• Short Summary

    In South Vietnam, opposition to the Government of President Thieu has been growing in recent weeks.

  • Description

    In South Vietnam, opposition to the Government of President Thieu has been growing in recent weeks.

    Two of the most potentially powerful groups, militant Buddhists and Roman Catholics, have been meeting in the last few days with the view to cooperating in their opposition.

    On Saturday (14 September) a group of militant Buddhists met at the An Quang pagoda in Saigon. Among those at the meeting was General Duong Van Minh who was instrumental in the coup d'etat which overthrew the regime of Ngo Dinh diem in 1963. He has long been a opponent of President Thieu's policies.

    the An Quang faction of Buddhists decided to form a movement called "Forces for National Reconciliation". A former Foreign Minister, Mr. Vu Van Mau was elected Chairman of the movement.

    Two observers from a militant Roman Catholic group were at Saturday's meeting.

    Leaders of both the militant Buddhist and Catholic groups were to meet early this week to discuss more formal cooperation.

    Meanwhile, the Thieu Government on Tuesday (17 September) called 1,500,000 civilian and military personnel together for a series of country-wide meetings to warn of communist involvement in the growing opposition movement.

    Country-wide meetings on this scale have in the past only been called to discuss such major issues as the signing of the 1973 Paris Peace Agreement.

    Meanwhile the police have been instructed not to harass the opposition groups. On Sunday (15 September) police in the northern city of Hue ignored a demonstration by Catholics protesting at alleged corruption. At a similar demonstration a week before they had used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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