Nekrolog:

Pham Van Dong er død  

Tidligere premierminister Pham Van Dong døde lørdag den 29. april 2000 på et hospital i Hanoi, dagen før 25. års jubilæet for afslutningen af Vietnam-krigen. Dong blev 94 år og har været alvorligt syg i over et år.
(Official english statement and biograhy below)

af Kirsten Vagn Jensen, fra Vietnam ajour 2/2000

En af Vietnams helt store veteraner er død. Pham Van Dong blev født i 1906 og var Vietnams statsminister i mere end tre årtier, helt frem til 1987. Han havde en status der var helt på højde med general Vo Nguyen Giap's, den store strateg fra Dien Bien Phu. Pham Van Dong var måske også den der i alle år stod Ho Chi Minh nærmest, lige fra han som 17-årig indmeldte sig i Vietnams Ungdomsforbund, der var stiftet af Ho, og som senere, i 1930, indgik i Indokinas Kommunistiske Parti.

Pham Van Dong tilhørte som flere af de andre revolutionære ledere i virkeligheden landets elite, idet han var søn af en mandarin fra hoffet i Hue. Det forhindrede ham ikke i at gøre fælles sag med den forarmede bondebefolkning, noget han også måtte betale en høj pris for. Efter at bønderne i Nge Tinh-provinsen i 1930 havde forsøgt at gøre opstand mod kolonimagten Frankrig og havde organiseret såkaldte Xo Viet'er, slog franskmændene frygtelig hårdt ned på oprørerne, og Pham Van Dong var en af de mange der endte på den berygtede fangeø Poulo Condore. Først i 1936 med Folkefrontens dannelse i Frankrig blev der givet amnesti til de politiske fanger, og da grebet atter strammedes i 1939, flygtede han i tide til Kina og undgik at blive sendt tilbage til Poulo Condore som så mange andre revolutionære.

Da Frankrig ikke havde i sinde at opgive sin koloni uden videre, selv om Vietnam den 2. sept. 1945 havde erklæret sin uafhængighed, blev det i 1946 Pham Van Dongs opgave at forhandle med franskmændene i Fontainbleu om en slags foreløbig løsning. Den Demokratiske Republik Vietnam blev anerkendt som en fri nation under Den franske Union. Men i december samme år var den 1.Indokinakrig i fuld gang og endte ikke før maj 1954 med den franske fæstning Dien Bien Phus fald.

Atter var det Pham Van Dong der ved fredsforhandlingerne i Geneve kæmpede som en løve for de resultater de tre indokinesiske befrielsesbevægelser havde opnået. Vi ved også at han måtte sluge den bitre pille at Vietnam foreløbig blev delt, dog med løftet om frie valg inden to år. At dette løfte blev brudt, dannede baggrund for den 2. Indokina-krig, hvor modstanderne var USA og det regime i syd som USA helhjertet støttede.

I mange år var Pham Van Dong både ministerpræsident og udenrigsminister. Han var anerkendt både af tilhængere og modstandere som en meget kløgtig og intelligent forhandler med en næsten flegmatisk ro.

Da jeg selv talte med Pham Van Dong under indspilningen af filmen "Vietnam Kampuchea November 1979", kunne jeg desuden konstatere at han havde nogle utrolig levende øjne, at han var personligt charmerende og havde humor. Dengang var han i halvfjerdserne og havde haft et enormt ansvar hvilende på sine skuldre i årtier. Det skulle også blive hans lod i de følgende mange år.

Så sent som i maj 1999 spillede han en yderst aktiv rolle, selv om han da var 93 år gammel og både blind og skrøbelig. Han skrev en artikel i partibladet Nhan Dan, hvor han rettede en skarp kritik mod sit partis højtplacerede folk. Disse magtfulde personer i parti, stat og masseorganisationer havde dårlig karakter og jagtede magt, penge og fordele, hævdede den tidligere ministerpræsident. Når partiet anslog at 70-80 procent af medlemmerne var "rene", var tallet overdrevet. Antallet af korrupte kadrer var ganske anderledes højt, ifølge Pham Van Dong. Og dette var en af grundene til at partiet manglede tilgang af de unge og af intellektuelle og arbejdere, hvad han beklagede dybt.

Sådan en forsideartikel i partibladet gik ikke upåagtet hen og opmuntrede til lokale optøjer i nogle landdistrikter og generel utilfredshed over hele landet.

Pham Van Dong holdt med andre ord fanen højt til det sidste. Ære være hans minde.



Meeting with people in Ho Chi Minh City in 1985.  

