• Short Summary

    THE TRAGIC AFTERMATH OF FOUR WEEKS SAVAGE FIGHTING IN VIETNAM - A NEW FLOOD OF REFUGEES.

  • Description

    THE TRAGIC AFTERMATH OF FOUR WEEKS SAVAGE FIGHTING IN VIETNAM - A NEW FLOOD OF REFUGEES. THE SOUTH VIETNAMESE PRIME MINISTER, MR. NGUYEN VAN LOC, APPEALED FOR INTERNATIONAL AID LAST WEEK AS MANY THOUSANDS OF HOMELESS CIVILIANS POURED INTO THE COUNTRY'S ALREADY OVERCROWDED CITIES.

    AN OFFICIAL ESTIMATE GIVES THE NUMBER OF REFUGEES IN SOUTH VIETNAM AS ABOUT 600,000 - SOME RECENT ON-TIME-SPOT REPORTS PLACE THE FIGURE AS NEARER TWO MILLION.

    IN SAIGON, ONE OF THE MOST DENSELY POPULATED CITIES IN THE WORLD, THE SITUATION IS BY FAR THE WORST. COUNTLESS THOUSANDS OF HOMES WERE DESTROYED DURING THE RECENT FIGHTING IN THE CAPITAL. SOME 250,000 REFUGEES ARE NOW BEING CARED FOR AT 125 CENTRES IN THE CITY AND SUBURBS, MANY OF THEM PACKED TOGETHER IN MAKESHIFT CONDITIONS.

    A WOMEN STRAW MAT WHICH IS HANDED TO EACH FAMILY AS THEY ENTER A REFUGEE CENTRE IS THE MEASURE OF THEIR LIVING SPACE. FAMILIES SECURE THEIR "TERRITORY" BY PLACING THEIR MAT ON SPACE IS AVAILABLE. SIX FEET BY THREE FEET (TWO METRES BY ONE METRE) REPRESENTS THE LIVING SPACE ALLOTTED TO A FAMILY OF SIX WITH ALL THEIR WORDLY POSSESSIONS.

    GOVERNMENT BULLDOZERS HAVE BEEN LEVELLING THE AREAS WHICH WERE DEVASTATED BY FIERCE MORTAR AND ROCKEY BATTLES BETWEEN SOUTH VIETNAMESE FORCES AND THE VIET CONG. STILL MORE BLOCKS OF BUILDINGS WERE DESTROYED BY AIR BOMBING ATTACKS. THE HOMELESS HAVE BEEN WORKING STRENUOUSLY TO RECOVER POSSESSIONS FROM THEIR FORMER HOMES BEFORE THE BULLDOZERS ARRIVE. THE GOVERNMENT SAY THEY WILL BE REHOUSED IN NEW BLOCKS OF FLATS WHICH WILL BE ERECTED IN THESE AREAS.

    IN CHOLON, ONE OF THE WORST HIT DISTRICTS OF SAIGON, A SMALL BUDDHIST PAGODA WAS ALMOST DESTROYED, BUT THE MONKS CONTINUE TO WORSHIP THERE. GOVERNMENT TROOPS ARE ON CONTINUOUS GUARD WHILE THE BULLDOZERS ARE WORKING AS THERE IS THE CONSTANT DANGER OF VIET CONG SNIPERS.

    IN THE SAME LOCALITY, BEHIND THE AN QUANG PAGODA, SQUATTERS HAVE BEEN ERECTING SHANTY HOMES AMONG THE RUINS. A MAJOR COMMAND POST OF THE VIET CONG IS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN LOCATED THERE. THE AN QUANG PAGODA IS THE HEADQUARTERS OF THICH TRI QUANG, THE MILITANT BUDDHIST LEADER WHO HAS NOT BEEN SEEN SINCE THE BATTLE IN THE CITY.

    GOVERNMENT SOLDIERS MINGLE WITH THE REFUGEES IN THESE AREAS AS IT IS CONSIDERED THAT MANY VIET CONG HAVE INFILTRATED WITH THE HOMELESS, AND THAT MANY OF THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES ARE SYMPATHISERS.

    ON THE OTHER SIDE OF SAIGON, IN GIA DINH, OTHER CENTRES ARE CARING FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE LOST HOMES AND POSSESSIONS. THEY INCLUDE MANY FROM HANG XANH, WHERE PERHAPS THE MUST BITTER FIGHTING OF ALL TOOK PLACE. AT A ROMAN CATHOLIC ORPHANAGE, THE DON BOSCO HOME, THE OVERCROWDING IS TYPICAL - ABOUT 35 PEOPLE ARE LIVING IN ONE ROOM.

    ONE SIDE EFFECT OF THE RECENT OFFENSIVE IS THAT THERE ARE HEAPS OF GARBAGE PILING UP ALL OVER THE CITY. CHILDREN FROM THE NEARBY REFUGEE CENTRES HAVE BEEN RUMMAGING THROUGH THE LITTER TO FIND ANYTHING OF VALUE TO THEM - WHETHER IT BE FOOD OR SOME USABLE MATERIAL. FOOD PRICES HAVE RISEN SHARPLY AS THE POOR TRY DESPERATELY TO FIND ENOUGH MONEY FOR THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE. FOOD SUPPLIES FROM THE DELTA AND THE DALAY DISTRICTS IN THE SOUTH VIETNAMESE HIGHLANDS HAVE BEEN SEVERELY CURTAILED.

    HUNDREDS MORE HOMELESS PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ARRIVING AT THE REFUGEE CENTRES EVERY DAY. THEY NOW CONTINUE TO LIVE UNDER THE CONSTANT THREAT OF ANOTHER VIET CONG OFFENSIVE AT ANY TIME. THE MILITARY FORCES AND THE NATIONAL POLICE ARE ON A FULL-SCALE ALERT AS LIFE IN THE ALMOST TOTALLY BESEIGED CITY GOES ON.

