Tieu Thuyet Magazine, issue 336 May, 1994
Facing The Truth Of What Compulsion Is
Back from Hong Kong, and having not yet adjusted to the change of time, I am still shocked by the crying of my people in the camp, as well as the practitioners from the International Supreme Master Ching Hai Meditation Associations and of my friends. After my dear friend's funeral
Who were they? They were the Chinese, Korean, French, Japanese, Au Lacese, coming from all over the world under the Master Ching Hai's guidance; they had received the order to quickly gather in Hong Kong within three days to be in time to begin the demonstrations protesting against the ruthless brutality of the Hong Kong Government.
Before April 30th, refugees from detention centers in Hong Kong organized hunger strikes and protests against the forced repatriation of this government. Hundreds of tear gas grenades were fired at these people by Hong Kong Government officials injuring hundreds of them in the center. Also because of this, Master Ching Hai requested Her fellow disciples to gather in Hong Kong hoping of reducing the oppressive actions of the Hong Kong Government toward the refugees.
I was invited by Mr. Do Van Tron, writer, president of Vien Thao's Radio and Television System of Northern California, to join him on the trip. Before that, I had received from Master Ching Hai's disciples some material about the news and issues relating to the refugees in Hong Kong. The prime motive that urged me to put behind my normal daily work to accept the invitation to join Mr. Do Van Tron's group heading for the refugee camps, was that Master Ching Hai had promised to donate six million US dollars to the Au Lac refugees. I departed in doubtfulness, and was very eager to find out more about this promise of Master Ching Hai.
As everyone understood clearly, the decision to repatriate the refugees was made by many countries in the world, not just Hong Kong. We also saw clearly that the U.S. Assembly Department intentionally ignored the issue. Even though some Congressmen wrote concerned letters, the motive was very obvious that it was done for the vote. In writing such letters, they already knew that it was as hopeless as a soft wind blowing across the river, because the decision of the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees had already been made: "The Au Lac refugees must leave Hong Kong. And that's final!"
In the three days of working with the International Supreme Master Ching Hai Meditation Associations there was one thing that was very clear to me. Master Ching Hai's disciples were working wholeheartedly; they didn't care if it rained or shined, they didn't mind where they ate or where they slept, they didn't complain about the lack of perfection. They always have a smile on their face, like they are doing something for their own people.
I only wept a little, but they wept bitter, cried out-loud, as if they just lost the most precious thing. I am ashamed of my unnecessary needs for shelter and food. And while seeing the foreigners' care for my people from every poster, from every signature received from the hitchhikers, I felt the purpose of my being there was to make all our Au Lac people in the whole world aware of the kindness of the meditation association's practitioners who contributed their hard work for the Au Lacese refugees trapped in the refugee's camps. I thank the writer Do Van Tron for giving me the chance to see the kindness of the people who speak many different languages.
I do not care about the Master Ching Hai's reason in creating an impact in the world, an impact that stirred even the consciences of the ordinary idling people, and also made the security staff of the Hong Kong's refugee camps hesitate, change their attitude and behavior toward the Au Lacese refugees.
Hong Kong's newspapers unceasingly denied of the security guard's brutality toward the refugees. And, some other newspaper also mocked Master Ching Hai's announcement of 6 millions U.S. dollars in charity.
As busy as she was, the nun still had time to pacified us, and when there was a chance to be near her, she told us in a sad voice, "You see, the work we did with kindness is mocked by them, what a pity." I laughed and said to the nun, "You won unknowingly Your work during these three days, has made a great impact. All the satellites, television stations and newspapers in Hong Kong unceasingly announced your work. Due to your strong influence, the newspapers in opposition had to correct as well as to mock you in discrediting you. It's not reasonable for you to be sad. How weak is the 'Supreme Master'!"
The nun smilingly answered with her bright eyes, "Don't forget that I am still in this ephemeral body. You are clear because you are an outsider. Oh yeah, their denial is due to the influence."
