Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 07:28 (GMT+7)
Measures for fostering socio-economic development of the areas mainly inhabited by ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands

When it comes to riots and separatism, poverty and inequality are the underlying causes and hostile forces’ incitement is the direct reason. Hence, it is vital to adopt measures for boosting socio-economic development of the areas mainly inhabited by ethnic minorities and improving their living standards as the basis for the Central Highlands region’s socio-political stability in the Homeland construction and defence.

Troops of the Division 2 help locals to build a rural road in Dak Po district, Gia Lai province (photo: baogialai.com.vn)

Over the years, party committees and authorities at all levels have devoted efforts to facilitating socio-economic development of the areas mainly inhabited by ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands. As a result, the people’s living conditions have kept improving, which has greatly contributed to maintaining political stability and social order and safety and consolidating national defence strength. However, socio-economic development of the areas mainly inhabited by ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands has yet to be rapid or equal. Ethnic minority people in the remote, isolated, border areas are still confronted with poverty and backwardness. A number of cultural and social issues have yet to be settled. The political system in some places has failed to grasp the people’s aspirations. Corruption, negative practices, and violations of ethnic and religious policies have even taken place within some authorities. Taking advantages of the situation, the hostile forces have been inciting separatism within ethnic minority people. The opportunity for riots and separatism will come when the people faces difficulties in their life, the conflict of interest amongst ethnic minorities becomes more intense, and the core force for separatism within ethnic groups are elaborately prepared together with the external support. Once the opportunity comes, on the one hand, the hostile forces will disseminate documents distorting the Party’s guidelines and viewpoints and the State’s law and policy. On the other, they will seek every possible way to bribe and incite our ethnic minority people to join demonstrations and riots and to claim separatism, thereby making political security, rural security, and social order and safety in some villages and hamlets extremely intense, posing threats to political stability, socio-economic development, and national defence and security. Hence, fostering socio-economic development and improving the ethnic minority people’s mental and material life are of utmost importance to building and cementing the unity block among ethnic groups in the Central Highlands, strengthening the national defence potential and strength, and making the national defence posture strong in the area.

To that end, it is necessary to take measures synchronously, with a focus on the following.

1. Step up the work of propagation and education to raise the awareness and responsibility of cadres, civil servants, and people for socio-economic development in the Central Highlands. Most of the ethnic minority people live in the remote, isolated, border areas where infrastructural development is slow and the people’s intellectual level is low. Thus, authorities and sectors should further promote the work of propagation and education for cadres, civil servants and people so that they will comprehend the importance and necessity of socio-economic development in this region. Doing so will help create a huge positive change in their responsibility in the process. The work of propagation and education must be conducted frequently via various practical, proper measures in order to enable enterprises, cadres, civil servants, households and people to build up their determination in production and business, alleviate poverty, and strive for prosperity. Besides, politico-social organisations and enterprises should actively provide assistance for villages and hamlets to foster socio-economic development and improve the people’s living standards while ethnic minority people should promote the spirit of unity and help one another with economic development for themselves and their hometown.

2. Well implement policies on socio-economic development by the Party, the State, and local authorities, particularly the policies and projects related to ethnic minority people. This is an important measure which must be adopted in accordance with higher echelons’ direction and each group of people. It must be aimed at improving ethnic minority people’s living conditions, strengthening their faith in party committees’ leadership and authorities’ management, and preventing the hostile forces from exploiting the ethnic and religious issues to sabotage us. To that end, provinces in the Central Highlands should grasp higher echelons’ guiding documents and closely cooperate with ministries and central sectors in effectively executing the Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress, the 11th Politburo’s Conclusion 12-KL/TW, dated October 24th, 2011, and the 9th Politburo’s Resolution 10-NQ/TW on developing the Central Highlands region. Due regard should be paid to taking basic measures for reaching the targets of the Master Plan on socio-economic development of the ethnic minorities-inhabited and mountainous areas in the period of 2021-2030 approved by the National Assembly in its Resolution 88/2019/QH14, dated November 18th, 2019. It is important to step up the programme on new-style countryside construction and rapid, sustainable hunger alleviation and poverty reduction and develop infrastructures as the basis for localities and people to exploit internal resources and each region’s potential for boosting production and narrowing the development gap between regions and areas. Moreover, it is vital to create employments, provide production land for the people, settle land disputes, and strictly punish cadres who go against the Party and State’s guidelines and policies. Consideration should be given to promoting the role of economic-defence corps in the key areas. These corps should recruit and train people from ethnic minorities, while making significant contributions to eradicating hunger, reducing poverty, and building a firm “posture of people’s hearts and minds.”

