Last updated: 16:19 – April 24, 2006


Member of the British Parliament Robert Marshall Andrews on April 20 tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the Parliament  requiring compensation for Vietnamese Agent Orange victims.

The EDM, which was signed by 28 British MPs, notes: "it is now more than 20 years since those American citizens who helped to spray Agent Orange in Vietnam reached a settlement with the manufacturers and suppliers of Agent Orange in the sume of US $184 million; and we believe the time has now come for those upon whom Agent Orange was sprayed to be similarly compensated."

In his letter to London-based Vietnam News Agency's bureau on April 21, Secretary of the Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society Len Aldis said that he was very glad to see many British MPs support the Vietnamese AO victims' struggle for justice, affirming that he would continue to ask other MPs to add their support.

Len Aldis disclosed that by the end of April, Jean Lambert and two other member of the European Parliament, from Spain and Sweden, plan to table a Written Declaration (WD) supporting an international day for the victims of chemical weapons.

The WD will need the support of 50 percent of MEPs to become EU policy. The Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society calls on all members of the European Parliament to give their full support to this Written Declaration, he said. (VNA)

Apr 24, 06 | 12:41 pm

The Vietnamese tourism industry is getting a major boost with the announcement the government has granted a license to US based Wininvest Group to develop a US$300 million tourism complex in central Vietnam. To be sited at Cua Lap, in the central coastal Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, the Sai Gon-Atlantis Tourism Complex will be built on a 450ha site.
"The site is the biggest foreign tourism project in Vietnam," agency director Phan Huu Thang told reporters.
"Construction will be completed within five years," said Tran Van Son, company representative, who confirmed discussions with the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment for the project began in 2004.
The project is divided into three phases and will consist of a five-star hotel, villas, golf course, trade centers and entertainment areas.
The first phase, estimated to cost 50 percent of the total investment will be spent on the construction of Saigon Atlantis Hotel, a 1,200 room five star hotel complex and casino.
The second phase will see the construction of a luxury restaurant, golf course, villas, bank and a helicopter pad.
By the completion of its third phase, locals are expected to patronize its water park, swimming pools, theatre, luxury shopping malls, duty-free shops and exhibition area.
The international standard project is expected to lure foreign tourists and boost the country's tourism industry.
The project is expected to provide up to 20,000 local jobs.

By Y. Sulaiman l eTN Asia

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) — Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese men in California have a cancer death rate three times greater than that of South Asian females living in the state.

In fact, the cancer death rate for California females of Asian origin is one of the lowest in the world, according to a University of California, Davis, study.

The reason? Wide gender differences in Asians' use of tobacco, which suggests that eliminating smoking would result in low cancer death rates among all Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, the researchers said.

The findings suggest that smoking causes many more cancer deaths among these groups of people than previously recognized.

"Among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, non-lung cancer death rates, like lung cancer death rates, correlate very closely with their smoke exposure," Bruce N. Leistikow, associate professor of public health sciences and a leading expert on smoking-related illnesses, said in a prepared statement.

"If all Asian and Pacific Islanders had as little smoke exposure as South Asian females in California, our work suggests that their cancer mortality rates across the board could be as low as that of the South Asian females."

The cancer death rate for South Asian females in California is 58 deaths per 100,000 per year. The rate for the United States as a whole is 193.5 per 100,000 people per year.

The researchers concluded that Korean-American males in California have the highest smoking-related cancer death rate of any of the Asian and Pacific Islander American groups in this study. Seventy-one percent of the Korean men's death rate was linked to smoking, compared to zero percent for South Asian females in California.

The study also identified troubling trends in three groups. Lung cancer deaths among South Asian males in California doubled between 1988 and 2001, and among Filipina and Korean females in California, lung cancer death rates have been increasing four percent to five percent a year.

The findings were published online in the journal Preventive Medicine.

