Vietnamese official’s visit sparks protest in Australia

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A small group of demonstrators have protested outside the Australian Parliament against the visit of Vietnam’s Communist Party chief, Nong Duc Manh.

Senior Australian ministers are holding talks with their Vietnamese counterparts in the capital Canberra.

Protesters say the presence of Vietnam’s Communist Party General Secretary as delegation leader is unacceptable.

The President of Australia’s Vietnamese community, Phong Nguyen, says dialogue between the two governments should not happen through a party leader.

“They are not government. They are not representing. They have never been voted in by the people of Vietnam,” he said.

The demonstrators also condemned alleged human rights violations in Vietnam.

Protestors called on Australian MPs to boycott an official dinner for the delegation, which includes Vietnam’s ministers for foreign affairs, planning and investment.