    SYNOPSIS: SAIGON - THE CAPITAL OF SOUTH VIETNAM AND ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST DENSELY POPULATED CITIES. TODAY, AFTER WEEKS OF SAVAGE FIGHTING ON THE CITY'S DOORSTEP, OVERCROWDING HAS BECOME A MORE URGENT PROBLEM. COUNTLESS THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE LOST THEIR HOMES.

    FOLLOWING THE LATEST VIET CONG OFFENSIVE, A FLOOD OF REFUGEES POURED INTO SOUTH VIETNAM'S ALREADY TEEMING CITIES. BUT IN SAIGON THE SITUATION IS BY FAR THE WORST. SOME 250,000 HOMELESS CIVILIANS ARE BEING CARED FOR AT OVER A HUNDRED CENTRES IN THE CITY AND SUBURBS, MANY OF THEM PACKED TOGETHER IN PRIMITIVE CONDITIONS.

    THIS IS A REFUGEE CENTRE AT GIA DINH, A SUBURB OF SAIGON, WHERE SOME OF THE MOST BITTER FIGHTING OF ALL TOOK PLACE.

    GOVERNMENT BULLDOZERS HAVE BEEN LEVELLING THE AREAS WHICH WERE DEVASTATED BY FIERCE MORTAR AND ROCKET BATTLES BETWEEN SOUTH VIETNAMESE AND VIET CONG. STILL MORE BLOCKS OF BUILDINGS WERE DESTROYED BY AIR ATTACKS.

    THE HOMELESS HAVE BEEN WORKING DESPERATELY TO RECOVER POSSESSIONS FROM THE RUBBLE OF THEIR HOMES BEFORE THE BULLDOZERS ARRIVE. THE GOVERNMENT SAY THEY WILL ALL BE REHOUSED IN NEW BLOCKS OF FLATS WHICH WILL BE PUT UP IN THE SAME AREAS.

    IN CHOLON, A HEAVILY DAMAGED DISTRICT, A SMALL BUDDHIST PAGODA WAS ALMOST DESTROYED, BUT THE MONKS CONTINUE TO WORSHIP THERE.

    A NEARBY SCHOOL WHERE MANY REFUGEE FROM THIS PART OF CHOLON HAVE TAKEN SHELTER. GOVERNMENT SOLDIERS STAY WITH THEM AS IT'S CONSIDERED THAT MANY VIET CONG HAVE INFILTRATED WITH THE HOMELESS, AND THAT MANY OF THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES ARE SYMPATHISERS. OFFICIAL ESTIMATES GIVE THE TOTAL NUMBER OF REFUGEES IN SOUTH VIETNAM AS ABOUT 600,000 - SOME RECENT ON-THE-SPOT REPORTS, HOWEVER, PLACE THE FIGURE NEARER TWO MILLION. THE GOVERNMENT HAS APPEALED FOR INTERNATIONAL HELP - THE MOST URGENT NEED IS FOR FOOD, CLOTHING AND BLANKETS.

    IN THE SAME LOCALITY, BEHIND THE AN QUANG PAGODA, SQUATTERS HAVE BEEN BUILDING SHANTY HOMES AMONG THE RUINS. A MAJOR COMMAND POST OF THE VIET CONG IS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN LOCATED HERE. HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE ARE NOW LIVING IN THESE CORRUPTED IRON SHACKS AND MORE ARE GOING UP EVERY DAY.

    IT'S WASHING DAY NUMBER UNDER A BROKEN WATER PIPE FOR TWO GIRLS WHO CAN STILL LAUGH ABOUT IT.

    THE EASY WAY TO WASH, AND NOT A TOWEL IN SIGHT.

    THE AN QUANG PAGODA IS THE HEADQUARTERS OF THICH TRI QUANG, THE MILITANT BUDDHIST LEADER WHO HAS NOT BEEN SEEN SINCE THE BATTLE.

    A WOVEN STRAW MAT IS THE MEASURE OF LIVING SPACE FOR THE REFUGEES. SIX FEET BY THREE FEET (TWO METRES BY ONE METRE) IS THE AMOUNT OF SPACE ALLOTTED TO A FAMILY OF SIX WITH ALL THEIR WORLDLY POSSESSIONS.

    FOOD PRICES IN SAIGON HAVE RISEN SHARPLY AS THE POOR TRY AND FIND ENOUGH MONEY FOR THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE. SUPPLIES OF FOOD FROM THE DELTA AND DALAT DISTRICTS IN THE HIGHLANDS HAVE BEEN DRASTICALLY CUT DOWN.

    ONE SIDE EFFECT OF THE RECENT FIGHTING IS THAT THERE ARE HEAPS OF GARBAGE PILING UP ALL OVER THE CITY. CHILDREN FROM NEARBY REFUGEE CENTRES SEARCH PATIENTLY THROUGH THE LITTER HOPING TO FIND FOOD OR SOME USEFUL MATERIAL.

    THE PEOPLE OF SAIGON CONTINUE TO LIVE UNDER THE THREAT OF ANOTHER VIET CONG ATTACK FROM WITHIN THE CITY ITSELF. THE MILITARY FORCES AND THE NATIONAL POLICE ARE ON A FULL-SCALE ALERT AS LIFE GOES ON IN AN ALMOST TOTALLY BESIEGED CITY.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA4WFHEZ27KA5G3SVWVEFQSA4X1
    Media URN:
    VLVA4WFHEZ27KA5G3SVWVEFQSA4X1
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    19/02/1968
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:05:17:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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