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April 30, 2018

43rd Anniversary of the Defeat of
U.S. Aggression and Intervention in Vietnam

Long Live Vietnam!


Vietnam's flag is proudly raised on Reunification Day, April 30, 2018, at the Hien Luong–Ben Hai historic site in Vinh Linh district, in Quang Tri province to celebrate the 43nd anniversary of the liberation of south Vietnam -- National Reunification Day -- and the 45th anniversary of the liberation of Quang Tri (May 1, 1972). (Nhan Dan)

43rd Anniversary of the Defeat of U.S. Aggression and Intervention in Vietnam
Long Live Vietnam!
All Out to Strengthen the Bonds of Friendship Between the Peoples of Canada and Vietnam! - Nick Lin
50th Anniversary of Infamous My Lai Massacre 

Building a Vibrant and Prosperous Nation
Joyous Celebrations of Reunification Day
Outstanding Economic Development

For Your Information
Background on Anti-Communist Journey to Freedom Day Act
Information about the Vietnamese-Canadian Community That Everyone Should Know - Prof. Trang Nguyen,  Canada Vietnam Trade Council
Excerpts from Letter to Toronto Mayor from Canada Vietnam Society

43rd Anniversary of the Defeat of U.S. Aggression and Intervention in Vietnam

Long Live Vietnam!

Ho Chi Minh, leader of the Vietnamese people, shown here in 1957, was instrumental in leading the organized resistance to French colonial occupation, then the U.S. invaders, although he did not live to see his country's reunification. To his right, the famous General Vo Nguyen Giap.

On April 30, 1975, forty-three years ago, the U.S. imperialists had to flee Vietnam as their puppet regime in Saigon collapsed and their armed aggression and intervention in Vietnam was defeated.

This war of intervention and aggression by U.S. imperialism goes down in the annals of aggressive wars as one of the most brutal. It left more than three million Vietnamese dead, millions more wounded and homeless and the entire country and its economy in ruin. The devastation caused to the country and the people was similar to that in Korea which was the first place the U.S. suffered defeat. As in Korea so too in Vietnam, U.S. imperialism imposed an arbitrary division and then intervened in the civil war on one side against the other in the name of democracy. But as with the Koreans, the Vietnamese would not permit the division of their country and fought for its unification. On April 30, 1975, they won!

Ceremony on April 30, 2015 in Ho Chi Minh City marking 40th anniversary of
Vietnam’s national reunification.

The barbarity of the intervention and aggression against the people of Vietnam by U.S. imperialism was thoroughly condemned by the peoples of the world, including within the United States itself where a vigorous anti-war movement was built. The heroism and courage of the people of Vietnam was such that they successfully defended their nation and prevailed. They fought without flinching for their national liberation, reunification and independence. The heroic people of Vietnam fought for the peoples of the entire world who were also under fire from U.S. imperialism. They won victory in the battlefield.

The victorious people of Vietnam, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, not only proved their mettle by defeating the U.S., but also by building a modern country since the war, a country which seeks prosperity for its people, a cause to which everyone can contribute.

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) resolutely hails the historic victory of the heroic people of Vietnam and their achievements and successes in their struggle since the war for peace, independence and prosperity. We condemn U.S. imperialism and all reactionaries who continue to push private interests at the cost of the interests of the peoples of the world, committing crimes against the peace and treating human beings as "collateral damage" as they did in Vietnam.

Heroic fighters of the People's Army of Vietnam (left) and the Viet Cong,
the National Liberation front in south Vietnam (right).

Hail the Anniversary of the Victory of the Struggle of the Heroic Vietnamese People for
Their Liberation Known as Reunification Day!
Down with U.S. Imperialism and All Reaction!
Oppose all Imperialist Wars of Intervention and Aggression!
Long Live Vietnam!

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All Out to Strengthen the Bonds of Friendship Between the Peoples of Canada and Vietnam!

