Chung quanh Dự luật “Hành trình tìm Tự do” tại Canada
DCVOnline | Như tin đã đưa Một dư luật ở Thượng viện Canada làm căng thẳng ngoại giao với Việt Nam, ngày 6/12/2014 và Thượng viện Canada đã thông qua Dự luật “Hành trình tìm Tự do”, ngày 11/12/2014, cuộc vận động để dự thảo luật này có nhiều ý kiến khác nhau khi được đưa ra tranh luận tại Hạ viện Canada tiếp tục bằng một trang web yêu cầu người Canada ký tên ủng hộ Dự luật “Hành trình tìm Tự do” đặt ở trang nhà của một dân biểu (đảng Bảo Thủ, đang cầm quyền, Calgary South West), Jason Kenney. Ông Kenney cũng hiện là Bộ trưởng Bộ Việc làm và Phát triển Xã hội đồng thời còn là Bộ trưởng Đa văn hóa (Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism).
Tương tự với phản ứng của một số hội đoàn người Canada gốc Việt và nhân viên Đại sứ quán cùng các viên chức ngoại giao khác của nước CHXHCN Việt Nam, một số người Canada gốc Việt cũng đã viết thư cho dân biểu Jason Kenney bày tỏ quan điểm e ngại rằng Dự luật “Hành trình tìm Tự do” có thể gây chia rẽ trong cộng đồng người Canada gốc Việt. Ngược lại ngoài việc ký tên ủng hộ Dự luật “Hành trình tìm Tự do” tại trang web nêu trên, một số khác cũng đã viết thư cho cho dân biểu/bộ trưởng Jason Kenney chia sẻ quan điểm ủng hộ Dự luật này.
Sau đây là nguyên văn (bằng anh ngữ) hai lá thư phản ảnh hai quan điểm trái chiều về Dự luật “Hành trình tìm Tự do”: bên trái, thư của ông Thu Mai (Mai Viết Thu, không ủng hộ) và bên phải, thư của ông Nguyen Duy Vinh (Nguyễn Duy Vinh, ủng hộ).
Following is a letter written to Senator Jason Kenny(1), with a different view regarding Bill S219. If you think the facts mentioned in this letter are incorrect, please write directly to Senator Jason Kenny to express your own opinion.
Dear Senator Jason Kenny,
On behalf of all Vietnamese Canadians who share my view, I am writing to express our concern on Bill S-219’s potential long-term negative and divisive effects on Vietnamese communities across Canada, for the following reasons:
1. Out of the current estimated 220,000 Canadians of Vietnamese origin, only about 110,000 (50%) were refugees or “boat people”, sponsored to Canada mostly during the period from 1975 to 1985. The other 110,000 have never been refugees, nor having any direct personal connection with the so-called “Journey to Freedom Day” (still titled “Black April Day Act” on Senator Thanh Hai Ngo website). Furthermore, even among the 110,000 with refugee background, a growing percentage have come to co-operate, approve, or at least no longer oppose the current Vietnamese government, which has been gradually, systematically, and successfully replacing Communism with Capitalist Socialism in Vietnam over the last 20 years, since the removal of their embargo in 1995. This growing co-operative “boat people” population have left their bitter, divisive, and messy past behind for a more promising, united, and stable future, have paid frequent visits to Vietnam, wish to keep their Vietnamese connections, will support full co-operation between Vietnam and Canada, and no longer have a negative view on the subject day, as further explained below. As a result, despite the official support of the Bill by some established Vietnamese Community organizations across Canada and unofficial support of the Conservative party, the “Journey to Freedom Day” view is still currently that of a decreasing minority and not the mainstream one in the Vietnamese Canadian population.
