Overseas Vietnamese Visit Truong Sa Island District, DK1 Platform
|Overseas Vietnamese in a group photo in Truong Sa island district.|
Over US $55,000 presented to island residents, soldiers
The trip, in its 10th edition, was jointly held by the Foreign Ministry's State Commission for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs, and the High Command of the Navy.
It provided a chance for Vietnamese across the world to meet people at home, contributing to strengthening the great national unity bloc and national harmony, said Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu.
Truong Sa (Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagos form an inseparable part of Vietnam’s sacred territory, he said, adding that each coral reef, grain of sand, branch of trees, and blade of grass here are soaked with sweat, blood and bones of generations of Vietnamese.
“Beloved Truong Sa and Hoang Sa are always in the hearts of all Vietnamese people,” he stressed. “For the Vietnamese community abroad, the archipelagoes remain their homesickness and deep love.”
According to the Assistant Minister, this year, in response to the call by State Commission for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs and the High Command of the Navy, OVs continued supporting the “Xanh hoa Truong Sa” (Green Truong Sa) fund and presenting gifts to residents and soldiers in Truong Sa with funding of nearly VND1,3 billion (US $55,000) which raised just in a short period of time.
The official called the trip a practical activity demonstrating patriotism of Vietnamese abroad as well as their attention to national sea and islands, saying after each trip, they accurately popularised information about the country’s sea and islands, and organised meaningful activities to contribute to defending the country’s sovereignty over its sea and islands, and continental shelf.
Admiring Truong Sa officers, soldiers for their strong will
During the trip, the delegation visited officers and soldiers on Sinh Ton Dong (Grierson Reef), Len Dao (Lansdowne Reef), Da Tay B (West Reef B), Truong Sa island and DK 1 Platform.
In Truong Sa island district and DK 1 Platform, they presented gifts to and engaged in an exchange programme with local residents and soldiers, and paid tribute to officers and soldiers who sacrificed their lives 35 years ago while defending the Gac Ma (Johnson South Reef) on March 14, 1988, and other martyrs and late President Ho Chi Minh.
|Overseas Vietnamese and soldiers on Len Dao.|
Vu Trong Thu, a member of the Board for Liaison with Overseas Vietnamese in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), expressed his honour to represent 5.000 Vietnamese in the UAE to visit Truong Sa.
The man also noted his admiration for the strong will of Truong Sa officers and soldiers, and wished them to stay strong in defending the country's territorial integrity.
"Previously, we only heard about Truong Sa through books, newspapers, and the internet. During the trip, we witnessed the vitality of Truong Sa in extreme weather conditions. We come here to convey sentiments of Vietnamese in Thailand to officers and soldiers in Truong Sa and DK1 Platform. I am extremely touched by the readiness for combat and sacrifice of officers and soldiers here," said Hoang Thi Lai, a Vietnamese expat in Thailand.
|A soldier on Sinh Ton Dong presents fruit of Square-fruit Malabar Almond to an OV.|
Most Venerable Thich Minh Nguyet, deputy head of the coordinating committee of Vietnamese Buddhism in Laos, who was on her first trip to Sinh Ton, said "I am very happy and proud that Vietnam has been able to defend its sea and islands, and assert its national sovereignty. I deeply appreciate the soldiers who have protected the country’s sea and islands.”
She was also happy to see a temple, a symbol of Buddhism, on Sinh Ton island.
"Built by the Party and the State, the temple is where rituals were conducted for soldiers on the island, and cultural and spiritual values of Vietnamese people are preserved,” she said.
|Rear Admiral Pham Van Hung, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnamese Navy, and OVs visit officers and soldiers on Len Dao.|
Rear Admiral Pham Van Hung, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnamese Navy, said defending national sovereignty over sea, islands and continental shelf, and maintaining peace and stability in the region is a long-term, difficult, complex and sensitive struggle.
It requires the strength of the entire Party, people, army and political system, he continued, stressing that to fulfill the task, apart from efforts to overcome difficulties and combat readiness of naval forces, it needs timely attention, encouragement and support from ministries and agencies at all levels, and from businesses and OVs.
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