Page 5006 - Week 13 - Thursday, 12 November 2009

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Viet Tan aims for a peaceful transition to democracy. “We would not have anything to do with a violent uprising. There has been enough violence in the past,” he said.

Cooke goes on to say:

He sees change coming through four kinds of pressure. “The first is popular pressure and that can express itself in many ways in calls for social changes, protests against corruption or calls for land rights. The second type of activity is the creation of a united opposition front where political parties band together in a call for a multi-party system and eventually free elections.

Then there is international pressure—we travel the world, seeking support; that is why I am in Canberra at the moment. Finally we look to eventually see pressure coming from within the party leadership itself. Only when we can have all four working in coordination will we have enough power to crack the system.

As I mentioned earlier, the dinner was hosted by the international chairman, Mr Diem Do, who was born in Saigon in 1963 and was a champion of freedom whilst at college, joining Viet Tan in 1982. He has an accomplished career in the industries of banking, manufacturing and health care. Mr Diem Do was awarded an MBA from the University of Houston. In his role he has conversations with political leaders around the world, including the US congressional committee and, more recently, the Australian parliament.

I would also like to recognise the fantastic contribution of Lieu Do and Dr Phong Nguyen to the Viet Tan movement. These leaders are very successful in their chosen professions, thus they give up a tremendous amount to commit so much time to the Viet Tan movement.

On the night I was very privileged, along with Mr George Lemon, to be awarded honorary membership of Viet Tan. Viet Tan has no better friend in Canberra than George Lemon, a person who has tirelessly campaigned for freedom in Vietnam and many other worthy causes. I look forward to continuing to support Viet Tan and its promotion of democracy and freedom in Vietnam.

Hospitals—Clare Holland House

Mr Merv Armstrong

Heart Foundation

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (4.53): I rise tonight just to clarify an issue during question time. There were questions asked about Clare Holland House and the transfer of ownership. During the debate the question of the mission of the sisters arose, the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary. Previously, as I have interjected in this place, Mr Stanhope directed an attack towards me. In an earlier incident he essentially said that I had vilified the Catholic Church. In this case, today he attempted to suggest that I had somehow vilified the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary.

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