2. The fact that the Vietnamese refugee exodus ended with the removal of the embargo on Vietnam in 1995, and that the country has consistently improved in all aspects since (including its economy, the people’s human rights, its centralized democracy, …, with its still single-party socialist political system), shows that the main cause of the refugee exodus and of the economic and social issues of Vietnam from 1975 to 1995 was more the embargo itself and not so much the political system there, which has consistently tried to normalize relations with the USA and the West since 1975 and shown obvious flexibility through its gradual abandonment of communism and integration into the world economy over the past 20 years. This also proves that the Vietnamese government adopted Communism (the only political tool available to them at the end of World War II, after the USA had ignored their request for help with gaining back independence from France) only as a means to fight against colonialism but was never been deceived about it.
3. Unlike in World War I & II, the involvement of the Canadian Army in the Vietnam war was non-belligerent and limited only to a peace-keeping role, with a total of 121 Canadians killed (compared to 67,000 in WWI and 42,000 in WWII), versus estimated 3 to 4 millions Vietnamese killed during the 20-year war from 1954 to 1975. On the other hand, having played this peace-keeping role in and admitted refugees from many other countries, each with its own tragic history, Canada has never integrated these countries’ histories into its own to the extent of approving an act respecting a National Day of Commemoration for each of the various groups of refugees. Even if this practice has now become favourable or necessary, it would be more beneficial for Canada to have just one common National Day of Commemoration for all refugee groups, to be called, say, “Canada’s Refugee Day” (similar to the United Nations’ “World Refugee Day” named for June 26th), and the date for which to be agreeable by all related groups.
4. The 1973 Paris Peace Accord was but an unavoidable continuation of the 1954 Geneva Accord, in which South Vietnam would fail to comply with one of the key provisions, by unilaterally refusing to co-operate with North Vietnam in organizing a general nation-wide election intended for 1956 to reunify the country. Severe violations of both accords by both sides have been internationally recorded since, and the fall of Saigon in 1975 was but a calculated outcome anticipated by all parties involved (including the USA, France, the Soviet Union, China, and Vietnam). From a global viewpoint, however, the unified Vietnam in 1975 was in fact the very goal of the 1954 Geneva Accord, finally realized by force after continuous violations by both sides for 20 years, with an unreasonable cost of estimated 3 to 4 millions Vietnamese lives, under the interference of France, the USA ,the Soviet Union, and China. In short, all five countries above (not just Vietnam) were responsible for the Vietnam war and its outcome.
5. The 250,000 Vietnamese refugees killed at sea, mentioned in the bill as estimated by the UNHCR, needs to be verified, for there have been other reports indicating a total of about 800,000 Vietnamese refugees (out of the 840,000 mentioned in the Bill) safely landed in neighbouring countries (that is, only 40,000 killed at sea). Even if the 250,000 estimate is accurate, it’s still a rather modest figure compared to the 3 to 4 millions killed during the war by foreign weapons against the wish of the Vietnamese people. What this boils down to is that every Vietnamese individual or family at the time, whether refugee or not, was traumatically affected by the war in various ways and to various extents, and that the Vietnamese government cannot be made solely responsible for it, in light of the key roles that the other four countries did play in the war.
I hope this letter will provide you with the supplementary information you may need to make the best decisions for Canada, for its Vietnamese Canadian population, and for its relation with Vietnam, with respect to Bill S-219.
– Wikipedia website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
– Wikipedia website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
– The Canadian Encyclopedia website: http://www.
– Statistics Canada website: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/
– Ryerson University – School of Journalism website: http://www.diversitywatch.
– The Creation of Canada website: http://www.whitepinepictures.
– Vietnamese from Sea to Sea website: http://www.vsscanada.org/en/
– Nguyen Dinh Tuyen, “Vietnam History 1945-2000”, 2001
– Vo Nguyen Giap, “Dien Bien Phu – Memoirs of war”, 2004
– Numerous other English and Vietnamese news sources
Dear Honorable Jason Kenney,
Dear Mister Mai Viet Thu,
Dear all beloved friends who aspire for a free, democratic and independent Vietnam,
Below is my reaction (phản biện) to Mr. Mai Viet Thu’s letter to Honorable Jason Kenney (please scroll down).
