By Chi Thach – Translated by Thao Nhien
Speaking at the Theoretical Council’s meeting in Hanoi, the Party leader highly valued the council’s work during 2016-2021, noting that it has continually reformed the operational model and methodology, gathered more scientists, institutes, academies, and universities, and built on the attainments and experiences gained in the previous terms to fulfill its functions and tasks, thereby contributing to common successes of the Party and the country.
He also suggested some issues needing attention in the time ahead and asked for thorough understanding of the requirements in the political theoretical work in the new period. The council’s role in providing consultations in terms of viewpoints, strategies and theoretical guidelines remains limited, the Party chief said, adding that many issues in the country’s 35-year Doi Moi (renewal) cause and 30-year implementation of the 1991 Platform, as well as newly emerging issues in reality in Vietnam and the world, have not been analysed and clarified.
The 13th National Party Congress identified the strategic vision as well as a detailed road map and steps to develop the country in the next five, 10, and 25 years. The international context and the demand for breakthrough development in the new period require that the Party continue reforming its development mindset in a way that fully taps into Vietnam’s potential, stature and conditions and matches development trends in the world and of the era, he pointed out.
The leader told the council to study new theoretical issues in the world, experiences of developed countries, along with scientific – technological revolutions.
General Secretary Trong also asked the council to improve the quality and effectiveness of political theory-related advice to help the Party Central Committee, the Politburo, and the Secretariat direct national development and defence efforts.
It should also proactively coordinate with ministries, sectors, central agencies, local Party committees, and political theory researchers nationwide in reality analysis and theoretical research, he said, adding that during the 25 years of operations, the council has established itself in the system of central agencies.
On this occasion, the Theoretical Council was granted a merit certificate from the Prime Minister in recognition of its contributions to the compilation of the documents of the 13th National Party Congress, the fight to protect the Party’s ideological foundation, and theoretical research.
So far, 32 countries have agreed to participate in copyright transactions at Book365.vn, according to Nguyen Nguyen, director of the Publishing, Printing and Publishing Department under the Ministry of Information and Communication.
He spoke at a press conference on the national online book festival, which will take place from April 17 to May 15, to celebrate the 8th Vietnam Book Day.
According to Nguyen, the national online book festival will be held on website book365 floor.vn with the theme Books for Everyone. As part of the event, the online book copyright festival will be held on April 19-26, also on book365.vn floor, with the participation of many publishers from 32 countries. The opening ceremony of the 8th Vietnam Book Day will be organized on April 18 at Ho Chi Minh City Book Road. Also, many activities will be held throughout the country to celebrate the 8th Vietnam Book Day.
Mr. Nguyen Nguyen, director of the Publishing, Printing and Publishing Department
The online book festival will attract more than 70 domestic publishers and book distributors to the book exchange floor, over 50 domestic and international publishers to the book copyright floor and more than 20,000 book titles, said Nguyen.
For the first time, the national online book festival will have a book copyright transaction floor, emphasized Nguyen. He hoped that this would be a pilot step for domestic publishers to experience this form of copyright transactions with foreign partners.
“In Vietnam, the proportion of foreign books accounts for about 30%, creating a basis for online copyright transaction. So far, publishers from 32 countries have agreed to join this transaction floor. On this floor, copyrights on three types of books – English books, children’s books, technology books – will be traded,” he said.
The organizers have made improvements in the interface as well as technology of book365.vn to enable readers to search and select books and enable connection and transactions among publishers.
Many events, such as seminars, online exchanges between authors, translators, researchers and publishers with readers; programs to encourage readers to buy books; and book discounts, free shipping and presentation of gifts to readers and book sellers and others, will be held during the book fair.
Two ministries jointly promote reading culture
The signing ceremony between representatives of the Publishing, Printing and Publishing Department (Ministry of Information and Communications) and the Vietnam National Library.
The Ministry of Information and Communications and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on April 15 signed an agreement in the field of publishing and libraries towards the goal of promoting the reading movement and reading culture in the community.
