JUSTICE AND TRUTH MUST BE RESPECTED AND UNHELD

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In April 2016, millions tons of fish were found dead on the Vietnamese central coastline due to toxic waste discharged by Formosa, a foreign owned company, leading to one of the biggest environmental disaster in the region in recent time. After several months of denying responsibility, Formosa was later found liable on 30 June 2016.

This catastrophy decimated the Vietnamese fishing industry, leading to countless job losses but more importantly, profound health and environmental implication on humans, fauna, flora and surrounding ecosystems. How far, how wide and how long its impact is yet to be determined.

The lack of response from the governmental officials, coupled with further revelation of undisclosed hazardous practices by Formosa, lead to calls from both victims and environmental advocacy groups in Vietnam for urgent governmental intervention, full disclosure by Formosa and for the company to be made accountable.

Mass protests took place over several months but such civil rights were curtailed. The two priests, DANG Huu Nam and NGUYEN Dinh Thuc who helped organised these peaceful protests were accused by the Vietnamese government of inciting civil unrest, of defamation against local authorities in order to spread discontent, insecurity and hate.  

We, the Vietnamese Australian community, unreservedly condemns the curtail of civil liberties and requests the Australian government, international human rights bodies and environmental organisations to take action, by:

• Condemning such dirty tactics and smear campaigns by the Vietnamese government against the victims of this major environmental disaster, and the Catholic priests, Hoa Hao Buddhist followers;

• Immediately reviewing Australia’s foreign aids to Vietnam, including those people-to-people commitments in the areas of defence, trade and commerce;

• Demanding the immediate abandonment of the purging of Catholic priests NGUYEN Dinh Thuc and DANG Huu Nam.

Every voice can make a difference.

Your awareness and support for this cause can bring justice to the people who have been constantly subject to harsh and cruel treatment by Formosa and by the Vietnamese authorities.



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