We call each other sister. But please understand that even though there maybe a slight understanding, there's a lot that I can't understand about her. I also had a long interview with this master, but in this coming newspaper, we agree talk about refugees only. And due to the public benefits for our people, I thought of relating only her great work.
Not everyone could in just one or two days gather a group of people, amounting to about three thousand. It could have been more, but some people had visa problems so that they had to stay behind, therefore the members could only reach that much. However, with this group of three thousand of Master Ching Hai's disciples, they created a rather big sound, which stopped the people in the two detention centers, Whitehead and High Island, in the attempts to commit mass suicide.
The Meditation Associations of Master Ching Hai have done a great thing that has truly touched my heart. So, I thought I should do something in my limited ability to show my gratitude. I asked my friend, the writer Do Van Tron; he said that it was a good idea. I asked Mai Han, Mai Han agreed a hundred percent. I asked myself if I would hesitate when thinking that I could face critics who might misunderstand me. But I thought I must disregard all that, and I decided... this issue must be the one to report the great efforts of the International Supreme Master Ching Hai Meditation Associations for the Au Lac refugees. This issue must be the one wearing the white head band mourning those who committed suicide. This issue must be the one that would report fully what I witnessed. And, in twenty thousand copies of this issue would be printed, with additional pages.
I rushed to call some friends for help, the issue was to be printed on Friday, I called them on Thursday, and because of the time limitation I could only ask some very close friends. With the additional help from the meditation practitioners, this special issue of twenty thousand copies would be distributed all over California.
I sincerely thank all the friends, who for me, contributed their effort toward delivering the news about the suffering, the misery of the refugees as well as the great work of the meditation practitioners. I'm hopeful that our Au Lac people after reading these reports will help in extending their contribution to stop the government officials in those detention centers from acting ruthlessly toward our people. And the forced repatriation will not be done through armed forces as in dealing with enemies. Hoping very much!
From The Place Where Refugees
Have Been Suffering
From the pitiful suicidal pictures of the Au Lac refugees, from the extreme suffering of Her brothers and sisters who are of the same red blood and skin as Her, they have touched Master Ching Hai, whom Her disciples have honored as the “Supreme Master Ching Hai”. We do not have to say anything in words, you already know about Her post activities. Some newspapers have praised Her while others have criticized Her, such as The Tieu Thuyet Weekly magazine in previous issues.
The Tieu Thuyet weekly magazine has a righteous voice and has protected the orthodox principle for years, ever since it has been in the Au Lac refugee community in California. We do not explain worldly things to prove or to talk about something under any circumstances. We just share with our readers the feelings of those who take journalism as a career that they have accepted, to live with the truth! If any misunderstandings or misconceptions have been made by us, we are the persons who have to clarify it.
Each of us has two faces: good and bad. If we only talk about the good things and ignore the bad things, we are partial. However, just concentrating on the bad things only, means we are unfair. We would like to talk about the Master Ching Hai. In our previous issues a few months ago, while looking at some of Her pictures, Tieu Thuyet weekly magazine at that time mentioned, and has criticized repeatedly, Her way of dressing, as well as, the big nick name. Consequently we developed a bad impression toward this Master.
However, after having contacted the Master Ching Hai who is the founder of “The International Supreme Master Ching Hai Meditation Associations” and having asked a great number of questions about Her dress as well as Her title in the past, She has agreed with us that a spiritual practitioner should not dress casually like ordinary people. About Her name, She has confirmed that, "This name was given to me by my disciples who sincerely love me. About my dressing as well as my singing, please consider me as an artist. Perhaps because of those words 'Supreme Master', you have misunderstood me. I am a human being too. Even though there are some things extraordinary that my disciples have found out about me, I am still a human being who stays in a physical body, I still have some mistakes that concern other people. But this is my individuality and it is nothing to talk about. If you don't like my individuality, you have a right to speak up or to criticize it. However, today, I would like you to put the 'Lady Ching Hai' away and to look at the endangered Au Lac refugees, look at the people who have the same skin color as you. They have committed suicide for thousands of other refugees around the world to enable them to live in freedom, in countries that they had to pay for with a very high price. Materially and mentally to see it, to breath it and finally to be forced to return to a place where they are unable to have a peaceful living on both sides.
