VAVA vows to fight for AO victims

The Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin (VAVA) says that it will continue to struggle for Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims in various forms until justice is achieved.

In a statement issued on March 4, VAVA expressed great resentment regarding the US Supreme Court’s decision on March 2 to reject VAVA’s petition, saying that it completely denies the fact about the consequence of AO/dioxin in Vietnam that has been confirmed by many Vietnamese and international scientists.

VAVA also called on all Vietnamese and people with conscience in the world to stand by Vietnam in demanding the US side to take legal and moral responsibility for resolving the aftermath of AO/dioxin in Vietnam.

Tran Xuan Thu, VAVA Deputy President and General Secretary, said the US Supreme Court’s dismissal of the suit is only valid within the states under the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals No2. According to the US law, Vietnam can still file its suit at the remaining 11 courts of appeals in the US.

In addition to the legal battle, Mr Thu said that it would also continue to step up the struggle at public forums aimed at garnering support for the victims. He said that a number of individuals and foreign organisations had declared their support for Vietnamese AO victims, including the Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society, the France-Vietnam Friendship Association, and the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign of the US.

Len Aldis, Secretary of Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society, said that the US Supreme Court’s rejection of the appeal by both US and Vietnamese victims without giving any reasons clearly showed that their ruling was based on political reasons rather than legal ones. He affirmed that the struggle would continue until justice prevails for the victims.

The Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign said that it would be stepping up its corporate campaign with VAVA aimed at bringing public support for the victims. The France-Vietnam Friendship Association said it would hold a seminar on the effects of AO in Montreuil on March 9.

Also on March 4, the Vietnam Fatherland Front issued a statement calling on international organizations, governments, non-governmental organizations, scientists and people in the world to take practical action to support the Vietnamese AO victims and their lawsuit.

According to VAVA, between 1961 – 1971, the US army used about 80- million litres of toxic chemicals, mainly Agent Orange that contained nearly 336 kilograms of dioxin. Consequently, about 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to this deadly toxic chemicals and more than 3 million of them have suffered from the effects of Agent Orange.


05. März 2009