The final convoy of 5,000 Vietnamese refugees sailed down the Mekong River from Phnom Penh on Thursday (August 13).
The final convoy of 5,000 Vietnamese refugees sailed down the Mekong River from Phnom Penh on Thursday (August 13). The operation brought the total of Vietnamese refugees ferried down river from Cambodian to 85,000.
Cambodian Social Affairs Minister Phan Quang Dan, in charge of the Vietnamese exodus, handed out gifts of blankets, food and cloths to the embarking refugees -- many of whom have lost everything as a result of the anti-Vietnamese feeling in Cambodia.
Many more of the 60,000 Vietnamese living in Cambodia -- a third of them in a the capital -- have already left by air, by road or on foot. The refugees centres, established at the height of the inter-racial; trouble, now stand empty.
Because of the fighting still raging in Cambodia, no effective estimate is yet possible of the economic effects caused by the withdrawal of the Vietnamese -- many earned their living as artisans, fishermen, or tradesmen. Those owning property and businesses have been obliged to sell up at a fraction of the market value.