Wednesday, November 30, 2022, 06:23 (GMT+7)

Sunday, September 18, 2022, 06:53 (GMT+7)
Rejecting distortions about Viet Nam’s policies for ethnic minority groups

Regardless of great achievements in implementing our Party and State’s policies on ethnicity in general, on ethnic minority groups in particular, hostile forces have always strived to enhance their sabotage strategy, with the aim of undermining our Party’s prestige. This is not a new , but a very dangerous trick as the hostile forces' distortions of our Party and State’s ethnicity-related policies could undermine the faith of our people, particularly ethnic minority groups in our Party, State, and socialist regime. Hence, we should raise our revolutionary vigilance and resolutely fight against those distortions.

Dividing and sabotaging the national great unity block act as a fundamental trick employed by hostile forces against our country’s revolution. Such an artifice is not new but very dangerous as it is targeted at the foundation of the synergy created by our entire people and country, undermines our country’s internal power, and effectuates secession in each region and area, particularly within areas of strategic importance in order to cause political instability and call for external intervention.

To realise that scheme, hostile forces take advantage of day-to-day difficulties and issues of ethnic minority groups, make use of grass-roots level authorities’ weaknesses in management and administration work, and especially incite extremists, discontented people, and political opportunists to distort, devalue, and deny our Party and State’s achievements in ethnicity work in general, in policies for ethnic minority groups in particular. Recently, exploiting our people’s difficulties, especially in areas severely affected by natural disasters and epidemics, they have invented an argument that “ethnic minority groups of Viet Nam are being mistreated and discriminated”. That flagrant, ridiculous slander is unacceptable and should be unmasked and rejected.

First of all, it is necessary to assert that the Communist Party of Viet Nam has been formulating ethnicity-related guidelines and policies, with a focus on “equality, unity, and support for mutual development”. Since its inception and during its leadership over our country’s revolution, grounded on Marxist-Leninist viewpoints on the role of the masses as well as on the Vietnamese nation’s tradition, our Party and President Ho Chi Minh have always attached special importance to issues relating to ethnicity and national great unity and considered them as a determinant to the victory of the Vietnamese revolution. Ho Chi Minh ever said that: “Kinh or Tho, Muong or Man, Gia Rai or E De, Xe Dang or Ba Na, and all other ethnic minority groups all are Vietnamese, flesh-and-blood brothers. We are always together for life or for death, in happiness or sorrow”. Inheriting that tradition, in all documents of its National Congresses, our Party has always “guaranteed ethnic groups equality, solidarity, and mutual respect and support for development”. Equality amongst ethnic groups has been also stipulated in our country’s Constitution. According to Article 5 of the 2013 Constitution of Viet Nam, “1. The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam is a unified nation of all ethnicities living together in the country of Viet Nam. 2. All the ethnicities are equal and unite with, respect and assist one another for mutual development; all acts of discrimination against and division of the ethnicities are prohibited. 3. The national language is Vietnamese. Every ethnic group has the right to use its own spoken and written language to preserve its own identity and to promote its fine customs, practices, traditions and culture. 4. The State shall implement a policy of comprehensive development and create the conditions for the minority ethnicities to fully utilise their internal strengths and develop together with the country”.   

To provide a foundation for well implementing ethnicity-related policies, the 7th Plenum of the 9th Party Central Committee issued a specialised Resolution (aka Resolution No.24, dated March 12th, 2003) on ethnicity work. Moreover, the National Assembly of Viet Nam promulgated general and specialised laws to empower ethnic minorities and foster their development. Since 2010, to directly facilitate socio-economic development of ethnic minority and mountainous areas, the Government has designed and released 118 policy documents and 54 projects on sustainable poverty reduction, education and training, health, ethnic minority cadre training, communication, and law propagation, dissemination, and education. At its 8th plenary session, the 14th National Assembly passed Resolution 88/2019/QH14, dated November 18th, 2019 approving the Master Project for socio-economic development of ethnic minority and mountainous areas in the period of 2021-2030. Under the National Assembly’s Resolution, on October 14th, 2021, Prime Minister signed Decision 1719/QĐ-TTg approving the national target programme on socio-economic development of ethnic minority and mountainous areas in the period of 2021-2030. All above-mentioned things prove the consistency and special regard of our Party and State for ethnic minority groups; there is no discrimination as spoken ill of and distorted by hostile forces.

