Manifesto on Freedom and Democracy for Vietnam in 2006
(Manifesto 8406)
by Group 118 in Viet Nam on 8 April 2006

Vietnam, April 8th, 2006

Dear respected fellow-countrymen inside and outside Viet Nam,

We, the undersigned, representatives of Peaceful Democratic Fighters for democracy in Viet Nam, and all People who are craving for an authentic Democracy for our beloved Fatherland, Viet Nam, unanimously declare:

Chapter I – The real situation in Viet Nam

1- In the Revolution of August 1945, the choice of all Vietnamese was National Independence, not Socialism. The Declaration of Independence, dated September 2nd, 1945, by Ho Chi Minh, did not mention a single word about Socialism or Communism. Two main causes that made that August Revolution successful were the People’s Aspiration for National Independence and The gap of power in Viet Nam during that time (The French colonists were unseated from power by the Japanese on March 9th, 1945, and the Japanese surrendered to the Allied Forces on August 15th, 1945).

Obviously, the objective of that August Revolution has been deviously redefined by the Communist Party. And, naturally, the Right of Self-Determination for the Vietnamese People has been totally abolished. There were at least two historical opportunities, one in North Viet Nam in 1954, and the other for the whole of Viet Nam in 1975, for all Vietnamese People to realise their Right of Self-Determination. But that has never been implemented by the malicious Communist Party of Viet Nam (CPV), because according to Lenin, when the dictatorship of the proletariat is established, its very first function is Violence, Terrorism, and Suppression.

2- On September 2nd, 1945, in Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh, President of the Provisional Government of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam, solemnly declared to the Vietnamese People and to the whole world: “All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. Among these are the rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That immortal statement is from the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, written in 1776. Generalized, it means that all People in the world are born equal, have the right to live, the right to seek happiness and the right to be free. The Declaration of Human and Civil Rights of the French Revolution in 1791 also says : “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights and must always remain free and equal in rights.” This is the Righteousness which no one can deny.” (Excerpts of Viet Nam Declaration of Independence dated September 2nd, 1945).

However, all of these sacred Rights of the Vietnamese People have been brazenly trampled immediately after the Communist government had been formed.

3- In February 1951, the Declaration of the Labor Party of Viet Nam (now the CPV) in the Second General Assembly stated: “The Party’s Ideology is Marxism-Leninism”. And in the party’s Regulations, the Objectives and Guiding Principles section clearly stated: “The Labor Party of Viet Nam utilizes Marxism, Engelism, Leninism, Stalinism and the thoughts of Mao Tse Tung, combined with the realities of the Vietnamese Revolution, as the foundation of its thoughts, and the lodestar for all of the Party’s actions…”

Since then, especially in North Viet Nam after 1954, and in the whole nation after April 30, 1975, the phantom of communism always has oppressed and haunted the minds of the Vietnamese People. It is that phantom, and nothing else, which has destroyed every one of the Vietnamese People’s Rights. Even today, that phantom still claims both the spirit and the body of the Vietnamese People throughout the whole country.

Chapter II - Universal Rule

1- History has proved that under any totalitarian government, communist or otherwise, rights of freedom and democracy have always been mercilessly trampled, differing only in degree. Unfortunately, Viet Nam is one of the few nations in the world which is still governed by a totalitarian Communist regime. This is, in fact, reflected in the fourth article of the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam of 1992: “The CPV…following Marxism-Leninism and the thoughts of Ho Chi Minh, is the force leading the government and the society”. As a result, the rights of freedom and democracy of the Vietnamese People have been completely abolished. At most, only a few tiny broken pieces of these rights still exist.

2- It is this monopolization of power, which by nature never accepts competition or replacement, that has strongly driven the system toward backwardness and degeneration. Because there are no regulations or principles for fair competition in the political arena, the People cannot select the most suitable officials or political groups, since elections are completely orchestrated by the government. Hence, the leadership and management of the country have become more and more corrupt and dismantled from the central government to the local authorities. Consequently, Viet Nam has become a nation lagging far behind other nations in the region and around the world. The resulting national shame and the nationwide catastrophes caused by government mismanagement are extremely difficult to eradicate. The issue of all issues and the cause of all causes is that: the CPV is the sole political force which assumes leadership in our country! Reality has shown that every country which has fallen into the orbit of Communism has been tragically devastated. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the cradle of Communism, and other socialist nations in Eastern Europe, have bravely overcome their past and turned themselves around to find the right path for their People.

