JUSTICE AND TRUTH MUST BE RESPECTED AND UPHELD
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In April 2016, millions of 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 catastrophe 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 the 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;
• Undertake a comprehensive review, in consultation with the Vietnamese Community in Australia; on all aids commitments and other country-to-country arrangements, in defence, education, culture, export and trade commerce, including the human rights dialogue committee.
• Demanding the immediate abandonment of the purging of Catholic priests NGUYEN Dinh Thuc and DANG Huu Nam.
This petition is prepared by the Vietnamese Community in Australia.
Level 1, 66-68 Nicholson St, Footscray; P.O. Box 2115 Footscray Vic 3011, Australia
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