8th April 2006 – 8th April 2010
Dear Vietnamese fellows living in Vietnam and abroad;
Governments and national assemblies, international communities and human rights organization throughout the world,
Bloc 8406 was formed on 8 April 2006, which is the day the Manifesto on Democracy and Freedom for Vietnam (hereby called The 8406 Manifesto) was released throughout the world. At a humble start with 118 members living inside Vietnam, the Bloc received enormous support from Vietnamese living inside and outside Vietnam, and was quickly expanded with many thousands of members.
The 8406 Manifesto has received warm support from many political, religious and human rights activists, non-governmental organizations and friends from many countries in the world such as the United Kingdom, Poland, Germany, Canada, United States of America, Japan, France, Czechoslovakia, Australia. The Bloc members were praised for their effort and courage in confronting totalitarianism, and determination in fighting for freedom and democracy for Vietnam.
Prominent members of Charter 77 had written an open letter to Bloc 8406 on 23/05/2006 , which states “We are aware of The Declaration of Democracy and Human Rights for Vietnam. We highly praise your courage in such a political environment, which is similar to what we had experienced in our own country when Charter 77 was first announced in 1977. We are aware that you are constantly subject to the risks of abduction by authority and we hope that expression of unity shall aid great encouragement and strength to you. (…) We are not ignorant to the future of Vietnam. We strongly believe that your voice can not be suppressed. Although Charter 77 had officially come to an end after November 1989, however we are very pleased to express support to you on our personal capacity. We wish that your effort will result in leading to the establishment of a democracy quicker than what we had achieved through movements under Charter 77”.
The Open Letter signed by 50 U.S. Members of Congress on 30 May 2006 pointed out that: “We hope that this letter will further serve as a reminder to those who silence voices of freedom that any act of repression or intimidation against citizens peacefully expressing their beliefs is a gross violation of human rights - wholly inconsistent with the image of stability and progress that the Government of Vietnam is currently pursuing. The world is watching.
To those living in Vietnam who have given their signatures to these historic documents your courage and dedication in advocating for human liberty through peaceful and non-violent means serves as an inspiration to your fellow citizens, to us, and to the world. We stand with you in your struggle”.
In the same spirit, on 6 December 2006 at the Australian Federal Parliament in Canberra, 36 Members of Parliament and Senators signed an open letter which states: “We, the undersigned members of the House of Representatives and Senate of Australia, would like to express our support and admiration for 118 courageous Vietnamese citizens, known as Bloc 8406, who signed the Manifesto on Freedom and Democracy for Vietnam on the 8th April 2006, calling for a peaceful political transition toward a multi-party democratic Vietnam… The presence of this pro-democracy movement proves that the aspiration for freedom and democracy is universal for all the people of the world, and is consistent with principles upheld by the Australian Parliament. As representatives who have been elected in a democracy, there is an obligation on us to speak out on behalf of those who have had their democratic rights taken from them.
We call on the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to listen to the voice of its people, and take appropriate steps to change toward a free and democratic society, in order to fully integrate into the international community and the global market place. The whole world is watching over the situation in Vietnam…”
On the 4th anniversary of Bloc 8406 (8th April 2006 – 8th April 2010), we express our deep appreciation to the support from Vietnamese and our friends from around the world. To be worthy of your trust and love, together with our people and the whole world we are determined to engage in the fight for freedom and democracy for Vietnam.
On this occasion, Bloc 8406 solemnly declares
1/. Absolute binding to the spirit and terms of 8406 Manifesto as follows:
Goals: Maintain fighting toward a pluralist multi-party political system and democracy.
Methodology: Any method of non-violent struggle that has been practiced by many people in the past such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, the democracy movements in Eastern Europe during 1981 – 1991 and democracy movements in Vietnam in recent years.
Driving Force: Are the majority of Vietnamese people living in Vietnam and abroad, which include intellectuals, employees, writers, artists, merchants, workers, farmers, veterans, students members, students,… and also members of the People’s Army and Police force, along side with the world community. Altogether unity will create a power that surpasses everything.
Motivation: pioneers in the mass struggle are those intellectuals and religious clerics who have been silent in the past.
The opponents: are Vietnamese communist dictators and their mutual benefactors. These people govern and try to maintain their wicked and ruthless rules on the majority of Vietnamese people. Despite the fact that Vietnam is lagging behind other countries in the region, the ruling communist party still ignores people’s thirst for a real democratization. There is an existence of a growing class-conflict between the enslaved working classes and the new “red” bourgeoisies, who enjoy a lavish life.