3- We all understand: no one can correct history, but history can be redirected. From history, we learn that the most important thing we can do is to set the right direction for the future. In the past, the direction of our country was hastily and immaturely chosen by the CPV and imposed by force on our People. Reality has proved that direction to be completely wrong. Therefore, today, we, the Vietnamese People, must again choose our way. And surely, the choice of the whole People will be far superior to that of one single person or any small group. The CPV is only a small subset of the Vietnamese People. Therefore it cannot in the name of the People impose its own choice of direction. Before the People and History throughout more than half of the past century (1954-2006), the CPV has usurped the name but had never the righteousness. The simple reason is that there has never been a truly free election in Viet Nam under the Communist regime.

From the above-mentioned situation and universal laws, with the consciousness of responsible citizens toward the destiny of our beloved country, we beg to make known our thoughts to our fellow-countrymen inside and outside Viet Nam, as follows:

Chapter III - Goals, methods and meanings of the fight

The paramount goal in the fight for Freedom and Democracy for our People today is to replace completely the current political regime, not to renovate it partially or to only “adjust” it minutely. Specifically, the current oligarchic, one-party political regime, without competition in the political arena, must be converted to a pluralist, multi-party political system, incorporating wholesome competition, to meet our Country’s legitimate needs. In this regime the three branches, the Legislative, the Executive and the Judiciary, must be clearly separated, in accordance with international standards and with the wisdom that humanity has gained at a very high cost in the building of successful democracies.

Our concrete goals are to re-establish fundamental rights for the Vietnamese People as follows:

- Freedom of Speech in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by the United Nations on December 16, 1966 and by the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam on September 24, 1982, article 19.2: “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.” This means that political parties, organizations and individuals have the right to freedom of speech via newspapers, radio, television, or any other form of mass media, without requiring the permission of the government.

- Freedom of meeting, of creating associations and political parties, and of voting in and running for elections in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, article 25: “Every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity... (a) to take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives ; (b) to vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors.” This means that political parties of all ideologies may compete fairly in an authentic pluralist, multi-party democracy.

- Freedom to organize trade unions and legitimate strikes in accordance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, ratified by the United Nations on December 16, 1966 and by the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam on September 24, 1982, articles 7 and 8: “The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work... The right of everyone to form trade unions and join the trade union of his choice, subject only to the rules of the organization concerned, for the promotion and protection of his economic and social interests....(with) the right to strike.” These trade unions must be organizations free to act independently; there must never be any kind of trade union that benefits solely the government at the expense of the workers.

- Freedom of religion according to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, article 18: “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.” These religions must be independent in their activities and cannot be transformed into instruments of the government.

2- The Method of this fight is peace and non-violence. It is the Vietnamese People who must take the initiative in carrying out this fight. However, we profoundly appreciate the passionate and increasingly effective support of our friends in other nations around the world. Through modern means of communication and increasingly open international relations, we will use these means to find ways to help our fellow-countrymen to complete their knowledge. Once having a clear and correct realization, the Vietnamese People will act appropriately and effectively.

3- The meaning of this fight is to make “the Right subdue the Wrong”, to make progress subdue backwardness, to allow the People’s forces which are correctly applying the principles of life and the trends of our times, to subdue the evil forces which are trying to counteract these trends and principles. The CPV, whether going along with the Vietnamese People or not, depends on the degree to which the CPV is objective, fair, lucid and humble enough to accept the principles of fair competition. Only the one-party political regime must be permanently and definitely buried in the grave of the past. Only then, will the People find only the best persons and parties after each election to lead our nation. The principle “The Righteousness triumphs !” will be established and individual life will become much better, society will become more human and our fellow-countrymen will live together much more amicably.

