The Bac Lieu provincial chapter of the Vietnam Buddhist Shangha (VBS) on May 27 organised a ceremony to pray for peace in the East Sea and protest China’s illegal placement of its Haiyang Shiyou-981 drilling rig deep inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.

At the ceremony, local Buddhists approved a petition to send to the National Assembly, the Fatherland Front and the VBS Central Committee, calling for unity from Vietnamese people and peace-lovers all over the world in order to force China to withdraw its rig from the waters of Vietnam.

The petition also asked the Chinese government to fulfil its responsibility of maintaining peace, while respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations in the East Sea, including Vietnam.

It also suggested the Vietnamese Government sue China at the international court if China still refuses to remove the rig.

The chapter also called on all Buddhist monks and followers not to participate in illegal demonstrations causing social disorder.

On this occasion, a requiem for soldiers and sailors who died to defend the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago was also held.

At the beginning of May, China illegally dispatched the rig as well as a large fleet of ships and aircraft to Vietnamese waters and positioned the rig at a location 80 miles deep inside Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone. As of May 27, it had been moved to a location 25 nautical miles from Tri Ton Island, which is a part of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago.

China’s armed vessels aggressively fired high-power water cannons at, and intentionally rammed Vietnamese public-service and civil ships, causing damage to many ships and injuring many people on board.-VNA