Hundreds of Au Lac refugees at the refugee camps have been on a hunger strike to protest the repatriation. And, I cannot turn my head away from the people who hang themselves, who burn themselves in different manners. I, Ching Hai, have called upon my disciples around the world to gather immediately in Hong Kong so that we can ring a bell to awaken those who make decisions about the lives of my compatriots. They should think about it one more time.
I would like to comfort as well as to support mentally my sisters and brothers who have been in these camps, to protect and respect their lives. To me, they must survive. As long as they are surviving, I have to struggle for them. What we have done maybe is very small; we, 3,000 people, perhaps are not strong enough. Thus we need support from the media to spread the cry for help of our sisters and brothers who have been in various refugee camps, who have slowly become desperate while facing the tough decision of staying here or being sent back to Au Lac.
I, myself, can give the refugees 6 million US dollars in cash, if any of you can find a piece of land anywhere in this free world for our brothers and sisters to take refuge".
During the time we stayed in Hong Kong, Master gave us the chance to realize Her concerns for the brothers and sisters in the refugee detention centers. There were more than three thousand people amidst a jungle of picket signs outside the sturdy walls of the detention centers, to protest against the forced repatriation by the government officials. The protest messages were written on pieces of cloth and cardboard to be raised high and loudly declared. These messages were in three different languages: Au Lacese, English and Chinese. The disciples of the Master didn't just loudly repeat the prepared messages; they actually cried out from the bottom of their hearts, with their true feelings, when they saw our people on the opposite side of the walls waving their hands like those of desperate people drowning in the open sea.
Under the misty rain, beneath the gloomy sky as if wanting to share the sadness, the Master burst into tears as She was saying a prayer for the refugees. The weeping sound spread out as quickly as the wind blows. At first, it was just some low, sustained whimpers here and there, but later there was an outburst of crying from thousands of people standing in the rain, protesting the oppression and brutality of the authorities in Hong Kong. All the media people suddenly found themselves stopped in the middle of their work trying to quickly wipe the tear drops which were about to roll out of their eyes; we meant all reporters, American, Chinese, French, Au Lacese, coming from everywhere. On the other side of the wall of the Whitehead detention center, people were stunned, people were touched and started to cry together, letting out the tears of joy when they realized that they still have the concern of their fellow people outside.
Some raised their hands, some bowed down before the Master and thousands of people standing in the rain were praying for them. We were also melted by the deep emotion to break down and cry. Mai Han was so deeply touched that she stood still and wept softly. La Thoai Tan's shoulder trembled as he cried out loud. Do Van Tron dropped his chin against his chest letting his flood of tears flow out freely. Do Xuan Hung was bewildered after hearing the sudden crying. Nguyen Thuy Minh Ngu secretly wiped off the stream of hot tears shed for the mortification of our fellow people. The atmosphere got so emotional that even the guards gave way to tears and had to walk away.
It was raining, but it was humid in Hong Kong. The heat together with the humidity could easily get people exhausted. However, this group of protesters coming from all over the world led by Master Ching Hai didn't seem to be affected even a little bit. They were old people, young people, Chinese, Korean, American and Au Lacese. Together, on the same day, they also went to the High Island detention center.