We sincerely hope that this Manifesto will encourage enthusiastic cooperative action from our fellow-countrymen inside and outside Viet Nam, and the support of our friends around the world. We profoundly thank and call on the United Nations, the Congresses and Parliaments, the Governments, the International Organizations and our friends worldwide to continue their passionate and effective support of this just fight, contributing to help us lead our Vietnamese Fatherland to join soon with other civilized, ethical, prosperous and free nations in the international community.

Unanimously declared in Viet Nam April 8, 2006

Interim Representatives
of the 118 Peaceful Democratic Fighters on 15 April 2006

Đỗ Nam Hải, Engineer, Sài Gòn.
Trần Anh Kim, Former Military Officer, Thái Bình.
Nguyễn Văn Lý, Catholic Priest, Huế.

The First 118 Peaceful Democratic Fighters 
(who have been the first members of Bloc 8406
since the beginning on April 8, 2006)

1.   Bs Nguyễn Xuân An, Huế
3.   Gv Đặng Văn Anh, Huế
5.   Gs Nguyễn Kim Anh, Huế
7.   Nv Trịnh Cảnh, Vũng Tàu
9.   Gv Lê Cẩn, Huế
11. Gv Trần Thị Minh Cầm, Huế
13. Gv Nguyễn Thị Linh Chi, Cần Thơ

15. Gv Nguyễn Viết Cử, Quảng Ngãi
17. Nv Nguyễn Đắc Cường, Phan Thiết
19. Gv Trần Doãn, Quảng Ngãi
21. Gv Hồ Anh Dũng, Huế
23. Bs Hà Xuân Dương, Huế
25. Ls Nguyễn Văn Đài, Hà Nội
27. Bs Hồ Đông, Vĩnh Long
29. Dn Trần Văn Ha, Đà Nẵng
31. Bs Lê Thị Ngân Hà, Huế
33. Vũ Thuý Hà, Hà Nội
35. Gv Trần Thạch Hải, Hải Phòng
37. Ks Đoàn Thị Diệu Hạnh, Vũng Tàu
39. Gv Phan Thị Minh Hạnh, Huế
41. Nv Trần Hảo, Vũng Tàu
43. Giáo viên Lê Lệ Hằng, Thừa Thiên-Huế
45. Yt Chế Minh Hoàng, Nha Trang
47. Gv Lê Thu Minh Hùng, Sài Gòn
49. Lm Gk Nguyễn Văn Hùng, Huế
51. Gv Lê Thị Thanh Huyền, Huế
53. Ths Mai Thu Hương, Hải Phòng
55. PTs Nguyễn Ngọc Kế, Huế
57. Ths Nguyễn Quốc Khánh, Huế
59. Cựu Thiếu tá Vũ Kính, Hà Nội
61. Gv Tôn Thất Hoàng Lân, Sài Gòn
63. Bs Vũ Thị Hoa Linh, Sài Gòn
65. Lm Phêrô Phan Văn Lợi, Huế
67. Gv Nguyễn Văn Lý, Hải Phòng
69. Gv Cái Thị Mai, Hải Phòng
71. Gv Nguyễn Văn Mai, Sài Gòn
73. Gv Phan Văn Mậu, Huế
75. Gv Ma Văn Minh, Huế
77. Bs Huyền Tôn Nữ Phương Nhiên, Đà Nẵng
79. Ths Đặng Hoài Ngân, Huế
81. Ms Ngô Hoài Nở, Sài Gòn
83. Lm Đa Minh Phan Phước, Huế
85. Lm Giuse Cái Hồng Phượng, Huế
87. Ks Tạ Minh Quân, Cần Thơ
89. Lm Giuse Trần Văn Quý, Huế
91. Bs. Trần Thị Sen, Nha Trang
93. Ks Hoàng Sơn, Hải Phòng
95. Gs Nguyễn Anh Tài, Đà Nẵng
97. Bs. Tạ Minh Tâm, Cần Thơ
99. Ms Phạm Ngọc Thạch, Sài Gòn
101. Gv Văn Bá Thành, Huế
103. Ths Trần Mạnh Thu, Hải Phòng
105. Nhà văn Hoàng Tiến, Hà Nội
107. Lm Têphanô Chân Tín, Sài Gòn
109. Nv Tôn Nữ Minh Trang, Phan Thiết
111. Bs Nguyễn Anh Tú, Đà Nẵng
113. Gv Lê Trí Tuệ, Hải Phòng
115. Gv Ngô Thị Tường Vi, Quảng Ngãi
117. Ths Hồ Ngọc Vĩnh, Đà Nẵng