The long history of friendship between the Canadian and Vietnamese peoples includes
staunch opposition to the U.S.-led Vietnam War, including this anti-war protest at
Queen's Park in Toronto in 1967.

Canadians in Vancouver and Toronto, including several of Vietnamese origin, have informed of anti-Vietnam provocations which serve to harm relations between Canada and Vietnam and divide the people, by preying on their lack of information about Vietnam. Amongst other things, the flag of the long-deposed and reactionary Saigon regime, overthrown during the Vietnamese liberation war on April 30, 1975, is being presented in Canada at certain public and official events as if it is the official flag of Vietnam, which it is not.[1] Not only ordinary people who are not well-informed but also municipal councillors and officials at various levels have raised this flag or worn its colours on scarves. While some are clearly reactionaries who oppose respecting Vietnam's sovereignty and have a habit of sowing divisions in the community in Canada and dividing Canadians, others think they are celebrating Canada-Vietnam friendship. They are not happy to learn they are being used as pawns to promote hostility and divisions.

The yellow flag represents the regime that collaborated with the U.S. warmongers in their war of aggression against Vietnam. Within the Vietnamese community in Canada which is 240,000-strong, only a fraction -- some 22,000 -- escaped for political reasons in 1975 when that regime fell.

The U.S. imperialists desperately flee Saigon on April 29 and 30, 1975. A south Vietnamese man is driven away with a punch to the face as he tries to join the escape.

That was 43 years ago so not that many remain who are motivated to wreak revenge to this day. Their cause covers up that it was not the communists who divided Vietnam, dropped agent orange and committed all the other crimes against the people. It was the U.S. imperialists. These anti-communists collaborated with the U.S. regime, themselves committed crimes against the people and then went all out to save themselves calling their exit "a journey to freedom." Some were major drug lords or were those who trafficked women and children and conciliated with heinous crimes against the people. Their U.S. patrons lost the war and did not even take measures to protect them. Their attempt to foment hatred and anti-communism against the current government of Vietnam and divide Canadians on this basis is nonetheless facilitated by certain sections of the Canadian ruling class. These are the same forces behind the construction of an anti-communist memorial in Ottawa. They also lobbied for and got a reprehensible piece of legislation denominating April 30, celebrated as Reunification Day in Vietnam, as a "Journey to Freedom Day" to condemn the victory of the people of Vietnam against U.S. aggression.[2] It is simply not true.

The promotion of the flag of the anti-communist pro-U.S. imperialist regime which was overthrown in Vietnam seeks to undermine the bonds of peace and friendship between the Canadian and Vietnamese people and between Canada and Vietnam. For it to be supported by any official circles at any level during official events and people's festivals is reprehensible and against all norms of diplomatic relations.

Canadians can give a fitting response to the provocations of this band of reactionaries who fled Vietnam after the fall of Saigon. They can speak out against attempts to insinuate a revival of the long-deposed and reactionary "south Vietnamese" regime by imposing its illegitimate flag and symbols at official celebrations and community festivals linked to building friendship amongst the peoples. For official bodies to permit themselves to be fooled by flying a flag which does not represent Vietnam, under the hoax that Canada protects freedom of speech for dissenters, is not defensible. The real flag of Vietnam, its history and its people's victory over foreign invaders are known and knowable.

Canada and Vietnam this year celebrate 45 years of ongoing diplomatic relations.[3] It is a good occasion to strengthen the bonds of friendship between our two countries and our two peoples. Canadians from coast to coast, from all walks of life, stood second to none along with peace- and justice-loving peoples the world over, in opposing the U.S. aggression against Vietnam. Many Canadians came to this country to dodge the draft or escape the punishment meted out to those who deserted the U.S. armed forces because their conscience would not permit them to commit the crimes which they were ordered to carry out by the U.S. against the Vietnamese people.

Let us unite with the people of Vietnamese origin in Canada and all those who fought against the war in Vietnam and opposed the arbitrary foreign division of their country to foment civil war in the name of anti-communism.


