May 5, 2006
VNA acting general director Nguyen Quoc Uy (left) presents a copy of “For the Victims of Agent Orange,” published by the VNA Publishing House and the Viet Nam Association for Victims of AO/dioxin. — VNS Photo Truong Vi
HA NOI — The Vietnam News Agency (VNA) yesterday presented an illustrated book titled “For the Victims of Agent Orange,” depicting the effects of Agent Orange/dioxin on generations of Vietnamese, to the Viet Nam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin (VAVA).
The 144-page photo album, containing 100 pictures and selected articles in Vietnamese and English, has been published by the VNA Publishing House.
The book was handed over by VNA’s Acting General Director Nguyen Quoc Uy to Dang Vu Hiep, Chairman of VAVA, at a ceremony in Ha Noi.
“Though there have been several illustrated books on AO/dioxin and the victims in recent years, the book “For the Victims of Agent Orange” is a comprehensive document compiled painstakingly,” Hiep said in his speech. The book identifies AO, which was supplied by the US chemical firms and sprayed by the US army from 1961 to 1971 in the American War, as the source of creating the “cross generational pain.”
Around 4.8 million Vietnamese people are affected by the toxic chemical, the book stated, and many victims struggle daily with the aftereffects of the deadly chemical.
VNA’s Deputy General Director Tran Mai Huong called the AO/dioxin victims as the most wretched and unfortunate ones. “Their lives are more fearful than death,” he said, pointing to the physical pain and poverty suffered by the victims.
The book provides a more systematic study and the current status of Vietnamese victims of AO/dioxin to the community at large and international social organisations, Huong said.
The publication is also expected to bolster the upcoming appeal on the lawsuit of Vietnamese AO victims lodged against the US chemical manufacturers.
The book consists of five parts: The Destruction of Agent Orange, Cross Generational Pain, Conscience and Action, Overcoming Their Plight, and Conscience Awakened. The book ends with aspirations and desires of victims, who mostly share the simple dreams of having a proper home, medical treatment or jobs for their children and assistance for farming.
On the occasion, VNA also set up a fund “For the Pain of Agent Orange” for domestic and international donors to help the victims. Seventeen donors, including some VNA members, yesterday received certificates for funding the publication of the book. — VNS