Vietnam's acting permanent observer to the United Nations said in an address at Fordham University, New York, that press reports of suppression of the Buddhist majority in Vietnam are "gross distortions" by writers lacking knowledge of conditions there.
"If there were real discrimination on the part of the government, it would not have permitted the construction of 2,000 new pagodas since 1954," he said. "In fact, President Ngo Dinh Diem himself donated nearly /3,000 towards the construction of the main pagoda in Saigon.
"The President and his brother are Catholic, but the Vice-President is not. Eleven of 17 Cabinet officials and 14 of the 17 Army general officers are not Catholics."