Sense: It is a struggle between the Just and the Unjust; progression and backwardness and kindness against brutality.
2/. A Conclusion based on what has been happening in Vietnam:
A democratic and modern Vietnam and a fair society can not exist as long as the communist government is still in power. This regime does not have the capability to maintain social morals and values while uncontrolled corruption is on the rise. Safety of individuals cannot be guaranteed, and our sovereignty is under increased threat.
Moreover, this regime is pushing our country to the verge of being colonised by the thousand years-long enemy from the North. In this regard, we believe that the risk of being invaded by Chinese troops in a modern day is very low. However, the Chinese Communists have been finding ways to exert their control and influence onto Vietnamese Communist leadership by bribes and political domination. Eventually, it is part of their “Vietnamisation” Strategy in which Hanoi shall have to implement policies as per instructions from Beijing. It is suggested that the Chinese Communists plan to implement a similar strategy which was carried out in Cambodia under Khmer Rouge regime during 1975 – 1979, in the so-called “a Democratic Cambodia.” The “Killing Field” was a result of this.
What has been happening in recent years is the solid proof for that suggestion. China has claimed and overtaken thousands of square kilometres on land and several hundred thousands square kilometres on the Eastern Sea. On many occasions, Vietnamese fishing boats working in Vietnam’s EEZ were brutally attacked, shot and sunk by Chinse Navy. The Bauxite mining in the Central Highlands and many other sub-standard projects by Chinese from all over the country potentially pose a great environmental and security threat to Vietnam. More than 300,000 hectares of the highly classified forest (watershed forestry) along the border with China was given a 50 years Lease that is virtually free to Chinese companies. Many illegal immigrant settlements have mushroomed from north to south alongside with Chinese worksites. A huge amount of sub-standard and bad Chinese quality goods floating freely in Vietnam has caused a great concern to consumers’ health. All of this has happened with the aid of Vietnamese authorities. Many Vietnamese compatriots have warned authorities about the risks from the North, but their voice were silenced and suppressed.
3/. Request that the Vietnamese communist government must:
· Respect all the fundamental freedoms and the rights of people to self-determination.
· Release immediately and unconditionally all political prisoners in Vietnam (the incomplete list provided herewith in the attached appendices).
· Stop all human rights violations and breaches to their own Constitution and Laws against Vietnamese such as illegal detention and house-arrest, forceful interrogation, illegal taping and monitoring of phones and mails, ransacking and illegal confiscation of private properties, economic siege and sanction and using thugs to humiliate freedom fighters in public, falsification of court records and documents. All these evil actions are carried out by the Police force and the “People’s Courts” system in the name of “protecting national security and stability of social order”.
4/. Welcome the “conditional” release of two 8406 Bloc members: Catholic priest Fr. Nguyen Van Ly, and the brilliant lawyer Le Thi Cong Nhan. Many other freedom fighters currently imprisoned in Communist prisons are also remembered for their efforts and sacrifice.
5/. Deeply appreciate the warm support and countless efforts from Vietnamese compatriots and friends from all over the world to our prisoners of conscience, especially the recent statements from PEN International, Amnesty International and Vietnamese communities throughout the world demanding the unconditional release of Father Nguyen Van Ly and condemning the suppression, threats and continuous harassment of Le Thi Cong Nhan.
6/. Highly praise the courage, diligence, intelligence and indomitable spirit of Bloc 8406 members. Your sacrifice is highly valued by Bloc 8406 and the Vietnam pro-democracy movement, in general.
7/. On the assumption of “White Shirt” Movement to support Democracy in Vietnam on every 1st and 15th of every month, we call for a widespread support and participation from our compatriots living in Vietnam and other parts of the world.
And finally, we call on the governments of the world and the international communities for increased strong support for the cause of democratization in Vietnam.
Prepared in Vietnam on 3rd April, 2010 by
Representatives of the Provisional Committee of Bloc 8406
1/. DO, Nam Hai (Engineer) - 441 Nguyen Kiem St, Phu Nhuan Dist., Saigon, Vietnam.
2/. Rev. PHAN, Van Loi (Catholic Priest) - 16/46 Tran Phu St, Hue, Vietnam.
3/. Rev. NGUYEN, Van Ly (Catholic Priest) – Currently under house-arrest at No 64 Phan Dinh Phung St, Hue, Vietnam.
4/. Prof. NGUYEN, Chinh Ket, who is now living in exile, advocating for democracy.
In communion with Mr. Tran Anh Kim, an army veteran and Mr. Nguyen Xuan Nghia, a writer; and many other political prisoners, who are still imprisoned in communist penitentiaries.