• Short Summary

    The year 1978 has seen an increase in the number of refugees leaving Vietnam. For?

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    The year 1978 has seen an increase in the number of refugees leaving Vietnam. For the authorities of the countries they arrive in, especially Malaysia, the exodus is causing a problem...what to do with them Some Western countries are providing permanent homes for thousands of the Vietnamese, who form part of about a quarter of a million refugees in the Indochina region. Many of these first moved from their homes three years ago during the social upheaval that came with the end of the Vietnam war.

    SYNOPSIS: 1975, and South Vietnamese refugees head south in front of the advancing Hanoi forces. By April of that year, the regime had collapsed and Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh city, soon came under North Vietnam's control In the last months of the war millions of civilians and soldiers were on the move. At coastal Da Nang, surrounded by communist troops, a million refugees tried to escape to Saigon.

    Two months later Saigon fell too. More than 110,000 American and South Vietnamese fled the city, using any possible means. Most Vietnamese wh??? got out then were soldiers and government officials.

    The aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Midway, became one target for those getting out by helicopter or 'plane Amongst those evacuated was South Vietnam's former premier, Air Vice Marshal Nguen Kao Ky. Thousands of other South Vietnamese who wanted to escape were not so lucky.

    Space on the ship was so precious that helicopters which did not belong were dumped overboard, to make room for those that did.

    Many of the refugees were sent to the Pacific island of Guam, before being found permanent homes. The island has again been suggested as a possible site for temporary accommodation for the new waves of refugees. The proposal by Malaysia and Indonesia was made earlier this month (December), at a 37-state meeting in Switzerland, called to discuss ways of dealing with the refugee problem. A quarter of a million refugees from the regions are still waiting to be found permanent homes. The United States has agreed to double the number it takes, to more than 50,000. Australia is also going to take more.

    In June this year the Prime Ministers of Malaysia, Australia and Singapore met to discuss, among other things, the problem the refugees are presenting. Malaysia had already, had to handle almost 50,000 boat people.

    Most of them are ethnic Chinese. They represent a broad cross sect of society. Most are traders. The Vietnamese government calls them economic refugees. To make the hazardous 300-mile sea crossing they crowd into boats, often old a lacking modern equipment. It cost money, about 4,000 dollars each, usually paid in gold. Despite the cost it seems more are willing to risk the voyage. For some, like these arriving in West Germany, there are permanent homes. Many others still wait in camps.

    According to Reuters Vietnam appear to be tacitly willing to see the exodus, losing people who will not conform to the new communist society

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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