Another wave came crushing from our seemingly calm sea. A reporter got sacked after criticizing the Party Chief. Like others, I admire him, though true to what he said, in other times and places, what he does, voicing his opinion, would be considered so normal. And like others, I worry about his family’s future. He is married with a small son.

The controversy centers around the redrafting of our Constitution. When the news first came out about a website to gather citizens’ comments, i felt a light switched up inside. In a country of only “right-sided” information, everything is read between the lines. As i listened to a series of commentaries about wider citizens’ participation, i couldn’t help thinking: is this a signal of change? Is there some discussion on democratization within the party itself?  But editorials after speeches, reiteration of the one party rhetoric still stays the domineering theme. My initial optimism quickly passed, for as long as the constitution is not drafted as a legal document, but rather as a manifestation of a party’s will to rule, I see no hope. This political theater no longer of interest, it’s back to business as usual for me . But there are others who can’t stay to the side.

The political me has turned into an outwardly apolitical bystander (or a coward?). I feel ashamed whenever i read a new post by dissident bloggers, people who have courageously chosen to put their career, their life, and even their family at risk. Here I stand lost and not know what to do. To carry on my life and vow not to do harm. Is that enough?

As Vietnamese say, leaking in a house comes from the roof. The constant money and power grabbing, especially at the top, disgusts me and makes me want to retreat, even to run away. I wonder how those people can sleep at night. Do they not feel sick in the stomach when they take away someone’s son, daughter, or father, or mother when that person is simply trying to do just? Do their hearts know no shame when they pray to the Buddha, to their ancestors and ask for blessings?

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