US-based Vietnamese singers accused of betrayal, banned at home

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Thanh Tuyen (left) and Tuan Vu, two famous Vietnamese singers in the US, are now banned in Vietnam after being accused of provoking opposition against the country

Vietnam has said it will no longer provide performing licenses to several Vietnamese singers based in the US, accusing them of provoking opposition against the country.

Vo Trong Nam, deputy director of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said it will send an official plea to the culture ministry soon to ban those artists who "joined in the provocation against Vietnam and said bad things about Vietnam" in the latest DVD released by Asia Music Corp. & Asia Entertainment Inc., a musical center run by Vietnamese based in the US.

But Nguyen Dang Chuong, head of the ministry's Department of Performing Arts, told Thanh Nien it already decided not to provide further licenses to artists who voiced their opposition to Vietnam in the DVD.

Chuong said it is assessing the attitudes of the singers, including Thanh Tuyen, a female vocal known on national radio since her teenage years, Tuan Vu, who started singing after moving to the US in 1979, Manh Dinh, Gia Huy, Quang Minh, and Hong Dao.

But under assessment means they have already been banned from performing in Vietnam, he said, adding that a final verdict will be announced about how long the punishment will last.

Several Vietnam-based artists were also blacklisted, though they were not identified.

Chuong said his department will discuss with local culture authorities about how to handle the local artists.

Many of the banned artists were previously scheduled to perform in Vietnam and now show organizers must find replacements.

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