The Vietnamese government has just issued a decision to dismiss seven Coast Guard generals, including Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Son, just a few weeks after the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV)’s Central Inspection Commission disciplined and expelled the Party for a series of senior leaders of this force.
Standing Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh on October 24 signed the Prime Minister’s decision on personnel of the Vietnam Coast Guard, according to which Lieutenant General Son was removed from the position of commander of the force considered to be the core in protecting the country’s sea and islands, according to the state-controlled media.
Decisions cited by online newspapers said that Lieutenant General Son and six other generals of the Vietnam Coast Guard were “disciplined in the form of dismissal” because “there were serious violations and shortcomings.”
Earlier this month, CPV’s General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong personally chaired a meeting to review the disciplinary action of a series of Vietnam’s most senior generals and officers for the 2015-2020 term. Accordingly, the Central Inspection Commission expelled two major generals from the Party and dismissed party’s positions of the remaining 7 generals.
This disciplinary case is considered unprecedented and has caused a stir in public opinion in Vietnam in recent weeks, when the Standing Board of the Party Committee of the Coast Guard for the above term was concluded by the Central Inspection Commission as “a very serious violation of the principles of law, principles of democratic centralism, principles of self-criticism and criticism” as well as the regulations and regulations of the Central Military Commission.
The disciplined generals were also accused of violating the Party’s regulations, the laws of the State and the regulations of the Ministry of Defense in “managing, using finance, and implementing construction investment projects” basic, procurement of materials, technical equipment and in the fight against smuggling, maintaining security, order and safety at sea. These violations, according to the Central Inspection Commission, are considered to have “seriously damaged the image of the Vietnam Coast Guard and the Vietnamese Army.”
Vietnam Coast Guard was established in 1998 and is considered as the core force of the state specializing in law enforcement and protection of national security, order and safety at sea. According to the Ordinance on Vietnam Coast Guard, this is the people’s armed force under the leadership of the Party, the domination of the President, and the unified management of the Government. The Ministry of Defense is the place to directly manage and operate this force since 2008. Before that, this force was under the management of the Navy.
In addition to Lieutenant General Son, the generals and officers who were dismissed according to the decisions made on October 24 include Major Generals Pham Kim Hau, Tran Van Nam, Doan Bao Quyet, and Bui Trung Dung, and Lieutenant General Hoang Van Dong and Colonel Nguyen Van Hung, according to VietNamNet.
At the same time, the Prime Minister’s decisions also appoint people to replace these positions, in which Major General Le Quang Dao, deputy commander and chief of staff of the Border Guard, holds the position of commander of the Coast Guard, according to Tuoi Tre.
This latest “purification” is considered part of General Secretary Trong’s “burning furnace” campaign to fight corruption “without a no-go” in the past 5 years, in which many high-ranking government officials, including former Politburo member Dinh La Thang, and leaders of the oil and gas industry, police, and banks were brought before the dock and sentenced to many years in prison.