1. A representative sampling of cases where the community has been put under pressure to identify as followers of the Saigon regime.

- Coquitlam Pageant and Concert May 21, 2017
- 2016 Surrey Fusion Festival July 23, 2016
- Vancouver 2016 Vietfest August 13, 2016
- Vancouver ASEAN Festival 2016 August 27, 2016
- Vietnam Women's Association of Toronto 2015
- City of Ottawa 2014
- Whitehorse Heritage Festival in 2008, 2009, 2010

(Source: BoatPeople.ca)

2. Journey to Freedom Day was brought into being in Canada by the Journey to Freedom Day Act, legislation put forward by Senator Thanh Hai Ngo and passed by the Harper government in April 2015. It seeks to turn history on its head and denigrate and obscure the Vietnamese people's victory over the U.S. invaders. See FYI on the Journey to Freedom Day Act is this issue of TML Daily.

3. Canada established diplomatic relations with Vietnam in 1973. It opened an Embassy in Hanoi in 1994 and a Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City in 1997. The Government of Canada notes:

"Canada and Vietnam maintain good bilateral relations. In 2013, Canada and Vietnam celebrated the 40th anniversary of their bilateral relations and many activities took place to commemorate this important year. There is an active 220,000+ strong Vietnamese-Canadian community in Canada.

"Canada's relations with Vietnam are expanding, particularly through rapidly-increasing trade and investment and a prominent development assistance presence. Vietnam is confirmed as one of Canada's 25 countries of focus.

"Canada and Vietnam share membership in multiple multilateral forums, including ASEAN [the Association of South East Asian Nations], in which Canada is a Dialogue Partner; Vietnam was Canada's Coordinating Country for 2006-09. Canada and Vietnam are also members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the ASEAN Regional Forum, the Francophonie and the United Nations."

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50th Anniversary of Infamous My Lai Massacre

The indiscriminate massacre of women and children by the U.S. Army in the My Lai massacre.

My Lai massacre took place on March 16, 1968, when 504 unarmed villagers -- 182 women, and 173 children and infants -- in the centre of present-day Tinh Khê Commune, in Son Tinh District, were brutally killed by soldiers of Charlie Company, under the command of Lieutenant Calley.

Vietnam commemorated the victims of the massacre on March 16, with various dignitaries in attendance. Former U.S. veterans of the Vietnam War were also present to express remorse and seek forgiveness from the Vietnamese people.

One of the U.S. veterans present was former U.S. Army photographer Ronald L. Haeberle. His photos documented the massacre and brought world attention to the crimes, further galvanizing anti-war sentiment in the U.S. and around the world. At the time, Haeberle carried two cameras; one assigned by the U.S. Army with two rolls of black and white film, to follow the action. He returned these rolls of film to the commander of Charlie Company, but kept his own camera, with which he took 18 color photos that were published in Life magazine, exposing the true story.

"My photos of the massacre told the world the truth about what happened 50 years ago. The true story had not been told in America and the world. I just wanted to tell everyone about the massacre with my photos from the field," he said during his visit to My Lai this March.

Soldiers of U.S. Army Charlie Company surround women, children and the elderly
in the My Lai massacre.

Another U.S. veteran at the ceremony, Roy Mike Boehm, has made regular visits to My Lai, where he would play violin in honour of the victims of the massacre and in promotion of peace. Boehm has established an NGO to raise funds for women, farmers and victims of Agent Orange to buy livestock as well as to support poverty reduction efforts. He calls on other U.S. veterans to visit Vietnam to bridge and promote the relationship between the country and its international friends to alleviate the pain of war.

U.S. veteran Mike Hastie, who was in An Khê of Gia Lai Province in 1970, joined the commemoration with his only daughter. "The My Lai massacre was only one of different massacres during the war. Vietnamese people are respected by the world when they demonstrated how to protect the country's independence," he said, adding, "I was born in the U.S., but my heart belongs to Vietnam. I'm so proud of Vietnamese people and the country."

