General Le Duc Anh, an excellent leader with great virtue and close bonds with the people

Friday, 2019-05-03 16:45:28
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General Le Duc Anh
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NDO - Nhan Dan Newspaper introduces an article written by Politburo member and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, expressing his deep sorrow at the death of former President, General Le Duc Anh.

General Le Duc Anh was a resilient revolutionary soldier, a talented general who developed through the great resistance wars of the nation. He made great contributions to the cause of national independence, reunification, and defence, as well as to the liberation of Cambodia from its genocidal regime.

As an excellent leader of the Party and State, he always showed the spirit of innovation, assertiveness, and high responsibility, with the sincere heart of a leader who was always attached to the reality of the country, and with simple living that brought him closer and harmonious with the people.

Comrade Le Duc Anh was born on December 1, 1920, in a family of revolutionary tradition in Loc An commune, Phu Loc district, Thua Thien - Hue province. His grandfather was a feudal intellectual who participated in the Can Vuong Movement against the French colonists. He himself joined the revolutionary movements as a teenager. In 1937, when he was 17 years old, he joined the democratic movement in Phu Vang, Thua Thien - Hue. In May 1938, he was admitted to the Indochina Communist Party. During the period of 1939-1944, he worked in friendship associations in Hoi An, Da Lat, Loc Ninh, Thu Dau Mot and rubber unions in Loc Ninh, Quang Loi, Xa Can, Xa Cat.

As a steadfast communist with a strong will for national independence and freedom, and the revolutionary cause of the Party, in early 1945, he was assigned to organise faithful forces in the unions in preparation for the armed struggle. In August 1945, he was assigned as a commander in charge of the uprising to seize power in rubber plantations and the two districts of Hon Quan, Bu Dop, Binh Phuoc province. At this time, he joined the Army, commanded the uprising to seize power in Loc Ninh, joined the provisional Party provincial committee, was in charge of military in the North of Thu Dau Mot and served as a commissar of Platoon 1 (later Regiment 301). From 1948 to 1954, he undertook many important positions such as Chief of Staff of Military Zone 7 and Military Zone 8, Military District of Saigon - Cho Lon, Military Commissioner and Deputy Chief of the Southern Command.

After the Geneva Agreement on restoring peace in Vietnam was signed in 1954, he gathered in the North. From 1955 to 1963, he was Deputy Director of Department of Operations, then deputy chief and chief of the Department of Personnel, and then became the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army. From the beginning of 1964, Colonel Le Duc Anh returned to the southern battlefield to take over the position of Chief of Staff, then Deputy Commander of the Southern Command, member of the Regional Commissioner; and Commander of the Military Zone 9, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee; Deputy Commander of the Southern Command, and member of the Regional Commissioner. He was one of the two officers of the Vietnam People’s Army who was promoted from Colonel to Lieutenant General in April 1974. During the Spring General Offensive and Uprising in 1975, he was assigned the position of Deputy Commander of the Ho Chi Minh Campaign and Commander of the South-western Army, making an important contribution to the final victory in the resistance war against the US imperialists, the complete liberation of the South and national reunification.

Performing the tasks assigned by the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of Defence, from 1976 to 1986, he was Commander of Military Zone 9, Secretary of the Military Zone Party Committee, then Commander and Political Commissar of Military Zone 7, and a member of the Standing Board of the Central Military Commission. During the fight to defend the south-western border, he was one of the generals who directly commanded in the battlefield and won many important victories, protected the sacred border of the Fatherland and helped the people of Cambodia to escape from the genocidal regime. In 1981, he was appointed as Deputy Minister of Defence and commander of the Vietnamese voluntary soldier force in Cambodia.

In 1986, General Le Duc Anh was the Chief of General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army, and Minister of Defence and Deputy Secretary of the Central Military Commission in 1987. He was a member of the Party Central Committee of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th tenures; secretary of Party Central Committee of the 7th tenure; and Politburo member of the Party Central Committee of the 5th, 6th, and 7th and 8th tenures; President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam from September 1992 to December 1997, and adviser of the Party Central Committee from 1997 to April 2001, and Deputy to the National Assembly of the 6th, 8th and 9th tenures.

