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Monday, November 16, 2020, 09:54 (GMT+7)
National unity on the basis of harmonising interests among peoples

Viet Nam is a multi-ethnic society with approximately 14 million ethnics, accounting for 13.8 per cent of the population. The ethnic minorities inhabit in many areas of 51 provinces, 463 districts, 5,453 communes (mostly in the Northern mountainous areas, Central coastal areas, Central Highlands, and South Western region), and along nearly 5,000 kilometres of boundary lines with China, Laos, and Cambodia, which are regarded as the “border fence” of significant importance to national defence and security. History of national building and defence has demonstrated that solidarity is key to the survival and development of any peoples. Whenever the people are united wholeheartedly, the country will be prosperous. Conversely, whenever people’s hearts and minds are divided, the country will fall into decadence, thus potentially leading to collapse of the country.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phu speaks at the National Unity Day 2020 (Photo: VNA)

Since its foundation, our Party has constantly affirmed that the leverage of great national unity is a strategic mission of Vietnamese revolution. Under the Party’s leadership and State’s management, national socialist relationship characterised by “equality, solidarity, respect, assistance for mutual development” is established and has recorded vital achievements in politics, economy, culture, society, national defence, and security. The great national unity among peoples is increasingly strengthened. Nevertheless, ethnic issues and resolution of ethnic issues and national unity take a long time because of historical issues and differences among people that were formed during the development process of economy, society, cultural identity, and so on. Additionally, they are affected by many other factors in the context of increasingly internationalised environment such as “struggle for human rights,” “right to self-determination of peoples,” national separatism, insular nationalism, etc., in some regions around the world. This reality has enabled separatists, religious extremists, and terrorists to collude with one another and exploit these issues, thus resulting in new issues and making the situation more complex.

In recent years, regions on various continents have been rife with ethnic conflicts, taking millions of lives. Overall, ethnic conflicts result from conflict of interest within a nation. In some nations, conflict of interest occurs when representatives of majority groups often take positions of authority and rule over decisions on distribution of wealth and promulgation of legal regimes in favour of their own groups. This makes people from ethnic minorities feel disadvantaged and forces them to struggle for their rights and interest. In many countries, ethnic conflicts occur as a result of historical issues and sabotage of imperialism. Under the pretext of “one country, one race,” they sow discord, conflict, and separatism between peoples and nations with the aim of provoking wars to reap benefit from these conflicts and discord.

As far as Viet Nam is concerned, hostile forces make every effort to undermine the great national unity, sow division among races, especially between people from ethnic groups and Kinh people, incite secession and autonomy, and create division between ethnic groups and the Party, State, and regime. On implementing these plots, they have resorted to many subtle methods and tricks as well as sneaky activities under the cover of “democracy, human rights” to secretly and openly call for outside intervention once they are punished; align ethnic issue with human rights and religions; speed up spreading religions in areas inhabited by ethnic groups with a view to increasing the number of religious followers in key regions of national defence and security such as the North West, Highlands, and the South West. They intend to use both the external and internal forces to exert influence on the ethnics with the aim to “internationalise” events, “religionise” ethnic issue, provoke and distort “democracy” and “human rights” in Viet Nam, and incite riots and subversion if the opportunity arises. Things happening at sociopolitical flashpoints in the Highlands, North West, and South West some years ago indicated that direct instruction and support by external forces were factors in urging reactionaries at home to disseminate insular nationalism, secession, and autonomy; inciting compatriots to do damage to the great national unity and realising the plot of internationalising ethnic issue by various means. They take advantage of difficulty in everyday life and shortcomings during implementation of policies toward ethnic minorities, religions, and socio-economic development in ethnic minority areas to propagandise, incite opposition, and exaggerate differences among races with the aim of inciting ethnics’ opposition to Kinh people. Besides, they exploit our Party’s and State’s reform policy and respect for freedom of belief and religions as well as make full use of the mass media, the Internet, and social networks to step up acts of sabotage, incite division among ethnic groups, distort and criticise the regime, illegally spread religions under the cover of humanitarian aid operations, tourism, cooperation, and sponsorship for religious followers.

