About 40 presentations, writings and reports had been sent to the organizing panel, and a number of them were presented at the workshop, helping the participants have a clearer panorama of the events taking place at La Tien village during the resistance war against the French colonialists and later on. They affirmed that La Tien Banyan Tree and La Tien Temple make a historical site, which reveals the barbarous and brutal crimes of the French troops. It also demonstrates the sound leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam and highlight the Vietnamese heroism during the struggles against foreign invaders. The workshop also raised a number of issues that need more research to clarify in the coming time.
In his opening speech, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Do Tien Sy, who is also a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, highlighted the significance of the workshop. He said the workshop was to review the historical and revolutionary values of the relic; to evoke the pride and tradition of the local people; and to promote the values of this national relic in particular and of the land and people of Hung Yen province in general during the resistance war for national independence and freedom as well as the present national construction and safeguarding. Each presentation at the workshop is a joss-stick in tribute of the heroic martyrs who laid down their lives in La Tien for the national salvation.
La Tien village is located to the left bank of the Luoc River, bordering the three provinces of Hung Yen, Thai Binh and Hai Duong. Due to its strategic location on the communication route through which Vietnamese regular troops moved among Red River Delta provinces, the French forces built a fortified post directly commanded by French officers. During the period of 1949 -1954, the French colonialists and their henchmen in La Tien post killed 1,145 Vietnamese revolutionaries and patriots. However, their brutality failed to suppress the local people’s patriotism. On the contrary, the brutality fanned the flames of hatred against the French colonialists and heightened the unyielding spirit of the Vietnamese people.
The workshop's delegates beside the La Tien Banyan Tree
Despite the brutality of the French troops at La Tien post, the local forces and regular troops of Vietnam carried out an attack and destroyed the post in January 1954. Accordingly, Battalion 664 under Regiment 64 and the local armed forces opened fire on the post, neutralizing the whole French troops in the post and seized their weapons and military equipment. Together with victories in Ben Trai (Thanh Mien district, Hai Duong province) and Quynh Lang (Quynh Coi district, Thai Binh province), La Tien victory erased a brutal base of the French troops in the Red River Delta, broke the encirclement of the enemy in the important area of Hung Yen, West Hai Duong and North Thai Binh, opening up the strategic waterway along the Luoc River for the revolutionary troops to deploy forces and fight the enemy. The victory contributed significantly to the final victory of the resistance war against the French colonialists as it wore out the French troops strength in the whole Tonkin theater.
For its historical and revolutionary significance, on April 25, 2005, the provincial Department of Culture and Information of Hung Yen named La Tien Banyan Tree as an ancient tree that needs special care and preservation like other cultural-historical relics. In 2008, the restoration and embellishment project for the La Tien “Stele of Hatred” and La Tien Banyan Tree started with financial supports from many individuals and organizations. In 2010, the La Tien Temple was inaugurated and in 2012 the site was recognized as the provincial historical relic. On November 18, 2015, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism recognized it as a national historical relic.
* Prior to the opening of the workshop, on the afternoon of March 28, the organizing panel and delegates offered incense to martyrs in front of La Tien Banyan Tree and La Tien Temple, located in Nguyen Hoa commune, Phu Cu district, Hung Yen province.
Translated by Huu Duong