Ron Haeberle (second from right) at the 50th anniversary memorial for the My Lai Massacre,
March 16, 2018.

Do Ba, a survivor of the massacre, recalled that he was rescued by Hugh Thomson (a helicopter pilot) and Larry Coburn (a gunner on the helicopter) when they stopped U.S. soldiers killing residents of Thuan Yên and Tu Cung hamlets. "I was 7 years old, and I was lucky when the two American soldiers saved me from the killing. It was a bloody day in my life," Ba said.

Pham Thành Công, 63, another survivor of the massacre, recalled that the morning on that day was broken by 30 minutes of shelling at around 5:30 am. The assault continued with rockets launched from helicopters.

Eight of his 15 family members tried to escape but were shot; the rest were killed by mines or grenades. An eight year-old boy running from the shelter was shot dead, his mouth still full with the morning's rice, he recalled. He said his mother and six brothers were killed in their house. He was seriously injured but was saved by his father.

The March 16 ceremony in My Lai was attended by former President Truong Tan Sang; Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hòa Bình, local residents and U.S. veterans. The ceremony inaugurated the My Lai Memorial Foundation, to build connections between the peace-loving peoples of the world.

Participants in the event visited the three-hectare My Lai Museum, that retells the massacre through images of damaged thatched roofs and footprints of villagers escaping from U.S. soldiers in March 1968. The main building at the centre of the museum complex houses over 1,000 items and photos, remnants of the massacre. The site also preserves a stream in the village, where American soldiers herded remaining villagers to kill them off, turning the water red.

A 41-hectare My Lai Peace Park is also planned for construction in the village, and a square will also be built in the coming years.

Dang Ngoc Dung, Vice Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, said the memorial ceremony of the My Lai massacre "reminds the world that lovers of peace should do everything to preserve peace forever, and ensure the My Lai massacre is never repeated."

Memorial ceremony for My Lai Massacre victims, March 16, 2018.

(Vietnam News Service. Photos: R. Haeberle, Vietnam News Service)

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Building a Vibrant and Prosperous Nation

Joyous Celebrations of Reunification Day

Vietnam's National Reunification Day is the joyful occasion celebrated on April 30, marking the day in 1975 when the U.S. imperialists were defeated and the north and south of the country were finally reunited.

Major celebrations are taking place in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and elsewhere. Amidst this celebratory atmosphere, several major cultural festivals, fairs and other events are being held.

Halong Carnival 2018

The stunning Halong Bay and a scene from this year's carnival.

The Halong Carnival 2018 kicked off on April 28 at the Sun World Halong Park in Halong City in the northern province of Quang Ninh. The theme this year is "Ha Long: Heritage Wonder, Friendly Destination." It is one of the first activities to start the National Tourism Year 2018 in the province and will feature a host of activities including music, art performances, a street parade and fireworks exhibitions.

Pham Ngoc Thuy, director of the provincial tourism department, was quoted by local media as saying that the province will promote tangible and intangible cultural heritage events and unique tourism attractions to spur tourism growth this year. It hopes to attract 15 to 16 million tourists, including seven million from abroad, and make total tourism revenue worth 30-40 trillion Vietnamese dong (VND) by 2020 (U.S.$1.3-1.7 billion), the Vietnam News Agency reported.

The annual Top City Destinations Ranking report released in November of last year at the World Travel Market event in London listed Halong City, home to the World Heritage-listed Halong Bay, 56th in the world's 100 leading cities in terms of international tourist destinations.

Hue Festival

The 10th edition of the biennial Hue Festival is being held from April 28 to May 2 in the former imperial capital of Hue.

It is expected to give a significant boost to the province's tourism growth this year. It will feature a street carnival, an international food festival and a hot air balloon show, plus traditional court music and dragon boat races.

