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Firm forced to remove signs claiming ‘sovereignty’ over Vietnam’s Nha Trang beach

Saturday, May 23, 2015, 09:57 GMT+7
Firm forced to remove signs claiming ‘sovereignty’ over Vietnam’s Nha Trang beach
A crane removes one of the signs that claims the 'sovereignty' over Nha Trang beach of Dewan International Vietnam in Khanh Hoa, located in south-central Vietnam, on May 22, 2015.

An India company whose banners claiming its ‘sovereignty’ over the beach were placed in the Vietnamese resort city of Nha Trang had to remove these controversial signs on Friday.

Last month Dewan International Vietnam began installing 11 such banners on 4km of beach along Tran Phu Street in the famed resort town, the capital of the south-central province of Khanh Hoa.

The signs, written in both Vietnamese and English, say the area is zoned for the company’s resort project and warn that “trespass [is] prohibited by law.”

“As per the approved plan of [the provincial administration] this area is under development of the Phoenix Beach Project,” one of a sign reads.

Nha Trang residents have expressed outraged at the banners, prompting the city’s authorities to take action.

Ngo Khac Thinh, deputy head of the city’s urban management office, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Friday his agency had received a order to remove these signs from the Khanh Hoa administration early the same day.

“Upon receiving the order, we filed an urgent dispatch to Dewan International Vietnam, requesting that the company clear the signs on its own,” Thinh said, adding the Indian company was given a deadline of 3:30 p.m.

At 1:30 p.m., a truck carrying three employees of an ad firm arrived at the spot and removed the signs with a crane, as observed by Tuoi Tre.

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One of the employees said they had been hired by Dewan International Vietnam to uninstall all of the signs.

The Phoenix Beach Project was approved by Khanh Hoa administration on October 17, 2014. This information was also displayed on the signs.

The project is reportedly worth more than US$2.63 billion and will include many high-rises. It is reportedly scheduled for completion in 2020.

The project is included in an approved zoning for development in the eastern Tran Phu – Pham Van Dong, two main streets in the resort city known for its beautiful beaches.

The planning has been opposed by members of the public and local experts, who say it will hurt Nha Trang’s ecosystem.

But Khanh Hoa chairman Nguyen Chien Thang on Thursday accused such naysayers as “shortsighted minority,” and said the zoning is meant to turn Nha Trang into a more beautiful destination than the U.S. island of Hawaii.

In the latest development, Nguyen Tan Tuan, a chief official from the standing committee of the Khanh Hoa’s Party Committee, said the zoning will be rectified even though it has been approved to be more appropriate.

“We will delay the implementation of the project and will collect feedback from members of the public,” he told Tuoi Tre.

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