Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Letter Of Apology To Vietnam

Maire Leadbeater

On Saturday 28 July at 1-15 pm the attached letter was be presented to the activists gathered to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Springbok Tour at the Grey Lynn Community Centre, 510 Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn. All those present were invited to sign.

This gathering takes place at the same time as the veterans from the Vietnam War joined a military parade up Queen St.

"The New Zealand Government has never officially apologised to the people of Vietnam for the crimes committed against them thirty years ago. An apology should be the first priority."

" We hope that the Vietnamese Government and people will know that many New Zealanders share in their sorrow for the devastation and death caused by the war. "

"1981 The Tour "
Box 68519,
Auckland.


28 July, 2001.

President Tran Duc Long,
Republic of Vietnam
1 Hoang Hoa Tham St,
Hanoi,
Vietnam.


Dear President Tran Duc Long,

In New Zealand the two strongest and most significant international solidarity movements have been the anti-Vietnam war movement and the movement to oppose the 1981 Springbok tour of New Zealand.

This letter comes to you from a meeting held to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Springbok tour. We are gathering to reflect on that struggle and to consider its contribution to the liberation of the people of South Africa. At the same time, we reflect on the earlier campaign in support of the liberation of the people of Vietnam and against New Zealand's participation in Vietnam War. Between 1964 and 1972 3,890 troops served in Vietnam.

We grieve for the victims and the martyrs of this tragic war and we remember that the conflict claimed the lives of at least 3 million Vietnamese people during the years 1954 to 1975. We are thinking about the cities, towns, villages, hospitals and infrastructure destroyed by the war, and about the people who were herded into 'strategic hamlets' and imprisoned.

We grieve also for the victims of dioxin contamination from the 'agent orange' defoliant which was spayed by air over Vietnam from 1962 to 1971. Thirty years after the spraying ended, we learn that many Vietnamese continue to experience high levels of dioxin and that sufferers include people who were not born at the time of the war. There are many reports here about serious health problems afflicting former soldiers even those who spent only one year in Vietnam, so we fear that the problems must be far greater for people who had no choice but to continue living in a contaminated environment.

As citizens of one of the aggressor nations, a country which contributed combat troops and moral support to the United States led war, we feel not only sorrow but also deep regret and shame.

The New Zealand government has never officially apologised to the people of Vietnam for its responsibility in contributing to an unjust war and the deaths and suffering of innocent people.

We therefore tender to the Vietnamese people through you, a sincere apology from ordinary grassroots people. It is our hope that the New Zealand and Vietnamese people can continue to develop ties of friendship, peace and development co-operation.

Yours sincerely,


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news