"Based on our work, we can predict that these trends will be accompanied by parallel increases in non-lung cancer deaths," Leistikow said. "Many lives can be saved by strengthening tobacco control measures — cigarette taxes, counter-advertising, smoking bans, linguistically and culturally appropriate smoking prevention measures, and quit-smoking programs."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about Asian and Pacific Islander Americans and tobacco (www.cdc.gov ).


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By Farah Farouque
April 26, 2006

From 1976 Australia welcomed Vietnamese asylum seekers as they arrived on beaches (and airports) fleeing communist rule. Son Nguyen led the way for his family, which includes nephew Kenny and his wife Cindy, at rear, and Kenny's brother Dean, with daughter Yasmine.From 1976 Australia welcomed Vietnamese asylum seekers as they arrived on beaches (and airports) fleeing communist rule. Son Nguyen led the way for his family, which includes nephew Kenny and his wife Cindy, at rear, and Kenny's brother Dean, with daughter Yasmine.
Photo: Eddie Jim

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KENNY Nguyen's journey to Melbourne — he arrived at Tullamarine by Boeing — was a relatively seamless one compared to that of his uncle Son, the first of the close-knit extended clan to arrive here.

In the familiar trajectory of Vietnamese refugees, Son travelled by sea to an Indonesian refugee camp before being granted asylum in Australia in 1984. Not long afterwards, he sent money to help 11 other members of his extended family leave their small rural town in South Vietnam. They too travelled by boat.

Now the clan — including Kenny, who is helping plot a family tree — numbers more than 100. "I believe I am one of the lucky ones because I did not have to take the risk of going on the boat," says Kenny. "Many people died on those journeys — no one much talks about that."

Today notches another anniversary in the turbulent history of the Vietnamese exodus after the takeover of South Vietnam by the North Vietnamese communist government in 1975. It was on this day — April 26, 1976 — that the first boat, a 17-metre fishing vessel carrying five Vietnamese, landed in Darwin Harbour.

But contrary to the popular mythology of the "boat people", this method of entry was confined to a small number, just over 2000. The vast majority of the 90,000 Vietnamese refugees who came here by the mid-1980s were processed offshore in camps in South-East Asia.

Today, a community that numbered a few hundred in the early 1970s is estimated to be about 200,000, counting the second generations.

Kenny Nguyen, 27, falls somewhere in between. Arriving as as 12-year-old with his parents — they were sponsored by older siblings who had come in an earlier wave — his experience of migration has been characterised in some places as belonging to a "1.5" generation.

Indeed, he exemplifies this group: equally fluent in English and Vietnamese, he traverses the world of work — as an engineer — and the traditional values of his parents.

Every Sunday, the family — five of his six siblings live in Australia — gather at their parents home for a traditional lunch. At their communal table you will find pho, congee, , spring rolls and sometimes a goat dish.

The legacy, however, goes far beyond the food. At his north-western suburbs high school, Kenny braved the usual insults of the schoolyard. "They used to call me Dim Sum, but I just ignored it."

Instead, mirroring the success of large numbers of young Vietnamese today, he absorbed the hard-working ethos emphasised at home. "I had zero English when I came here," Kenny recalls, but high marks got him to RMIT.

Melbourne University researcher Nathalie Nguyen (no relation) says the story of Vietnamese migration has not been an easy one — entrenched pockets of disadvantage persist, but it is a story reflecting the experience of other refugee groups. "Things do work out," she says.

A STORY OF MIGRATIONNATHALIE NGUYEN, BOB BIRRELL

■Early 1970s: Vietnamese here numbered fewer than 1000.

■Now: 200,000 — 1 per cent of the population

■A quarter are ethnic Chinese by descent.

■A quarter born in Australia

■More than a third live in Victoria, mostly in Melbourne. Settlements in Springvale, Richmond, Sunshine and Footscray but also dispersed around suburbs.

■Arrivals peaked in 1979-80 at 12,915 and 1990-91 at 13,248.