Former residents of HCMC settlement petition city government demanding justice

Evicted residents say the district government only held a public meeting to 'cheat and confuse' them.
By RFA Vietnamese
Former residents of HCMC settlement petition city government demanding justice Lawyers at the meeting between Loc Hung Vegetable Garden evicted residents and Tan Binh district officials on August 18.
Facebook: Trinh Vinh Phuc

Former residents of a settlement that has been the center of a long running land dispute have sent a petition to the Ho Chi Minh City government and government agencies in the Vietnamese capital  Hanoi after a meeting with local authorities failed to rule they had been unfairly evicted.

The results of the Aug. 18 meeting with Tan Binh district officials were released five days later and reaffirmed the view that the Loc Hung Vegetable Garden settlement was built on land administered by the State.

A group of 72 households, who said they have been ‘cheated' are calling on Ho Chi Minh City government officials to resolve the land rights issue and compensate them for damage caused by their eviction by the district government in early 2019.

Cao Ha Truc heads the group of households who signed the petition, which accuses the Tan Binh district government of causing damage and loss.

“We as victims stand up to denounce the district government. Therefore the city government, or another central agency at least, must solve this problem,” he told RFA

“The district government can't beat the drum and blow the whistle at the same time, smashing people's houses,” he said, claiming that lawyers consulted by former residents said Tan Binh authorities were not objective in their views at August’s meeting.

“They issued a notice that Loc Hung Vegetable Garden is land managed by the state, so the group of lawyers said this was a fraudulent meeting, causing confusion for [evicted residents].”

The petition asserts that Loc Hung Vegetable Garden is "land that people have used legally, long-term and without dispute, based on the Law on Land.” 

“People using this land are eligible to be granted land use rights but, for more than 20 years, people in Loc Hung Vegetable Garden have been harassed by the [district] government and unable to resolve their legitimate claims."

The petition also reiterates that the eviction on Jan. 4 and Jan. 8, 2019 by the Tan Binh district government was cruel, and used illegal coercion and huge problems for the 124 households living on the land. 

The former residents accused the district government of using propaganda to make their actions appear legal, providing information and images to newspapers and radio stations in order to sway public opinion.

The petition called for the Government Inspectorate to look into the Loc Hung Vegetable Garden Project as soon as possible to uphold householders’ legal rights. It demanded that Tan Binh District authorities and the Ho Chi Minh City government release legal documents and papers on the ongoing redevelopment project, and detailing land allocation and the amount of compensation to be offered.

The former residents also asked the Chairman of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City to meet them to hear their complaints and demands.


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