The British freighter Sibonga has sailed into Hong Kong harbour with nearly one thousand Vietnamese 'Boat People' aboard.
The British freighter Sibonga has sailed into Hong Kong harbour with nearly one thousand Vietnamese 'Boat People' aboard. They had been rescued from leaking, overcrowded junks in the South China sea.
SYNOPSIS: Sibonga's arrival, with its decks crowded with Vietnamese refugees, brought further problems for the British colony which is already temporary home to 38,000 Vietnamese refugees. Tarpaulins rigged on deck have provided shelter for the Sibonga's passengers. She had been waiting for five days to enter the harbour.
Hong Kong agreed to allow the Sibonga to enter after the British Government said it would take responsibility for the refugees. But the refugees had to stay on board while arrangements were made for their trip to Britain. Nearby, on an armada of battered fishing junks, about four thousand more 'boat people' were also refused permission to land. Refugee transit camps in one of the world's most densely populated cities are packed to capacity.
The Sibonga's owners calculate that the delay has cost them one hundred thousand U.S. dollars. Her captain says that when he saved them from their two sinking craft the Vietnamese were throwing a dead baby into the sea.