In terms of the military, General Le Duc Anh was a victorious general, an excellent commander, with a strategic vision and flexible tactics to handle complicated situations. His military career was associated with many battlefields from the North to the South as well as the implementation of noble international duties. He once commanded the army to participate in important battles and landmark events of the war such as the Tet Offensive in Spring 1968, the Phuoc Long Campaign in 1974, the historic Ho Chi Minh Campaign in 1975, and the Campaign to help the Cambodian people escape the genocidal regime in 1979. He was a direct observer and instructor with important contributions in building a strong defensive posture and protecting the sacred maritime sovereignty of the country. In the historic Ho Chi Minh Campaign, he was responsible for directing the army to attack on the West - Southwest of Saigon, one of the five armies of the final strategic battle.

General Le Duc Anh was a man who always respected humanity and compassion, even for enemies. As a commander, he always cared for his soldiers and tried to reduce the sacrifices and the losses made by his comrades, soldiers and fellow countrymen.

In his memoir, General Le Duc Anh wrote: Our complete victory was led by many reasons, but the most crucial and fundamental one was the ideology of compassion and humanity, which is part of the country’s tradition and was highlighted in Nguyen Trai’s ‘Binh Ngo Dai Cao’ (The Great Proclamation on the Pacification of the Wu).

When our tanks and armoured fighting vehicle got swamped in heavy mud while crossing Vam Co river in Duc Hue district, Long An province, local people willingly carried bundles of trees and unloaded their houses to line the way for the vehicles. After it was completed, comrade Le Duc Anh directed the soldiers to help the people rebuild their house without the locales’ request.

While serving as the President and Chairman of the Council for National Defence and Security, General Le Duc Anh paid regularly visits to inspect the training and combat readiness of military and police units. He gave drastic and clear directions on combining economy and defence activities, becoming one of the masterminds in the building of defence zones and economic-defence zones in strategic areas. At the same time, the General also attached great care to ensuring the facilities and equipment of the army as well as the livelihoods of the soldiers.

President, General Le Duc Anh also paid special attention to the rear and the war aftermath. On September 10, 1994, President Le Duc Anh signed an order to announce an ordinance regulating the presentation of the ‘Vietnamese heroic mother’ title to Vietnamese women who have made contributions to national liberation and defence in order to educate patriotism and revolutionary tradition to future generations.

As the President, then an adviser to the Party Central Committee and until he retired, comrade Le Duc Anh showed great care towards the armed forces and proposed many enthusiastic and strategic initiatives on military and defence.

In the field of politics and diplomacy, he contributed to fostering the normalisation of relations with various countries, laying the foundation for the Party and State's policy of renovation, openness and integration. As the President, comrade Le Duc Anh led a high-ranking delegation of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to visit foreign countries and international organisations, during which a number of international agreements and treaties were signed, leaving profound impressions and good sentiments on people in the host countries and international communities.

In the eyes of his comrades, General Le Duc Anh always cared for officials and soldiers regardless of their ranking and position. During his visits to army units as the Minister of Defence, General Le Duc Anh exchanged talks with new soldiers, encouraged war veterans, and emphasised policies for servicemen.

General Le Duc Anh was a person with sincere and simple living and a strong attachment to his hometown. Whenever returning to his hometown, he always visited villagers and relatives, encouraging them to observe the Party’s guideline and State’s policies and laws, while promoting patriotism and contributing to the development of the country.

Within the family, he was an exemplary husband, father and grandfather. He always reminded his children and relatives to exert every effort to become good citizens who have made practical contributions to the society.

At 99 years of age and more than 80 years of Party membership, General Le Duc Anh spent his whole life working towards the glorious revolutionary career of the our Party and people. He was awarded many noble accolades, including the Gold Star Medal; the Military Exploit Order, First class; the Feat-of-Arms Order, First-class; the 80-year Party membership insignia; as well as many other distinguished medals of Vietnam and other countries.

It can be said that during his 80-year- revolutionary life, General Le Duc Anh worked for the revolutionary cause of the Party and the nation, the development of the heroic Vietnam People's Army, and the happiness of people.

The life of General Le Duc Anh witnessed many victories and historical ups and downs of the country. He made a great contribution to the revolutionary cause of our Party and nation. We remember General Le Duc Anh, who is dearly called Brother Sau Nam, as a talented General and an excellent leader with great personalities and humility.

Following the example of comrade Le Duc Anh, we vow to exert every effort and take actions to successfully realise the socio-economic development tasks entrusted by the Party, the State and people, while firmly safeguarding the country's sacred sovereignty and territorial integrity and creating a stable and peaceful environment for national construction and development for the purpose of building Vietnam into a strong nation with prosperous people, democracy, justice and civilisation.