Skip to main content

Annex I and II

Vietnam: Sharp Backsliding on Religious Freedom

 

Annex I: VBC Report on the Crackdown on Bat Nha Monastery

Doc. No.418/VT/BTS, Buddhist Church of Vietnam, Lam Dong - 6 Oct 2009

BUDDHIST CHURCH VIET NAM (BCVN)
SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
DISTRICT BUDDHIST CHURCH OF LAM DONG
INDEPENDENCE - FREEDOM - HAPPINESS
LINH SON TEMPLE
---- 0 ) 0 -----
Da Lat, 6th October, 2009
No.: 418/VT/BTS
Attention: THE PERMANENT COUNCIL OF MANAGEMENT OF THE BCVN
Re.: Report on the incidents of 27/09/09 at Bat Nha Monastery and Phuoc Hue Temple, Bao Loc District, Lam Dong Province
•·         Based on document 245/CV-HDTS, dated 02/10/09 of the Council of Management of the Central Government (CMCG) regarding the suggested reporting of the issues above
•·         Based on the content of the extra-ordinary meeting of the District Board of Management of the Buddhist Church of Viet Nam, Lam Dong (DBMBCVNLD) on 06/10/09
•·         Now the DBMBCVNLD report on the events of 27/09/09 at Bat Nha Monastery (BNM) as follows:
The DBMBCVNLD have gained an understanding of the events on 27/09/09 through the local media, and a report from Venerable Thich Thai Thuan, who is a main representative of the Buddhists of Bao Loc District. A mob broke down the doors to the monastic residence, aggressively assaulted, insulted, cursed and dragged out 380 monks and nuns of Plum Village in an attempt to evict them from BNM. A number of the monks and nuns they abandoned by the roadside, a number were taken to their home against their will, these included Br Phap Hoi, Br Phap Sy, and the whereabouts of Br Phap Tu is unclear. A number of monks and nuns wandering the streets under torrential rain were taken in by the Venerable Thich Thai Thuan as temporary refugees at Phuoc Hue Temple, Bao Loc District. This has affected public opinion, caused unrest among the public community, monks and nuns and lay practitioners, both inside and outside of the country. It has seriously injured the reputation of the DBMBCVNLD, and more broadly the reputation of BCVN.
Since 27/09/09 until now, the situation of monks and nuns temporarily residing at Phuoc Hue Temple is extremely complex. Accommodation facilities there are severely lacking, the monks and nuns are day and night being harassed by police, National Frontier officers, and all levels of religious officers. These people have been continually impelling the monks and nuns to return to their native village or town. The Abbot of Phuoc Hue temple, Venerable Thich Thai Thuan, and other groups who have come to visit are being given a hard time by the local government police.
According to point four of document 037/CV-HDTS of the Council of Management of the BCVN: "If any Abbot has the goodwill to sponsor the monks and nuns practicing according to Plum Village teachings at BNM to stay at another temple then they would have to begin registration procedures with the Board of Management of that local area".
According to document 425 of the Council of Management dated 02/10/09 it is confirmed that: "All issues regarding the monks and nuns practicing Plum Village teachings are of concern to the Central Dept. of the BCVN, and we are currently coordinating with the Board of Management, Local Government of Lam Dong Province, Bao Loc District to find the best resolution with the aim of settling the Buddhist situation in the local area.
However, on 27/09/09 there was an incident at BNM and Phuoc Hue Temple, Bao Loc district that affected public opinion and caused unrest among the monks and nuns."
Examining the two documents by the Council of Management of the BCVN mentioned above, it is clear that the highest level of the law of the BCVN has affirmed that the monks and nuns practicing according to the teachings of Plum Village at BNM belong directly under the BCVN.
Now the DBMBCVNLD presents to the Council of Management of the BCVN a number of recommendations as follows:
•1.      The Sangha of Plum Village at BNM has been ratified by document 212/CV/HDTS, dated 25/05/06 by the Council of Management. Is this document still effective? If not, we recommend that the Central Department of Religious Affairs provide the motion to annul the above document so that the DBMBCVNLD has the legal foundation on which to act further.
•2.      We recommend that the Council of Management intervene, at all government levels of Lam Dong Province, Bao Loc District, to allow that Plum Village monks and nuns can temporarily reside at Phuoc Hue Temple, Bao Loc District until another location is organized; to not cause difficulties for Venerable Thich Thai Thuan; to not impel the monks and nuns temporarily residing at Phuoc Hue Temple to return to their native town, because they have the right to ordain, learn and practice according to their faith in our country.
•3.      We recommend that the Central Department of the BCVN timely appoints a delegation to work with the Board of Management and the local government of Lam Dong Province and Bao Loc District to find the best solution, with the aim to settle the Buddhist situation in the local area.
•4.      We recommend that the Council of Management looks into finding an appropriate place where the monks and nuns of Plum Village can practice with peace of mind in accord with the charter of the BCVN and the laws and regulations of the government.
We wish you well-rounded success.
ON BEHALF OF THE DISTRICT BOARD OF MANAGEMENT
OF THE BUDDHIST CHURCH OF VIET NAM, LAM DONG
VICE CHAIRMAN
VENERABLE THICH TOAN DUC


