Vietnam singers face punishment for skipping diplomatic show

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Vietnam's arts authorities are considering suspending two singers for skipping a diplomatic performance in Laos without permission.

A report on news website VnExpress Friday said the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has ordered its Performing Arts Department to suspend Trong Tan and Anh Tho from performing at all local and foreign shows.

It said the duo, who is famous for war songs, skipped the show, which was to celebrate the year of Vietnam Laos friendship in Vientiane on Wednesday, for another show in the northern province of Ninh Binh that same day.

The diplomatic show was attended by leaders and high-ranking officials from the two countries.

In its letter to the department, the ministry said "the attitude showed a poor awareness of discipline and politics, considering an artist's ego more important than the sake of the country."

In the meantime, the Vietnam National Academy of Music, where the singers, both 36, work as lecturers, on Thursday announced that it had suspended them so they could review their responsibilities in the controversy and report to related agencies.

"The lecturers' awareness of discipline is not good, so they prioritized their personal matters over the public ones. For political events, we always tell our lecturers and officials to complete their duties to the end, except when they are seriously sick," a spokesperson from the academy said.

The academy did not accept explanations the singers presented  school leaders Thursday morning, according to VnExpress.

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