Since the morning of October 7 until now, floods in central Vietnam have killed at least 132 people, including dozens of soldiers, and caused enormous physical damage to many central provinces.
On October 20, the country’s highest legislative body National Assembly opened its session with “a minute of silence for national legislator Nguyen Van Man” and expressed “sharing with the losses and sacrifices of soldiers and people,” much domestic newspaper has reported.
According to VOA’s observations, the aforementioned information led to criticism of Vietnamese people on social media about the fact that the National Assembly seems to give priority to the national legislators over the people when the legislature commemorates the victims of floods.
Reporting the commemorative activities, Dan Sinh newspaper ran the headline “The National Assembly mourning national legislator Major General Nguyen Van Man” while the title of the article by Tai Nguyen and Moi Truong (Natural Resources and Environment) wrote, “The National Assembly commemorates Major General Nguyen Van Man, member of the 14th term National Assembly of Quang Binh province.”
The Bao ve Phap Luat (Law Protection) newspaper titled its article “The National Assembly commemorates, shares the loss and sacrifices of soldiers and people in the Central region.“
The VNExpress online newspaper with the largest readership in Vietnam only wrote briefly: “Before the opening session this morning, October 20, the National Assembly spent a minute to silence national legislator Nguyen Van Man, deputy commander of Military Region 4, and other soldiers died when they went to rescue other compatriots died due to floods.”
Next, VNExpress quoted National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan saying that this legislature sent “deep condolences to the families of cadres, soldiers, and people died.”
In the face of such headlines and news, many people raised the question on social media why so many people and soldiers died from floods, but the National Assembly placed the military general to the top position for commemoration.
Some commented that doing so shows that the National Assembly is not really the representatives of the people.
Activist Tran Bang posed a few questions on his personal Facebook page with nearly 30,000 followers: “Is the National Assembly only for parliamentarians? It just commemorated its member who died in the flood? How about more than a hundred Vietnamese taxpayers who died from floods, the National Assembly ignored?”
While the military forces found the bodies of 22 soldiers who were crushed to death by mountains in Quang Tri province, there are still 15 out of 17 workers of Rao Trang 3 Hydropower whose bodies were buried from October 12 until now more than a week either because the military’s efforts were halted after the bodies of 13 officers were found.
The National Assembly of the entire population but had a bias towards hundreds of people died, Professor Mac Van Trang said:
“More than 100 people and soldiers died in the floods of Central Vietnam, the National Assembly should organize national mourning, otherwise it is necessary to remember all fellow victims, but it is only for one member of the National Assembly and military soldiers? Is the National Assembly for the entire population?!”
Hundreds of angry comments claim that the National Assembly considers people’s lives too cheap, that “The National Assembly is the Party’s structure and spends tax money of the people, but the people have not voted for them.”
FB Son Minh Hoang:
“They only consider the cadres as human, and the people are just slaves!”
In the eyes of the rulers, the soldiers and ordinary people were just like wild cats and dogs.”
FB Che Quoc Long: “They consider the lives of people and soldiers as trash. The National Assembly is the representative body of the people but is not elected by the people. Damn it.”
FB Hong Nhung: The National Assembly belongs to the Party, there are no people here.
FB Nho Vu:
This is a statement proving eloquently that those who talk of the people, by the people, for the people but despise the people, evil to the people, deceive to the people! Immoral!
FB Ninh Ga:
What a pity for 17 workers in the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant when 15 people are still lying in the cold mud.
FB Tran Thi:
Pain for a people suffering at the hands of gangsters!
On his personal Facebook, Doctor Vo Xuan Son has a comment titled: Whose is the National Assembly? with the following content:
“Yesterday, many people discussed that the National Assembly would commemorate Gen. Man. There seems to mention about the people dying during the flooding happening in the central provinces.
Seeing the information in the newspapers, I saw the Tuoi Tre Newspaper published as “The National Assembly will mourn legislator Nguyen Van Man, soldiers, and the sacrifices of fellow citizens,” I still hope that the National Assembly does not just commemorate Gen. Man alone. In theory, the National Assembly is of the people, elected by the people, representing the will of the people.
Therefore, even though Mr. Man is a member of the National Assembly to die in this year’s floods in the central provinces, the National Assembly does not just mourn Mr. Man without mentioning the killed soldiers and other people.
This morning, I opened National Assembly Television to watch, and I saw a scene of the Chairwoman of the National Assembly attending something colorful with the chance of slogans and flags.
It turned out to be the 70th anniversary of the People’s Army Newspaper, held on October 19, 2020, when 90 people (both soldiers and civilians) died, and 34 people were missing, of which there were a dozen in Rao Trang 3 have not been found yet.”
Opening the website of the National Assembly, it was clear that the announcement was only for Gen. Man at the preparatory session, at 8:10 am on October 20, 2020. Until that time, when I opened National Assembly television, I saw an advertisement for a cough medicine. The doctor insisted over and over again that the cough medicine is herbal, so it does not have any negative effects on health. It was the first time I watched National Assembly TV, and had seen with my own ears a doctor advertising drugs, and affirmed that there is a medicine that can cure diseases without harm.
On VTV1, we also did not find live television. It turned out that they made it in the preparatory session but not live television.
So I cannot confirm that the National Assembly only mentions one out of 90 Vietnamese killed by the floods, or ignores all the dead, but in theory, the National Assembly is the great body representing them. Unfortunately, I cannot determine who does the National Assembly represent, for about 1%, or for the entire Vietnamese people?
To be honest, out of the 13 people who died at Ranger Station 67 on the way to Rao Trang 3 Hydropower Plant, the person most responsible for these 13 deaths was Gen. Man. He is the person of the highest rank, having been the commander of the rescue force many times. If he was not the team leader, he was also jointly responsible, and his responsibility will be second to the team leader.
The sacrifice of the people in the front station to Rao Trang 3 is the sacrifice for the rescue mission, the sacrifice is very worthy of respect. We all appreciate that great sacrifice. But, they would not have been killed, if the tour planners were more careful and more professional. Regardless of the angle, it must be seen, Gen. Man was the one who did not complete the task.
I also recently read information about the promotion of 22 soldiers of the 337 division who died from a landslide. How painful it is to have someone die from a landslide, swept away by the flood, or from any other cause during this flood.
However, it will be difficult to understand, why they did promote the ranks of the soldiers of the 337 division who died this time?
If analyzed further, there will be many confusing things in the behavior of the party and state agencies at a high level during the flood days in the Central region. The Ho Chi Minh City Party Congress had no flowers, but it was then followed by an extravagant concert night at Nguyen Hue walking street to “celebrate the success of the congress.” Then why should the notice of not receiving flowers? If they did not accept the flowers, they should abandon the program that costs much more?
All of these behaviors can only make one see that, increasingly, the structures of power are moving away from the people. They themselves set them apart from the people, stand up from the people, stand out from the people. Are they trying to prove, they are the ruling force, they have power, they don’t need the people?
These days, I keep thinking, whether I should roll into danger, accept defamation, to help those who, after the accident, can only say ‘thank the party and the government’ or not?” Doctor Vo Xuan Son stated.