The Pa Ko ethnic group

Vietnam and Laos have treasured the long-standing and special relationship – an invaluable asset as affirmed by late Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh and late Lao President Kaysone Phomvihan. It is special because both countries lean against the Truong Son Mountain Range and share the water resources of the Mekong River. Since the Communist Party of Indochina was established in 1930, the Vietnamese and Lao nations have shared common lofty ideals and strength in the struggle for national liberation – an important factor for ensuring the victory of the revolution in each country. It is special because the two countries had had a close connection before they established their diplomatic ties on September 5, 1962. So the establishment of their diplomatic ties as well as their whole course of history helped to open up a new stage of development in bilateral ties and foster close links between two nations. Thirty years ago today (July 18), the Vietnam-Laos Friendship and Cooperation Treaty was signed, creating a firm political and legal foundation for further promoting the revolutionary cause of each country as well as cementing the special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two nations. Over the past three decades, the treaty has made substantial contributions to the process of national construction and development in each country. Particularly, Laos has made significant achievements in the past 20 years of implementing the Doi Moi (Renewal) process. Its national independence, sovereignty and political and social stability have been maintained while national defence and security…... [read more]

The close and loyal ties of friendship between Vietnam and Laos is a vivid manifestation of international relations. The people of the two countries have been living under the same roof of Indochina, sharing the same Truong Son mountains and Mekong river in peace for a long time. They have fond memories of sharing sacred things, blood and tears and essentials such as rice, salt, needles and threads. Both countries experienced the long struggles against foreign aggression and always stood side by side in the fight against common enemies. The ties of solidarity and friendship is their valuable asset. Since the two countries established diplomatic ties in September 1962 they have been very proud of their close geographic positions and similar cultures. Diverse activities have been promoted to support each other during the past struggles against the common enemies as well as in the current process of national construction. It’s no exaggeration to say that the friendship between Vietnam and Laos is higher than the mountain, longer than the river, larger than the sea, brighter than the full moon and more fragrant than flowers as late President Xuphanuvong once said. Each exchange visit by Party, State, Government and National Assembly leaders is a red brick to build a Vietnam-Laos house of solidarity and friendship. During these visits many cooperative and friendship agreements were signed and many cooperative projects were approved, which have greatly contributed to the process of national construction in each country. The high consensus reached by the two…... [read more]

The aspiration for national independence had long burned deep in the heart of every Vietnamese through many generations and their share of ups and downs under the millennium-long rule of northern feudalism and the century-long rule of western colonialism. 66 years ago, Ho Chi Minh embodied that will and aspiration when he stated that the fatherland’s independence must be won, even at the cost of burning the whole Truong Son mountain range. The national congress, held in Tan Trao, Tuyen Quang, decided to launch a general uprising against the foreign colonialists and fascists that ruled Vietnam at the time. When the revolution succeeded nationwide, President Ho Chi Minh represented the provisional government to proclaim the birth of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on September 2, 1945 - “The country of Vietnam is entitled to freedom and independence and has been so already. The entire Vietnamese nation is determined to mobilize all its spirit and force, lives and property to safeguard that independence and liberty.” In late 1946, when the French colonialists returned to Vietnam and provoked the nation with the intention of reoccupying the country, President Ho Chi Minh made the following appeal - “The time for national salvation has struck. We must sacrifice our last drop of blood to preserve the country … We would rather sacrifice all than lose our country and become slaves!” At the peak of the American war in Vietnam, President Ho Chi Minh asserted that “Nothing is more precious than independence and liberty”. The…... [read more]

The Thu Bon River originates from small streams running through the forests of cinnamon trees and a rare variety of Ngoc Linh ginseng near the peak of Ngoc Linh Mountain which is over 2,500m high. This mountain is in the Truong Son Mountain Range in Nam Tra My district. In the districts of Tien Phuoc and Hiep Duc, the river is called Tranh (Picture), a very rustic name. However, when it runs through the districts of Que Son and Duy Xuyen and merges into the Vu Gia River, it takes the name Thu Bon. The river originates small streams on Ngoc Linh Mountain in the Truong Son Mountain Range The Thu Bon River drains a 10,000km2 basin, the largest in Quang Nam province In the past, the Cham people, an ethnic minority group of Vietnam, and their culture were greatly influenced by the Thu Bon River. One of the most glorious vestiges of Cham culture is My Son Sanctuary in Duy Xuyen district. Visiting the sanctuary, one seems lost in the world of the Cham, surrounded by images depicting sacred ceremonies, parades of horses and elephants, shining palanquins and groups of Apsara dancers in colourful dresses dancing at the foot of the ancient towers. Before flowing into the sea, the river also helped create one of the oldest and most beautiful port towns in Vietnam, Hoi An. Hoi An Ancient Streets, along with nearby Tra Que vegetable-growing village, Thanh Ha pottery village and Cua Dai Beach, have become a unique…... [read more]