Achievements in the implementation of ethnicity-related policies by Viet Nam are undeniable. The quality and effectiveness of education and training in ethnic minority and mountainous areas have unceasingly improved. Under sound guidelines and with the involvement of the entire political system, over the years, the system of schools and classes in ethnic minority and mountainous areas has been consolidated and developed from nursery to tertiary education. Besides, the system of ethnic minority boarding and semi-boarding schools has been robustly developed across provinces and municipalities. Under the Project on consolidating and developing ethnic minority boarding schools, a large number of classrooms has been upgraded or constructed. Currently, there have been 316 ethnic minority boarding schools in 49 provinces and municipalities with 109,245 pupils; 40% of those schools have been recognised as national-standard ones. The quality of education within ethnic minority boarding schools has been increasingly raised. There have been 1,097 ethnic minority semi-boarding schools in 28 provinces, with 185,671 pupils. The rates of semi-boarding pupils completing primary education and secondary education have been 98.9% and 92% respectively. 15.2% of ethnic minority semi-boarding schools have been recognised as national-standard ones.

Furthermore, the Government has focused its direction on developing production and accelerating hunger eradication and poverty reduction in ethnic minority and mountainous areas. Against global economic downturn and difficulties in our national economy, between 2011 and 2015, the State made an investment of about 135,000 billion VND in reducing poverty amongst ethnic minority groups. As a result, the economic growth rate in ethnic minority and mountainous areas has been rather high, at 7% between 2016 and 2018 on average. Living standards of ethnic minority groups have been unceasingly improved. The rate of poor households has been quickly decreased. The average rates of poor households in ethnic minority and mountainous areas, in extremely difficult communes, and in poor districts have been reduced by 4%, and 5%-6%, respectively. In the period of 2015-2019, 8 out of 64 poor districts under the Government’s Resolution 30a/2008/NQ-CP, dated December 27th, 2008, escaped  poverty; 14 out of 30 poor districts were lifted out of poverty; a large number of extremely difficult communes and villages was no longer in need of financial priority under Programme 135. Between 2013 and 2020, the appearance of rural areas in general, ethnic minority and mountainous areas in particular as well as the people’s life have been considerably improved. At the same time, the Government has concentrated on building tens of thousands of infrastructure works for ethnic minority and mountainous areas. Roads to commune centres have been constructed, upgraded, or expanded. Meanwhile, the construction of electricity, irrigation, bridge, clean water supply, school, health station, communal house, and market systems has played a decisive role in socio-economic development of ethnic minority and mountainous areas. Many schools and health stations have been consolidated and constructed, while new essential equipment for teaching, learning, medical examination and treatment has been acquired. Up to now, all districts and 98.4% of communes have built roads to their centres. 100% of communes, 97.2% of villages, and 93.9% of households have got access to national electricity grid. All communes have had primary and secondary schools, while 99.7% of communes have had kindergartens. 99.3% of communes have established health stations. Moreover, 65.8% of communes and 76.7% of villages have constructed communal houses.

While hostile forces claim that “ethnic minority groups are being assimilated and discriminated culturally”, our State always attaches significance to preserving and bringing into play cultural identities of ethnic groups. Under that guideline, on July 27th, 2011, Prime Minister signed Decision 1270/QĐ-TTg approving the Project on “cultural conservation and development of Vietnamese ethnic minorities towards 2020”. As a result, traditional culture of ethnic minority groups have been honoured and gradually preserved; ethnic minorities’ cultural and mental life has improved. Cultural values of ethnic minority groups, such as the cultural space of the gongs in the Central Highlands, My Son Sanctuary, and Dong Van Karst Plateau Geo-park have been conserved, honoured, and recognised as World Heritage Sites. Currently, most communes receive television and radio coverage. Viet Nam Television, Voice of Viet Nam, and local television and radio stations all have broadcasts in ethnic minority languages. Our State has devised a lot of policies on preserving, using, and developing ethnic minority languages as well as teaching and learning those languages within universal education facilities and continuing education centres. Up to now, the Ministry of Education and Training has designed textbooks for learning and teaching 12 ethnic minority languages; more than 600 schools with hundreds of thousands of pupils are using those textbooks within over 30 provinces across the country. It should be noted that religious activities in ethnic minority and mountainous areas are generally stable, ethnic minorities’ right to freedom of religion and belief is guaranteed, and most religious followers conform to the Party’s guidelines and the State’s laws and policies.

It can’t be denied that thanks to a fully developed system of ethnicity-related policies, ethnic minority groups in our country are enjoying political equality; their culture, languages, religions, beliefs, and civil rights are being respected and ensured. Material and mental life of ethnic minorities in remote, isolated, difficult areas have been improving. All aforementioned achievements of Viet Nam in ethnicity work together with ethnic minorities’ cemented faith in our Party and State’s leadership help refute hostile forces’ distortions and wrong arguments about the situation of ethnic minority groups in Viet Nam.

Sr. Col. PHAM DOAN ANH, National Defence Academy

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Hostile arguments on the Russian October Revolution is absolutely invalid
The success of the Russian October Revolution is a prominent event of the twentieth century, with profound epochal significance, and in line with the laws of movement and objective development of the history of human society. Its historical necessity is undeniable and increasingly affirmed in human life.