Vietnam district withdraws controversial land revocation

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Tien Lang District in northern Vietnam has revoked its land revocation decision after it stirred a huge controversy and drew strong criticism from senior Party and government officials including the Prime Minister.

The revocation was one of the first actions pushed for by the Hai Phong administration, under which Tien Lang is located, following the PM's official conclusion on the case, the northern port city's People's Committee said in a statement Monday.

On January 5, around 100 soldiers and police officers from Tien Lang District stormed the land of local farmer Doan Van Vuon in a forced evacuation.

The land had been leased in parts to Vuon in 1993 and 1997. Vietnam's Land Law gives farmers a minimum lease period of 20 years.

Several high-ranking officials and legislators said the case should be a start for the country to amend its land laws and give farmers automatic extension of their land use rights.

Two houses built by Vuon on the land were destroyed in the forced evacuation process.

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Earlier this month, the district chairman and his deputy were suspended for ordering the evacuation, as were the chairman and the Party chief of Vinh Quang Commune who were suspected of ordering the houses' demolition.

The Hai Phong government has said it will continue punishing people involved in the controversy.

Meanwhile, the city police are still considering charges of attempted murder and opposing officials on duty on Vuon and his brothers as they resisted the evocuation with improvised guns and homemade mines.

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