Some seven-hundred demonstrators, many of them school children, marched through Saigon on Saturday (29 September 1973) to protest Viet Cong attacks on a South Vietnamese outpost in the Central Highlands.
Some seven-hundred demonstrators, many of them school children, marched through Saigon on Saturday (29 September 1973) to protest Viet Cong attacks on a South Vietnamese outpost in the Central Highlands. They marched to the Tan Son Nhut airbase, which houses the Viet Cong occupant and from there to the headquarters of the four nation International Commission for Central and Supervision (I.C.C.S.).
The demonstration was ever renewed fighting in the Central Highlands. The South Vietnamese say a Ranger camp at Le Minh was overman by North Vietnamese tanks, sending its 293 defenders and their families fleeing to Government lines. Only four have been reported safety since the incident, which took place on September 22. President Nguyen Van Thieu has scheduled a visit to the Central Highlands capital of pleika, 25 miles (40 km) from the border outpost, on Monday (1st October).
Vietcong officials have described the situation in the area as the main threat to the future of the Vietnam ceasefire. They admitted carrying out "counter attacks" against South Vietnamese troops west of pleika, but have not referred specifically to Le Minh. Colonel Ve Deng Giang, deputy chief of the Viet Cong delegation in Saigon, declined to cannon to a whether tanks had been used. He described the situation west of pleika and the other main Central Highlands city of Kentom as "very tense".
A number of South Vietnamese politicians have called for retaliatory raids. President Thieu is expected to speak on the issue after his visit to pleiks.
SYNOPSIS: Some seven hundred South Vietnamese demonstrated on Saturday outside the Tan Son Nhut airbase, which houses the Viet Cong compound in Saigon. They were protesting against an alleged Viet Cong attack on a South Vietnamese border outpost in the Central Highlands.
According to Saigon, North Vietnamese tanks overran a Ranger camp at Le Minh, twenty-five miles from the regional capital, pleiku. The two hundred and ninety-three defenders and their families had to flee back to the Government lines. Nine days later, only four of them had arrived safely. President Nguyen Van Thieu is visiting Pleiku this week to see the situation for himself.
The Viet Cong have admitted carrying out what they called "counter attacks" on South Vietnamese troops west of Pleiku, but have not referred specifically to Le Minh.
From the airbase, the demonstrators, many of whom were school children, proceeded to the Cholon district of Saigon. There they continued their demonstration outside the headquarters of the four-nation International Commission for Control and Supervision, set up the cease-fire agreement. The protesters waved banners and chanted anti-Communist slogans.
The Viet Cong have turned down a South Vietnamese proposal for a combined investigation with the I.C.C.S into the attack on the Ranger base at Le Minh.
But they have described the situation in the area west of Pleiku as the main threat to the future of the Vietnam ceasefire. President Thieu is expecting to issue 2 statement after his visit there this week.