The exodus of boat people from Vietnam is reported to be rising alarmingly again, in spite of Hanoi's pledge to stem the departure.
GV Rescue ship "Cape Anamour" at sea off Singapore
SV West German flag flying on mast
SV Refugees on deck of ship (4 shots)
SV & GV Refugees coming down gangway onto ship-to-shore ferry (3 shots)
GV Ferrying boat leaving ship for Singapore mainland
GV Singapore seafront skyline
SV Boat arriving on shore and refugees
SV Sign for Vietnamese Refugee camp
GV Camp buildings (2 shots)
SV Refugees relaxing and cooking in camps (6 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The exodus of boat people from Vietnam is reported to be rising alarmingly again, in spite of Hanoi's pledge to stem the departure. United Nations statistics indicate that 6,000 refugees are monthly making the perilous journeys across the South china Seas. According to an official, the U.N. High Commission for Refugees ins bracing for a massive new wave of boat people between now and October. Last weekend (10-12 May) the West German mercy ship "Cape Anamour" rescued a total of 480 people from sinking boats and landed them safely in Singapore.
SYNOPSIS: The odds against this new exodus of "boat people" reaching safety have grown steeply since last summer. The "Cape Anamour" rescued these people from smaller craft, many completely inadequate for the dangerous crossing.
The tiny river craft being pressed into use are vulnerable to capture by Vietnamese patrol boats, and easy prey to pirates of Thailand's "Barbary Coast".
This group were picked up before they reached the pirate waters, and after surviving coastal storms. The West German ship operating as a relief supply ship since last July has made rescue work its priority since February.
At the Geneva Conference last July the Vietnamese government promised to impose a moratorium on the exodus, in return for international help.
Fears expressed at the time that Hanoi would weed out only their undesirables, such as the ethnic Chinese, are proving justified, according to refugee testimony. They claim that any ethnic Vietnamese applying for orderly departure are closely questioned and temporarily dismissed from their jobs.
Reports continue to surface that Vietnam has planted intelligence agents among the fleeing refugees.
These newly arrived refugees will probably be carefully screened in this camp in northern Singapore before their repatriation to West Germany. American officials announced earlier that several Communist agents have ben identified and barred from entry to the United States.