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Jan-11-2012 12:24printcomments

Agent Orange victims still living in pain, says US envoy

“The US Government should provide direct assistance to victims apart from cleaning up contamination hot-spots” - Nguyen Van Rinh, chairman of the Vietnamese association,

Child in Vietnam suffering from Agent Orange Contamination

(HANOI) - National Assembly Vice Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan yesterday thanked Bob Filner, a member of the US House of Representatives, for his valuable support for Viet Nam, particularly in connection with the spraying of Agent Orange during the American War.

Ngan said that since Viet Nam and the US normalized relations 16 years ago, there had been great achievements in politics, security and defense, economics, trade, education and training, science and technology, and humanitarian co-operation.

She added that the US was now one of Viet Nam’s leading partners, with two-way trade reaching almost US$20 billion (S$26 billion) in 2011.

Regarding the Agent Orange (AO) issue in Viet Nam, Ngan said the Viet Nam-US Dialogue Group, including scientists and policymakers, was set up in 2007 to raise public awareness of the issue.

She said she wished US congressmen would provide further assistance for Viet Nam in addressing the consequences of spraying the defoliant.

Filner spoke highly of Viet Nam’s efforts to overcome the aftermath of the spraying and said he would make greater efforts to help victims, pledging to call on private companies and doctors to grant material and technical support.

The United States should realize that thousands of Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange – and their children – are still living in pain.

Filner said this while visiting the headquarters of the Viet Nam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) in Ha Noi yesterday.

Last July, Filner introduced an act to the US House of Representatives which would have, if passed, assisted Vietnamese victims.

He said he felt guilty when he saw first-hand how Vietnamese victims, particular children, were suffering from the lethal effects of the defoliant. He added that supporting AO victims was the US’s responsibility.

The chairman of the Vietnamese association, Nguyen Van Rinh, said that valuable assistance had been received from international friends, including the American people, thanks in particular to Filner’s efforts.

He said Vietnamese had been closely watching the progress of the bill and hoped it would soon be passed so that both Agent Orange victims on both sides of the Pacific Ocean could receive adequate compensation.

Rinh said the association hoped Filner would continue his appeals to the US government for any budget for Agent Orange relief efforts to be directly sent to the Vietnamese Government.

“The US Government should provide direct assistance to victims apart from cleaning up contamination hot-spots,” he said.

He said the Vietnamese association was not only concerned about victims in Viet Nam, but in soldiers involved in the war living in other parts of the world, including American veterans.

Before arriving in Ha Noi, Filner visited HCM City, central Da Nang City, the central province of Quang Ngai, and the families of victims.

Special thanks to Chuck Palazzo, Paul Sutton and the Agent Orange Action Group.

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Anonymous January 11, 2012 6:18 pm (Pacific time)

The Vietnamese Marxist government should pay reparations to all Americans, military and civilians, for the criminal wars acts they committed. There should also be a complete accounting for all POW's, Mia's, along with a war crimes commission to try all Vietnamese war criminals. Before that is formally begun, confiscate all of Nike's assets there, and all other locations, then divy them up to the Americans (and estates of deceased veterans) who served in Vietnam. A scientific study made on the poisons that the Vietnamese created that infected the water Americans drank (and all other toxins)should also be made to compensate for damages. I could go on, but the Vietnamese are the people who owe damages, as do the Taliban, and all others who have been killing my fellow Americans. Seems every country on the planet owes us a great deal, and that includes those countries we have protected while they remain passive with their security, costing them very little of their GNP.

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