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Wednesday, 16 August 2017 09:35
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Solutions to ensure political security in the Vietnam - Laos border area in Dien Bien province

(LLCT) - The Vietnam - Laos border in Dien Bien province is an important area of political security, as it is contiguous to Laos and home to a large number of ethnic minority groups. To promote the Party’s and the State’s guidelines, the Dien Bien province People’s Committee and Party at all levels are focusing on effectively implementing solutions that ensure political security, social order and safety. This will contribute to serving the locality’s socio-economic development.

The assurance of order and security - especially political security - in the area has achieved significant results. Grassroots political systems are growing stronger; Executive committees and the local government are solidifying their roles as leaders and guides; internal political security is stabilizing; cadres, party members and people are gaining solidarity and trust in the leadership of the Party and the Government; living standards are improving continuously; and activities that adversely affect political security are promptly prevented. All of these factors contribute to creating a peaceful and stable environment.

Yet there are still some remaining limitations and shortcomings. A number of agencies, committees, and government branches are experiencing internal disunity; leadership and management is lacking democracy; and some agencies are receiving anonymous and pretentious letters. Additionally, a number of cadres and party members are inattentive and lack vigilance in the face of hostile operations. They are losing their fighting spirit. Some of them breach disciplines, contract social evils, or even break the law. Several have jeopardized relationships by contacting foreign individuals and organizations to reveal internal information. The management of some party committees and executive agencies shows weakness and shortcomings. Political and ideological educations have not been prioritized appropriately.

Since 2005, hostile and reactionary forces have taken advantage of the Party and State’s open-door and integration policy to strengthen their own opposition. They have exploited contradictions to carry out “peaceful evolution” and the scheme of religionizing ethnic affairs in the Vietnam - Laos border area, which is home to a large number of ethnic minority groups. They use democracy and human rights as a pretext to interfere in Vietnam’s internal affairs; sow national contradiction, division, and ideas of secession and autonomy; assemble forces to disturb the peace, instigate violent disturbances, and encourage ethnic people to illegally immigrate to Laos, China, and Thailand. These malicious and cunning activities have been broadened in scale.

The most unstable operation is illegal protestant missionary work in the areas of the H’Mong ethnic group. Missionary work is carried out mainly through Nguon song radio station. They also embroil and train the ethnic minority people - especially the H’Mong people who illegally cross the border - and then bring them back to Vietnam. These people are the key forces directly disseminating Protestantism, distributing religious documents, and convincing local people to follow their religion. Backed by the material and spiritual support of missionary centers, ethnic Protestants from religious groups and associations establish places of worship and dignitaries illegally, which compete for influence and act as a counterbalance to the local Party committees and authority.

The “Autonomous Kingdom of the H’Mong” operation, a reactionary organization, has greatly affected political security in the Vietnam - Laos border area. It is backed by the reactionary H’Mong people who live in exile, including The Party of the H’Mong loves the H’Mong,” and the Communist Party of the H’Mong. The establishment and development of the organization “Autonomous Kingdom of the H’Mong” aims to develop strength, disturb peace, instigate violent disturbances, commit acts of terrorism, and oppose and destroy the Government.

The political security situation in the Vietnam - Laos border area in Dien Bien province shows that there are numerous problems that still need to be solved.

First, grassroots level political systems are still weak, especially concerning the limitations of qualifications and moral degradation of a number of cadres and party members.

Although the political system at grassroots level has been built and strengthened, it is incompetent and works inefficiently. Party organizations and the government in the border area are bureaucratic and kept aloof from the masses. They are not concerned with improving the people’s living conditions. Moreover, the quantity and quality of ethnic minority cadres at all levels and branches in the area are insufficient and weak, failing to meet work requirements. The role of the grassroots political system, especially the Party agencies, the Government, and political and social organizations is not definite. It does not promote efficient leadership, guidance and gathering of the masses; or the definition of the Party’s function and mission. These issues require renovation. Leadership skills and the spirit of some Party organizations are weak, especially in their ability to apply the Party’s policies and resolutions to reality. The cadres and party members’ degradation in political and ethical terms are serious. Two party members, 17 village headmen and deputy chiefs, 17 hamlet unit leaders, 36 militiamen, nine policemen, eight representatives of the commune People’s committee, and 19 candidates of the commune People’s committee were detected to be involved in the establishment of the “Kingdom of H’Mong.” 31 party members, 68 commune cadres, 101 policemen, 157 village headmen and deputy chiefs, and 85 highly-reputed men are religion follower(1).

Second, there is no strict management of ethnic and religious issues on the border, and contains an implicit threat of instability that impacts political security. The implementation of ethnic and religious policies is slow and inflexible.

