Pupil suspended for 'Uncle Ho' spoof

2013-01-08 18:48
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Hanoi - A Vietnamese teenager has been suspended from school for a year after posting a parody of a famous speech by independence hero Ho Chi Minh on her Facebook page, local media said on Tuesday.

The "Declaration of Students of Ly Tu Trong Secondary School" satirises a famous 1946 speech by then-president Ho calling for national resistance against French colonialists.

"All students! As we desire peace, we have made concessions. But the more concessions we make, the more the teachers press on, for they are bent on failing us once again," said the post, quoted by the Thanh Nien newspaper.

"All students... have to find ways to get good marks in the exam... those who have neither health or head [intellect] have to copy or use cheat sheets."

The local authorities said the 14-year-old's post distorted history and insulted the school in the central province of Quang Nam.

"Forcing her to stay at home is also a way of educating her," head teacher Nguyen Tan Si was quoted as saying in local media.

The suspension prompted a storm of criticism online. A survey by the VNExpress website showed that around 70% of readers thought the punishment was too harsh.

Facebook is popular in Vietnam but is sometimes blocked by the communist authorities, who maintain a cult of personality around Ho.

The father figure led the country to independence from the French but died in 1969, aged 79, before the country was unified at the end of the war.

His embalmed body is on display in Hanoi while his image appears on banknotes and his portrait is hung in classrooms and other public buildings.

All Vietnamese children are told stories about "Uncle Ho" from the time they enter nursery school at age three until they finish university.

- SAPA

Read more on:    vietnam
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