Annex II: Bao Loc District People's Committee directive regarding Bat Nha monastery, dated September 17, 2009

The Office of the People's Committee (UBND)

Bao Loc District

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam
 Independence-Freedom-Happiness

No 789 Bao Loc People's Committee

September 17, 2009

Regarding the resolution of the situation in Bat Nha temple, Dambri village

Attention:  The heads of all departments

Chairmen of the People's Committees of towns (communes) and villages
The committee of national frontier of towns

The legal status of the organization of Plum Village at Bat Nha has not been approved by the Vietnamese Buddhist Church. Since July 2008 the abbot of Bat Nha monastery has declined the sponsorship of temporary residency, [but] until now the organization of Plum Village [Thich Nhat Hanh's followers] has intentionally refused to leave Bat Nha. On a different matter, while they were present at Bat Nha there were a number of illegal activities (government residency decree 22/CI), violation of the charter of the Vietnamese Buddhist Church ... causing unrest among the majority of monastics and lay practitioners living in the local area.

According to the guidance of the provincial committee, the People's Committee of Lam Dong province has the aim of resolving this issue of Plum Village organization after the three months retreat (July 15, [Buddhist Lent]) the People's Committee further recommends as follows:

1. We request the head of departments, chairmen of the People's Committees of the towns, to directly organize propaganda to explain to groups of personnel and citizens all the illegal activities committed by Plum Village and their abuse of the religious regulations of the communist party and  government, in order to sabotage the government, and oppose the Vietnamese Buddhist Church. This issue of Bat Nha  should be understood and resolved in the spirit of article 1329 of the Committee of Religious Affairs. The notification 037 of central management board of the Vietnamese Buddhist Church should be made known to personnel, citizens (attached two copies).

2. We request the national committee of national frontier, women's  association in conjunction with cooperatives of Dambri village continue to meet, campaign the monks and nuns of Plum Village to voluntarily return to their homes or register to practice at other organizations
(aside from Bat Nha temple) under the management of the Vietnamese Buddhist Church.

3. We assign our comrades the chairmen of People's Committees of the towns Blao, Loc Som, town II and the village of Dambri to directly order every organization that they must move on all local citizens who have ordained within the Plum Village tradition to return to a local temple that is under the management of the Vietnamese Buddhist Church or return to their family (the list is attached) and report all results to the town's People's Committees .

4. The police of Bao Loc town have plans to monitor, control all developments of the situation regarding Bat Nha, we order the police of Dambri town to continue to inspect and settle every violation of residency law, we have projects to readily resolve any bad or complicated situations that might occur.

Chairman

Pham Quang Tuong

CC:
- People's Committee of province
- Bao Loc Party Committee
- Office of Internal Affairs
- Any associations related

Your tax deductible gift can help stop human rights violations and save lives around the world.

Region / Country