» 12/20/2013, 00.00
World Bank and Vietnamese Church against forced expropriations: they halt development
Social tensions arising from land disputes drive away foreign investors and diminish growth. Expected development index lowest since 1999. In three years, more than 700 thousand disputes put dozens of infrastructure projects at risk. Bishops' Conference : Constitutional amendments are needed to protect ownership of property. UN official in support of the Catholics of Con Dau .
Hanoi ( AsiaNews)
- The age-old question of land ownership in Vietnam, due to repeated abuse and
forced evictions to the detriment of the individual and the community, is not
only a legal and constitutional issue, but represents an obstacle to the
economic development of the country. Social
tensions arising from land disputes - a battle that saw the Bishops' Conference
fighting for the people - are likely to ward off foreign investors and tarnish
growth targets . The
warning comes not only from activists and organizations for the protection of
human rights, but from experts from the World Bank analysis institute based in
Washington, who speak of possible " social unrest " triggered by the
forced requisition of land for construction projects or industrial activities. Moreover
it confirms the fears of economists: in 2012 there was the growth rate lowest
in the last 13 years.
Kwakwa , national director of the World Bank in Vietnam , said that " the
inability to resolve disputes on land issues," could worsen the "
inequality " because many are likely to " lose the use of land
without adequate compensation ." And
this, in turn, "would lead to social unrest". The
analyst also speaks of "missed opportunities" in investments, which
are necessary to "create jobs and promote a rapid growth of Vietnam".
of these realities she adds "are ideal " for the country .
official government forecasts for the economy confirm the seriousness of the
2013 growth was around 5.4%, but will drop to 5.25 % next year, this is the lowest
figure recorded since 1999. In
just three years about 700 thousand disputes over land have been registered ,
most of which concern compensation claims. Data
from the World Bank shows that from 2001 to 2010 about one million hectares of
agricultural land has been converted for other purposes , however , disputes on
land ownership have blocked or delayed many of the 80 infrastructure projects
financed by the Bank Asian development
( ADB) for at least two years, for a total of $ 9 billion .
builders and investors still prefer to keep projects and construction sites,
because the risk of non-productivity is strong and the legal disputes end up
delaying projects, with an exponential growth in costs. In
addition, the Politburo of the Communist Party in November last admitted an
increase in "corruption," which combined the widespread practice of
"backroom negotiation " and illegal trafficking by executives and
officials who "abuse of position for bribes and illegal profits " .
is trying to run for cover and, last November passed a law aimed at limiting the land disputes,
which transform into farmers angry into folk heroes . The
law will come into force in July 2014, and states that the government can not seize
land, as is happening now, under the guise of "economic development
requisition can only be justified in the "general" socio-economic interest.
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Not just Wukan: an "epidemic of legality" invades Guangdong
The fight against corruption and the expropriation of land led by the "symbol" village in the rich southern province pushes the bordering areas to report the same abuses. But funds are lacking for protests as well as "clean and capable" leaders to confront the government. Lin Zuluan, village chief and Communist Secretary of Wukan, "confesses" to have taken bribes. And on the Global Times website users ask: "Have you tortured him?".
Peter Doan Van Vuon, anti-forced evictions hero, gets five years
Despite the convictions, the family's punishment was not as bad as expected. The men in fact got two to five years in prison whilst the women were handed down suspended sentences. Although blaming them for the bad "impact on social order", the judge decided to avoid a verdict that could fuel social tensions.
Hanoi Archbishop condemns violence against Thai Ha parish
On 3 November the church and monastery were assaulted by officers and activists who invaded the yard, smashed the door and insulted Redemptorists. Attack an attempt to bend the will of religious for the resistance to the expropriation of the land of another parish.
Diocese of Hanoi: destruction of the crucifix of Dong Chiem "true sacrilege"
The site has belonged to the parish for more than one hundred years and since 1944 has been used as a cemetery. Priests and faithful travel to express solidarity with the attacked parishioners. Found and hospitalized two wounded that police had taken away.
At a difficult time for Vietnamese Church, ordination of bishop of Bac Ninh
Thousands of faithful have celebrated with Bishop Hoang Van Dat, in recent weeks one of the targets of the disinformation campaign by authorities. Human Rights Watch asks the government to put an end to the violence against Catholics, and to release those who have been arrested.
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Old guard and illegitimate bishops dominate the new Catholic Assembly
Ma Yinglin and Fang Xingyao are re-elected presidents of the Bishops Council and the Patriotic Association, respectively. The principles of independence, autonomy, self-management and sinicisation are extolled. There is no "positive signal" as hoped by the Vatican.
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Assembly of Chinese Catholic Representatives extolls "independence and autonomy"
59 bishops present at assembly, as well as the state administration for religious affairs director and members of the United Front. Future changes in the leadership of the Council of Bishops and the Patriotic Association. Extolling of autonomy (from the Holy See), a non-positive sign. The Global Times reiterates preconditions for dialogue. A state church. The criticism of Card. Joseph Zen and Hong Kong’s Justice and Peace. One Catholic: This assembly is a slap in the face to the Vatican.
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