Thu, Aug 23, 2012 - Page 9 News List

Vietnamese bloggers use power of Web to challenge government

By Stuart Grudgings  /  Reuters, HANOI

Nguyen Duc Kien, the vice chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly’s economic committee, told reporters the country’s Land Law would be revised and that farmers would be allowed to remain on their land after next year. Interpreted literally, the current law allows the state to take back farms without any compensation at the end of the lease period.

“Land is an issue that is a potential cause of tension in society,” he said.

Nguyen’s and other comments from officials have convinced blogger activists that the leases will be extended, although that in itself will not resolve the problem of land grabs by private developers backed by the state.

“The bloggers were a big part of that,” blogger Le said. “We told a different side of the story. We showed that the ruling party’s words don’t match its actions.”

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