State management of political security within religious activities containing number of ethnic minorities remains inadequate. There is a lack of specific regulations on foreigners’ religious activities. The building of political strength and mass movement in religious areas has not been given proper care. There is inadequate unanimity in the awareness, treatment, and solutions to missionary work. In some places, mobilization and education of the masses falls into formalism, which leads to passivity and confusion in face of complicated situations.

Third, coordination among forces to ensure political security has not been effective, unanimous, or clear. Accordingly, communication and education has been inadequate, security and order have not been ensured in some areas. International cooperation and coordination between the local governments of Laos’ two border provinces and Dien Bien province are infrequent and ineffective.

Fourth, although border forces initiate polices and plans, they remain passive and unorganized. Many cases have resulted in contradiction and conflict.

The forces responsible for ensuring political security are sparse. Cadres and soldiers’ limited qualifications and inadequate awareness of political security in the ethnic minorities’ regions make their operations ineffective. There is a low rate of ethnic minority people in security forces, and their abilities and qualifications are also lacking.

Fifth, the ethnic minority people in the area have limited awareness and a low ability to deal with information and recognize security - political issues and legal knowledge. Hostile forces take advantage of these shortcomings and sow division in the area, threatening political security in the Vietnam - Laos border area of Dien Bien province.

Therefore, in order to protect the border area, the State must enforce two fundamental elements: (1) Cadres, especially cadres at the grassroots level, must be equipped with knowledge and more important is to be diligent, and devoted to their work; (2) cadres must ensure better conditions of ethnic minority people’s moral and material lifestyles, and build their trust in the government.

The reality requires the following implementations for renovation:

First, speed up socio-economic development, and improve the lives of ethnic minority people.

This is an urgent and long-term solution that will help stabilize the situation and strengthen solidarity among religious ethnic minorities in the national united bloc. In order for this to be effective, all levels of the government should routinely monitor and supplement investment policies that are appropriate for ethnic minority areas; implement policies that ensure the efficiency of invested capital; and create favorable conditions for ethnic minorities to sustainably avoid poverty and integrate into national development. It is necessary to focus all resources on carrying out the Plan for socio-economic development between 2016 and 2020, and to incorporate the Fatherland Front and other social organizations to encourage religious ethnic minority people to lead an upstanding religious life on earth and follow Party policies and State laws.

Second, build spotless and strong party organizations that promote solidarity and leadership at grassroots levels.

The strengthening of organizations should be associated with the building of cadre contingents, especially members of a Party committee at all levels. They must be politically capable and stable, qualified, moral, and close to the masses. Party Committee at grassroots level must implement the policies and regulations of higher authorities, accounting for the local situation as well as the aspirations of the ethnic minority people. This will help maintain socio-economic development, political stability, and social security. All executive committees should put forth independent and creative programs and plans, and avoid relying on higher authorities. Party organizations must build a contingent of virtuous and capable Party members who are upright, industrious, thrifty, selfless, dedicated to the people, and loyal to the socialist regime.

Third, renovate the contents and means of operation, and involve the role of the Fatherland Front and mass organizations.

Disseminate, educate, mobilize and persuade people to implement the Party’s policies and the State’s laws, especially the tasks assigned to each locality. Strengthen the relationship between the Party and the people through the Fatherland Front and mass organizations. To do this, it is necessary to renovate their contents and means of operation. Implement mobilization techniques that encourage “the whole people unite to build cultural life” movement and the Regulation of grassroots level democracy; diversify forms of dissemination; and mobilize people to join organizations such as the Women’s Union and Farmers’ Union. Promote community self-management and pay attention to the roles of village patriarchs, village chiefs, and dignitaries.

Fourth, strengthen dissemination of the Party and State’s ethnic and religious policies.

Attach importance to the communication of guidelines and laws which addressing socio-economic development, ethnic and religious issues. At the same time, educate ethnic minorities so they have adequate awareness of the hostile force’s methods; disseminate the law and propagate the importance of obeying law. Especially laws and policies concerning religious issues, and the sense of citizenship duties, and national pride; and waken solidarity among ethnic groups and religions in the cause of national construction and defense.

Fifth, evaluate the situation and detect, prevent, and deal with any matters related to political security in the area.

Executive forces, especially the public security, should take initiative in coordinating with other forces and organizations in the areas containing a large number of ethnic minority people to assess the situation from various sources and information channels. Then offer accurate conclusions on political security, social order and safety in the area. When incident happens, determine whether it was caused by the hostile forces. Act as a counselor for the Party committee and local government to promote accurate and effective solutions. Thoroughly understand the functions, missions and authorities of each force to prevent any harm to the mission as well as the state - people relationship.

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(1) Trang A Tua: “Increasing efficiency of ensuring security and order in the ethnic minority area in Dien Bien province”, Research theme of Ministry of Public Security, 2015.

MA. Dang Thi Thanh Hoa

The People’s Police College I

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