Brisbane restaurant changes name after death threats

A restaurant was forced to change its name after the use of a Vietnamese dictator's name raised local ire.

A Brisbane restaurant has agreed to change its name after death threats were received and members of the Vietnamese community protested outside the Fortitude Valley eatery.

Uncle Ho opened just two weeks ago and is named after the Communist dictator Ho chi Minh, who ruled North Vietnam and then a unified North and South Vietnam after the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.

More than 100 members of the local Vietnamese community turned up outside the restaurant on Sunday with banners and flags to protest the use of the dictator’s name.

In an Instagram post on Sunday, restaurant owner Anna Demirbek called the threats to staff and the business unacceptable.

"Over the past 24 hours management have received death threats and threats of burning down the building our business is housed in," the post stated.

"This is unacceptable, bullying behaviour.

"Our business will be closed today (Sunday) to ensure the safety and security of our team and our customers."

Protesters on the day said that the name was tasteless and insensitive.

One speaker declared: “The owners of Uncle Ho insult the entire Vietnamese community here.”

For many Vietnamese who fled the communist regime during and after the Vietnamese War, Ho Chi Minh is seen as a criminal dictator guilty of war crimes.  

In a later statement, Ms Demirbek said the name of the restaurant would be changed.

"We have registered the name Uncle Bia Hoi and have commenced proceedings to change our trading name in the coming weeks," she said.

2 min read
Published 11 April 2016 at 4:20pm
By Robert Burton-Bradley
Source: SBS