Vietnam - Trying to identify the causes” written in March 2008, there was this quotation “The scholar Tran Dong Chan outlines the mafia mechanism in Vietnam as follows: “They do not form any separate and specific faction at all, but build up their omnipresence by worming themselves into agencies of all kinds, from the VN communist party offices to the State organs, from the Government bodies to the Congress committees, at both levels, central and local as well, and from administrative departments to business management boards. Likewise, there is no commitment to any written alliance agreement. Nevertheless, they take concerted action very well in cahoots and in synchronization with each other thanks to their common objective based on self-interest motive. They do not express their own political views and always welcome enthusiastically all the resolutions of the party ,instructions of the government, law bills of the national assembly and decisions of the local authorities, whether they are of progressive or conservative nature… But what is the worst and the most dangerous thing here is that these opportunists themselves are being supported and nurtured by foreign powers because of their symbiotic relationship and for their long-range plans”.
Not long after writing that article, I know that the man I honored as “scholar” is a young author of the same age (BingWu, i.e. horse) as my son. His name is Trần Huỳnh Duy Thức. In terms of the Heaven’s Stems, he is of the third Stem (can Bính), the same as mine. According to the horoscope, it is said that “Bính biến vi sư, Bính biến vi tù”, i.e. Those who belong to the third Heaven’s Stem are destined to be masters or prisoners”. As “master”, he is worthy of being the master of many of the CPV high-ranking officials. But he was put in jail, indeed. The trial of appeal on 11 May, 2010 sentenced him to 16 years in prison and 5 years probation ( judgment No. 254/2010/HSPT) with charges of “activities to overthrow the people’s government” according to article 79 of the Criminal code.
This article carries the headline “Star locked in jail” because I’m thinking of a B. Obama (4-8-1961), a D. Medvedev (14-12-1965), a Y. Shinawatra (21-6-1967)… in Vietnam. These people are nearly of the same age as Tran Huynh Duy Thuc (29-11-1966) and have a high level of thinking on par with him.*In the economic field
: From a small computer shop in business joint-venture with Le Thang Long (studying IT together with Thức at HCM City Polytechnic University), in May 2001, they bought the Compact Milgo Solution and six months later, in November 2001, Tran Huynh Duy Thuc hand-in-hand with Le thang Long set footsteps on the US market with dignity, made acquisition of the VoIP (Internet Protocol) technology and , when back to Vietnam, they founded the Global EIS Co. Ltd and OCI Company with hundreds of employees and scientists working together.
EIS and OCI used to be highly evaluated by the press as the pride of VN when pioneering in overseas investment. EIS was called gladiator on American soil by a newspaper accustomed to write complimentary articles to exploit advertising.
Not only successful in business, THDT acquired much knowledge in economy, deep enough for him to give very respectable predictions about events of national importance:
“I still remember that, at the end of 2007, the stock market in Vietnam was strained bulging like bubbles. At that point of time, the stock purchasing power, for the first time, slipped into almost all people from all walks of life in Vietnam. In addition to civil servants, businessmen, in the informal sessions (OTC) and the stock exchange, there was the presence of no less housewives, old ragged peasants. The appearance of the timely article “Where is the $VN (VN Dong) now and where will it
go?” by Tran Dong Chan, as a panacea for detoxication of the toxic effects of the “passion” for playing the market (securities) of many people being fascinated by the stock buying power. Besides his profound knowledge about finance and currency, the readers also perceived the quintessence of Tran Dong Chan in using 2 Oracles of Trạng Trình (Nguyen Binh Khiem) to warn people about the dangers of the international financial Octopus tentacles when they decided to invest in VN securities. Thus, the article by Chan was honored to be used in the newsreel program of the national Vietnam television (VTV) for warning the populace at that time”.
A journalist once said so on the Web..In the field of science and technology:
Many people admit that THDT has pioneered with his companies EIS and OCI, in “turning into market” the informatics dream which had just been rekindled from the national research programs of the kind of mathematician Phan Dinh Dieu. Thus, he can be regarded as one of the people who created the lead in building the information technology in Vietnam.