Former Prime Minister Pham Van Dong Passes Away

Vietnam News Agency May 2 and  VNS & Nhan Dan May 3

Pham Van Dong, former Politburo member of the Communist Party of Viet Nam Central Committee (CPVCC), former Prime Minister, former Advisor to the Party Central Committee, and National Assembly Deputy from the first to the seventh legislatures between 1946 to 1987, died in Ha Noi on April 29, 2000, of illness at the age of 94.
The news was announced today, May 2, in a special joint communique by the CPV CC, the National Assembly, the President, the Government, and the Viet Nam Fatherland Front (VNFF) Central Committee.
Dong's death is "a great loss to the Communist Party, State and people of Viet Nam," the communique said.

The CPV Central Committee, the National Assembly, the President, the Government and the VNFF Central Committee declared May 5 and 6 as State mourning days with national flags to be flown at half-mast. All entertainment, cultural and sports activities will be suspended throughout the country.

A 31-member funeral board has been appointed with CPV General Secretary Le Kha Phieu as the head.
Memorial and funeral services will be held in Ha Noi on May 6. Dong will be buried at Ha Noi's Mai Dich cemetery.  A memorial service will also be held in his native province of Quang Ngai on May 6.

Pham Van Dong was born into a civil servant family in Duc Tan village, Mo Duc district, in Quang Ngai province on the central coast on March 1, 1906.

His revolutionary awareness began in 1925 at the age of 18 when he joined patriotic students to stage a school sit-in to mourn the death of the famous patriotic scholar Phan Chu Trinh.

The next year he travelled to Guangzhou in southern China to attend a training course run by Nguyen Ai Quoc (later to be known as Ho Chi Minh) before being admitted as a member of the Vietnam Revolutionary Youth Association, the predecessor of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV).

Mr Dong took part in revolutionary activities in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) when returning from China at the end of 1927.

Early in 1929 he was assigned to work for the Youth Association's regional executive committee for Cochin China, one of Vietnam's three separate administrative regions of Northern Vietnam (Tonkin), Central Coast (Annam) and South Vietnam (Cochin China) set up by the French colonial system.

Mr Dong later was assigned to work for the head office of the Vietnam Revolutionary Youth Association.

In May 1929 he was dispatched to Hong Kong to attend a congress of the Vietnam Revolutionary Youth Association.

Jailed in Con Dao:Two months later after returning to Saigon he was arrested, tried by the French for his revolutionary activities, and sent to Con Dao (Poulo Condor) Prison Island to serve a ten-year term.However, the electoral success of the Popular Front in France in 1936 forced the French colonialists to release Pham Van Dong who travelled to Hanoi to engage publicly in revolutionary activities.

Four years later (in 1940) he went to Kunming in southern of China to meet up with Nguyen Ai Quoc again, who admitted him as member of the Communist Party of Indochina.

Mr Dong stayed in China's Liaozhou and Jingxi provinces and took part in revolutionary activities there until two years later, when, in early 1942, Mr Dong was sent back to Cao Bang in the hills of northern Vietnam with the task of building several revolutionary bases in Cao Bang, Bac Can and Lang Son northernmost provinces.

On the eve of the 1945 August Revolution he attended the National People's Congress in Tan Trao, Tuyen Quang province, and was elected member of the National Liberation Committee.

After the success of the August 1945 Revolution, Pham Van Dong was appointed minister of finance in the first government of independent Vietnam - the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) - headed by Nguyen Ai Quoc himself, who by then was called Ho Chi Minh.
He was elected deputy to the first National Assembly of the DRV in January 1946.
On April 16 1946 Mr Dong was appointed head of a National Assembly delegation to visit France.
At the end of May 1946 he was appointed head of the DRV's delegation to the Fontainebleau Conference in France for formal negotiations with the French government about peace for Vietnam.
He was dispatched as special envoy of both the Party Central Committee and the Vietnamese government to the front in the southern part of central Vietnam before war broke out throughout Vietnam on December 19, 1946.
In 1947 Mr Dong was an alternate member of the Party Central Committee and, two years later, a full member. He was appointed deputy prime minister of the DRV Government in August 1949.

Leads 1954 Geneva Delegation:In May 1945 Mr Dong led a delegation of the DRV government to the Geneva Conference on Indochina. Four months later he was appointed deputy prime minister, foreign minister and director of the Party Central Committee's International Relations Commission.

Mr Dong was appointed prime minister of the DRV government on October 20, 1955 at the fifth session of the National Assembly, First Legislature. He remained prime minister for 32 years, from 1955 until 1987, when he retired from active service. During that time he also worked as deputy chairman of the National Defence Council.

Mr Dong's political position as one of the first revolutionaries matched his executive posts.
When the second national Party congress was convened in 1951, he was elected full member to both the Central Committee and its Political Bureau. Both positions were secured in the next three consecutive national Party congresses in 1960, 1976 and 1982.
In the next three party congresses he worked as advisor to the Party Central Committee until December 1997.

