By Vietnamese News Agency
Ha Noi--- The Research Centre for Gender, Family and Environment
in Development (CGFED), a charitable non-governmental organization
(NGO) of social sciences has sent an open letter to the US Federal
Court, Brooklyn, New York, affirming its support to Vietnamese
people who are pursuing a lawsuit against US chemical firms that
supplied chemicals to the US armed forces to spray in southern
Viet Nam during the war.
In the letter, the centre has called for domestic and international
friends to support victims of chemical weapons.
The centre also announced that one of several problems they have
studied since 2000 is the damage caused by Agent Orange sprayed
from the US aircraft in wartime toward life of victims and their
The centre has conducted survey into 160 families whose members
have fallen victim to Agent Orange and dioxin sprayed in 21 communes
of 11 provinces and cities in northern, central and southern Viet
Nam. Stories are told about the generational effects over one
hundred male and female dioxin victims belonging to different
The letter stated: "It is possible to infer from this set
of facts that dioxin spraying has resulted in far-reaching consequences
on the socio-economic, material and spiritual life that not only
for whole families but also for communities. AO dioxin spraying
has serious repercussions on the health of its direct and indirect
victims: sickness, mental deficiency, and diseases recorded by
the US Academy of Medical Sciences. The harm caused by AO dioxin
has left its mark on the third-generation of victims in Viet Nam.
The letter also affirmed that their right to have healthy children
was contravened as they gave birth to either a mentally retarded
child or a child with congenital malformation.
However, families that bear the consequences of Agent Orange
and dioxin spraying try hard to get over innumerable financial
difficulties, but how can they cope with spiritual and emotional
problems as they have no healthy children to perpetuate their
The letter quoted journalist Jean Pierot in an editorial entitled
"The debt" as saying that "The Vietnam war was
over 25 years ago, but it's repercussion have been murderous and
destructive. Agent Orange sprayed on Vietnamese territory in the
past does not cease to cause untold sufferings to numerous third-generation
children. No one can foretell when this malpractice will be brought
to an end."
"The US owes a debt to this country, to each victim, to
each child with a painful body, and up to now, only the Vietnamese
Government has given assistance to them, and in this context,
the US administration's only concern is to insist on the Vietnamese
Government's help to find the corpses of missing soldiers".
The letter noted that "There are three million dioxin-stricken
people. This statistical evidence, however accurate it may be,
cannot mirror the great grief to each victim ". At present,
families of the victims, with the help lent by the Vietnamese
government and community, have partially relieved suffering among
the victims, but can AO dioxin sprayers disclaim all their responsibility
for the damage they caused"?
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