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  • » 12/20/2013, 00.00

    VIETNAM

    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.

    Victoria 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". None of these realities she adds "are ideal " for the country .

    The official government forecasts for the economy confirm the seriousness of the problem. In 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 .

    Contractors, 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 " .

    Hanoi 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 ." Forced requisition can only be justified in the "general" socio-economic interest.

     

     

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    See also

    22/06/2016 13:28:00 CHINA
    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?".



    05/04/2013 VIETNAM
    Peter Doan Van Vuon, anti-forced evictions hero, gets five years
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    07/11/2011 VIETNAM
    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.

    08/01/2010 VIETNAM
    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.

    08/10/2008 VIETNAM
    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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