Police with tear-gas broke up a demonstration by about 2,000 anti-government student demonstrators in Saigon yesterday (Friday).
Police with tear-gas broke up a demonstration by about 2,000 anti-government student demonstrators in Saigon yesterday (Friday). The students had earlier taken part in the mile-long funeral procession for former South Vietnamese Chief of State Phan Khac Suu and were protesting against their exclusion from the burial ceremonies.
Mr. Suu died the previous Sunday in an American military hospital at the age of 65. His strongly anti-colonialist stand had especially endeared him to South Vietnam's dissenting student population.
He was twice imprisoned by the French. When the French withdrew from Indo-China, he was exiled from South Vietnam during the rule of President Ngo Dinh Diem. Following President Diem's assassination, he became the country's chief of state in 1964.
After a short spell in office, he was overthrown in a military coup became Speaker in the National Assembly.
In the 1967 Presidential election, Mr. Suu stood unsuccessfully against President Thieu.
The presence of President and Madame Thieu at the funeral-together with Vice-President Nguyen Cao Ky-was thought to be the reason why the students were barred from the burial ceremony.
After handing out leaflets during the procession condemning President Thieu's policies, the students protested in force against their exclusion from the burial. It was then that police moved in firing tear-gas to break up the protest. Saigon universities have been closed for more than three weeks because of anti-government agitation by students.