Japan to train officials
The National Personnel Authority of Japan (NPA) will help Viet Nam retrain civil servants who are candidates for leading posts.
The comprehensive assistance, including designing training programmes and providing lecturers for the training, was made at the request of the Vietnamese side following their studies on Japan’s civil service system.
According to Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai, this is the first ever assistance Japan has offered to a country though it once sent experts to developing countries as well as received their trainees.
In detail, the NPA will co-operate with the Ho Chi Minh Academy of Politics and Public Administration to organise four-month training courses for about 500 public servants.
Experts from Japanese ministries and branches, including those from NPA, will participate in giving lessons during the courses, with the first expected to start this month and the second in autumn.
Over 700 Vietnamese labourers return to Libya
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs (MoLISA)—under the Prime Minister’s direction—has instructed local businesses to resume sending Vietnamese guest workers to work in Libya.
The Libyan political crisis two years ago forced Vietnam to withdraw its more than 10,000 guest workers. The situation has since stabilised and Libya’s guest worker demands have rebounded. Around 700 guest workers have now returned to construction work in the country.
To protect workers’ legitimate rights, MoLISA has asked businesses to obey minimum salary regulations and other conditions that will benefit labourers.
If guest workers are forced to return home earlier than scheduled due to any reasons, brokers should refund 50 percent of their fees. Labour contracts should include provisions to ensure labourer safety for laborers in emergency cases.
VND12 billion raised for Truong Sa students
The “For beloved Truong Sa students” fundraising campaign has received nearly VND12 billion in donations from 300 organisations and individuals in six months.
The donors also sent a variety of gifts such as books, projectors, and computers. The fund secured the support and financing of overseas Vietnamese in Australia, Germany, Poland, Japan, Malaysia, and the US.
The organizing board, the Ho Chi Minh City Law Newspaper, and the Ho Chi Minh Youth Union have allocated VND10 billion to building a primary school on Truong Sa.
Ho Chi Minh Law Newspaper Editor in Chief Pham Phu Tam acknowledged the difficulty of calling for donations in the current economic climate.
The newspaper received a prompt and positive response from the community because of our intention to build a school on Truong Sa Islands. The remainder of the money raised will be transferred to the Vu A Dinh fund for offering scholarships and buying school aids, he said.
Lai Chau tightens controls on mining
The People’s Committee of northern mountain Lai Chau Province has instructed district-level authorities to clamp down on illegal mining.
The move was made in response to the resumption of unauthorised exploitation of natural minerals in the province.
In September last year, a provincial interdisciplinary mission inspected and cleared illegal mining activities, particularly in hot spots such as Noong Heo commune, Sin Ho border district and along the Da River running through Muong Te border district.
However, illegal mining has resumed in many areas.
The inspections conducted in late January by the local Department of Natural Resources and Environment found that many local people were gold-mining in areas that had previously been closed by local authorities in Sin Ho district.
Director of the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment Vu Van Luong said there was a high risk for of illegal mining in the province and admitted that small-scale illegal exploitation had been reported in some areas.
“An interdisciplinary inspection team, including the police and local department, will commence their work from March 10,” he said.
“Any illegal activities will be shut down,” he said.
In 2012, local authorities uncovered 11 illegal mines looking to exploit gold ore, rare earths and minerals. They also destroyed mining equipment and makeshift accommodation, and seized nearly 1,000 kilos of explosives.
Vietnam-RoK photo exhibition on AO victims
An exhibition in Seoul is displaying photographer Lee Jong-hun’s portraits of Agent Orange (AO) victims, taken during his 1,750km trans-Vietnam tour last November with 20 other Vietnamese and Korean cyclists.
The event, running from February 28 to March 4, was jointly organised by the Vietnamese Embassy and the Republic of Korea’s (RoK) MBC Nanum.
MBC Nanum Director Kim Ji-wan noted the meaningful exhibition honours the two countries’ 20 years of diplomatic ties.
During their 26-day tour from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, the cyclists met with AO victims across the country, he said.
Vietnamese Ambassador Tran Trong Toan said the US war in Vietnam claimed 400,000 Vietnamese people’s lives and resulted in the 500,000 children afflicted with birth defects.
Although the war ended 40 years ago, its terrible aftermath lingers on. More than 1.3 million Vietnamese are infected with the Agent Orange/Dioxin. Thousands of Korean people also suffer the taint of these poisonous chemicals, he added.
Toan said the exhibition embodies the solidarity and optimism of Vietnamese and Korean AO victims and their hopes for a brighter future.
He said he believes the event will help the two countries’ peoples and international friends understand more about war victims’ lasting sorrows.
People volunteer to protect forest from fire
Over 550 local people have volunteered to protect U Minh Ha Cajuput Forest during the coming dry season in Ca Mau Province.
They will co-operate with local forest rangers to ensure that teams will be on duty 24 hours a day to be on standby in case of fire. Thousands of people have shown an interest in defending the land from damage.
Around 20,000 ha of the forest’s 80,000 ha face a high risk of fire and seven blazes have started since the beginning of this year.
Riverbed investigated to find sua wood
Authorised agencies in Quang Binh’s Bo Trach District plan to investigate the riverbed of the Son River in a bid to identity whether or not it contains the highly valued sua wood (Dalbergia tonkinensis).
The move comes after local residents flocked to the river in recent days.
The head of the district’s Forest Management Division Pham Van Tan said that it was imperative to conduct investigations because the property belongs to the State.
Chaos occurred last week when a local couple salvaged 12 logs from the riverbed and claimed that they were sua wood.
Police bust illegal poultry transporter
Police in central Quang Binh Province on Saturday detected and seized 6,000 ducks and chickens being illegally transported on three coaches.
According to the police the cargo was not accompanied by any legal certification of origin and the poultry were being transported from northern provinces to the local markets.
Over the past four months, local authorities have discovered four cases of illegal poultry smuggling, seizing nearly 20,000 birds.
Fire-fighting boat made in Viet Nam
HCM City’s Fire Fighting and Prevention Department used their new locally built fireboat for the first time on Saturday.
The specialised watercraft, fitted with modern firefighting equipment, is capable of extinguishing fires on waterways within a 2km radius.
It can also fight fires in 200-m tall buildings along the riverbank in the city.
The boat, which cost close to VND50 billion (US$2.38 million), is the first of its kind in Viet Nam.
It will also be used to maintain social order and security in the city, serve marine patrol duties and provide fire and rescue support in surrounding areas.