Danang Fireworks Exhibition

The central city of Danang is hosting the Danang International Fireworks Festival 2018 over a period of two months from April 29 to June 30 with its biggest shows ever. Two years ago, the festival was named "the Leading Festival and Event Destination 2016" by the World Travel Awards.

This year's festival, titled "The Legends of Bridges," will feature stories about well-known bridges by teams from Poland, France, the United States, Italy, Hong Kong, Sweden, Portugal and host Vietnam.

The total number of visitors to Danang City last year was estimated at 6.6 million, jumping 19 per cent year-on-year, with international tourists accounting for 2.3 million of the visitors. The city expects 7.47 million tourists in 2018, including three million foreigners.

Hung King Festival

Preparations for this year's festival, March 20, 2018.

In the northern Vietnam province of Phu Tho, the Hung King Festival recalls a period in Vietnam's history going back millennia. It is where the Hung Kings founded the country of Van Lang, the predecessor to the modern Vietnam. This festival was held from April 21 to 25. It featured a multitude of traditional and cultural activities evoking long-held customs and ceremonies kept intact for centuries. Participants learned about the history of the Vietnamese nation through art performances, cooking contests, a book fair, and dragon and lion dances.

One of the highlights of the festival is hat xoan, the traditional folk music of Phu Tho province performed during the first two months of the lunar calendar. In 2017, UNESCO inscribed hat xoan on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Events in Ho Chi Minh City

A trade and culture exchange program among member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) took place in Ho Chi Minh City's September 23 Park from April 18-24 to mark Reunification Day and the third anniversary of the founding of the ASEAN Economic Community. Its purpose was to intensify friendship and cooperation between ASEAN countries and international partners and boost Vietnam's trade, investment, tourism and cultural ties with other nations, especially those from South East Asia

The program included a fair with more than 110 trade pavilions and more than 40 cuisine pavilions. Art, martial arts and sport performances are also expected during the event, together with videos promoting tourism and outstanding products in participating countries. Visitors are offered a chance to read books, play folk games and watch Central Highlands gong performances.

Meanwhile, the Ho Chi Minh City Television Cycling Tournament takes place from March 29 and April 30. It is celebrating reunification with a record 30 stages for a total length of 3,267 km. Each stage marks a year since the race began 30 years ago. By comparison, the Tour de France has 21 stages.

(With files from Saigon Times, Viet Nam News. Photos: Viet Nam News, Vietnam Ministry of Tourism)

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Outstanding Economic Development

The modern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City.

One of the outstanding features of the modern Vietnam since the people liberated the country and seized their own destiny is its economic development. Great efforts have been taken to renovate and develop the country's economy and improve the people's well-being.

Following reunification, Vietnam has steadily overcome the damage caused by years of war, which presented challenges beyond its direct control. Today, it has reached a point where its economy is considered amongst the most vibrant. A key part of this has been the Doi Moi (renovation) process of economic reform initiated in 1986, which laid the foundation for the sustained economic growth Vietnam enjoys today.

Economic Growth in 2017

In 2017, Vietnam's economy grew by 6.81 per cent, the country's General Statistics Office announced this past December. It surpassed the target of 6.7 percent, the highest in a decade. The GDP grew 5.15 per cent in the first quarter, 6.28 per cent in the second quarter, 7.46 per cent in the third quarter and 7.65 percent in the fourth quarter.

Vietnam recorded a growth rate of 2.07 per cent in agriculture, 5.14 per cent in forestry, 5.54 per cent in fishery, 7.85 per cent in industry, 8.7 per cent in construction, and 7.44 per cent in services.

Among services, a growth rate of 8.36 per cent was reported in wholesale and retail, 8.98 per cent in accommodation and food, 8.14 per cent in finance, banking and insurance, the highest increase in the last seven years, and 4.07 per cent in real estate trading, the highest rise since 2011.