In addition, as the words expressed by THDT’s father, Mr. Tran Van Huynh, former Cultural External Relations officer under HCMC Service of Culture and Information, in a letter addressed to President Nguyễn Minh Triết, he wrote about his son as follows:
“For many past years, Thuc spent much time, devotion and strength to do research in economics, political science and the current economic, political, social and cultural situation of the country for the purpose of warning the leadership of the State, the Party and the Government on the risks of the country which could be gradually turned into a new type of colony in this globalization era. At first, he sent letters directly to a number of top leaders through the postal service of official dispatches and by asking some people having proper relationship to forward directly but his letters could not reach the intended leaders in person, for instance the letter of 7/1/2004 to Chief of State Nguyen minh Triet, the then Secretary of HCM City Party executive committee, and the letter of 14/4/2007 to Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng, etc. Therefore, Thuc chose the blogging form to upload his articles warning about the danger of the country but still did not get due concern of the leadership while the risks continue to grow more and more dangerous”.Tran Huynh Duy Thuc wrote what?* He pointed out the mistakes of the Government and the National Assembly in drawing up the development plans and the growth targets:“This month last year, the National Assembly voted through a resolution on the plans for socio-economic development in 2008 following a proposal by the Government. Although the situation at that time was to the extent of inflation alarm but the Government and National Assembly still built the GDP growth target of 8.5% - 9%. This figure is a basis for claiming to enhance investment. The resolution stated clearly that investment will reach 42% of the GDP in the same fiscal year 2008 - a very high figure and inversely proportional to the growth quality but proportional to the value of corruption. As a result, the Government poured colossal budget and widespread investment into every field in favor of the State enterprises, especially the business groups and corporations .The risk of inflation is not removed from the root but somewhat like playing with fire by adding more petrol to it, by the epidemic of from-hand-to-mouth investment. The consequences are felt immediately, inflation and excess of imports over exports are galloping up at a dizzy speed. The Government was forced to tighten the currency, lifting the interest rates up, makings it still dizzer ....With a growth not based on increased productivity, how can we talk about sustainable development. But how do you get new jobs while the only working force capable of doing this for many years is the small and medium enterprises being in agony and having died nearly half. To be honest, quite a few people admit to understand that this goal number of jobs was given to conceal the unemployment status which has been and will be increasing rapidly and complicatedly over the time to come. Crimes and social evils will also accelerate accordingly”(1).* He clarified the raging dark side of our country’s stock market:“But ironically, the stock market has been turned into a place for money laundering in order to take advantage of short-term speculations. The capital inflow really mobilized to be used for the economy is inconsiderable , the risk for the banks is not reduced at all but exacerbated indeed, because people make bank loans mostly to throw them into securities. Thus, the equitization is turned into a very good chance to sell at low prices the people’s property to foreign countries in favor of mercenary, corrupt officials. The capacity to execute the macro policy of the Government at all levels, from central to local, is really being challenged by the opportunists. This opportunist force have developed horribly since the Party Congress X. However they are not easy to be identified, because they do not form any separate or specific faction at all, but build up their omnipresence by worming themselves into agencies of all kinds, from the CPV offices to the State organs, from the Government bodies to the Congress committees, at both levels, central and local as well, and from administrative departments to the business management boards”(2).* And forecasting that the risk of depression is present :“The nominal values in Vietnam are now giant bubbles interconnected with each other. Over the past time, they have never been discharged slightly to reduce the risk of explosion, the pressure from one place was moved temporarily to another place only. Securities and real-estate pump steam through inflation and interest rates, from there continue pumping into exchange rates. Now it is looking for a way to pump back to property, if the methods of property "stimulus" have no effect this time, then the exchange rate bubbles will explode. The crisis due to bubbles occurred in the internal force depletion as in Vietnam at the moment will cause a comprehensive collapse.Many countries around the world are also in crisis, but those having inner resources well cared for substantially - i.e. rested on a solid foundation - then,in spite of very serious effects of the crisis,the economy of such countries still has the ability to adjust and quickly create new opportunities for development. In Vietnam, there have been no measures well taken care of radically for a long time, causing it to be increasingly rotten to the core. Consequently, not only there have been no newly created domestic resources at least, but also they suffer from rampant and wasted exploitation "(1). “…… the existence of agonizing state economic corporations solely relies on the financial supply from the government as well as on a bunch of activities within the narrow home ground only. What the other economic stimulus package was used for to essentially uphold good-for-nothing corporations which exist only on a day-to-day basis. But could these enterpriseses rely for ever on the state budget for survival? When they run out of money, we fear that the partners of this happy marriage must bid farewell to each other soon”(5). * “He feels unhappy for the unfortunate destiny of the farmers of our country”:“For the farmers, the immediate future is also far more obscure. The workforce in this sector is growing more and more both in number and in percentage. While land is the most important means of production, it is still being narrowed rapidly, yet the investment in technology to increase labor productivity is almost equal to zero. Switching to jobs in the areas of industry and services, they encounter the fine illusion of people who make investment only to occupy agricultural land. Labor demand due to the small and medium enterprises created every year for the rural areas is now a big negative number. The workers of peasant origin now return home bare - handed, with no land nor occupation at all. Making a living is a big moral challenge for them. Billions of dollars invested from both overseas and the State budget for agriculture and rural development are just odds and ends. Rice, fish, shrimp, coffee, etc… sold at discount or unsalable are heaping up debts on the farmers. Enterprises if going bankrupt can still apply the insolvency law to be released from the responsibility of debt payment. As for the peasants in case of insolvency, even after death they cannot get debts off their hands. Even a worm will turn” (1).