Vietnam solidarity activist Len Aldis dies


LEN ALDIS, the Secretary of the Britain—Viet Nam Friendship Society (BVFS) has passed away at his home at Tomlins Grove Street, London. He was 85.

A peace campaigner known throughout the world, Aldis made great efforts to help Agent Orange (AO)/Dioxin victims in Vietnam.

In a statement last Saturday, local police said they were called by Aldis’s friends who were worried that he had not answered nor responded to phone calls recently. The campaigner was then found inside his house and pronounced dead at the scene.

Len Aldis first went to Vietnam 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 Vietnam during the war.

Len Aldis worked hard to raise funds for the victims, even braving the cold on winter days to sell souvenirs to raise funds. He has raised around £56,000 since 1989 and sent the amount to help the disadvantaged through the Vietnam 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 was often invited to 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 to understand better the serious consequences that AO has caused to the Vietnamese people.

In a letter to Aldis on his 80th birthday in 2010, the then Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pham Gia Khiem, said that the people and the Government of Vietnam would always hold Aldis’s personal as well as the BVFS’s friendship and support for Vietnam in high regards.

The campaigner was honoured with a Friendship Order by the Vietnamese President in recognition of his work.