According to Nguyen Ngoc Bao, Deputy Director of the Publishing, Printing and Publishing Department, under this agreement, the two ministries will coordinate to hold book exhibitions, promotion of books and publishing and library activities through the organization of book-related events such as conferences, seminars at home and abroad, activities to respond to the Vietnam Book Day and Reading Culture (April 21), the World Book and Copyright Day (April 23), the National Book Awards; support and transfer the application of information technology to the library system to access digital/electronic publications, and expand information connections, and data share between the two sides; inspect the publication receipt of publishers and organizations licensed to publish non-business documents to submit to the National Library of Vietnam in accordance with the law on publishing; and digitize publications for management.
The Central Highlands city of Da Lat is famous for its cool climate, pine-scented air and mountain views. Often referred to as a “city in a forest”, “fog city” or “city of flowers”, it is also home to many old religious buildings.
A redemptorist monastery with a typical French colonial architecture that is one of the ancient religious buildings in Da Lat.
Most of them were built during the French colonial period after the French founded the city as a resort town to get away from the humid, hot climate in the south.
Monasteries with arched windows and balconies with large glass doors are European in design, but are also in harmony with the gentle rhythm of the city.
Some monasteries are still places of prayer, while the rest have been assigned to state units for maintenance and repair or have been changed to become tourist attractions.
The most typical of these is the Redemptorist monastery, which is now being used as a biological museum managed by the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) Biological Institute.
The former monastery, built in 1952, is located in the middle of a pine forest on Tung Lam Hill, seven kilometres from Da Lat.
The building was constructed with the typical symmetrical French architecture. At the centre of the building stands a cross with the Latin inscription “Copiosa Apud Eum Redemptio”, often translated as “With Him is plentiful Redemption”.
The monastery is built of solid stone. Each wall and brick is imprinted with time and from the back of the building, you can see a panoramic view of the city.
At the time of its construction, the monastery was only the second stone Catholic building in the country after Phat Diẹm Church in the northern province of Ninh Binh.
It served as a place for Redemptorists, a Catholic congregation of missionaries, to worship and fulfill their missions.
Walking inside the monastery you can see classrooms arranged side by side along the corridors of the building.
The building consists of five floors with 120 rooms. The second floor now serves as the biology museum, which has seven display rooms and six storage rooms. Each room is divided into areas for displays of stuffed mammals, birds, reptiles, plants and others.
The collection of the museum includes 58 species of animals, including 38 rare species listed in Vietnam’s Red Book.
|The former Redemptorist monastery now serves as a biology museum with seven display rooms of stuffed mammals, birds, reptiles, plants and others. VNS Photo Xuan Dang|
Thanks to the beauty of the monastery, it imparts a nostalgic and mysterious feeling. It seems that at any angle or location in the monastery is a wonderful scene for a photo.
“This is my first time visiting this place. I’m very impressed with the architecture. I also took some great photos here with my family. It’s good to see that abandoned monasteries like this are maintained and used as a tourist destination,” Phuong Thanh, 21, a tourist from Nha Trang City, told Việt Nam News.
|The architecture of the monastery impresses visitors. VNS Photo Xuan Dang|
Some old monasteries in Da Lat with significant architectural values have been repaired to change their purpose of use.
An abandoned monastery located between Tran Quang Dieu and Hung Vuong streets is one.
The dirt path leading to the monastery makes it quite a hidden gem. Located in the north of the city and covering more than seven hectares, the chapel and residential quarters of the Franciscan monastery sit on a hill about 7 kilometres from the city centre.
For years, the iconic chapel has been an inspiration for Vietnamese artists and photographers, appearing in countless works of art.
|An abandoned Franciscan monastery is one of the oldest and most valuable religious buildings in Da Lat. Photo Baolamdong.vn|
Le Tu, head of Lam Dong Province’s Association of Architects, said that even though the monastery is not classified as a heritage, architects appreciate it for its historic architectural value.
The monastery complex was designed by French architects Alexandre Leonard and Paul Veysseyre in the late 1930s and early 1940s, marking the onset of Benedictine missionaries from the West making their way to Vietnam.
