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Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Independence - Freedom - Happiness

Resolution of the People of D Hamlet

To: Central Committee on Nationalities of the National Assembly Of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

cc: Ministry of the Interior, Hanoi

Re: Loss of land needed to make a living

Peoples Committee of [name withheld] Commune, Buon Ma Thuot City, Dak Lak Province

Dear Committee:

We are the entire population of D Hamlet, [name withheld] Commune, Buon Ma Thuot City, Dak Lak Province.

We respectfully request the committee and the central government to resolve the problem we all have in making a living as a result of the following events:

The population of our hamlet is comprised of farmers of the Ede minority, totaling 113 households with 615 people. We obeyed the decisions of the local government in 1985 to move our village and established a new village on both sides of the road leading to the [name withheld] reservoir. At that time we had sufficient land on which to make a living since the illegal occupation of land had not yet begun.

However beginning in 1985 the land belonging to our village was divided. Villages 2 and 3 and the [name withheld] reservoir were distributed to ethnic Vietnamese. In addition, a [nursery], currently called the Science Committee, was established.

In 1990 this area was divided in two, with the western part going to the nursery and the eastern part to the Science Committee. Since then, the amount of land left to the village, after these land seizures, only amounts to ten hectares, which is not enough for 113 households, not to mention future generations.

In the process of taking the land of our village, in the month of April 1995 the forestry service even used armed units.

As far as the [nursery] goes, we agree with the economic plan of the state as it was set out in the beginning. But at present, the [nursery] is not operating according to plan; to the contrary, the trees are being cut down and the land has been leased out and rent collected on it. In the meantime we villagers are not allowed to work the land. We resolved to collectively plant trees on the land but the forestry service would not allow us to. Therefore we are sending this petition to you and ask you to investigate the situation and find a resolution that satisfies the hopes of our people.

At present, the forestry service isn't using the land for its intended purpose but rather has sold the land taken from the local people to people from other regions to plant coffee and sugar cane.

As for us, the local population, we lack land because the land was taken away from us by the forestry service. The service won't allow us to work the land, and instead will only pay for our labor in plowing the land at the rate of 100,000 dong for one tenth of a hectare.

As a result of this situation the people of the hamlet of D are in desperate straits, and before long deaths are going to result either as a result of starvation or struggles to make a living.

We plead with the committee and the central government to review this matter urgently so that we can make a normal living.

Thank you.

Cc: Peoples Committee of Dak Lak Province

Peoples Committee of Buon Ma Thuot City

Peoples Committee of [name withheld] Commune

Dated: April 27, 1995

Representing the entire people of D Hamlet


[name withheld]

503 Original Vietnamese language document, obtained by Human Rights Watch in September 2001, is on file at Human Rights Watch.

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