Thursday, October 2, 2008

Letter of Senator Ray Halligan, PWA,
to Bloc 8406

24 July 2006

Father Nguyen Van Ly
69 Phan Dinh Phung

Dear Father Nguyen Van Ly,

I am writing to lend my support to Manifesto 2006 of Group 8406 for freedom and Demoracy in Vietnam.

Whether the words come from the :

. 1791 French Declaration on Human and Civil Right ;

. 1776 US Declaration of Independence ;

. 1945 Declaration by Ho Chi Minh, President of the Interim Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam; or

. The 1966 UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights endorsed by Vietnam in 1982,

the message about the fundamental freedoms and rights of individuals remains clear.

It was Winston Churchill who said :

Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe.

“No-one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise.

“Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those others that have been tried from time to time.”

And it was Churchill who also said :

“All the great things are simple and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, honour, duty, mercy, hope.”

Your fight is for these “simple” great things, which those of all fortunate enough to live in a democracy can tend to take for granted, without pausing to comtemplate the alternative.

By definition, dictatorship in whatever from it take, means unacceptable limits on these very freedoms - to have and express an opinion, to assemble or form associations, to practise religious beliefs.

Even worse, it can and often does lead to an abuse of power, not only limiting basic freedoms, but instituting in their place penalties for non-compliance with dictates that should have no place in society.

Manifesto 2006 represents a bid to achieve real and lasting democracy in Vietnam. On that score alone, it deserves the support of the world.

In his famous speech of 1968, Martin Luther King spoke of his dream.

Today, Group 8406 has a dream to which I am privileged to lend my support in the hope of seeing that dream become a reality.

My most sincere best wishes in your endeavours.

Yours sincerely,


Ray Halligan MLC
Shadow Minister for
Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Housing, Works & Services.