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Monday, August 21, 2017, 09:49 (GMT+7)
Promoting the role of ethnic minorities in building defence potential in the area of Central Highlands

Building defence potential in the area of Central Highlands serves as a preparation in both material and spiritual terms, aiming to maintain peace and stability, prevent all plots and riots of the hostile forces, protect the strategic area, and contribute to firmly safeguarding the Homeland. To this end, it is necessary to promote the role of ethnic communities, including ethnic minorities.

The Central Highlands, a strategic area, possesses an important position in political, socioeconomic, defence and security, and diplomatic fields to not only the national liberation wars in the past but also the cause of Homeland construction and protection today. Thus, the Central Highlands is among the focal targets of the hostile forces’ “Peaceful Evolution” Strategy. It should be noted that ethnic groups in the area have a sense of national solidarity and have made significant contributions to the revolutionary cause. However, there are a small proportion of ethnic compatriots whose mind is obsessed by autonomous nationalism and separatism from the Kinh people. That has resulted from "divide and-rule" policy of French Colonialists and ruses of US Imperialists to damage national solidarity during their invasions of our country as well as the hostile forces’ acts of sabotage today, especially the request for establishment of so-called “Montagnard  Dega Association”.

Since the country was reunified, particularly when it carried out the reform, socioeconomic condition in the Central Highlands has experienced positive changes; people’s living standards have improved considerably. However, due to historical reasons, in many areas of ethnic groups, the economy slowly develops, the people’s living standards are still low, and poverty rate is higher than the average one of the country. Moreover, intellectual standards of the people are not uniform. Old-fashioned  customs have clung to the people’s way of life. Taking advantage of those characteristics and shortcomings of authorities in the implementation of ethnic minority policy, hostile forces have done their utmost to distort information, incite the people, divide and sabotage national solidarity bloc, and destabilize politics and society in the area. More dangerously, they have taken advantage of sensitive issues, such as border, race and religion, provoking racial and religious conflicts and destabilizing security and politics in many areas in order to cause political riots, particularly those happening in 2001, 2004 and 2008. Today, the issues of race and religion have been still taken advantage by hostile forces to sabotage our country’s revolution, weaken and isolate Vietnam in international relations, incite internal opposition and invent a pretext for external intervention. Reality has shown that the role of ethnic groups in building defence potential and sustainably developing Central Highlands is of utmost significance. This is a basic, long-term, urgent, strategic matter for the Central Highlands and the cause of Homeland protection.

Military units presenting gifts to the poor households of Krong Bong district
on Tet holiday (photo:

To this end, first and foremost, it is necessary to step up the work of education and propagation to raise awareness and responsibility of the political system towards the role of ethnic groups in building defence potential of the area, create synergy and successfully deal with all situations both in peace time and war time. There is a need to continue accelerating the work of political and ideological education and raising awareness of organizations in the political system and all people, particularly party organizations, local authorities at all levels, the Fatherland Fronts, sociopolitical organizations towards the Party’s guidelines and the State’s policy. Successful implementation of this work will make a considerable change in both awareness and action of the political system and all people towards the building of the all people’s defence in general, defence potential and “people’s heart and mind” posture in particular.

Great importance should be attached to improving the quality of grass-roots political system’s organization and operation. Local party committees and authorities should keep a close eye on the people and the area, contributing to bringing the Party’s guideline and the State’s policy to ethnic minorities; while persuading the people to actively take part in socioeconomic development programs combined with defence and security consolidation and political maintenance in the area. Local military agencies and units stationed in the area, particularly in border areas, should give advice to local party committees and authorities to complete the structure of the grass-roots political system and enhance its quality of operation. It is important to take advantage of cooperation and support of village patriarchs and old folks as they hold an important position in social life of villages. Thus, it is essential to involve them in participating in building up solidarity within their community as well as solidarity bloc among ethnic communities living in Central Highlands.

It is necessary to continue to carry out programs on improving people’s intellectual standards, training human resources, developing talented native people in ethnic communities, particularly in isolated, remote areas. It is also important to preserve and develop cultural heritage of the Central Highlands ethnic people, contributing to gradually improving material and spiritual life of ethnic people; strengthen and complete system of traditional cultural institution of the people; launch the movement “all people protect Homeland security”; build strong security posture right at grass-roots level; accelerate the movement “all people unite to build cultural life”, detect and effectively fight against hostile forces’ acts of sabotage in the strategic area of Central Highlands.

Besides, there is a need to focus on socioeconomic development and effective mobilization of on-the-spot resources during the implementation of defence and security tasks in the area of Central Highlands. To this end, it is necessary to effectively implement programs on socioeconomic development, health, culture and education, particularly the National Target Program on Building New Rural Area for the Period of 2010-2020. Military units in each area should be active in helping the people eradicate hunger and reduce poverty, settle and develop production, build roads, schools, medical stations, cultural houses, eliminate illiteracy, popularize primary education, etc. Economic and defence units should aid local and migrant ethnic compatriots, and draw up projects for them to directly take part in production.

Our Party and State has attached great importance to the policy towards ethnic minorities, considering it a large, comprehensive sociopolitical issue linked with the goals of Homeland construction and protection. Therefore, local party committees and authorities should take measures to best deal with urgent issues on land, housing, forest assignment, employment, focusing on managing resources from national target programs to invest in rural infrastructure construction, settlement, and multiplication of models of business cooperation between areas of ethnic minorities and enterprises in the area. Moreover, it is necessary to speed up projects on building border patrol roads in the area and rearranging residence along border belt roads.

Concerning the issue of religion, on the basis of grasping and seriously implementing the Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress, it is important to conduct propagation to raise ethnic people’s awareness of our Party’s guideline and policy on freedom of belief and religion, persuading the people to give up “Dega Protestantism” and other heresies, particularly “Ha Mon” to prevent reactionary forces from inducing the masses and gathering force against the revolution. What is more, it is essential to take advantage of religious dignitaries and complete the structure of agencies in charge of religion at all levels; promote cultural values in traditional religions and belief, exploit moral values in modern religions, and put religious activities under the law.

Our country is deeply integrating into the world. Thus, the building of defence potential in the area of Central Highlands will be impacted by new issues and rapid, complex, unpredictable changes. Meanwhile, the hostile forces are stepping up their acts of sabotage in various fields, which requires highly unified direction and leadership over the task of building defence potential as well as full exploitation of on-the-spot resources and sociopolitical strengths to deal with the issue of ethnic minorities and implement the policy on ethnic minorities. This is an important, urgent task of local party committees, authorities, committees, sectors, organizations and the Military Region 5. Therefore, in the upcoming time, it is necessary to accelerate the work of review and research, and supplement new theoretical points to promote the role of ethnic minorities in building defence potential, strengthening national solidarity bloc, creating strength for sociopolitical development, defence and security as well as the building of “people’s heart and mind” posture in the area of Central Highlands.

Lieutenant General Tran Quang Phuong, Member of the Party Central Committee, Commissar of the Military Region 5


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