Vietnam's nominal GDP in 2017 stood at nearly 5,008 trillion Vietnamese dong (some $221 billion U.S.), the General Statistics Office said, adding that GDP per capita was $2,385U.S., $170 U.S higher than 2016.

Regarding the country's economic structure in 2017, agriculture, forestry and fishery account for 15.34 per cent, industry and construction 33.34 per cent, services 41.32 per cent, and value-added tax, special consumption tax, export tax and import tax minus product subsidy, 10 percent. The respective proportions for 2016 were 16.32 per cent, 32.72 per cent, 40.92 per cent, and 10.04 per cent.

In November 2017, Vietnam's National Assembly set a target to grow the GDP by 6.5-6.7 per cent in 2018, compared with 6.21 percent in 2016, and 6.68 percent in 2015.

(With files from Xinhua)

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For Your Information

Background on Anti-Communist
Journey to Freedom Day Act

On April 23, 2015, Royal Assent was granted to Bill S-219, the Journey to Freedom Day Act, officially designating April 30 each year as "Journey to Freedom Day" in reference to individuals who left Vietnam for Canada after the victory over U.S. forces on the same day in 1975. Despite amending the name of the bill from the Black April Day Act in the face of opposition to the divisive and provocative legislation, the debate in the House of Commons and the text of the bill itself makes it clear that what is being targeted is the historical verdict rendered against U.S. imperialism and the tremendous victory for freedom and independence.

The final text of the bill claims that on April 30, 1975, "the military forces of the People's Army of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front invaded South Vietnam," which it associates with "the conditions faced by individuals in Vietnam, including deteriorating living conditions and human rights abuses." No mention, much less any criticism is made of the millions of Vietnamese killed by the U.S. or the imperialists' outright devastation of the country by mass aerial bombardment.

CPC(M-L) and many Canadians, including Canadians of Vietnamese nationality, spoke out against the bill, speaking the truth about the Harper government's historical falsification and vitriolic anti-communism. Canadian electrical engineer Hoang Nguyen told Embassy Magazine that the comments made by Conservative MPs do not reflect his views or the views of his peers. "After a war, every country is torn apart ... when you go to a war zone, you know it's difficult. [Vietnamese-Canadians] left Vietnam for a number of reasons, not because of the Communist Party," he said. Dr. Trang Nguyen, leader of the Canada-Vietnam Association spoke at a press conference, saying the association was insulted by the choice of April 30, Vietnam's liberation day. She stated that the Harper government is "imposing their view on the rest of the community."

The bill proved to be so controversial and divisive among Vietnamese-Canadians and Canadians of all backgrounds that last minute attempts were made to amend it during third reading and final debate on April 22, 2015. The most important consideration among Vietnamese-Canadians was to remove any mention of April 30 from the bill, a day celebrated with pride and joy in Vietnam and around the world as National Reunification Day. MPs said that while many Vietnamese in Canada would like to celebrate the government's acceptance of refugees after the end of the war, doing so on April 30 divides the community in an unacceptable way. Liberal MP Judy Sgro pointed out that the government is "pitting one part of a community against another." Dismissing these important considerations, Conservative MPs cynically declared, "Vietnamese-Canadians have spoken."

Despite the serious concerns raised, no MP was willing to take a stand against dishonouring the Vietnamese people's victory over foreign occupation or imposing an anti-communist narrative on Vietnamese-Canadians.

On April 24, 2015, the Foreign Ministry of Vietnam issued a response to the bill's passage, making it clear that the bill amounted to falsification of the history of the Vietnamese people's struggle for national liberation and reunification, which won the support of Canadians and people around the world. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Hai Binh said, "This is a backward step in the relationship between the two countries, adversely affecting the growing ties between Vietnam and Canada and hurting the feelings of Vietnamese people as well as a great part of the Vietnamese community in Canada." The same day, Canada's Ambassador to Vietnam was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and was made aware that the passage of Bill S-219 will have a negative impact on Canada-Vietnam relations. Despite this, the bill was passed.

