Thursday, September 22, 2005

"Because helping the victims of past wars is an action towards lasting peace in the future"

Do you know what the Vietnam-Dioxine Collective is?

I didn't, until I chanced upon it in this blog.

Whats the collective about? Created at the initiative of the young Vietnamese of France and of Vietnam, the Vietnam-Dioxin Collective is a gathering of people and organizations whose goal is to participate in an international campaign of inform public opinion and raise awareness on the continuing effects of the massive use of herbicides and pesticides (of which the infamous "Agent Orange") in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos between 1961 and 1971.

Today still, hundreds of thousands of children and adults suffer from diseases and handicaps linked to their exposure to these chemical products containing high levels of dioxin. Highly contaminated zones subsist as well.

The Vietnam-Dioxin Collective aims at drawing the attention of citizens and institutions to the problem so that economic, sanitary and environmental aid can be brought to the populations and regions, which need it the most.

And what is Agent Orange? It was the herbicide most heavily used by the American army during the Vietnam war. Herbicides were used to defoliate forests (to prevent the Viet Cong from hiding), to clear military areas and to destroy enemy crops. Agent Orange is actually pink-brownish. Its name comes from the orange-coloured bands that appeared on the drums in which Agent Orange was stored. Other herbicides used by the US army include Agents White, Blue, Pink, Green and Purple.

What are the effects of dioxin? Dioxin provokes cancers, foetal malformations, skin diseases... It also affects the immune system, the reproductive system and the nervous system.

Find out more:


Anonymous said...

Dear Guirish,

My blog is just an other bottle in a deep ocean of trouble... and the message was in french, so I am sorry. If one day i have the time, i will translate it in english.

With regards to the "Agent Orange", the developpement of Vietnam, (even with BMW and Porsche cars in the street) and the new relationship with the USA (the governement seems to be anesic) nobody can hide the true: we still have children suffering from this disease. Hidden in some hospital in the countryside, even the vietnamese people seems to not realize the facts, and some of them discover it trough the medias.
Living in Vietnam, i bitterly notice that the money is more wasted than used for this children.

Thanks god some people still have eyes and heart for this children... Hope your bottle will reach someone else as mine reached you.

Find below some update about the lawsuit made by courageous people.

Sorry for wasting your blog...

US lawyers to help Vietnam win Agent Orange lawsuit
Monday, September 19, 2005 13:17:03 Vietnam (GMT+07)

US lawyers said they will do their utmost to help Vietnamese Agent Orange victims win at a court of appeal, after their lawsuit against US chemical companies was dismissed by a US court.
"The verdict of the court in the first instance is incorrect. US troops used a toxic defoliant, not a normal one," local media on Sunday quoted Jonathan Moore, head of a visiting US lawyer group as saying.

Jonathan Moore led a US lawyer’s delegation to Vietnam from Sept. 13-18 to collect more evidence for the lawsuit against the US chemical producers that manufactured and supplied Agent Orange for US troops to spray in Vietnam during the war.

Justice, victory

"Like our Vietnamese colleagues, local Agent Orange victims and those that have a conscience and love justice in the world, we believe the victory of the lawsuit," he said

Winning the case was important not only to Vietnamese victims, but others in the world and those who were concerned about equality, justice and violation of international laws on human rights, Moore added.

"In the worse case, we will continue to appeal to the US Supreme Tribunal," he noted.

He said his visit was aimed at helping the Vietnamese Agent Orange Victims Association (VAVA) prepare and finalize the most important document which would be delivered to the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals Sept. 30.

The case was dismissed at the US Federal Court in Brooklyn in early March this year, citing lack of a legal basis to be heard in court.

According to studies of US scientists, US army forces sprayed some 80 million liters of defoliants, mostly Agent Orange, on Vietnam between 1961 and 1971.

The toxic payload amounts to nearly 400kg of dioxin, one of the world’s most stable and toxic substances, which remains in the human population and ecosystem to this day.

Among 4.8 million local people exposed to the dioxin, 3 million are Agent Orange victims, many of them, even their children and grandchildren, suffer from cancer and genetic abnormalities

Girish said...

Hi Kca,

I am very happy to note that many courageous people have come out for the cause of the suffering children. Going by the news article that you linked, I could compare this to another Hiroshima/Nagasaki disaster, that happened very slowly to actually attract a lot of global attention, and I am sorry it hasn't reached many ears. Moreover, I feel this case should be taken to a global court rather than a US court.

My best wishes to Jonathan Moore, you and everybody associated with this noble cause, and my heart goes out to the children and their families. I shall be following your blog and for more updates.
Cheers and keep up the good work!!