As the rest of the world welcomed the New Year, the plight of hundreds of Vietnamese refugees on boats and in camps has not improved.
As the rest of the world welcomed the New Year, the plight of hundreds of Vietnamese refugees on boats and in camps has not improved. Hong Kong has accepted many but is refusing permission for 2,700 more to land from the Taiwan-owned freighter the Huey Fong. It has been anchored just outside Hong Kong waters since shortly before Christmas. And the Philippines is faced with the same problem. The government appealed to several nations, including the Soviet Union and China, to help resettle 2,300 refugees crammed on board the freighter Tung An, now in Manila Bay.
SYNOPSIS: For the Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong, the future is uncertain. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees is on the scene and the BBC's Jim Biddulph asked a spokesman to comment on Hong Kong's attitude to the Vietnamese "boat people", and their ship the Huey Fong.
And in the Philippines, the Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr Jose Ingles held a news conference to detail facts and figures regarding the number of Vietnamese refugees his country has already accepted.
A representative of the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) has been interviewing refugees on board the Tung An, which had earlier been turned away from Brunei. Its master said about 200 people died trying to get aboard. Meanwhile, the sick among the 2,400 refugees already ashore in Manila were being cared for in the Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital. They included a pregnant woman and a baby whose mother was still on board the Tung An.