Thursday, December 3, 2015

UK Agent Orange activist Len Aldis dies

LONDON (VNS) — Secretary of the Britain-Viet Nam Friendship Society (BVFS) Len Aldis has passed away at his home at Tomlins Grove Street, London, the United Kingdom. He was 85.
A peace campaigner known throughout the world, Aldis made great efforts to help Agent Orange (AO)/Dioxin victims in Viet Nam.
In a statement last Saturday, local police said they were called by Aldis's friends who were worried that he had not answered or responded to phone calls recently. The campaigner was then found inside his house and pronounced dead at the scene.
Aldis first came to Viet Nam in 1989 and returned annually to assist people who had suffered in wars, particularly those living with the effects of Agent Orange, a toxic chemical the US sprayed on Viet Nam during the war.
The British man worked hard to raise funds for the victims, even braving the cold on winter days to sell souvenirs to raise funds. Since 1989, Aldis has raised around 56,000 British pounds and sent the amount to help the disadvantaged through the Viet Nam Red Cross.
In 2009, Aldis launched a website to gather and send signatures to US President Barack Obama and US congressmen to demand justice for the AO/dioxin victims.
Aldis has often been invited to UK universities to talk with students about the AO-related issues. He also raised the matter during his meetings with the local people in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and France.
He said there was much work to be done to support the AO victims, adding that he would continue performing activities to help the British people as well as international organisations better understand the serious consequences that AO has caused to Vietnamese people.
In a letter to Aldis on his 80th birth day in 2010, the then Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Gia Khiem said that the people and the Government of Viet Nam would always hold Aldis' personal as well as the BVFS's friendship and support for Viet Nam in high regards.
The campaigner was honoured with a Friendship Order by the Vietnamese President in recognition of his work. — VNS

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