* His historical viewpoint of the world can be regarded as remarkable for its novelty, originality and worth thinking over “The desire for prosperity and betterment of life is something people look forward to and have been searching for since thousands of years from now, but the human society has seen really prosperous growth over the past few hundred years only. This great achievement is often attributed to the technical and scientific revolution. That is not entirely wrong , but the great leap forward in science and technology is only the effect, the real cause is the liberation of human freedom and ideas. Only with freedom and human rights can people be fully satisfied to do research, to understand well and unravel the rules of nature; people no longer fear to express their political opinions in order to find the best solutions for life. This is an important foundation for the scientific and technological revolution to invent and innovate, to understand the principles of economics, and to create political and philosophical ideologies to change the form of government into something more effective. History has proved that those who start from behind while embracing human rights ahead won and surpassed far beyond those who started in front but did not respect human rights and freedom.During the entire 18th century until the beginning of the 19th century, China was the biggest economy in the world, bigger than all of Europe combined. During that time, while the feudal dynasties of China were still complacent of their own strength and were doing all they could to remain the strongest and the richest, the West began the revolution of human rights with the primary aim of winning the freedom of man at any cost. Only 50 years later, China became a weak giant to be torn apart by the countries from the West and was later invaded by Japan, a small neighbor following the Western model. The Manchurian Court was forced to sign a series of shameful treaties to surrender territories. During that same period, the Western world was growing rapidly and had achieved a sustainable prosperity. The typical example is the United States of America, who, in their first constitution, protected human rights and human liberty first and foremost, above all the other things that needed to be protected. The US constitution was amended several times, but in it, the sacred human freedom always occupied the first place. The US did not just naturally become a prosperous nation as seen today. Human freedom does not just occur naturally either”(3).* With that insight into history ,THDT saw the future threat of the great Han China:“A people as great as China should have had a much more deserving place compared to where they are today .That place will never come until freedom and human rights of the people of China are fully respected . On the contrary, the economic development that is happening now will lead to a serious social imbalance easily stirring political turmoil and forming a new dynasty, like the rise and fall of those feudal regimes that this country has seen in the past. But before its collapse, it will create major problems for the rest of the world. When an individual or a small group holding power feel that they have absolute power over tens or hundreds of millions of people, they will easily have in their hands great sources of power, The greed for hegemonic power will arise. While having political monopoly, they easily incite the narrow-minded national movement to provoke war against other countries .This had happened during the times of feudalism, capitalism and communism as well” (3).* And the prospect of the world: need of vigilance“The world today is still facing similar risks. If globalization fails to make a reasonable allocation of the world market and China cannot form a true democracy in order to ensure freedom and fundamental rights, including the right to decide national political destiny for the people of China; Russia cannot make its young democracy more democratic, the risk of war on a global scale to scramble for markets, exert influences and to satisfy the insatiable greed hidden behind a nationalist agenda, is unavoidable. This is really a big challenge for the whole mankind in the next 20 years” (3)* He called upon the CPV to make national morality prevail to create peace and harmony for healthy and sustainable development:“The State should focus on the ethical way of acting (i.e. ĐẠO in Vietnamese) for the nation. ĐẠO is not a religion. Religions are the effective methods to load ĐẠO. ĐẠO is a set of rules of changes, natural and objective, belonging to Heaven and Earth so that when enlightened, people will understand that above is Heaven under which is the Earth and in between human beings need to live together by goodness and benevolence. Only then can people get well-balanced between material life, moral life and spiritual life without falling into the extremes of passion for material wealth, authoritarian behavior or subordination to alien thoughts and the maze of religions. Such a balance would make social sublimation. Then the immunity and resistance of the society will be very high due to the sense of independence and autonomy and community mutual assistance of each citizen” (4).“Vietnam is in need of a growth the chances of which must be fairly allocated to almost all the people. With a lower growth rate but of better quality, the majority of the people can still enjoy the results. With the type of growth as seen here for a long time, the benefits are appropriated by the minority groups, but the consequences are born by the majority of the masses, not to mention the harmful effects of the ruined environment, traffic jams, gridlocks, etc., all of which weigh heavily upon the majority of the people”(1).
