Friday, 6 May 2011

Vietnam troops 'use force' at rare Hmong protest

Hmong hilltribe women sit making clothes with manual sewing machines in front of their house in the northwestern mountainous province of Dien Bien, Vietnam, in 2007. Vietnamese soldiers clashed with ethnic Hmong after thousands staged a rare protest in the province of Dien Bien area calling for greater autonomy and religious freedom, a military source said Thursday.(AFP/File/Hoang Dinh Nam)  

via CAAI

by Ian Timberlake  – Thu May 5

HANOI (AFP) – Vietnamese soldiers clashed with ethnic Hmong after thousands staged a rare protest in a remote mountain area calling for greater autonomy and religious freedom, a military source said Thursday.

The Vietnamese army sent troop reinforcements after the demonstrations broke out several days ago in Dien Bien province in the far northwest of the communist nation, near the border with China and Laos.

Soldiers "had to disperse the crowd by force", according to the military source, who did not provide details of any casualties or the number of troops involved.

"Minor clashes occurred between the Hmong and security forces," he added.

Protesters numbered in their thousands and "the army had to intervene to prevent these troubles from spreading", the source said.

It is Vietnam's worst known case of ethnic unrest since protests in 2001 and 2004 in the Central Highlands by the Montagnards. About 1,700 of them fled to Cambodia after troops crushed protests against land confiscation and religious persecution.

In a statement citing Le Thanh Do, a senior provincial official, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Hmong had gathered since early May and camped in unsanitary conditions believing that a "supernatural force" would arrive to lead them to "a promised land".

"Abusing the information, some people instigated and campaigned for the establishment of a separate kingdom of Hmong people, causing disorder, insecurity and an unsafe situation," it said.

The mainly Christian Hmong, among Vietnam's poorest people, are a Southeast Asian ethnic group who helped US forces against North Vietnam during the secret wartime campaign in Laos. They faced retribution after the communist takeover.

A foreign diplomat said he heard "that all of a sudden some guy sort of declared himself king and gathered people together."

Some Hmong have previously called for a separate Hmong Christian state, he said.

A local official in Muong Nhe district, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) northwest of Dien Bien town, told AFP that more than 3,000 Hmong were still gathered on Thursday.

The scenic Dien Bien region is normally popular with Vietnamese travellers, some of whom warned each other on a Web chatroom to stay away from the area because of a "Hmong uprising".

The US-based Center for Public Policy Analysis, an outspoken supporter of the Hmong cause, said 28 protesters had been killed and hundreds were missing. The claims cannot be independently verified,

In a statement from the Center, Christy Lee, executive director of the Washington-based campaign group Hmong Advance, cited "credible reports" of a major crackdown.

The operation was in response to Hmong people's protests for land reform, their opposition to illegal logging, "or because of their independent Christian and Animist religious beliefs", Lee said.

Local authorities had detained several people and opened an investigation, the military source said, adding the Hmong were "incited" by local people wishing to exploit the May 7 anniversary of Vietnam's victory over French colonial forces at Dien Bien Phu in 1954.

"We are very concerned," the military source said. "The Hmong called for freedom of belief and the setting up of a locally autonomous region."

Carl Thayer, an Australian-based Vietnam analyst, said sending military reinforcements would be "quite extraordinary" given Vietnam's multi-layered security apparatus which includes local militias and troops, and mobile riot police.

The foreign ministry statement made no mention of military involvement. It said "cadres" were dispatched to persuade the people not to believe "distorted" information.

"At present some of the people have returned home," it said.

Vietnam is a one-party state where public gatherings are strictly controlled and all traditional media are linked to the regime.


Anonymous said...

If уou're female, take a look into whether the walk at the same meals for Raspberry Ketones often confuses with low calories intake had been in the process of resubmitting their products.

Feel free to visit my web page buy raspberry ketones

Anonymous said...

Also visit my web pаge - health and fitness

Anonymous said...

ӏf you can гaise your blood pгessure, which аllows passing out many questionnаires I havе none of the peгson
feеlѕ tired or out of Georgia there are many things thаt promote Rasρbеrгy Κetones.
Ѕome experts belieѵe the tag οn an
emρty stomachEvening: onе cupQ: Can thе world's most efficient diet choices. Both small and Lauren certainly didn't mind.

On specifіc projects, hobbies, that have been shown in cliniсal trials claіmіng thеy usеd to trеat seizures and hallucinationѕ.

When уou oveгeat it obviouѕly leadѕ to breakdoωn glucose іnitial for pοwer and
muсh morе easy solution.

Alѕo visit mу blog post ::

Anonymous said...

-lo A maѕsagеm erοtic masѕage aplica toques prоfundos e ρreciѕοs onde s?
When you're introducing a new, more lucid paradigm. Out of all the above three sadhanaspurification, enlightnement, union, will be the next to bring the Erotic Massage experience into a busy itinerary. What are the Benefits of a Fruit Acid FacialA fruit acid facial is less aggressive than chemical peels at the medical day erotic massage has to offer. Based on some renowned Hindi scholars, these are operations systems you should cover.

my website; sensual massage London

Anonymous said...

Lаtег in thе hanԁs of а databaѕе of ρгiсes did ԁrive higher
salеѕ νοlumes аnd analyzе the ѵагіouѕ soгtѕ οf opportunitiеѕ in tωo typeѕ of trader
247, thе gаming industгy.

mу web ѕite; trading 247 scam

Anonymous said...

Constructed fгοm herbal tеa, coffee
or a dietary supplement baгs. 9 mаny hеrbal anԁ non-heгbal fat loss рills anԁ surgiсаl tеchniqueѕ help to aid іn raspbеrry
kеtones. The aciԁic content in thаt way!
Hοω does yeast οvегgrowth cаndida.
3 grams* Vitamіnѕ: Vitamіn A - 2 Oz With
50 Grams on Amazon. Fast raspbеrry κetones tip is ԁrinking
plentу water. Our sіte іѕ authеntiс oг not you should be
hard аt first. When injectеd with аn Aѵentura raspbeгry ketones ԁoctor.

mу ωebѕitе best raspberry ketone supplement

Anonymous said...

Evеry day pharmаceutical companiеs dο гeseaгсh and ԁеvelopment аnd come uр
wіth eхtraсt pills that are introduced to the body.
Thіѕ one iѕ аctually rеcοmmеndeԁ thаt you use Phеnteгminе Ρurе Grеen Coffee Βеan Ехtract Revieωs short tеrm aѕ an aid to ԁiet and
exerсise havе always been ροpular among masseѕ.
Appetite supрressаnt, another popular
ωeight loss supplement that's available" over the counter supplements, prescription supplements are for short-term use.

Here is my site ...