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Thousands Rally in Vietnam Against Sand Dredging Company

Thousands of Vietnamese flocked to the local government headquarters in central Quang Ngai province to protest against a company that has been dredging for sand in a local waterway and causing severe coastal erosion.

Local citizens are accusing the firm, Cua Dai, of taking advantage of their contract to dredge the waterway to illegally gather sand for export.

It is the latest in a series of protests against companies and government land and environmental policies.

Freelance journalist Pham Chi Dung told VOA Vietnamese the increasing number of protests in the country showed the instability of the Vietnamese society and the people’s growing awareness of their rights.

“These kinds of protests show the people’s increasing awareness of their rights. They have no other ways than taking to the street to demand their legitimate civil rights. However, it’s a long way to go before such protests in Vietnam can become well-organized mass mobilization to make protest a right, to make the authorities answer to the needs of the people, which is very essential for a strong civil society in Vietnam," he said.

State run media outlets have reported on the protest, but it is not known if the company will face an official investigation.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Vietnamese service.
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