Share your thoughts about this petition and Viet Khang here or on facebook.com/FreeVietKhang Feb 9. 2012 | Comments (4)
Today is the petition website’s one month old birthday, so I thought I’d like to share some of my thoughts on it, why and how it got started.
The why is simple, I started it out of compassion for Viet Khang. Just like many of us, I was touched and moved when I listened to Viet Nam Tuoi Dau? and Anh La Ai? I listened to them on the way to lunch with a couple colleagues from work on the first day back to work from the New Year’s break. At times, I had problems understanding the lyrics and asked for translation on a couple of occasions but I got the overall meaning of the songs. “Tôi không thể ngồi yên khi nước Việt Nam đang ngã nghiên”, how can’t anyone be touched by this? Besides, he’s a darn good singer too because his songs moved people with emotions and into tears. One can feel his heart and soul in the songs as he sings them.
I didn’t know who Viet Khang was and I was told that he’s been imprisoned. Later that night, I decided to start a movement to set him free and I first posted on Tuoi Tre Yeu Nuoc (TTYN) with one sentence “Let’s all start a movement to set Viet Khang free……” and I had an idea to start a petition. I searched the internet for any such movement or petition so that I can help out but I found none. The next day, I created firstname.lastname@example.org email, a FreeVietKhang Facebook page and posted it on Tuoi Tre Yeu Nuoc, and @FreeVietKhang on Twitter. So, I was armed and ready to do battle for the petition. I searched for Vietnamese radio and tv stations across the US and other countries and requested them to play VK’s songs and ask their audience to sign the petition. I contacted friends and others to have them sign and pass on the word. And that’s how it got started. Since then, it’s been an interesting journey.
I’ve been accused of being VC trying to collect IP addresses and profit from the petition. TTYN wrote an article about the petition and Facebook page scaring people from signing the petition. How funny, here I am trying to save their co-founder and yet they wanted to prevent people from signing the petition. When I responded to their article, they decided not to show it on their website. CENSORED!!! I told TTYN that people will the ultimate judge for the authenticity and sincerity of the petition.
The followings were sent to Truc Ho for him to talk about when I asked him to promote the petition website:
1. The signee can choose to have his/her name shown as Anonymous by uncheck the top box for “Show my name in the online signature list”
2. No IP addresses are available to the user of the website; only the operator of the site has that information. I am just a user of their free service. Anyone, especially people in VN, can go to an internet café to get access to the internet instead of signing from home if they choose to do so.
3. The petition will only be presented in the website form without disclosing email addresses to protect the signee’s privacy. In other words, the intervening governments only see what everyone else sees on the net. If they demand to see the addresses, I will only show them without giving them any copies of the addresses. The petition is mainly for the Vietnamese outside of VN for one main reason; the VN government can always block access to the website.
4. There is no money involved in the petition’s language. The website provider does ask for a donation only AFTER the petition has been signed. It is strictly on a voluntary basis and since they provide the service for free they are entitled to ask for a donation. I can’t be in good conscience putting a note in the petition warning about the donation since WE are using their service. I have no relationship with the operator whatsoever except for that being a free user. I will at some point in the future donate some money to them since I think they provided a huge service. By the way, I didn’t know about this donation page several days after I created the petition. At first, I wanted to create the website www.freevietkhang.org but I couldn’t depend on the people whom I asked for help to do it and I wanted to get the petition site up ASAP. So, next best thing I found was ipetition.
The petition now has below 1,000 signatures which are far below the 100,000 signatures goal. But that’s ok, since the petition is still relatively unknown and with your help, social networking, and time it will reach its goal. When that happens, it will be presented to many different countries and organizations for their intervention to get Viet Khang free from imprisonment.
I have no relationship with Viet Khang whatsoever and my goal is simply to have an effective petition that would help get him freed. Unlike others, I have no other political agenda.