Fifty years ago Army Corps 559 (now Truong Son Civil Engineering Corporation) was assigned to open a strategic artery through the Truong Son Mountain Range to transport troops and cargo to the southern front during the resistance war against the US imperialists. With a total length of nearly 20,000km encompassing Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, the Ho Chi Minh Trail formed a strategic transport artery, comprising 26 land routes on the eastern and western parts of the Truong Son Mountain Range, more than 1,400km of oil pipelines and a system of 6,000km long waterway transport routes. The historic and legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail symbolised the Vietnamese people’s will and aspiration for independence, freedom and national unification, as well as the revolutionary heroism of the Ho Chi Minh Era, said Phan Lam Phuong, chairman of the Quang Binh provincial People’s Committee at the ceremony. Truong Tan Sang, Politburo member and permanent member of the Party Secretariat, presented the title of the Hero of People’s Armed Forces posthumously to the collective of 8 volunteer soldiers of Company 217, Construction Board 67 of Army Corps 559, recognising their exploits in opening the artery. Participants were treated to a special art programme “The Legend of a Road” performed by more than 300 professional and amateur artists. The performance depicted a glorious period for the Vietnamese people and army in opening the strategic artery through the Truong Son Maintain range, the great support by the north to the south, and the victory of the historic…... [read more]

On February 15, 1971, in an article published in the US Armed Forces Journal, correspondent George Weiss commented on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, saying that in its early days, the Ho Chi Minh Trail was only a track with many different paths created by people and animals and only later became a road suitable for trucks. More fearfully, it was not only a transport route but also a complex network of winding paths that run in hundreds of directions. This network was turned into a labyrinth of route battle by Vietnamese communists who were very good at organising this kind of operation. Over 16 years (1959-1975), to protect the trail, the defending forces fought back against 111,135 air strikes by the US air force, shot down 2,455 planes and drove back more than 1,260 ground attacks. They also transported over 1,349,000 tonnes of supplies and weapons, pumped 5,5 million m3 of gas by pipeline and over 3,611,000 soldiers to the South to join the battles. About 19,800 soldiers and young volunteers died on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, 40,000 were injured and 14,500 vehicles, 700 guns and over 90,000 tonnes of supplies were destroyed. High-ranking US officials and the Southern Vietnamese armed forces began to reveal their inability to deal with the unpreventable construction of the transport network through the Truong Son Mountains by the Vietnamese army. They tried to destroy the path by using every means available to them, to cut the most important supply route from the…... [read more]

The 30-minute programme will be broadcast three times a day, from 6:30-7:00, 11:20-11:50, and 19:30-20:00 on 100MHz FM of VOV1 Channel. This is the 12th ethnic language programme in Vietnam and the first one in the central region to be broadcast by VOV. The Co Tu language broadcast aims to service not only the Co Tu ethnic people but also other ethnic minority groups living in the Truong Son Mountain Range who share many things in common with the Co Tu people. VOV’s ethnic language broadcasts will provide ethnic minority people with information about the Party and State’s policies, as well as agriculture techniques and help them to preserve their cultural identity, reduce poverty and ensure border security.... [read more]

Under the project which was carried out from February 2009 to June 2011, the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) - Vietnam Programme and TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network, have collaborated with relevant agencies and departments to strengthen law enforcement and raise public awareness of the issue. In the reviewed period, relevant forces discovered 88 cases of wildlife trafficking and rescued 731 animals alive, which were then released to the forests. The Truong Son mountain range, which runs through Thua Thien-Hue province, is home to many species listed in the global preservation list, including tiger (scientifically known as Panthera tigris), Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) and newly-discovered hooves Sao la (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis). The area, along the Vietnam-Laos border in Thua Thien-Hue, is known as a hotbed of illegal transport and trafficking of wild animals in Vietnam. Animals are hunted in Laos, Cambodia and neighbouring countries and taken through Thua Thien Hue province to the country’s northern localities and China for illicit trade in exotic species.... [read more]

Bicycle tour promotes Vietnam-Laos ties Participants discussed Vietnam’s green economy strategy, the two countries’ joint efforts toward environmental protection and sustainable development, and integration of climate change into policy making and investment management. They said that Vietnam and Laos have special environmental ties, such as sharing the Mekong River and Truong Son mountain range. More than half of Vietnam’s investment projects in Laos are focused on energy, agriculture, forestry and mining. They also pointed out common environmental issues facing the two countries relating to forestry, biodiversity, mineral and water resources, and hydroelectricity. Delegates agreed that Vietnam and Laos should make a greater effort to protect the environment for sustainable development and coordinate an annual seminar on the preservation of biodiversity along Truong Son mountain range. They will tighten the control of the transport and trade of wild animals and plants across borders, and work on environmental security in the context of excessive use of Mekong River resources. The seminar was organised by the Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia Association for Economic Cooperation Development (VILACAED) and the Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VAVNE).... [read more]

The event kicked off with a colourful procession along the legendary range marking the 55th anniversary of the Ho Chi Minh Trail formerly known as Truong Son mountain range, and the 60th anniversary of Dien Bien Phu victory. Running from March 1 to 12, the tour will include entertainment from 300 performers from 13 provinces and passes through Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam, Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dac Nong and Binh Phuoc. Binh Phuoc People’s Committee Vice President Nguyen Huy Phong said the recognition of the site will help young people get a better understanding of national contributions by generations of Truong Son soldiers. This decision along with 13 others to recognize well-known places as special historical sites was issued in 2013 by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.... [read more]

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