At a meeting held yesterday afternoon (Feb. 10) in Hanoi to discuss the recent land acquisition case in Hai Phong City, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung confirmed that local authorities had indeed been wrong in attempting to forcefully regain possession of 40 hectares of land from a farmer.
After listening to all sides and looking at the evidence, Prime Minister Dung issued orders to officials in Vinh Quang Commune in Tien Lang District in the northern Hai Phong City to immediately resolve the controversial issue.
|Vu Duc Dam, head of government office, replying to press questions at a conference|
At a meeting with relevant individuals, agencies and organisations involved in the matter, the PM announced that Hai Phong must follow appropriate regulations and legal procedures to permit Doan Van Vuon to continue using the allocated land in conformity with established laws.
The meeting to announce the PM's point of view was chaired by Vu Duc Dam, head of the government office.
Local authorities had gone against the law in allocating 19.3 hectares of land to farmer Doan Van Vuon, added the PM, and two decisions to withdraw the 40 hectares, including another land plot of 21 hectares, by Tien Lang failed to comply with the current law.
The PM also demanded that police make a thorough investigation into the case that started in January this year in Vinh Quang Commune of Tien Lang District.
‘It is regretful to hear of wrongdoings which originate from poor management on the part of district and commune authorities,’ the PM said at the meeting.
On January 7, the Hai Phong City Party Committee suspended Le Van Hien, chairman of Tien Lang District People’s Committee and his deputy Nguyen Van Khanh, for their wrongdoings in withdrawing the land that was allocated legally to Vuon since 1993.
PM Dung tasked the Hai Phong authorities to properly perform the following tasks:
– To revoke the unlawful decisions issued by the Tien Lang District People's Committee for coercive land seizure, which means handing land use rights over to Vuon, and to deal with Vuon's inappropriate use of the land in line with regulations.
– The destruction of Vuon's house must be brought before the court and the officials responsible for the demolition must be suspended from their posts.
– The alleged ‘attempted murder and opposition of those on duty’ must be tried in a public court to ensure strict compliance with the law. The court must consider the defendants' circumstances which were the result of unlawful decisions issued by the Tien Lang District People's Committee.
– All those involved in the illegal violations in land allocation, seizing, coercive eviction and demolition of Vuon's house must offer self-criticism and accept appropriate punishments.
– Hai Phong leaders must clarify their level of responsibility in approving the proposal for an unlawful coercive eviction by Tien Lang District, and their slow response to the incident, including late revision and clarification of responsibility, insufficient reports and unclear information.
– They also have to adjust the State management of land and improve the capacity of those working in this sector to avoid similar cases in the future, stabilise the situation in Tien Lang, and properly implement the Party Central Committee's 4th Resolution.
|People following news of the land acquisition case via electronic media|
On this occasion, the PM asked all cities and provinces across the country to pro-actively review and adjust the State management of land, particularly to ensure that all land revocation and coercive eviction decisions were lawful, and properly resolve citizen complaints and denunciations about land matters.
He reminded the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to co-ordinate with relevant agencies to make recommendations for revisions and amendments to the land law with an aim to make it suitable with the new situation and development requirements.
The Ministry of Justice must establish appropriate institutions to control the issuance of administrative decisions by the authorities at various levels, he said.
The Chief Judge of the Supreme People's Court will examine the verdicts issued by the People's Courts of Hai Phong City and Tien Lang District.
The PM applauded the mass media for actively supplying information about the case, as well as concerned agencies and organisations for getting involved in clarifying the multitude of issues involved.
He also welcomed the heartfelt comments by veteran revolutionaries, experts, cadres and people who voiced their opinions directly to the PM or through mass media. He expressed his wish to receive more constructive comments about the performance of the central and local governments.
After conclusion of the case was announced, a high public opinion poll showed approval of PM’s decision.
Many readers of SGGP newspaper sent emails and telephoned SGGP saying that they fully agreed with the conclusions and hoped that when the case of Doan Van Vuon resisting authorities on duty would br brought to trial, the details that he and his family were victims of unlawful decisions by local authorities should be considered.