Dear Mr. Donald Trump,
President of the United States of America.
We represent Vietnamese people living in Vietnam as well as around the world who are longing for peace, stability, freedom, democracy and prosperity for the Asia-Pacific region and in Vietnam, our homeland, we respectfully send this letter to you, Mr. President.
We are informed that you will come to Hanoi on February 27th and 28th, 2019 for the summit with Kim Jong Un, the North Korean president to discuss about the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and conflict resolution and peace stabization for the Korea Peninsula, which, we believe, is your desire, the wishes of American people and of the whole world including Vietnam.
On this occasion, you will surely meet the leaders of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in Hanoi, where the summit meeting will be held as above-mentioned.
Therefore, we would like to present some of the facts which are happening in South China Sea and in Vietnam:
1- The Beijing government has been undertaking a policy of expanding all over the world in many ways, especially in the South China Sea that it claims 90% of, by illegally invading many islands and marine territories of Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries, setting up military bases, threatening commercial / trading traffic and fishery activities, exploiting natural resources of Vietnamese and international waters.
2- We very much welcome the United States for its activities of protecting the freedom of navigation in the international waters. However, we believe that just protecting the right of navigation is not enough because the Beijing goverment is violating and underestimating the international laws on the sea, like the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and ignoring or rejecting the International Arbitration Court’s ruling at the Hague in 2016 against the marine U-shape line that China is reclaiming.
3- In Vietnam, the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is still imposing an authoritarian, totalitarian regime, a regime that you often declare, needed to be eliminated all around the world like it is now happening in Venezuela. As you surely know that the Vietnamese government has not been respecting the fundamental human rights including freedom of religion. Recently, they continue to repress and harass independent religious dignitaries (Cao Dai, Hoa Hao, Protestant, Buddhist, Catholic, etc.). They destroyed religious facilities such as Lien Tri Pagoda at Thu Thiem, Thien An Monastery in Hue, Cao Dai’s Tuy An Pagoda in Phu Yen, An Cu Pagoda & Giac Minh Pagoda in Da Nang, Son Linh Pagoda in Kontum and so on. Recently, just before the Lunar New Year, they confiscated and levelled the Loc Hung Vegetable Garden in Ward 6, Tan Binh District, Saigon on January 4th and January 8th, 2019, leaving hundreds of families homeless. The Vietnamese authorities severely condemned peaceful activists for freedom, democracy, human rights and territorial integrity in regard with the thread of invasion by China.
Facing the above situations, we respectfully submit to the President the following proposals:
1- In regard to Beijing’s expansion in South China Sea, we beg the President to:
- Continue to increase the protection of navigation freedom in the international waters.
- Oblige or force Beijing authorities to respect international laws on the sea.
- Assist in bringing Chinese authorities to international Arbitration Court, forcing them to return illegally occupied islands and marine territories to Vietnam and to other countries.
2- In regard to the human rights violations by the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, we ask Mr. President to:
- Intervene in order to help Vietnam to improve its policies with respect to human rights and fundamental freedoms for its people.
- Pressure Hanoi to stop the unjust persecution, immediately release prisoners of conscience who are imprisoned or under house arrest, to return properties that they have illegally confiscated from the religious organizations and the citizens.
- Help Vietnam to obtain a political regime which provides freedom, democracy, peace and prosperity to its citizens.
Sincerely and thank you,
Written in Vietnam and Overseas February 18, 2018
- Venerable Thich Khong Tanh, Co-Chair of the Interfaith Council of Vietnam, Deputy Chief Unified Buddhist Sangha of Vietnam.
- Father Nguyen Van Ly, Co-Chair of the Interfaith Council of Vietnam.
- Dignitary Hua Phi, Co-Chair of the Interfaith Council of Vietnam, Chief Representative of Sanh Nhon Tay Ninh Cao Dai Holy See.
- Mr. Le Van Soc, Co-Chair of the Interfaith Council of Vietnam, Representative of the Pure Hoa Hao Buddhist
- Pastor Nguyen Hoang Hoa, Co-Chair of The Interfaith Council of Vietnam, Representative of the Lutheran Evangelical Church of Vietnam.
- Dr. Vo Dinh Huu, former President of the Board of Directors of Federation of Vietnamese American Communities of the USA.
- Dr. Do Van Hoi, former President of the Executive Board of Federation of Vietnamese American Communities of the USA.
- Mr. Luu Van Tuoi, President of the Supervisory Council of Federation of Vietnamese American Communities of the USA
- Mr. Nguyen Van Tanh, President of Federation of Vietnamese American Communities of the USA.
- Mr. Pham Tran Anh, Chairman of the Dien Hong Thoi Dai, Association of Former Political and Religious Prisoners of Vietnam.
- Mr. Cao Xuan Khai, Vice President of Former Political and Religious Prisoners of Vietnam.
- Mr. Tran Van Dong, former General Secretary of the Vietnamese Canadian Federation, Member of the Supervisory Council.
- Dr. Hoang Thi My Lam, Chairman of the Federation of Vietnamese Refugees of Germany.
- Mr. Doan Huu Dinh, former President of the Vietnamese Community of DC, MD and VA.
- Mr. Nguyen Trung Chau, former President of Association of Former Political Prisoners of Vietnam (currently Advisor).
- Dr. Phan Van Song, former Political Prisoners of Vietnam, Paris, French
- Dr. Le Thuan Kien, President of Federation of Vietnamese in Canada
- Mrs. Dang Thi Danh, Former President of Vietnamese Community of Montreal, Canada.
- Dr. Pham Duc Vuong, President of Former Soldiers of the Republic Of Vietnam.
Advisors: Father Nguyen Van Ly – Venerable Thich Minh Tuyen – Mr. Phan Ky Nhon
Hoi Van Do, M.D