Plea for extension of time for the refugees
11HE Vietnamese Government is appealing to the United
Nations to extend the deadline for evacuation of refugees from the Communist-controlled North.
The Geneva Armistice fixed May 16 as the date when the last Vietminh troops are to leave Free Vietnam and the last French
Union troops are o withdraw from the Communist zone. Until that time, persons living in either area are guaranteed the right to choose the zone where they want to live. Free Vietnam's Foreign Office has published a document charging that the Communists have made a mockery of their Geneva pledge to allow a free choice to the northerners. f it were not for the obstacles thrown tip by the Vietminh, three or four times as many refugees would have fled to Free Vietnam, it said. So far, about 800,000 men, women and children have left their homes to go to the South.
The document notes that in less than one month " a curtain will fall finally on North Vietnam, imprisoning millions of persons condemned to life who will be
under a regime they abhor.
..We therefore appeal to the
on as s. which h
United Nati among its principal occupations the defence of fundamental human rights, in order that the right of each citizen to choose at any time the place of his residency may he exercised by the people of North Vietnam."
The Vietnamese Government has promised that if any action is taken on its plea by the United Nations, Free Vietnam will keep its borders open so that any people who wish to move to the Communist zone may do so.
The Government also appealed to the nine powers who guaranteed the Geneva Agreement to see to it " in the name of justice and
humanity " that human are not trampled by a clause of an .,essentially military agreement." Fr. Patrick O'Connor, N.C.W.C. correspondent in Saigon. writing on the state of unrest In the Vietnamese capital where the rebel Binh Xuyen occupy what he calls " an obviously fortified area of a small force on a war footing," says: ,,Neither the French authorities nor Bao Dai. Vietnam's absentee Chief of State. who sends telegrams from his French Riviera villa, will ventu c re to tell the fations plainly they are wrong." But in contrast to the forebodings and criticisms of the Catholic premier appearing in the British and especially the French press, Fr. O'Connor adds: "Som observers Some foreign obseers are inclined now to regard the governmental shortcomings that caused nobody to panic three months ago as proof of its failure. ,.If Premier Ngo Dinh Diem were forced to resign now it would premier had been forced that a een forced out as a concession to an armed rebellious, minority which the people do not trust and which is acting for notoriously selfish interests,"