In Vietnam, television viewers have been an official film, showing for the firs time, scenes of fighting with the Kampucheans (Cambodians).
In Vietnam, television viewers have been an official film, showing for the firs time, scenes of fighting with the Kampucheans (Cambodians). The documentary was made before Vietnamese-backed insurgents captured the Kampuchean capital of Phnom Penh on January the seventh. Hundreds of refugees are shown fleeing free the Pol Pot regime. The commentary on the film describes them as victims of the self-inflicted suicide by Phnom Penh's rulers -- a reference o the millions said to have died under the old regime.
SYNOPSIS: This area -- on the Kampuchean border -- was the scene of intense fighting before Vietnamese-backed insurgents took over.
As the commentary points out, at one time, the Vietnamese and Kampucheans both fought until they achieved total victory against foreign occupation. But good relations didn't last long.
According to he Vietnamese, heavy Chinese-made guns pounded their territory from across the border, causing many casualties.
Vietnam says thousands of Kampucheans fled across the border, from the regime in Phnom Penh. Refugees were quoted as saying the government massacred people in the capital and countryside. Security men, they said, could order the arrest and execution of anyone at anytime. Overwork and malnutrition also took its tool. This was alleged to be the body of a victim of the Kampuchean regime.
One family described how relatives were taken away and never returned. They said they fled because they feared that they would all die.
The film also shows Kampuchean soldiers captured, according to the Vietnamese, in raids across the border. The film was shot before Vietnamese-backed insurgents began operating inside Kampuchea in a big way, as they did several months before Phnom Penh fell.
There was no doubt there had been heavy fighting along the border, and that many buildings inside Vietnam had been badly damaged. Most of the damage was caused, according to the Vietnamese, by Chinese weapons. Tension has been running high between Moscow-backed Vietnam and China, supporters of the old Pol Pot government.
The Vietnamese strongly emphasised their claim that Kampuchean refugees were well treated once they crossed the border. They said the refugees were provided with decent meals, and once-re-settled, given a chance to take up their old occupations. One girl had been adopted by a Vietnamese family after crossing the border.
Refugees were given the materials to build their own houses, according to the film's commentator, who maintained they had been granted elementary human rights which they were denied at home. At the same time, thousands of people have fled from Vietnam because they believed they were being denied their human rights. Southeast Asia is teeming with refugees looking for a new life.