Localities should formulate projects and plans for rearranging a number of residential areas, particularly in the border communes, ensure production land for the people, and give instructions to the people on restoring and maintaining farming land. They should adjust and supplement policies to make enterprises capable of helping ethnic minority people with the method of concentrated production and new farming techniques, thereby gradually increasing productivity and efficiency. Besides, they should multiply the model of combining ethnic minority people’s households with Kinh people’s households so that they could assist each other in production and new life construction. Great value should be attached to encouraging locals to carry out economic transformation and develop a commodity economy, renewing mechanisms for investment and management relevant to each region and locality, and implementing preferential treatment policies for deploying technical cadres to villages and hamlets to help ethnic minority people apply science and technology to their production and life.

3. Improve ethnic minority people’s intellectual level in the Central Highlands. Currently, there are weaknesses in improving the people’s intellectual level while the hostile forces are taking advantage of the people’s low intellectual level and undeveloped infrastructures to incite the people to join riots and to call for the establishment of “the State of Dega.” Therefore, it is necessary to make more investments in education and training, raise the people’s intellectual level, preserve and promote cultural identity, language, writing, and fine tradition of ethic minorities. It is essential to maintain literacy classes in national and ethnic languages and develop the system of ethnic minority boarding and semi-boarding schools. At the same time, it is vital to well implement policies for teachers and cadres working at the ethnic minority boarding and semi-boarding schools so that they could keep their mind on their work. Due attention should be paid to recruiting ethnic minority teachers and medical cadres to raise the quality of education and heath in the areas mainly inhabited by ethnic minorities. Furthermore, it is important to organise refresher courses on handicrafts and farming for ethnic minority people to gain new knowledge and apply science and technology to their production.

4. Combine economic growth with cultural development and social progress and equality. This measure expresses the superiority of national renewal under the conditions of our country’s socialist-oriented market economy. Hence, in addition to developing potential economic sectors, provinces in the Central Highlands should mobilise possible resources and make more investments in culture and education. Emphasis should be placed on handling the issues on labour, employment, and income so as to ensure social progress and equality. Localities should effectively execute the programmes on rapid, sustainable hunger eradication and poverty alleviation, particularly in the remote, isolated, border areas, while mobilising all social resources to improve the material and mental life of people with meritorious services to the revolution and ethnic minority people. The quality of health care must be raised as the basis for the physical and mental development of the people and especially children. To bring into play the role of culture and education in economic development, provinces in the Central Highlands should preserve and develop ethnic minorities’ culture. At the same time, they should develop high-quality human resources for the sake of rapid, sustainable growth.

5. Both facilitate economic development and build the defensive zone posture. Doing so will enable the areas mainly inhabited by ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands to boost their socio-economic development, strengthen their defensive zone posture, proactively prevent and foil the hostile forces’ plots and acts of sabotage. Thus, great value should be attached to building and making solid defensive zones and a strong, extensive militia and self-defence force capable of defending the areas in all situations. Moreover, it is vital to promote the role of local party committees and authorities in combining socio-economic development with the building of defensive zone posture and translating the policy on associating socio-economic development with the construction of defensive zones into life practically and effectively.

Major Gen. NGUYEN DINH TIEN, Deputy Commander of the Military Region 5

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