Sunday, April the 30th marks the third anniversary of the fall of the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon to the North Vietnamese Communists.
APRIL 1975 GV's: Vietnamese tank and soldiers taking over Presidential Palace in Saigon. (5 SHOTS)
AUGUST 1976 GV's: Traffic and street market in Saigon. (2 SHOTS)
LV: Rural area for planned reconstruction with Communist Vietnamese flag flying in foreground.
CU PULL BACK TO GV: Buffalo and mechanical cultivator in rice paddy.
FEBRUARY 1977 GV's: At sea off Malaysia, minesweeper 'Roland' adrift with refugees. (3 SHOTS)
DECEMBER 1976 TV: Vietnamese refugee camp in Thailand.
SV & CU INTERIOR: Refugees in camp. (4 SHOTS)
SV & CU: Vietnamese refugees in Malaysian refugee camp April 1978 boarding red crescent trucks. (4 SHOTS)
CU: Truck leaves for Kuala Lumpur airport.
SV PAN: Refugees board aircraft.
SV PAN INTERIOR: Aircraft refugees.
GV: View of alps from aircraft. (2 SHOTS)
LV & CU: Paris airport and sign. (2 SHOTS)
SV: Vietnamese refugees walking through airport terminal. (2 SHOTS)
CU: Vietnamese former cameraman Tran Huu Trong speaks to reporter in English.
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 15: TRONG: "I have luck that I can arrive here safely, so I'm feeling now, just reborn, and I'm very happy to be in the free world again."
Refugee reports says all those who defeated from Communist forces during the war had been executed which suggest the figure could be as high as 250,000 men and women. Other reports say defectors in prison receive brutal treatment at the hands of their captors. On Thursday (27 April) it was announced in Paris that the leaders of nearly 20 Vietnamese refugee anti-Communist movements want the United Nations to mark the third Anniversary of the fall of Saigon with an investigation into the human rights situation in Vietnam; aid in the freeing of political prisoners, and the urging of South East Asian Governments to do more to help fleeing Vietnamese.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Sunday, April the 30th marks the third anniversary of the fall of the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon to the North Vietnamese Communists. Three years on, the problem of refugees from the regime remains enormous.
SYNOPSIS: April the 30th, 1975. The victorious North Vietnamese roll into the Presidential Palace in Saigon, and those who had not already fled-fearful of what might come. Would there be a bloodbath or not?
In the early days, widespread retribution was held down, but reports grew that those held by the Communists to be politically undesirable were being shot or imprisoned. Others were being sent to "re-education" camps or expelled to the country. Contrary to film allowed out of Vietnam in 1976, mechanical cultivators were a rare luxury in the rice paddies.
The main exodus from Vietnam took place after fall of Saigon. But last year another flood of refugees started fleeing the country and are still doing so. These refugees 300 of them - finished up last year crammed aboard a 130 foot boat moored off Malaysia who won't accept them.
Since 1975 more than 100,000 have been in Thailand, the closest non-Communist neighbour to Vietnam. There are harrowing tales of escapes from Vietnam, by sea and land, against almost insuperable problems. There are many reports of murder, rape, capture and execution. There are also reports of refugees being subject to extortionate treatment at the hands of unscrupulous profiteers in some of the countries through which they pass. Those who reach Malaysia are reported to be well treated in transit camps. But Malaysia can't accept any more and they have to be resettled elsewhere.
South East Asian nations say the West should do more, particularly Australia and the United States. Australia is accepting seven thousand Indo-Chinese refugees and the United States, 170,000. Canada is accepting seven thousand. Japan announced on Friday (29 April) that it will now grant Vietnamese residence permits provided proof is given that they have either a foster parent or a guarantor.
The refugees aboard this plane were going to France which has a large Vietnamese community dating from the days when Vietnam was a French Colony. France plans to accept 42,000 Indo-Chinese refugees.
Among those who arrived in Paris on Wednesday (26 April) was a cameraman, Tran Huu Trong, who had been put in jail on the charge that he was a spy. On release, he defected. About his new home he had this to say.