2.   Gv Đặng Hoài Anh, Huế
4.   Bs. Lê Hoài Anh, Nha Trang
6.   Gs Nguyễn Ngọc Anh, Đà Nẵng
8.   Lm F.X. Lê Văn Cao, Huế
10. Lm Giuse Hoàng Cẩn, Huế
12. Lm Giuse Nguyễn Văn Chánh, Huế
14. Gs Hoàng Minh Chính, Hà Nội
16. Ths Đặng Quốc Cường, Huế
18. Dn Hồ Ngọc Diệp, Đà Nẵng
20. Lê Thị Phú Dung, Sài Gòn
22. Gs Trương Quang Dũng, Huế
24. Cựu Đại tá Phạm Quế Dương, Hà Nội
26. Kt Trần Văn Đón, Phan Thiết
28. Lm Phêrô Nguyễn Hữu Giải, Huế
30. Gv Lê Thị Bích Hà, Cần Thơ
32. Gv Lê Nguyễn Xuân Hà, Huế
34. Ks Đỗ Nam Hải, Sài Gòn
36. Kt Trần Việt Hải, Vũng Tàu
38. Dn Nguyễn Thị Hạnh, Đà Nẵng
40. Gs Đặng Minh Hảo, Huế
42. Nv Trần Mạnh Hảo, Sài Gòn
44. Lm Giuse Nguyễn Đức Hiểu, Bắc Ninh
46. Gv Văn Đình Hoàng, Huế
48. Gs Nguyễn Minh Hùng, Huế
50. Gv Phan Ngọc Huy, Huế
52. Gv Đỗ Thị Minh Hương, Huế
54. Yt Trần Thu Hương, Đà Nẵng
56. Gs Nguyễn Chính Kết, Sài Gòn
58. Gv Nguyễn Đăng Khoa, Huế
60. Nv Bùi Lăng, Phan Thiết
62. Hội trưởng PGHHTT Lê Quang Liêm, SGN
64. Lm G.B. Nguyễn Cao Lộc, Huế
66. Gv Ma Văn Lựu, Hải Phòng
68. Lm Tađêô Nguyễn Văn Lý, Huế
70. Gv Cao Thị Xuân Mai, Huế
72. Nv Hà Văn Mầu, Cần Thơ
74. Nv Lê Thị Thu Minh, Cần Thơ
76. Gv Nguyễn Anh Minh, Sài Gòn
78. Bùi Kim Ngân, Hà Nội
80. Lm G.B. Lê Văn Nghiêm, Huế
82. Gv Lê Hồng Phúc, Hải Phòng
84. Ks Võ Lâm Phước, Sài Gòn
86. Ms Nguyễn Hồng Quang, Sài Gòn
88. Lm Augustinô Hồ Văn Quý, Huế
90. Bs Võ Văn Quyền, Vĩnh Long
92. Cư sĩ PGHHTT Lê Văn Sóc, Vĩnh Long
94. Lm Phaolô Ngô Thanh Sơn, Huế
96. Ks Đỗ Hồng Tâm, Hải Phòng
98. Gs Nguyễn Thành Tâm, Huế
100. Gv Nguyễn Bình Thành, Huế
102. Cư sĩ PGHHTT Ng Văn Thơ, Đồng Tháp
104. Gs Ts Trần Hồng Thư, Sài Gòn
106. Cựu Sĩ quan Trần Dũng Tiến, Hà Nội
108. Gv Nguyễn Khắc Toàn, Hà Nội
110. Gv Chế Thị Hồng Trinh, Huế
112. Bs Đoàn Minh Tuấn, Sài Gòn
114. Yt Trần Thị Hoài Vân, Nha Trang
116. Gv Nguyễn Lê Xuân Vinh, Cần Thơ
118. Ks Lâm Đình Vĩnh, Sài Gòn

After April 8, 2006, thousands of people inside and outside Vietnam have signed up to participate and become Democratic Fighters of Bloc 8406.