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Information about the Vietnamese-Canadian Community That Everyone Should Know


The Vietnamese-Canadian community has been socially divided over the last 40 years as a result of the Vietnam War (1955-75).

The Vietnamese population in Canada is approximately 240,000. Ontario is home to an estimated 107,000 Vietnamese-Canadians with 74,000 in the Greater Toronto Area.

Reasons for Vietnamese migration to Canada after 1975 have evolved over time, from a humanitarian crisis to economic development:

- 5,000 U.S.-backed military personnel and family arrived in 1975, after the fall of Saigon
- 60,000 refugees arrived in 1979-80, known as the "boat people."
- 120,000 economic immigrants arrived since 1981.
- 22,000 immigrants arrived since 2006, as skilled workers or business immigrants.

The first 5,000 Vietnamese migrants established cultural organizations that receive public funding and impose their ideology on the entire Vietnamese-Canadian community.

The first migrants use the flag of the non-existent Republic of Vietnam (yellow flag with the three red stripes) as a political symbol at Vietnamese-Canadian cultural events and actively discourage relationships with the Government of Vietnam.


The first migrants have used their disproportionate political clout to silence dissent in the community and intimidate the recent migrants. The recent 22,000 Vietnamese migrants have actively established business, cultural and educational networks with the Government of Vietnam a priority country in trade and education for Canada.

Canadian political leaders unknowingly wear the controversial yellow scarf, which resembles the flag of the non-existent Republic of Vietnam (yellow flag with the three red stripes). Wearing the yellow scarf sends a mixed message to Vietnamese-Canadians and further divides the Vietnamese-Canadian community.


Canadian political leaders should not wear the controversial yellow scarf or use the flag of the non-existent Republic of Vietnam (yellow flag with the 3 red stripes) at public events.

Canadian governments at all levels should observe the international protocols and policies of the Government of Canada with respect to the Government of Vietnam.

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Excerpts from Letter to Toronto Mayor from
Canada Vietnam Society

Directors of the Canada Vietnam Society sent a letter to Toronto Mayor John Tory on April 6, in which they expressed their "profound disappointment that Toronto City Council passed a resolution (Motion MM38.6) on March 27, 2018 that amended its flag-raising policy to allow the controversial yellow flag of south Vietnam to be raised at City Hall." The letter explains that:

"The City of Toronto only flies the flags of nations that are recognized by the Department of Global Affairs Canada. South Vietnam is no longer a country since 1975 and its flag is not recognized by Global Affairs Canada.

"The City of Toronto does not raise flags that espouse hatred, violence or racism. The controversial yellow flag of South Vietnam is a symbol of hatred that has been used by a small group of Vietnamese-Canadians who wish to keep the Vietnam War alive and incite violence against Vietnamese-Canadians who do not share their political views.

"A similar motion to raise the controversial flag of south Vietnam at City Hall (Motion J-39) was debated by Toronto City Council on September 26, 2006. However, Motion J-39 was rejected by Toronto City Council because it contravened the flag-raising policy."

The letter goes on to elaborate on the inappropriateness of the south Vietnamese flag:

"It perpetuates the racial stereotyping of Vietnamese-Canadians as 'refugees' or 'boat people.' Not all 74,000 Vietnamese-Canadians living in the Greater Toronto Area are refugees. Many arrived as economic immigrants or as international students and are deeply offended by this labelling.

"It maintains the myth that the controversial flag of South Vietnam is a symbol of 'heritage and freedom.' The flag is a relic of French colonialism that reminds many Vietnamese-Canadians of an oppressive regime that violently persecuted Vietnamese Buddhists.

"It seeks to further divide the Vietnamese community. South Vietnam lost the war. Most Vietnamese-Canadians have accepted that outcome and have lived on with their lives in Canada. Yet a tiny group of Vietnamese-Canadians from South Vietnam refuse to accept it and continue to intimidate other Vietnamese-Canadians who think otherwise."

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