Australia has rejected a Hanoi demand for the return of all 181 people, including 157 refugees, aboard a trawler which was seized from Vietnam and is now in the northern Australian city of Darwin.
AERIAL VIEW Song Be at sea (3 shots)
LV GV Ship
GV & SV PAN Ship with refugees standing around (2 shots)
SV PAN FROM Bow of ship alongside showing refugees
"As the Song Be 12 made its way towards Darwin harbour early today under Naval escort, the row in Australia was blowing up into quite a storm. In Darwin Mayor Ella Stack repeated her claim that the refugees were being brought to Australia by a syndicate making huge profits out of helping refugees get to Australia. At the Same time the local Trades and Labour Council was calling for the refugees to be treated as pirates and returned home, and workers on Darwin's wharf off the job in support of the TLC stand. In Canberra, fears were growing that a diplomatic row might erupt when it was confirmed that the Song Be 12 was indeed take over by force and three Communist guards were being held against their will. A few hours ago, Deputy Prime Minister Dung Anthony flew into Darwin and headed straight for the wharf. He quickly made it clear that there should be no diplomatic incident if the matter is sensibly handled, although he admits the Vietnamese Government is not happy about the affair. Mr. Anthony says it is ridiculous to suggest the ..... ....refugees might be treated as pirates, they are refugees fleeing a communist regime and nothing more. Meanwhile it seems the Vietnamese will be spared another 24 hours crowded on the tiny trawler. Tomorrow morning they will be ferried to the wharf where buses will be waiting to take them into a quarantine station for normal processing to determine if they are bona fide refugees. If they are, they will probably be allowed to stay. But the three captured guards who are still being held on the trawler at the moment have made it clear they want to return to their homeland and they, along with the Song Be, will be repatriated as soon as possible."
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Background: Australia has rejected a Hanoi demand for the return of all 181 people, including 157 refugees, aboard a trawler which was seized from Vietnam and is now in the northern Australian city of Darwin. Foreign Affairs Minister Andrew Peacock said on Wednesday (30 November) that Australia would not force anyone who arrived in the 120-ton ??? trawler Song Be 12 on Tuesday (29 November) to be back to Vietnam. Vietnam's demand for the return of the refugees as well as 21 crew and three guards was handed to Foreign Affairs Ministry officials in Canberra by Vietnam's Charge d'Affaires Mr. Phan Ke Dinh. Calling for the return of the Song Be 12, Mr. Phan demanded that all the "pirates" aboard be returned to Vietnam immediately. From Darwin, a report by Tony Porter of Australia's Channel Nine.