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Results: 1 - 15 of 462
View Tyrone Benskin Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you, and please let me add my voice welcoming you back.
Thank you, Mr. Dieu Cay, for your very in-depth and moving testimony. My question is for you. We have heard a number of witnesses speaking to the hunger strikes that are either ongoing now or that people engaged in before, you and a gentleman that we had for previous testimony, your friend who is undergoing a hunger strike at this moment. To me, it seems a very internal thing, because we don't hear about it unless individuals like you come to us.
I guess that's where the bloggers come in. Is there an estimate of how many bloggers are dedicated to the human rights situation in Vietnam and how many of those might be in Vietnam at this point?
View Tyrone Benskin Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you.
May I please add my voice in offering both of you condolences on your losses and for what you have suffered, and give you my thanks for your courage and bravery in coming here and sharing your story with us. One of the chief things I think I've found in this committee is the opportunity for individuals such as you to shine a light on some of the very ugly practices we have in this world of ours. If that is the least we can do here, then I hope you will leave here with some sense of moving forward in that quest.
With that, I have a question for either Mr. Neve or Mr. Olivares. I'm having a hard time, as I think any sane person would, just understanding the reasons for a lot of these actions. In most of the testimony that we hear when people come in, there's a political motivation. It's a dictatorship trying to keep power and so forth. This guise of the war on drugs, the mass military involvement, the disappearance of its own people, the 43 students, I'm having a hard time understanding what this is meant to accomplish.
If you could shed some light on that for me, it would be greatly appreciated.
View Tyrone Benskin Profile
NDP (QC)
I agree wholeheartedly. In my limited capacity I would say that when we hear of these things in the context of a dictatorship, for example, we understand the disappearance of dissenting opinions since people who aim to speak out against the governmental structure will disappear for that reason. I guess I'm trying to understand, for example, about these 42 students en masse and the intent behind that. Was it to create fear within the community? Was there someone specific amongst that group who they were looking for and they took the others as witnesses? That's the bizarre logic that I'm trying to grapple with.
View Tyrone Benskin Profile
NDP (QC)
View Tyrone Benskin Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you.
Thank you for your presence here today. I want to commend your courage as well as your compatriots', in the diaspora and at home in Vietnam, for your continued work towards human rights changes.
I want to add my voice to my colleague Mr. Sweet's in regard to my concern that Vietnam is a member state of the United Nations, yet is not adhering to the promises they've put forward.
Both of you have come here out of great risk to your own persons. I would like to ask you, for the record, if you are concerned about reprisals when you return home to Vietnam, and what protections, if any, you have upon that return.
View Tyrone Benskin Profile
NDP (QC)
I thank all of you for your presentations. I echo the comments of my colleague and salute your bravery in coming forward and sharing your stories, making us more aware of what's happening in Vietnam.
This is an open question for anyone who cares to answer.
Since the Vietnamese government agreed to respect human rights, how much access has the international community had to Vietnam to monitor or observe the situation of human rights in Vietnam?
View Tyrone Benskin Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you, and thank you for your testimony.
As my colleague said earlier, what you're saying is underscored by previous testimony we've had, so I thank you for that.
There are a couple of things floating around in my head, but first and foremost just to follow up on the comments you just made, according to some of the notes that I have, there are those who are saying poverty in Vietnam has been reduced from 58% as of around 1993 to 11% in 2012. Your statement just said that in fact the majority of Vietnamese are still living in poverty.
Can you expand on that a little for me, please?
View Tyrone Benskin Profile
NDP (QC)
Yes, 58% in 1993 down to 11% in 2012.
View Tyrone Benskin Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you.
In regard to the bloggers, according to your testimony there is a clamp down. Where are the bloggers getting their feed from? How are they accessing the Internet? I'm assuming the Internet is readily available in Vietnam, or is it being brought in, or fed in, some underground way that allows bloggers to access it?
View Tyrone Benskin Profile
NDP (QC)
Welcome to the three of you, and I add my voice in offering not only my sympathy but my prayers for those students who are still active and doing what they feel is best for the country, and also the parents and families of those students.
I hope you bear with us in this committee as we try to just process all of this and understand this a little better.
At one point in your testimony, you said that there were, between 2007 and 2014, some 26,000 individuals who have gone missing or have been murdered. So that I can get a better understanding, what is the motivation? Are these politically motivated acts? Are these linked wholly with the cartels? What's the main understanding as to why these students and these 26,000 people have disappeared or been murdered?
View Tyrone Benskin Profile
NDP (QC)
For my own clarification, then, these incidents are a combination of organized crime activities and political activities. Is that accurate?
View Tyrone Benskin Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you.
I understand what you're saying. The reason I asked the question is just for me to get a better understanding. You spoke of collusion. I'm trying to understand whether you're expressing that the collusion is between the levels of government, or is that collusion between government officials—municipal, federal—and organized crime. Are these acts of intimidation by organized crime, or to quell dissension with regard to government activities? The reason I ask those questions is to try to understand that difference.
I understand that the deaths of your children are the deaths of your children. What I'm getting—if you would like to comment—is that you want answers. You want an investigation that clearly says this is what happened to our children, and hopefully, this is why this happened to our children. Would that be correct?
View Tyrone Benskin Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you.
I want to echo the comments of my colleagues in welcoming you here and welcoming the significant contingent of the Vietnamese Canadian community here today.
I am going to follow up a bit on what my colleague Mr. Sweet had touched on, the NGOs. In previous testimony we heard, or correct me if I'm wrong, that the NGOs that have managed to exist in Vietnam were NGOs created by the government to show they're allowing accessibility on the ground. Is this correct, for a start?
View Tyrone Benskin Profile
NDP (QC)
Okay. So outside NGOs that are looking to help generate grassroots political action in terms of political reform don't have access, or are they beginning to have access or is the government too repressive so they cannot even get off the ground?
View Tyrone Benskin Profile
NDP (QC)
We're also hearing testimony on the human rights issues due to the political situation in North Korea, for example. One of the things that has been mentioned numerous times is getting information to the people. In North Korea, information is trickling in on thumb drives and things of this nature to the people. It's building that encouragement.
You've talked about the trade end of discussions in terms of attaching human rights issues to trade agreements, which we agree with 100%.
How do we get alternative information to the people? You mentioned that the government has clamped down on bloggers, Internet access, and that type of thing. How would we get information to the people for them to be able to use it?
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