Myanmar: Tens of thousands of people in Rakhine flee into Bangladesh

NDO - The Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in the Dong Mo tourism area of Son Tay town, Hanoi, will host a variety of activities throughout this September in order to celebrate the National Day (September 2, 1945 -2017). The programme is expected to feature around 300 artists, actors and students of 12 ethnic groups from 11 localities across the country. A typical rural market at Dong Van karst plateau will be recreated at the event, introducing visitors to indigenous specialties, folk games and dances of the ethnic minorities groups in the northern province of Ha Giang. A total of 60 photos depicting the life, natural landscapes and people of Ha Giang will be displayed at the event. Notably, a traditional boat race from Phu Tho province will be featured for the first time at the village as part of the programme. The boat race aims to honour the country’s sportsmanship, and show their gratitude to their national ancestors. Long-standing cultural practices of the ancestral land of Phu Tho will also be introduced to visitors at the village through a display of 100 pictures. The organising board will also present one of the largest festivals of the Dao ethnic group in Ba Vi district, Hanoi, which is observed annually on the fifteenth day of the seventh lunar month. The ritual aims to worship the departed and pay tribute to ancestors. Documentary films will also screened for visitors, providing them with vivid…... [read more]

Myanmar soldiers in Maungdaw in Rakhine State (Photo: AFP/VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – Myanmar’s government has said it evacuated at least 4,000 non-Muslim people from the northern state of Rakhine amid ongoing violence in the area. According to the government, the death toll from violence that recently erupted between the government’s military and Rohingya insurgents has climbed to 98 people, including 80 militants and 12 members of security forces.  The clashes forced thousands of Rohingya people, mostly women and children, to flee to Bangladesh. Statistics from Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh showed about 2,000 people crossed into Bangladesh since August 25. Previously, at least five policemen were killed in an attack by insurgents on 24 police posts and a military outpost on August 24 in Rakhine. The event marked an escalation of the violence that has simmered in Rakhine since October 2016, when similar attacks killed nine policemen. Rohingya people are not recognised as an ethnic minority group in Myanmar and are called Bengalis or illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Many Rohingya people fled from Rakhine to Myanmar’s neighbouring countries after the military launched operations against insurgents who attacked border outposts. The attackers were accused of being members of the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation, a small armed group operating since the 1980s.-VNA ... [read more]

A H'Mong woman  Réhahn’s intimate bond with Vietnam began 10 years ago when he joined a volunteering mission to help local people with difficulties. Mesmerized by the Southeast Asian country, Réhahn decided to settle in the UNESCO-recognized town of Hoi An, considering it his second home.  "I first came to Vietnam in 2007 because I was sponsoring 2 girls from Hoi An. I decided to live in Hoi An because I love the country, the city, the food and the people. I went to Sapa for the first time in 2008 to take photos of the landscape. When I came back, I just took photos of the people. At that time I realized that there are 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam. I started to research about them," Réhahn recalls.   A Central Highlands girl   All Vietnam's attractions, from Mu Cang Chai’s terraced fields, the Dong Van rock plateau in the north, to the U Minh Ha national forest in the southernmost region, have been captured in his lens. So far, Réhahn has met 48 of Vietnam's 54 ethnic minority groups. He said each group has its own cultural legacy but they all share the same value of humanity and optimism. "I'm always trying to ask the people I've met to wear their traditional costumes. Out of the 48 ethnic groups I've met, I only saw maybe less than…... [read more]

Plans for another cable car in Vietnam’s UNESCO-listed Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park have raised more questions than answers in a country where economic interests all too often eclipse limited environmental safeguards. The most troubling question is, according to experts, whether the masses stand to benefit from a project that is being promoted in the name of economic development. Authorities in the central province of Quang Binh proposed the cable car system across Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, which UNESCO recognized as a global heritage site in 2003, at a meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Friday. Phuc said that although the idea has raised widespread eyebrows, he and government agencies “agree in principle” with the plan. He said the project must “not interfere with the heritage site nor be overexploited”, asking the culture and tourism ministry to assess the project's possible impacts and consult UNESCO on the matter. The cable car system is set to run 5.2 kilometers (3.2 miles) from a section of the Ho Chi Minh Highway to En (Swallow) Cave, which was catapulted into global fame when it was aired live on U.S. talk show Good Morning America in May 2015. En Cave, a feeder to the world's largest cave Son Doong, stretches 1,645 meters into the mountain and has been named one of the most captivating caves on earth by National Geographic. It is also believed to be the world’s third largest cave, according to CNN. Phong Nha – Ke Bang is…... [read more]

Plans for another cable car in Vietnam’s UNESCO-listed Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park have raised more questions than answers in a country where economic interests all too often eclipse limited environmental safeguards. The most troubling question is, according to experts, whether the masses stand to benefit from a project that is being promoted in the name of economic development. Authorities in the central province of Quang Binh proposed the cable car system across Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, which UNESCO recognized as a global heritage site in 2003, at a meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Friday. Phuc said that although the idea has raised widespread eyebrows, he and government agencies “agree in principle” with the plan. He said the project must “not interfere with the heritage site nor be overexploited”, asking the culture and tourism ministry to assess the project's possible impacts and consult UNESCO on the matter. The cable car system is set to run 5.2 kilometers (3.2 miles) from a section of the Ho Chi Minh Highway to En (Swallow) Cave, which was catapulted into global fame when it was aired live on U.S. talk show Good Morning America in May 2015. En Cave, a feeder to the world's largest cave Son Doong, stretches 1,645 meters into the mountain and has been named one of the most captivating caves on earth by National Geographic. It is also believed to be the world’s third largest cave, according to CNN. Phong Nha – Ke Bang is…... [read more]

