Hurrah! We have a Prime Minister!

You would have thought all the high-level officials of the Republic of Vietnam who had fled the country and are living in California are now just private citizens.

Ha! Shows how much you know!

A 79-year-old man, with the help of other septua- and octogenarians, is reminding everyone that it is not the case.

And, on behalf of the Republic of Vietnam, he just sent a letter (here and here) and a lengthy dossier (here) to the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon staking the country’s claim to the Spratly and Paracel Islands. The “Office of the Prime Minister” has also been sending out news releases and stuff.

In the final month of the Vietnam War, San Jose resident Nguyen Ba Can (in Vietnamese: Nguyễn Bá Cẩn) was Prime Minister from April 4, 1975.

Can was the next-to-last Prime Minister of the Republic of Vietnam. After 20 days on the job he was replaced by a much better known name, respected legal scholar and Law Faculty Dean Vũ Văn Mẫu.

Not so, says Can. He’s saying lately that, as of today, he’s still the Prime Miniter of a country that still exists, the Republic of Vietnam.

Just in case the events at the end of the war were going by too quickly and you missed Can’s name, let’s review:

Many people peg South Vietnam’s defeat on the fatally flawed decision by President Nguyen Van Thieu to withdraw from the Central Highlands. That decision took place on March 14, 1975. A month and a half later, Saigon would fall. But, in the meantime, these things happened:

* On April 9, communist forces reached Xuan Loc, less than 40 miles from Saigon. South Vietnamese forces, however, put up tremendous resistance for weeks, marking Xuan Loc as the last major battle of the war.

* On April 21, President Thieu resigned and left the country. Vice-President Tran Van Huong took over and tried to negotiate.

* No negotiations. A week later, Huong resigned and left the country too. Huong would stay in the country, remaining under house arrest throughout the rest of his life, refusing the communists’ offer of clemency ahead of South Vietnamese soldiers.

* General Duong Van “Big” Minh took over on April 28.

* Somewhere around that time, former Vice-President Nguyen Cao Ky (yes, that Ky) gave a televised speech, exhorted the troops to fight on to the death, then turned around and immediately boarded a helicopter and left the country.

* On April 30, Minh called off the war and surrendered.

And where was Can in all this? On April 4, the South Vietnamese Prime Minister resigned and fled the country. At that time, Can was President of the lower house of Parliament, so he became Prime Minister.

Then, on April 24, a new Prime Minister was named. He would become South Vietnam’s last.

But, according to Can, it’s him, Can, who’s still Prime Minister.

How?

According to Viet Bao here, he’s saying that he never turned over his post, and the takeover by the following Prime Minister was not legitimate because the Parliament meeting that approved him never had quorum.

No quorum? As in, not enough deputies showed up to meet the minimum requirement?

Maybe, but can anyone point out where the deputies were and why they weren’t present?

And, for that matter, why wasn’t Can present to turn over his post?

Hint: Read the bullet points above to see what Thieu, Ky and thousands of other head honchos did in the last days of the war instead of fighting the communists.

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12 Responses to Hurrah! We have a Prime Minister!

  1. SwineQueen says:

    RIDICULOUS ! What a joke !
    Those people are so stupid! that’s why we lost the war.

  2. FreeVN says:

    President Trần Văn Hương never left the Vietnam. He stayed in Vietnam and under house arrest until he died in 1982.

    “Tôi xin phép từ chối. Tôi không nhận cái quyền công dân nầy. Dầu gì tôi cũng đã là người lãnh đạo miền Nam, trong khi binh sĩ, nhân viên các cấp, chỉ vì thừa lịnh của chúng tôi, mà giờ đây vẫn còn bị giam cầm trong các trại cải tạo, chưa được trả quyền công dân. Chẳng lý gì, tôi là người trách nhiệm, lại được trả quyền công dân trước…” (Lời cựu Tổng Thống Trần Văn Hương trả lời một cán bộ CS, khi họ đến nhà định làm lễ, quay phim “trả quyền công dân cho ông”).
    (http://ongvove.wordpress.com/2009/04/25/tưởng-niệm-cụ-trần-van-hương-nhan-si-suốt-dời-giữ-tiết-thao/)

