Friday May 24, 2013
The 'gift' that continues to cause destruction - Christmas in Vietnam, 2011Len Aldis Salem-News.com
Friends, I would like to ask you on reading this letter that perhaps you may wish to add your comments and write a letter to the office of Monsanto
(LONDON) - While in Ho Chi Minh City on 12th December I decided to deliver by hand a letter to the office of Monsanto. On arrival was told that the director was away on business out of the country, this was the same excuse given a few years earlier. However I explained to the young Vietnamese lady my disappointment and asked that I would like to have a reply.
When asked the nature of my letter and told Agent Orange, she replied “But that is in the past, we are into seeds now” I showed her the photo I had taken the day before of three young children I had met at the Tu Du Hospital affected by Agent Orange, and told her, it is not in the past it is now, and in the future as it had now gone into the fourth generation.
Friends, I would like to ask you on reading this letter that perhaps you may wish to add your comments and write a letter to the office of Monsanto, the address is as you see it.
To date there has not been reply to our offer; hence my letter to you which I thought would be best delivered by hand. I need not repeat what has been stated many times, and over a period of years, that Agent Orange has been responsible for the deaths of many thousands and the suffering of millions of Vietnamese and other nationalities through various illnesses and deformities.
On each of my yearly visits to this country since 1989, I have taken the opportunity to visit many of those affected by Agent Orange; it is not, in many cases a pleasant sight, especially when they are youngsters ranging in ages from babies to teenagers. And being born years after the American War of Vietnam ended and the spraying stopped in 1971, the suffering innocent victims – for innocents they are – is a crime that has yet to be answered.
While not accusing you or any member of your staff of being responsible for Agent Orange and the resulting suffering, I do find it difficult to understand how you and your staff could work for such a company as Monsanto, knowing the product it has produced that has caused so much suffering since the first use of Agent Orange on the people and land of Vietnam fifty years ago this year.
I repeat the offer we made to you by our Agent Orange Action Group to visit the airbase at Da Nang. It is but a short flight from HCMC. But if you find this difficult let me make another offer, just a few minutes from your office is Hoa Binh, the Peace Village in the Tu Du Hospital, living there are at least sixty youngsters who would welcome your visit as they do to anyone that calls on them. They are youngsters suffering from various illnesses and deformities. The director would greet you as would the staff, and show you around to see how the children are cared for.
I urge you to make this visit, so that you may then understand why many thousands of people are concerned for the those affected by Agent Orange, and when they have actually seen them face to face they, like many, become angered at Monsanto for not accepting responsibility or making any compensation to the victims and their families.
In a few days time, millions round the world will, be they religious or not, be celebrating Christmas, the season of goodwill to all people. Families will be gathering to wish each other well and for the children to open the presents that Santa Claus has brought them.
The children at Hoa Binh, some being orphans, will also, thanks to the doctors, nurses and staff, celebrate Christmas and they will have a Xmas Tree and those able, will help to decorate their wards and beds etc.
Would you and perhaps some members of your staff at Monsanto’s consider making a visit to Hoa Binh and take with you the spirit of Christmas, with presents and other gifts for the children. Of course the best present of all, will be a Christmas Card from Hugh Grant, President of Monsanto and his board members that says: Sorry. The message we also hope he will also announce at the annual general meeting of Monsanto to be held 24th January 2012, coupled with a promise that Monsanto will make a contribution to ease the suffering of the Vietnamese affected by Agent Orange.
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