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Police investigating ‘public opinion shapers’ scuffle with wreath layers in Hanoi

Police investigating ‘public opinion shapers’ scuffle with wreath layers in Hanoi

Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 18:33 GMT+7

Police are clarifying a case in which a group of people wearing T-shirts displaying the letters “DLV” prevented people from laying wreaths at monuments in Hanoi on Saturday to pay respects to Vietnamese soldiers who died defending their country’s islands, a police official has said. Major General Nguyen Duc Chung, director of the Hanoi Police Department, made the statement at a press briefing held in the capital on Tuesday by the local Party Committee’s Commission for Propaganda and Education. Those people – dressed in T-shirts printed with a logo and “DLV” (the abbreviation of “Dư luận viên” in Vietnamese, which means “public opinion shapers”) – who prevented people from laying wreaths at the Ly Thai To Monument and the Cảm Tử (Braving Death) Monument, which was meant to honor those who sacrificed themselves to protect the fatherland, in the Hoan Kiem Lake area in Hanoi on March 14 came from a randomly-organized group, not from local police or the commission, Chung affirmed. According to news website VnExpress, the logo is a simulation of the logo of the Vietnamese police. The placement of wreaths was made in commemoration of the 64 Vietnamese combatants who perished 27 years ago in a battle on March 14, 1988 against Chinese invaders in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago in the East Vietnam Sea to protect its sovereignty, VnExpress said. Major General Chung said that he was present in the area to direct propaganda activities when many visitors came to lay wreaths at the two monuments. According to Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper, the “DLV” group argued with and pushed a number of people who paid tribute at the monuments. Major General Chung said he directly called on the people from the “DLV” group to disband, and they later followed his order. “Hanoi police are assigned to protect order and security in the capital. We always respect all acts and activities of citizens who show their patriotism related to the protection of the country’s sovereignty,” the chief police said. “Hanoi police are looking into the case and when our probe is complete, we will provide relevant information to the media,” he added. At the press conference, Phan Dang Long, deputy head of the Commission for Propaganda and Education, said, “The head of the commission has previously mentioned the fact that the city has a line-up of collaborators in the field of public opinion.” These collaborators, who represent people from every walk of life in the capital, collect public opinions about issues of public concern and transfer them to the commission, Long said. “However, these collaborators have never taken to the streets,” Long affirmed.

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