The first Congress of Solidarity of Ethnic Groups in the Central Highlands (Tay Nguyen) was held in Pleiku City, Gia Lai Province on March 28, 2006 with the participation of State President Tran Duc Luong and nearly 500 representatives from the central highlands and delegates from southern cities and provinces.
Delegates take part in the congress.
In his speech, Chairman of the Fatherland Front's Central Committee Pham The Duyet recalled the days 60 years ago when the French colonists came back to invade Viet Nam once again. The Congress of Southern Ethnic Groups was then held to demonstrate the determination of the Central Highlands people to fight against the enemy and defend their fatherland. President Ho Chi Minh also sent a letter to the congress mentioning solidarity - a valuable tradition of the Vietnamese people, particularly of ethic groups in the Central Highlands.
Mr. Pham The Duyet praised the people’s great contributions to the national liberation cause as well as their enormous achievements in all fields over 20 years of reforms. Especially, the average economic growth rate of the localities in the Central Highlands in the past five years has reached 11 percent per year.
Addressing the congress, President Tran Duc Luong appreciated the great efforts of the central highlands people and called for concerted efforts from authorities and mass organizations to turn the Central Highlands into a prosperous region.
|The Bana ethnic minority people in Gia Lai Province performed gong dance to welcome the congress|
The president, however, made it clear that some areas, particularly economic are still less-developed than other parts of the country with out-of-date cultivation methods and underdeveloped infrastructure.
He asked the central highlands authorities to focus on some of the pressing tasks such as strengthening hunger elimination and poverty alleviation, improving living standards for ethnic minorities and improving the quality and effectiveness of training and human resources.
He also stressed that consolidating and enhancing political organizations in Tay Nguyen villages and hamlets was also crucial, and authorities of the Central Highlands provinces must be vigilant to deal with hostile forces’ sabotage plots and ensure political security and social stability.
The Party is pursuing a policy to turn the Central Highlands into a wealthy economy with stable administration and powerful national stronghold so that the region can emerge as a dynamic economic hub, said the State President.
On the sidelines of the Congress, a series of cultural activities were held until March 31 in the Central Highlands Gia Lai province, including an awarding ceremony of the UNESCO title recognizing the Central Highlands ethnic people's gong culture as a world heritage.
On the same day, the inauguration of a memorial stele carved with the letter sent by President Ho Chi Minh to the Congress of Southern Ethnic Groups in 1946 was held in Gia Lai Province.