The Slogan on Le Dinh Kinh's Coffin: For a True Revolutionary and Ideal Communist

The Slogan on Le Dinh Kinh's Coffin: For a True Revolutionary and Ideal Communist
Photo: Green Trees.

“Colonial imperialist France used the law of the jungle, employed brutal force to seize the land of indigenous farmers, and then gave tens of thousands of hectares of land to French landlords and financial companies to establish plantations for rubber, levant cotton, fabric, sugar cane, rice, etc.”

The above passage was written in the “Nghị quyết về nông dân vận động” (Resolution on Farmers' Movement), adopted by the Second Congress of the Indochinese Communist Party on March 28, 1935. [1]

A year later, a child was born in a rural area of Tonkin, North Vietnam.

He would spend 84 years witnessing and directly participating in tumultuous and chaotic social upheavals centralized around massive land transitions from one class to another. He eventually found himself caught amid these shifts, gunned down by the police in the village where he was born.

His name was Le Dinh Kinh, a man who truly embodied communist ideals and who was also a loyal member of the Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP). [2]

He was a farmer, the backbone of the revolution initiated by the VCP.

He was born and raised in a village in Tonkin, a significant revolutionary stronghold in the history of the Communist Party.

He joined the VCP when he was in his twenties.

He served as a soldier in the "resistance war against the United States;" his actions contributed to the legitimacy of the party.

He served as chairman of his village when cooperatives were still at the heart of the country’s economy.

He was the chief of the commune police - a protector of the regime's security.

He was the Party Committee secretary and a village chairman in the 1980s, directly implementing the policies of the Communist Party at the grassroots level.

In the eyes of the VCP, no one could have a more revolutionary and impeccable resume than Le Dinh Kinh.

But in the end, he died in a confrontation with the same party he had devoted his entire life to serving, his mutilated body lying at the headquarters of the authority he once led.

After his gruesome death, this loyal and idealistic communist, Le Dinh Kinh, was branded as a terrorist by the Communist Party.

Ironically, in the year Le Dinh Kinh was born, the VCP had to explain its activities in an open letter to the French public.

“We are not terrorists. We are genuine communists who do not abandon any Marxist-Leninist principles. It is undoubtedly incorrect to describe us as terrorists and rioters; on the contrary, we are the most enthusiastic advocates for the spirit of harmony and equality among nations and world peace.” [3]

Le Dinh Kinh experienced several remarkable twists during his lifetime – from the time when the VCP was accused of being a terrorist organization to when the government accused him of leading an armed disruptive group, [4] and even when the same party he had devoted his life to condemned him as an actual terrorist. [5]

He lived through the transformation of Vietnamese society, which was transitioning from a nation whose land had been violently seized by French colonialists to the founding of the VCP. Ultimately, his own country turned against him, and he perished while defending the land he passionately believed belonged to the villagers in his local community.

The death of Le Dinh Kinh is not simply the death of a peasant leader; the VCP does not realize that they have neutralized their best communists right within the country’s most crucial revolutionary stronghold.

The revolutionary slogan, Người cày có ruộng (The Tillers Possess the Land), now rests in the coffin of Le Dinh Kinh as a familiar pattern emerges in Vietnamese history. The VCP, once a force for liberation, has been transformed into a new oppressor. Another revolution may loom if it fails to reflect on its current course and actions.

On Jan. 9, 2020, Le Dinh Kinh was shot to death in his own home by his communist comrades when he tried to protect his right to land that was promised to him when he joined the VCP decades ago.

This article was translated by The Vietnamese Magazine from the original article in Vietnamese, published by Luat Khoa Magazine on January 13, 2020.


1. Văn kiện Đảng toàn tập, tập 5, trang 43.

2. Sơn Tùng. (2017, May 2). Thôn Hoành hồ hởi đón cụ Lê Đình Kình trở về. Tạp Chí Kiểm Sát.

3. Văn kiện Đảng toàn tập, tập 6, trang 125.

4. X.T. (2020, January 13). Bộ Công an: Ông Lê Đình Kình cầm giữ quả lựu đạn trên tay khi tử vong. VietnamPlus.

5. Nguyễn Huy Toàn. (2020, January 10). Vụ Đồng Tâm: Không khoan nhượng với Lê Đình Kình, kẻ khủng bố tàn độc. Cánh Cò.

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