Hà Nội police plan to increase inspections to uncover human trafficking rings, focusing on inter-provincial and transnational criminals. Hà Nội police plan to increase inspections to uncover human trafficking rings, focusing on inter-provincial and transnational criminals. - Photo infonet.vn This is among measures to be taken by Hà Nội police as part of a plan on human trafficking prevention during 2017-20. Police will also accelerate investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases, aiming to increase the number of cases being prosecuted by at least two per cent each year. Police will work with ministries and agencies to fight human trafficking, with a focus on human trafficking in all forms, including foreigners or overseas Vietnamese pretending to be businessmen or tourists to enter Việt Nam to traffic people.   Human trafficking hot spots include road and railway routes linking Hà Nội to border provinces and international air routes. Through investigation and prosecution, police will find loopholes in current regulations and propose changes to improve legal documents and policies.   The project also aims to diversify means of communications and education and multiply effective prevention models in the community. Lê Khắc Sơn, deputy director of Hà Nội Police’s Department of Criminal Investigation in Social Order said at a recent conference that human trafficking in the capital city has become a complicated issue. The number of people coming to Hà Nội from other…... [read more]

For women, only by men VietNamNet Bridge – Around 60km from downtown of capital Ha Noi, Trach Xa Village in Ung Hoa District has been known for making tradional long dress ao dai for centuries. Male bastion: For a very long time, only men were taught and allowed to make an áo dài in Trach Xa Village.--VNS Photo Doan Tung A strange feature of this fame, however, has been the fact that the iconic national dress for women was made exclusively by men. To this day, 90 per cent of the local tailors are men, owing to a long-standing rule in the region: the job was taught only to men. Explaining the special rule, Nguyen Van Nhien, 84, who has been an ao dai maker for 65 years, said that in the old days, local inhabitants had to go far away to work as dress makers to earn their living. Only men could travel thus. Women were not believed strong enough to travel so often and so far, so they stayed at home to do housework and farm work. Locals also believed that the ao dai designed and tailored by men was more beautiful than those done by women! However, the craft was first taught to the village’s inhabitants by a woman. Nguyen Thi Sen, a concubine of King Dinh Tien Hoang (AD924 - 979) became the first dress maker in Trach Xa after learning the craft from the King’s Palace in the northern province of Ninh Binh. She also…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – A massive influx of migrants from remote northern provinces to the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) region has put intense pressure on the local population and has hindered socio-economic development. The Ede ethnic minority in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong. A massive influx of migrants from remote northern provinces to the Central Highlands region has put intense pressure on the local population and has hindered socio-economic development.  The Central Highlands is considered a promising destination for migrants because of favourable weather conditions and rich basalt soil. Such movement can be prompted by State policy or out of economic need. In Dak Nong Province, home to vast areas of land and forests, migrants move into natural and protected forests, encroaching on land for production or putting up tents illegally. Five years ago, some households moved into zones 1644 and 1645 of Hop Tien co-operative in Quang Son Commune, Dak Glong District to live and hunt. Now, up to 126 households are living in the area, causing increased damage to forest land. Nguyen Anh Duc, director of Hop Tien co-operative said that members of the households had damaged the vehicles of forest rangers and attacked them using homemade weapons, such as guns and spears. Faced with such an aggressive reaction, and severely outnumbered, forest rangers and local authorities felt the situation was hopeless. Meanwhile, in Dak Lak Province, local authorities are concerned about the pressure on the local population caused by free migration. During the 40 years from…... [read more]

The Ede ethnic minority in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong (Photo: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) - A massive influx of migrants from remote northern provinces to the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) region has put intense pressure on the local population and has hindered socio-economic development. The Central Highlands is considered a promising destination for migrants because of favourable weather conditions and rich basalt soil. Such movement can be prompted by State policy or out of economic need. In Dak Nong province, home to vast areas of land and forests, migrants move into natural and protected forests, encroaching on land for production or putting up tents illegally. Five years ago, some households moved into zones 1644 and 1645 of Hop Tien cooperative in Quang Son commune, Dak Glong district to live and hunt. Now, up to 126 households are living in the area, causing increased damage to forest land. Nguyen Anh Duc, director of Hop Tien cooperative said that members of the households had damaged the vehicles of forest rangers and attacked them using homemade weapons, such as guns and spears. Faced with such an aggressive reaction, and severely outnumbered, forest rangers and local authorities felt the situation was hopeless. Meanwhile, in Dak Lak province, local authorities are concerned about the pressure on the local population caused by free migration. During the 40 years from 1976 to 2016, more than 59,000 households with some 290,000 inhabitants of 60 provinces…... [read more]

    These girls, aging from 12 to 15, are mostly from Muong ethnic minority groups in Hoa Binh province. Looking at their skills, it’s hard to believe that they have played rugby for only two years thanks to a programme called ChildFund Pass it Back, led by ChildFund in partnership with World Rugby, Asia Rugby and Women Win. Bùi Thị Hồng Loan, a tenth-grade pupil in Kim Boi district, has a passion for sports. Her adverse family circumstances stopped her from joining a professional sports team. Yet, she is leading a group of five girls representing Vietnam to depart for Belfast in Northern Ireland, the UK to participate in the ChildFund Pass It Back Cup, in the build up to the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 on August 16. Sports access is limited for children in remote areas, especially female kids due to a shortage in facilities, human resources and gender bias in some sports. Therefore, rugby, which has little gender bias in Vietnam, has attracted all sorts of kids. Children can also learn useful life skills through the sport, such as team-work, leading and first aid, among others. Since its launch in late 2015, the project has attracted more than 3,000 children from Southeast Asia, including 1,400 from Vietnam, with girls making up more than 50 percent. The project is underway in Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines and is set to expand among the countries and in the region, creating an equal…... [read more]