HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam is closely following the developments in Myanmar as well as the situation of Vietnamese citizens and businesses there, spokesperson for the foreign ministry Lê Thị Thu Hằng said on Thursday.
“Việt Nam has deployed multiple necessary citizen protection measures to safeguard the lives, the assets, and legal rights and interests of Vietnamese citizens and businesses in Myanmar,” she said, in response to questions over the course of action for Việt Nam following reports of a telecommunication company suffering from political opposition’s sabotage attacks during the political upheaval in the Southeast Asian country.
Mytel, part of the military-run Viettel Group, said in September that 70,000 people in Myanmar had their internet connections disrupted due to destructive attacks on its telecommunication towers.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Vietnamese Embassy in Myanmar have also requested Myanmar’s relevant agencies to pay attention to and strengthen measures to ensure the safety and protect the properties of Vietnamese citizens, businesses and workers of Vietnamese enterprises in Myanmar, especially protecting the legitimate interests of Vietnamese enterprises in accordance with the agreement of the two sides as well as international laws and practices,” the Vietnamese foreign spokesperson underlined.
Addressing the question of Việt Nam’s reaction Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s intention to include Myanmar’s senior junta officials at ASEAN meetings in 2022 when Cambodia holds the rotating chairmanship of the regional bloc after being disinvited from the group’s summit this year, Hằng said Việt Nam supports Cambodia’s fulfilment of its capacity as chair of the group in 2022.
“All ASEAN matters are always conducted in the spirit of exchange and consensus among ASEAN members, in line with relevant regulations, processes, and procedures, as well as the ASEAN Charter,” Hằng said.
Việt Nam, like other ASEAN members, always considers Myanmar an important member of the ASEAN family, Hằng said, adding that she hopes the country will continue to make meaningful contributions to the ASEAN Community building process and the regional peace, security, and stability.
18 crewmembers in sea accident
At the press briefing, Hằng also informed the media of the updates on the situation of 18 Vietnamese crewmembers on a Panama-flagged freight ship that has run into problems in the waters between Japan, South Korea and North Korea after it departed from Japan.
The incident took place on the afternoon of December 1.
Seawater flooded the ship and all contact with it have been lost.
Vietnamese representatives in the three Northeast Asian countries have contacted local authorities to verify the reports and ask for immediate emergency search and rescue efforts, Hằng said.
The Vietnamese diplomat said all three countries have deployed rescue ships to the location, and the morning after, a South Korean ship rescued 17 crewmembers and brought them to safety at Donghe City, Gangwon Province.
The search for the remaining members, conducted by coast guards, did not yield results as of December 4.
The search for the remaining crew members was actively deployed by the coast guard until the evening of December 4, but to no avail.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has contacted the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Transport, asking them to direct the dispatch companies to contact the crew’s relatives, inform them of the situation, visit the crew’s families, and offer guidance on the necessary procedures, Hằng said.
The dispatch companies must also perform their respective functions and duties, ensure the legal rights and interests of Vietnamese citizens.
Currently, the shipowner and insurance companies have contacted the crew members to confirm the status, carry out insurance paperwork and compensation according to regulations.
The repatriation of the crew members will be carried out according to the crew’s wishes, the spokesperson noted. — VNS