Above are just some excerpts from a fraction of nearly fifty articles, petitions, etc. of THDT, but surely they are quite enough for the readers to see that:“That is the result of long series of several sleepless nights of my son working in over 5 years with a burning enthusiasm, an extraordinary energy. To tell the truth, I’ve never seen any research document written in a comprehensive, insightful and constructive spirit with respect to broad issues of the country as recommended in the book The path of Vietnam. THDT, my son, is very busy because of his liability to a big family with hundreds of employees and shareholders of his companies run by himself. So to study the problems of the country and petition accordingly, he had to use most of the time reasonably needed for resting, recreating his strength. I very much understand the personality of THDT: he doesn’t do this work out of self-interest expectation” (6).
THDT’s father proved to be modest. In fact, the writings of THDT not only express “a burning enthusiasm, an extraordinary energy” but also embody a pre-eminent brainpower and a merciful heart. As commented by a certain young lady (blogger) named NHI:
"Reading your mail notes, I understand more clearly… why I am honored to know you, uncle Thức . It is what I have taken as the most important thing I have found in your thinking. That is the targeted direction to reach in order to build Viet Nam into a nation with a peace-loving spirit without hatred (as written in one entry of mine, perhaps I have been more or less influenced by Buddhism since my childhood).
In both the previous mail and this one, I always see that thing,(as for other things I feel great admiration for your comments. Hatred is always coupled with devastating and should not exist in our thought if we want to build anything. The crisis itself in VN now is an opportunity for us to change (as said in your article, my uncle). But how to change so that it is a change for the better is what I am very interested in”.
The following lines in honor of THDT by Mr. Le Dien Duc, a journalist, are quite appropriate, but what a pity!
"Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, don't be afraid! Putting your own life in jeopardy for any just cause you will also have to pay the price for it and the people will be grateful to you for your deeds. Even if you had to die, you would become immortal. The continuation of your persona itself in this life is the pride of the courage and patriotism of your family, your descendants, your siblings and friends and the future generations. Your legacy will be eternal. When passing away, not everyone can have such a pride. No matter how much wealthy you are, you cannot afford to buy such a glory!”
About this article, I only wish it could stir up people’s conscience to ask everybody to raise their voice together, to strike up a peal of soul prayer bells together, demanding those who are competent to reconsider the law case and remove this brutal judgment and liberate Tran Huynh Duy Thuc from jail soon.On the occasion of Tran Huynh Duy Thuc ‘s 45th birthday celebrationHanoi, November 25, 2011Nguyen Thanh GiangNumber 6- Geophysics Aircraft CollectiveTrung Van-Tu Liem, Ha NoiCell phone: 0984 724 165
__________________________________Notes:(1) “Crisis and the last chance” by Tran Dong Chan (2)”Where is the $VN (VN Dong) now and where will it go?” by Tran Dong Chan (3)“The year of the Ox and a new opportunity for VN” by Tran Dong Chan(4) “Contribution of ideas to the Politburo after the Party Congress X” by Tran Dong Chan(5) “The stimulus package of Mr. Nguyen tan Dung and the stock market of Mr. Nguyen Sinh Hùng” by Tran Dong Chan.(6) “Application against false charges” lodged the 3rd time on 27/7/ 2011 by the father of Tran Huynh Duy Thuc.