent."
current basic charter of the State was enacted in 1992, but there have been no
changes of any kind in at least 10 years, despite the events and changes that
have marked the recent history of Vietnam. "Now
- said the former state official in an interview with Radio Free Asia (RFA) - it is time for radical changes" among
which he includes also the name of the country, the current Socialist Republic
of Vietnam to the previous "Democratic Republic of the Vietnam".
The authorities report that there
is time until March 31 to submit comments on the constitutional review process,
which should be promulgated - the new form - in the month of May. However,
some "sensitive" points such as multi-party elections, improvements
in land ownership rights - with a return to the Charter of 1946 - and other
elements of tension are "excluded" from debate. Local
sources also add that "many websites [critical of the Communist
leadership] that published the petition were censored."
At the forefront in the promotion of the on-line
petition were faithful and figures of the Vietnamese Catholic Church, including
the Bishop of Vinh in central Vietnam. Bishop
Paul Nguyen Thai Hop emphasizes that "it is the right of the people, not
only of a political party" to address the Constitution, which must then be
"submitted to a popular referendum" before the entry into force. The
prelate hopes that the new formula provides "more religious freedom in the
country" and that it will follow UN guidelines, Vietnam being "party
to the International Covenant on Human Rights." "The
Constitution - said the bishop - should be modified for Vietnam to integrate better internationally, as
well as to comply with the conventions it has signed."
Hanoi, an end to single party rule: petition filed in Parliament
A delegation of 15 signatories to the document handed to the representatives of the Assembly. In the text there are proposals to amend the "foundation" of the regime. The Communist Party as a political force "other" and put to a vote of the electorate. Amendments to the concept of sovereignty and property. Cautious optimism among the promoters.
Hanoi against bishops and reformists to save one-party state
Government, party and military leaders warn against proposals of constitutional reform with the "wrong content." Parliamentary speaker calls for struggle against those who promote "wrong ideas". Army paper warns against opportunists and "hostile" reactionary forces that are opposed to party and state.
06/08/2012 INDIA - UNITED STATES
Activists warn religious freedom in "serious danger" in India
In the 2012 U.S. State Department report, India is among the nations "under observation". China, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia, countries of "particular concern". GCIC President: The Constitution guarantees the rights but it is "rejected". Atheist activist in Washington: we do not need lists, but "concrete support" for social peace.
Violations of religious freedom on the rise in Vietnam
A priest is banned from carrying out his pastoral work because “there is no need for religion” among his parishioners. Another one is warned by his parishioners that his life is in danger. Another still is stopped without reason at the airport and is told that he will be further interrogated.
Vinh bishop appeals for support to petition to end one-party system
The diocese issues a statement calling on the faithful to commit to the country's development. People want "equality, freedom and democracy". Christians too must be "responsible citizens." Some 3,500 people sign in a few days, including the bishop of Than Hoa, vice president of the Bishops' Council.
EGYPT – LEBANON
Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'
A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.
15/01/2018 LEBANON - SYRIA
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.