1. Mr. Mai gave the wrong fact regarding the Vietnamese diaspora: Although it is true that some of the rest of 110,000 Vietnamese diaspora in Canada have never been on a boat themselves to attain the shore of freedom as claimed by Mr. Mai, Mr. Mai forgot the fact that most of them (maybe 90% between 1975 and 1984) came to Canada via a family sponsoring program. They are being sponsored by their Vietnamese relatives who were the boat people and who are well settled in Canada. So describing our Vietnamese community that support Bill S-219 as part of a decreasing minority is quite misleading, to my opinion.
2. Mr. Mai gave the wrong fact regarding Vietnam’s political status: Mr. Mai claimed that Vietnam has replaced Communism with Capitalist Socialism shows his lack of knowledge regarding Vietnam’s current political status. In fact Article Number 4 of the current Vietnamese constitution (called Constitution 2013) states quite clearly that Communist Party is the only and unique party leading the country. I copied below this Article No 4 taken from the official Vietnamese government’s web link:
1. The Communist Party of Vietnam – the Vanguard of the working class, concurrently the vanguard of the laboring people and Vietnamese nation, faithfully representing the interests of the working class, laboring people and entire nation, and acting upon the Marxist-Leninist doctrine and Ho Chi Minh Thought, is the force leading the State and society.
The Vietnamese Communists have not adopted communism as a means to fight against the French colonialists as Mr. Mai wrongly stated. On the contrary, they have adopted communism as a credo of its political party and they grasp onto its doctrine as a direction for the whole country since 1945 and this direction was and still is part of an international communist movement. This movement is now heavily dictated and controlled by the Chinese Communist government. The Vietnamese people were fooled, cheated and betrayed by the Vietnamese Communist Party since 1945. If a referendum takes place freely today in Vietnam, asking people if they want to dissolve the communist party and its regime, I strongly believe the result will be predominantly positive, i.e. a big YES to remove communism and its government in our country.
3. Mr. Mai underestimated the suffering of the South Vietnamese people: the victory of the Vietnamese communists on April 30th 1975 has not ended in peace and its aftermath is tainted with blood. The Vietnamese communists have continued to revenge and punish the South Vietnamese people, especially the ones who have been collaborating with and working for the South Vietnamese government and the US offices in Vietnam. More than 300,000 (three hundred thousands) former military and civil workers, artists, writers, lawyers, engineers and medical personnel as well as business men and women were sent to re-education camps (that I would call re-education prisons) and half of them (nearly more than 150,000 men and women have died in those camps, some were executed without trials in a barbaric way as described by several books published in Vietnamese and English by the camp prisoners who have survived the camps, now available). Between 1975 and 1984, people in the South knew they have no other choices as they have reached the limit of their endurance. The exodus of the South Vietnamese people in the aftermath of the great suffering caused by the Vietnamese Communist government and its revengeful policy was one of the largest human (and humanitarian) emergencies of the second half of the 20th century. The scale of the suffering was appalling. Canada was among the principal and the first countries who came to the rescue. While the international political debate was still on and while the refugees continued to throw themselves into the sea with ill-fated crafts, the Canadian government was prepared to be the first nation of the world responding to the boat people crisis and Canada has accepted more than 50,000 refugees and this number has reached 60,000 by the end of 1980. The response of the Canadian people was a monument of vigor and generosity and the results are nothing short of amazing – an encounter of compassion, loving kindness and success in pursuit of a generous cause. Canadians and Vietnamese Canadians deserve a national day for and by themselves and this day could be simply called a Journey For Freedom for all Canadians to celebrate each year on April 30th.
I myself strongly support Senator Ngo Thanh Hai’s Bill S-219.
Nguyen Duy Vinh, Ph.D.
DCVOnline: (1) Chính khách Canada có tên gần nhất với “Jason Kenny” là dân biểu Jason Kenney. Dân biểu Kenney hiện là Bộ trưởng Bộ Việc làm và Phát triển Xã hội đồng thời còn là Bộ trưởng Đa văn hóa. Hiện nay Canada không có Thượng nghị sĩ (Senator) nào tên là “Jason Kenny”.