Peace - candles and flowers

Thursday, 2016-02-11 17:20:10
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Ten-month-old Russian toddler Darina Gromova before boarding Airbus 321, which crashed in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt killing 217 passengers and seven-crew members.
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NDO - Last year, anti-terrorism became a global responsibility with peace depending on the silent efforts of security forces and people all over the world. Nobody wants to witness the scene of flowers and candles being arranged to commemorate victims of terrorist attacks - usually flowers and candles are a radiant symbol of peace and happiness.

On the morning of November 14, from Elysee Palace, French President Francois Hollande announced that the November 13 Paris attacks were acts of terrorism which had been prepared, organised and planned from abroad with help from inside.

In an integrated world, the fragility of borders is proportional to the close link between international terrorism, transnational crime and non-traditional security challenges, making the responsibilities of the international community to ensuring security a heavier burden. Bombings at a sacred temple in Bangkok and the downed Russian airplane over the Egyptian territory proved that no nation can be subjective when their neighbours, partners and friends are facing instabilities

Terrorism is the result of globalisation, hunger, poverty, war, politics and religious extremism, which has made the concepts of ‘friend-enemy’ and ‘partner-competitor’ in relation to global security bring on new meanings without any discrimination between the rich and the poor, the developed and the developing and big or small countries. Moscow shared losses with Paris via President Vladimir Putin's pledge to hunt down terrorists anywhere on earth and punish them. Despite long-standing differences, the Kremlin and the White House reached an agreement on anti-terrorism and that Syria's peace and President Bashar al-Assad's future depend on the Syrian people's decision.

Public security officers of Hanoi patrolling by bicycles - a friendly and familiar image showing the capital's civilisation (Credit: Hong Phu)

According to incomplete statistics of the Permanent Agency of the National Steering Committee on Counter-terrorism, there were over 700 terrorist attacks around the world in 2015, killing over 8,500 and wounding nearly 10,000 people. Terrorism appeared in most countries and continents, particularly in Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria, Lybia, Thailand, Somali, the Philippines, Israel, India, Turkey, France and the US. The startling truth is the attacks' targets mainly include the headquarters of foreign diplomatic missions and authorities, religious establishments and public places such as stations, malls, stadiums, hotels, restaurants and theatres.

Vietnam is a peaceful destination but behind the peaceful, serene image of the country there are the countless hours and efforts made by local forces to ensure national security. The US press has recently published a document accusing the Viet Tan organisation of terrorist and drug trafficking activities. It is not widely known that in the 1980s, hundreds of terrorists and dozens of tonnes of dynamite of the Hoang Co Minh Front and the Viet Tan Party to be used for political terrorist targets were detained. Terrorist attacks on the Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand and the Philippines in 2001 were requested for trial. Hostile forces behind conflicts in the Central Highlands region in 2001 and 2004 in Muong Nhe in 2011 and in Ha Tinh and Binh Duong provinces in 2014 during China's illegal placement of the oil rig Haiyan Shiyou-981 in Vietnam's sovereignty waters were addressed to prevent wide spread anarchy.

Great achievements in multilateral diplomacy were also seen in 2015 with historic internal and external events, showing efforts and accomplishments of the entire political system, including contributions of security work. There were no terrorist attacks carried out by international individuals or organisations in Vietnam last year except for three threats of plane bombings and eight cases of illegal weapon trafficking via air. There were 48 explosions in 31 localities, killing 29 people, including 10 cases affecting security and order. A plot of rogue explosives to cause social instability was discovered in Ho Chi Minh City. Relevant agencies concluded that the majority of cases resulted from individual enmities without any terrorist purposes against the authorities.

Realising the policy of independence, self-reliance and proactive international integration, the open foreign policy of multilateralisation and diversification of international relations, the strategy on national protection in the new situation, the Law on Counter-Terrorism and other relevant legal documents, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has shifted from participation into pro-active contributions and suggestions at regional and international forums and organisations. Vietnam has enhanced negotiations and signed international agreements on fighting trans-national and foreign-related crimes while actively preventing plots of hostile forces against the State. Each year Vietnam sends hundreds of officers to study abroad as well as invites experts to share information on terrorism, drug and human trafficking, immigration management, aviation security and criminal science. Through international dialogues and relations, external affairs of the security sector have been collaborated on with relevant ministries, agencies and sectors to address matters related to democracy, human rights and religion with Western countries and non-governmental and United Nations organisations in a constructive manner to demonstrate the country's achievements in promoting human rights, ensuring religious freedom and building a law-governed state.

In a meeting with the press, US Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius expressed his impression of the word "friend" used by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong when he described the Vietnam-US relationship during his historic visit to the US in July 2015 - a visit which contributed to boost political trust between the two countries. According to the diplomat, who was one of the first US diplomats to visit Hanoi after the normalisation of bilateral ties, the word "friend" was crucial, showing a belief in building the relationship through dialogues and constructing trust between peoples.

That resulted from the long process of normalisation, which proved that even though the two nations have different political regimes, they could both overcome differences, accept each other and work together for mutual interests. In June 2008, during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's US visit, the two sides agreed to organise strategic security dialogues at deputy minister level, after which the first political dialogue on national defence took place in October 2008 in Washington. President Truong Tan Sang's US visit in July 2013 was an important milestone to elevate the bilateral relations to a comprehensive partnership in which both sides agreed to respect independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and the political regime of each country.

Affirming the stance of condemning all terrorist actions, the MPS has established relations with 59 nations and territories, and joined 26 bilateral and multilateral forums. Vietnam has participated in 13 out of 20 international conventions on counter-terrorism and enhanced co-operation in counter-terrorism with over 60 ministries and ministerial agencies of over 40 countries and a number of international partners.

The more the country is integrated into the world as international terrorism is becoming a threat, the more the policy promoting Vietnam as a friend, a reliable partner and a responsible member in the international community is comprehended. The more integrated the world is, the more it is proved that national identities are inseparable from the unity in diversities of human culture. Abusing religions to cause instability, sending terrorist messages, making discriminatory comments and offending Muslim followers or other religions are unforgiveable acts which should be punished strictly.


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