The architectural style of the chapel has a combination of the West and East with an Eastern-style tiled roof, and windows and main door bearing the typical Western Gothic architecture.
In 1954, the missionaries left the complex in the hands of Franciscan nuns before moving to Hue in the central region to set up the Thien An Monastery.
In the following years, the nuns enlisted the help of Vietnamese architect Pham Khanh Chu to design additional classrooms behind the existing complex, known as the Viet Nu Commercial School, in 1969.
In 1979, the seven-hectare complex was handed over to the government. It was eventually abandoned for several years before becoming the campus for the HCM City University of Architecture in Da Lat.
At one point, nearly 20 families illegally occupied the chapel but were eventually moved out by local authorities.
The complex is now under restoration to become a campus of the HCM City University of Architecture.
The project, co-headed by Huy Hoang Company and the university, started by the end of February.
The former ancient monastery is currently under restoration. VNS Photo Xuan Dang
A representative of HCM City University of Architecture told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper that the university has plans to restore the site.
“We see the complex as a meaningful and valuable heritage site. Restoration costs are much more than rebuilding, but we must protect this significant landmark.”
Associate Professor Le Van Thuong, rector of the university, said the chapel area and the dorm for monks will be preserved in their original state. Damaged parts such as doors and the roof will be repaired or replaced but will be consistent with the overall structure.
“We will keep the original architecture and materials of the building as much as possible. Only damaged and deteriorated places will be replaced with new materials. The paint will be the original colours,” Thuong said.
When the work is completed, the chapel will become the university hall, while the dormitory area of the monastery will remain as the residential function. The classroom area will become a lecture hall for students, Thuong said.
Ninh Viet Anh, teacher at HCM City University of Architecture, said that for works with historical architectural significance, conservation must be carefully considered.
With conservation projects such as these, the city can keep its unique architectural features from the French colonial period and continue to be a popular tourist destination.
Hanoi (VNA) – The Lao health ministry on April 16 confirmed a new COVID-19 case who was an illegal entrant, raising the country’s tally to 54.
The 32-year-old Lao man, together with a woman, illegally returned home from Thailand on April 11. He tested positive for the novel coronavirus on April 15.
A total of 32 people who had come into close contact with the man have been sent to quarantine.
Authorities have urged the woman who accompanied the patient to report to local police or health officials for testing and quarantine.
There have been no fatalities recorded in the country so far.
Meanwhile, Thailand reported on April 16 its fifth record daily tally of coronavirus cases this week, as authorities set up thousands of field hospitals to cope with an influx of patients and lined up hotels to provide extra beds for those without symptoms.
The government has set up over 20,000 beds at field hospitals across the country at community centres and gyms.
Hotels and hospitals are also partnering up to set up “hospitels” to treat asymptomatic patients, the health ministry said.
Currently 5,000 beds across 23 hotels had been readied, it said in a statement. About 2,000 beds are occupied and an additional 7,000 more could be added.
Thailand reported 1,582 new coronavirus cases on the day, marking the highest number of daily infections since the start of the pandemic.
Cambodia’s Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration decided to suspend all businesses in Phsar Leu market for 14 days from 3pm on April 16 until April 29 to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
It said all vendors who do business in Phsar Leu market have an obligation to get tested for COVID-19 as health officials began collecting samples on April 16 at the market. In case some vendors miss the testing, they must go to the Prampi Makara stage during working hours, including over the holiday.
All vendors with families must quarantine at home properly accordance to Ministry of Health guidelines.
The decision was made after 13 vendors in the market were confirmed positive for the virus./.
The exhibition is co-hosted by the Cham Cultural Research Centre in Ninh Thuan and the provincial museum of Quang Nam.
On display are nearly 80 artifacts, including photos, statues, pottery, over 1,500 tools, traditional handicrafts, costumes, jewellery, paintings, ancient musical instruments, and 1,400 books and reference materials.
Director of the Cham Cultural Research Centre Le Xuan Loi said the exhibition aims to introduce the unique cultural and artistic heritages of the Cham people in the land of Ninh Thuan – Quang Nam and the exchange of Cham culture with others throughout history.
The exhibition will run until May 15.