Congressman Bob Filner visits Vietnam for Study Tour on Agent Orange

January 5-11, 2012

Victims in connection with America’s spraying of Agent Orange during the American War in Vietnam must be assisted more, especially from the US side,” said U.S. Congressman Bob Filner during a visit to Vietnam this month.

Congressman Filner, the sponsor of H.R. 2634, the "Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2011," visited Vietnam from January 5-11, 2012 to study the impact of Agent Orange on the Vietnamese people. Congressman Filner was hosted by the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin (VAVA) and coordinated by the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign. The International Association of Democratic Lawyers provided funding assistance.

Congressman Filner visited Agent Orange victims in Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau, Cu Chi, Danang, Quang Ngai, Quang Ninh and Hanoi. He saw daycare, homecare and rehabilitation projects run by the representative of Vietnam’s victims, the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin. In Vung Tau, Congressman Filner visited a VAVA project which cares for former ARVN (U.S. allied) soldiers and their families effected by Agent Orange.

Congressman Filner met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Mrs. Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Vice President of the National Assembly as well as with medical and scientific experts on Agent Orange. He also visited a pagoda and spoke with Buddhist monks.

H.R. 2634 provides for assistance to Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange, cleanup of the toxic hot spots where dioxin still endangers lives and the environment, and health care assistance for offspring of U.S. veterans and Vietnamese Americans affected by Agent Orange.


Meeting with VAVA.

Meeting with Vietnamese Premier Nguyen Tan Dung

Visiting the Danang Agent Orange center.

and Danang Agent Orange daycare center.

Visiting a buddhist temple.

Visiting the Hoa Binh Village at the Tu Du Hospital, with Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Phuong.


Agent Orange victims still living in pain, says US envoy


Vietnam News/ Asia News Network
Tuesday, Jan 10, 2012

HA NOI - National Assembly Vice Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan yesterday thanked Bob Filner, a member of the US House of Representatives, for his valuable support for Viet Nam, particularly in connection with the spraying of Agent Orange during the American War.

Ngan said that since Viet Nam and the US normalised relations 16 years ago, there had been great achievements in politics, security and defence, economics, trade, education and training, science and technology, and humanitarian co-operation.

She added that the US was now one of Viet Nam's leading partners, with two-way trade reaching almost US$20 billion (S$26 billion) in 2011.

Regarding the Agent Orange (AO) issue in Viet Nam, Ngan said the Viet Nam-US Dialogue Group, including scientists and policymakers, was set up in 2007 to raise public awareness of the issue.

She said she wished US congressmen would provide further assistance for Viet Nam in addressing the consequences of spraying the defoliant.

Filner spoke highly of Viet Nam's efforts to overcome the aftermath of the spraying and said he would make greater efforts to help victims, pledging to call on private companies and doctors to grant material and technical support.

The United States should realise that thousands of Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange - and their children - are still living in pain.

Filner said this while visiting the headquarters of the Viet Nam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) in Ha Noi yesterday.

Last July, Filner introduced an act to the US House of Representatives which would have, if passed, assisted Vietnamese victims.

He said he felt guilty when he saw first-hand how Vietnamese victims, particular children, were suffering from the lethal effects of the defoliant.

He added that supporting AO victims was the US's responsibility.

The chairman of the Vietnamese association, Nguyen Van Rinh, said that valuable assistance had been received from international friends, including the American people, thanks in particular to Filner's efforts.

He said Vietnamese had been closely watching the progress of the bill and hoped it would soon be passed so that both Agent Orange victims on both sides of the Pacific Ocean could receive adequate compensation.

Rinh said the association hoped Filner would continue his appeals to the US government for any budget for Agent Orange relief efforts to be directly sent to the Vietnamese Government.

"The US Government should provide direct assistance to victims apart from cleaning up contamination hot-spots," he said.

He said the Vietnamese association was not only concerned about victims in Viet Nam, but in soldiers involved in the war living in other parts of the world, including American veterans.

Before arriving in Ha Noi, Filner visited HCM City, central Da Nang City, the central province of Quang Ngai, and the families of victims. - VNS

Thursday, Jan 05, 2012, Posted at: 13:28(GMT+7)

U.S. Representative arrives in Vietnam to support victims of Agent Orange

U.S. Representative Robert Earl Filner arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on January 4 on an eight day tour of Vietnam to monitor programs being conducted in various provinces for victims of Agent Orange.

He was welcomed at Tan Son Nhat airport by Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Rinh, Chairman of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA) and Major General Tran Ngoc Tho, Chairman of the HCMC Association for Victims of Agent Orange.

On the same day, Robert Earl Filner visited the Ho Chi Minh temple, and burned incense to the country’s dear leader. Later he visited the museum of President Ho Chi Minh in the city.

U.S. Congressman Robert Earl Filner (Source Internet)

During his eight day tour, Mr. Filner intends to work with the Association for Victims of Agent Orange in some provinces such as Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Vung Tau, Quang Ngai and Quang Ninh.

U.S. Representative Robert Earl Filner (born September 4, 1942) is a member of the Democratic Party. He has previously served as Chairman of the House Committee on Veteran Affairs since 2007.

He was the chief sponsor for a draft act for U.S veterans who are victims of Agent Orange. He also campaigned for the law suit favoring victims of Agent Orange in Vietnam in the US Congress. In July 2011, Filner submitted to the U.S Congress the “act for support for Victims of Agent Orange”.

Previously, the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA) had raised funds to set up three other centres in Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City. These rehabilitation centres would provide shelter, healthcare and treatment for victims of Agent Orange.

The centre will also act as a health facility, providing other services, such as acupuncture, for people in need of health consultancy for more common diseases.

It is planned that VAVA will coordinate to eventually build 55 such facilities in localities nationwide to help Agent Orange victims.

In Ho Chi Minh City, local authorities are calling upon sponsors to donate towards the construction of a large-scale project named “Lang Cam” (Village for Agent Orange Victims), which is planned to be built in Xuan Thoi Thuong Commune in Hoc Mon District.

This year, VAVA has also launched a campaign in the central and northern regions to raise funds for offering gifts to Agent Orange victims and their families for the traditional Tet Lunar New Year, which falls on January 23 this year.

Source SGGP,VNA- Translated by Dan