Almost a thousand Vietnamese `boat people' have been brought ashore in Hong Kong from the British freighter Sibonga before their resettlement in England.
Almost a thousand Vietnamese `boat people' have been brought ashore in Hong Kong from the British freighter Sibonga before their resettlement in England. They'll be flown over in batches during the next few weeks, to be housed initially at a disused air force camp in southern England.
SYNOPSIS: The refugees, waving and smiling, lined the deck as the Sibonga berthed at Kowloon pier. For most, it was their first return to dry land since they left Vietnam aboard overcrowded fishing junks in May.
Carrying their few remaining possessions, the `boat people' made their way down the ship's gangway for a brief check by immigration officials. The Sibonga was allowed to discharge its human cargo after the British government accepted responsibility for the refugees, who'd been rescued from their two sinking fishing boats in the South China Sea.
A hundred and twenty of the Vietnamese are due to leave for Britain on June the eleventh, followed by another one hundred and eighty the next day.
Their first home will be at a disused base at the village of Sopley in Hampshire on the south coast of England. Workmen are starting to install heating, lighting, cooking and plumbing facilities. Geoff Petts of Visnews spoke to Robert Hood of the British Council for Aid to Refugees.