Pham Van Dong's great contributions to the revolution, the Party and the nation have earned him the Gold Star Order, Vietnam's highest distinction, and many other orders and medals including a 60-Year Party Membership medal.

He was awarded the Lenin Order and the October Revolution Order by the State of the Soviet Union; the Gold Order by the Lao State; the Angkorvat Order by Cambodia; the Jose Marti Order by Cuba; the Dimitrov Order by Bulgaria; the Exploit Order by Poland; and the Sukhe Barto by Mongolia.


Our Opinion (Nhan Dan May 3):

Pham Van Dong: a Staunch Communist  and Prestigious Leader 

Amidst the nationwide celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the total liberation of south Vietnam and national reunification, the entire Party, people and army of Vietnam are grieved at the loss of comrade Pham Van Dong, known as Brother To.

Pham Van Dong spent over 70 years enthusiastically engaging in revolutionary activities from the birth to the growth of the Party, which were closely associated with the protracted and glorious struggles of the Vietnamese revolution. From an early age, Pham Van Dong nurtured a great dream and embarked upon patriotic students? movements. With the assistance of President Ho Chi Minh, Pham Van Dong became a key figure of the Vietnam Revolutionary Youth Association, the first revolutionary and patriotic organisation in Vietnam. He was one of the staunchest communists who helped turned imperialist prisons into communist training schools. Immediately after his release from the imperialist prison, he joined activities of the Democratic Movement in 1936-1939 and the Movement for National Salvation 1939-1945. At the Tan Trao National People?s Congress in August 1945, he was elected to the Committee for National Liberation, and became a member of the provisional government headed by President Ho Chi Minh, and the first government leader of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and later a key leader of Vietnam.

When the harsh and protracted war of resistance against the French broke out in 1946, he was assigned by the Party and Uncle Ho to be a special envoy of the Party Central Committee and the government in Nam Trung Bo (South Central Vietnam). Then he succeeded in several key positions accredited to him by the Party and State. He was active in leading the revolution in all the three regions of the country. Throughout the resistance against the French colonialists and then against the US imperialists, Pham Van Dong remained a close associate of President Ho Chi Minh and other members of the Politburo of the Party Central Committee.

When north Vietnam was rapidly developing a material infrastructure to support the struggle for the liberation of south Vietnam and later on, when the country was establishing a material and technical foundation for socialism, Pham Van Dong and the Politburo, tried by all creative means to find a way to renovate the country, break the enemy embargo and continue to lead the Vietnamese revolution through difficulties and challenges.

Pham Van Dong excelled himself in diplomatic activities from the Fontainebleau Conference in France in 1946. He adopted Ho Chi Minh?s ideology and diplomatic style in tirelessly realising the Party?s stance: Vietnam wants to befriend all nations worldwide, for peace, independence, co-operation and development. As a diplomat, Pham Van Dong won great respect and warm sentiments from international friends. Besides being a key Party and State leader, Pham Van Dong was also known as a great man of culture by Vietnamese artists and writers. He wrote many books, essays and speeches on the Vietnamese land, , culture, arts, literature and renovation work, blazing a trail for subsequent artistic and literary work.

In whatever position, either as a Party, State leader or advisor to the Party Central Committee, he tried his utmost to help turn Vietnam into a powerful, advanced and civilised nation. He was most keen on building up a contingent of cadres, regardless of generation or age, who are absolutely loyal to the Party and State, who are professionally and morally qualified and closely associated with the people. He was ardent to realise Ho Chi Minh?s Testament of nurturing a future revolutionary generation.

Over 70 years engaged in revolutionary activities, Pham Van Dong has set a bright example of an industriousness, honesty, public-spiritedness, selflessness and integrity. He has tirelessly fought against corruption, bureaucracy and other negative phenomena within the Party and the State mechanism and won love and respect from comrades and fellow countrymen.

Devoting his whole life to the revolutionary cause of the Party and nation, Pham Van Dong has passed away in peace of mind, and with the boundless grief and profound gratitude of every one of us.

The entire Party, people and army are determined to turn the grief into strength and solidarity for successful national industrialisation and modernisation and the safeguarding of the fatherland and socialism. We are determined to make the best out of the current campaign for party building and streamlining, primarily in criticism and self-criticism; combining Party building with solving critical issues in socio-economy, security, national defence and external relations.

Bidding farewell to a close and outstanding disciple of President Ho Chi Minh, we are resolved to follow the example of Pham Van Dong in life and work, striving to build Vietnam into a powerful nation with a wealthy people and a fair and civilised society, marching with confidence towards socialism. This is to realise the life-long earnest aspirations of our beloved Pham Van Dong.