Cardinal Road, Washington, DC


                                                                                                                          January 16, 2000   



William J. Clinton                                                                            

The President

The White House

Washington, DC



Dear Mr. President,


Let me take this opportunity to express my deepest appreciation and support for your Administration’s commitment to “safeguarding freedom of religion at home and promoting it around the globe” as stated in your Proclamation of Religious Freedom Day,  January 16, 2000.


Being forced into exile after 20 years of imprisonment for having spoken out on behalf of freedom, I wholeheartedly share your noble commitment to the promotion of religious freedom as a fundamental part of the American public diplomacy. The people in totalitarian countries, like Vietnam, are still deprived of basic freedoms and human rights -- religious freedom and freedom of expression being the most prominent. These people certainly appreciate the leading role of the United States in assisting persecuted persons of various religions and beliefs, and in proclaiming the rights and dignity of every human being as you have reaffirmed them in your Proclamation of January 14, 2000.


I also would like to express my appreciation for being invited to attend one of the White House’s Millennium 2000 caucuses on the Holocaust in which you and Mrs. Hillary Clinton personally exchanged dialogues with the audience, which, for me, speaks eloquently of your dedication to liberty and democracy. 


I wish you, Mr. President, Mrs. Hillary R. Clinton and Miss Chelsea Clinton a happy New Year.


Respectfully yours,




Doan Viet Hoat

Visiting Scholar