Vietnam’s prime minister is expected to meet this week with other government officials to resolve a land dispute between a Catholic family and authorities in Hai Phong which turned violent last month.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung is to preside over a special meeting on February 10 with high ranking officials from the government inspectorate, four ministries, and Hai Phong city representatives, according to an announcement issued today by the government office.
On Jan 5, Peter Doan Van Vuon and his relatives used homemade guns and bombs to try and prevent around 100 policemen and soldiers evicting them from land which had been allocated to them several years before.
The confrontation injured six policemen and soldiers and saw the arrest of Vuon and several of his relatives. Their two-storey home was demolished by the authorities.
“This case can be seen as a warning that people’s anger could boil over if it is not solved reasonably,” said Le Duc Tiet, a lawyer and vice chair of the Advisory Council on Democracy and Law of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee.
Tiet and several committee members recently made a fact-finding trip to the scene of the violence and will report their findings to the prime minister.
He said local government officials went too far and made administrative decisions not based on the law.
“It was a mistake when they mobilized troops to take back land, as it forced people into a corner, prompting them to retaliate with violence. They cannot blame the people and cannot vindicate their own actions,” he said.
Nguyen Duy Luong, the deputy chief of the farmers union said his organization will be supporting the legal rights and interests of Vuon at the meeting.