Consistent implementation of the strategic standpoint on great national unity and harmonisation of interest among peoples are always important missions of our Party and State. Given the dialectical relationship between ethnic work, religious work, and every aspect of social life, to sensibly deal with racial relationship in a multi-ethnic society to facilitate solidarity and development and defeat the schemes of secession and autonomy requires us to work out strategies to carry out the policy on ethnic minorities to ensure comprehensiveness and involvement of the whole political system under the leadership of the Party and State. This is a matter of utmost importance, which relates to life and death of the regime. If we succeed in harmonising this relationship, we can unite ethnic groups, promote social development in a harmonious way, maintain unification, and protect territorial integrity. On the basis of consistently and persistently carrying out the policy on ethnic equality, strengthening the great national unity, and promoting mutual assistance for the sake of equality, solidarity, and prosperity, the most fundamental issue is awareness and correct settlement of the interest relationship among peoples, most notably in the following fields:

In the political aspect, it is necessary to ensure peoples’ right to mastery; educate, train, and use cadres from ethnic minorities to cultivate a corps of cadres increasingly capable of undertaking many tasks at localities. Ethnic minorities all have representatives at the National Assembly and people’s council at different levels. The government must work out policies to enable ethnic minorities to gradually manage their own affairs with the aid of other groups, striving for equality in every aspect. Regulation on grassroots level democracy is to be well implemented to ensure that “the people know, the people discuss, the people do, the people inspect, and the people benefit.” There needs to remove regulations featuring inequality among ethnic groups as well as prejudice the history bequeaths to peoples. All peoples are entitled to expressing their own feeling and aspirations by various channels through the Fatherland Front and unions to the Party and State.

In terms of economy, the State needs to lay out policies suitable for each region and group on the basis of prioritising resources for economic development, hunger eradication, poverty reduction, and building of new-style countryside in ethnic minority regions. People from ethnic minorities are encouraged to transform economic structure in the direction of commodity production, connecting production with product consumption, and bringing into play advantages, available potential, and cultural identity. Settled agriculture and permanent residence are aligned with development of sustainable livelihood according to concrete planning for each region and sub-region to be well suited for agricultural development, breeding, forestry, food and industrial crops. Investment must be made in developing infrastructure in ethnic minority regions while facilitating people’s assess to science and technologies.

In cultural and social terms, the Government must promulgate policies on the preservation and development of languages and script of ethnic groups as well as their tangible and intangible cultural heritage. It is important to respect belief, religions, and custom of ethnic minorities; sensibly deal with contradictions and issues that may have influence on the relationship among peoples; enhance management and service to ensure legitimate rights of peoples stipulated by law; attach importance to improving people’s intellectual standard and cultivating talents from ethnic minorities; develop models of work-study school for ethnic minority youths; eradicate unsound custom; and increase quality of health system at grassroots levels to promote prophylactic hygiene and healthcare for people from ethnic groups.

As for national solidarity, there needs to enhance propaganda and education about great national unity, tap into national spirit, take patriotism as the key to cohesively bring together the ideologies of majority and minority groups, encourage compatriots to unite with one another under the Party’s leadership and follow policies and laws of the State, and resolutely struggle against hostile forces’ plots of exploiting ethnic, religious issues to sow division and undermine the great national unity.

Currently, the world is rife with local wars, armed conflicts, ethnic and religious conflicts, intervention, subversion, and separatism. In the country, hostile forces have made every effort to take advantage of the ethnics’ difficulties to distort the Party’s and State’s policies on ethnic minorities and sow division among peoples with the aim of doing damage to our people’s cause of national construction and defence. This reality requires the whole political system to continue to strengthen the great national unity and address ethnic issue in connection with religious issue and interest of peoples.

Doctor NGUYEN HUU DUNG, Vice President of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front

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