    « Thưa Tổng Thống, tình trạng hiện nay rất nguy hiểm. Nhơn danh chính phủ Hoa Kỳ, chúng tôi đến mời Tổng Thống rời khỏi nước, đi đến bất cứ xứ nào, ngày giờ nào với phương tiện nào mà Tổng Thống muốn. Chính phủ chúng tôi cam kết bảo đảm cho Ngài một đời sống xứng đáng với cương vị Tổng Thống cho đến ngày TT trăm tuổi già»
    Tổng Thống Trần Văn Hương mĩm cười trả lời :
    «Thưa Ngài đại sứ, tôi biết tình trạng hiện nay rất là nguy hiểm. Đã đến đỗi như vậy, Hoa Kỳ cũng có phần trách nhiệm trong đó. Nay ông đại sứ đến mời tôi ly hương, tôi rất cám ơn Ông đại sứ. Nhưng tôi đã suy nghĩ và quyết định dứt khoát ở lại nước tôi. Tôi cũng dư biết Cộng Sản vào được Saigon, bao nhiêu đau khổ nhục nhã sẽ trút xuống đầu dân chúng miền Nam. Tôi là người lãnh đạo đứng hàng đầu của họ, tôi tình nguyện ở lại để chia xẻ với họ một phần nào niềm đau đớn tủi nhục, nổi thống khổ của người dân mất nước. Cám ơn ông Đại sứ đã đến viếng tôi.»
    (http://namkyluctinh.org/a-lichsu/tvhuong/tdphong-tvhuongditan.htm)

    Căn biệt thự sang trọng của ông cựu Tổng thống Trần Văn Hương sau giải phóng, cách mạng không đụng tới. Hàng ngày từ nhà riêng ông dùng xe đạp tự tới dinh Độc lập là địa điểm học tập cải tạo do ông Cao Đăng Chiếm giảng bài. Cuối khoá các quan chức tướng tá nguỵ quyền Sài Gòn tham gia học tập đều phải viết thu hoạch. Ông Chiếm nói ông Trần Văn Hương có tuổi, mắt lại kém nên miễn cho việc viết nhưng ông Hương cứ tình nguyện viết thu hoạch nghiêm cẩn.
    (http://www.tienphong.vn/Tianyon/Index.aspx?ArticleID=8864&ChannelID=13)

  3. Know it all says:

    Wow, I’m impressed by the first two quotes by ongvove and namkyluctinh. We should interview these 2 witnesses. Quick!

  4. Bolsavik says:

    @FreeVN: Thank you for the correction.

  5. FreeVN says:

    Thank for the update, Bolsavik. It’s nice.

    Regarding to former premier Nguyễn Bá Cẩn. I’m not concern what he and his group talk. I’m don’t care about them. What bother me right now is what happen in Vietnam: corruption, freedom of speech, relation with China,…

  6. Tien Huynh says:

    Since the Imperial Nguyen Dynasty of Vietnam still exists, it’s only fair that the Republic of Vietnam still exists…!
    http://www.imperialvietnam.net/images1.html

  7. xu says:

    “…..see what Thieu, Ky and thousands of other head honchos did in the last days of the war instead of fighting the communists.”

    Although I have my differences with the older generation, I find this sentence quite disrespectful. A smack in the face to the older generation.

    In the last weeks of the war, things were quite futile on the South Vietnamese side. After the Americans withdrew troops and money it was pretty much suicide to continue fighting the North Vietnamese.

    These guys fought (and unfortunately lost)….. for that I think they deserve at least some respect. Certainly more than this entry gives.

  8. tuanphucnguyen says:

    Thanx, Tien Huynh for the link! I belong to the Nguyen Dynasty, too but somehow I wasn’t invited to the ceremony. My guess is that those clowns in uniform were afraid that I’d be appointed their Commander hahhahahahah because I am Clown of the Clowns!!!!!!!!hehhehehe

  9. tuanphucnguyen says:

    Xu,
    They would have my respect if they didn’t come up w/ this funny idea!

  10. I think this is the communists’plot to give our former leaders/ministers/generals/senators/congressmen/monks/priests/female soldiers/highschool students a bad name. The Viet Cong must have written that letter and deliberately embedded it with outrageous mistakes that can only be seen in 5 year-old Vietnamese children:

    Đại Lảo
    Bão Vệ
    Quốc Dân Đãng
    Tỗng Bí Thư,
    Nử Sinh
    Tỗng Hội
    Hãi Ngọai
    Cãnh Sát
    Chiến Sỉ

    Watch out for the communists, guys! They’re dangerous!

  11. Hee hee says:

    This is scary!

  12. Netress says:

    As we are still in April, it’s April Fools’s day! Locally speaking, for those who are from California, they should have worried about the future of their children and/or grandchildren when hundreds of educators are facing layoff. “Nhan cu vi bat thien” (sight)

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