This detention center was at the bottom of the hill next to wide lakes. More than three thousand people marched down hill under a heavier rain compare to the one in the morning. It was quite a distance from the starting point to the detention center, roughly about three miles, but on every face there was a glow of vivacity. They marched forward strongly and they shouted loudly to encourage the refugees in the center. At this center, the refugees had already been sitting there for sometime, holding yellow flags with red stripes, with bands around their forehead saying: "Death or Freedom", with the picket signs protesting the brutality of the authorities who seemed to have had the power to decide their fate. The rain eventually stopped. With a soft voice, the Master spoke to the refugees: "We have come here to protest against the ruthless actions of the Hong Kong Government officials who recently sprayed gas into your faces and used force to carry out other suppression. We are here also to give you mental support as well as to ask you to treasure your lives and not to die. We will try to fight for you". Rounds of applause were heard from inside the detention center, together with the shouting of words of appreciation to thank the Master and Her disciples.
After the protests at these camps, the group of disciples followed Master Ching Hai's order to divide into small groups to get to all the corners of Hong Kong's main streets to collect signatures from people who passed by. One thing worth noting was that most reporters from the Hong Kong communication network were present at the scene to collect information as well as to interview Master Ching Hai concerning the purpose and the work that Her organization has done.
Her Responses Toward Those Questions
Within only one day, 30,000 signatures had been collected. There are a lot of people who would like to donate money to the refugees, but Master Ching Hai has not allowed Her disciples to take it to avoid any misunderstanding about what She has been doing. With sincerity and respect toward Master Ching Hai, actor La Thoai Tan now refers to Her as "Master" and he has been helping with the cause enthusiastically. He said: "Since he was born, he has never admired anyone as he has admired Master Ching Hai, a lady who can make hundreds & thousands of people bow their heads by just raising Her voice, that is incredible". He also said to Her, in a evening meeting of the Organization at the campsite in Hong Kong when She pointed at him and asked him to help Her with Her music and to sing with Her on Her new tape. He bowed, with joined hands, toward Her in a very respectful manner, and replied: “Master, whatever You say, I will do”. He did exactly as he said he would. Under Her direction & supervision together with Her disciples, Mr. La stayed under the sun to draw the banners calling upon and protesting against the Hong Kong Government's repatriation of the Au Lac refugees who still remain in the camps.
We should remind you of the demonstration in front of the Hong Kong
Governor's office. Two days before going to the Whitehead and High Island
camps, the demonstrators being just over 1,000 people gathering from all
over the world, under the management of Master Ching Hai. Peacefully and
orderly, the disciples sat in front of the Governor's office, and displayed
the banners protesting the forced repatriation of the Au Lac refugees,
which occurred a few days ago. At this place, Master Ching Hai and Her
disciples sang holly songs. Their eyes filled with tears made every body
who was standing around feel sad too. The Au Lac reporters who followed the
group also had tears in theirs eyes. It was very touching. Master Ching
Hai's Chinese and other foreign disciples, are very devoted to their work.
From all over the world, they came, paying for their own transportation to
stay in a temporary campsite in H.K. where the accommodations were less
than average, but they didn't complained about it. One can see their
willingness on their faces to participate in the protests against the Hong
Kong Government and UNHCR's forced repatriation policy, in co-operation
with their Master, Ching Hai. After an exhausting afternoon, they gathered
together at the camp area that they rented. And together with their Master,
they reviewed what they had done during the day, meditated, and listened to
their Master's lecture. Even though the vegetarian meal was simple, their
eyes reflected happiness.
April 28, 29, 30/1994
(Extracted portions only, due to limited space)
Radio France International (R.F.I.)
Broadcasting in Chinese (Topical Program)
Dear listeners, in our program last week, we had brought you our investigation report regarding the problems of the Hong Kong Au Lac refugees, especially our visit to the High Island Refugee Camp, and also the actions taken by the Supreme Master Ching Hai - to rescue the Au Lac refugees. Today we continue to report to you our visit to the other refugee camps - Whitehead detention center. We welcome you to tune in.
In Hong Kong, Whitehead and High Island are the two most highly concentrated detention camps for the Au Lac boat people. After our visit to the High Island Camp, we drove to the Whitehead Camp. The incident on the 7th April 1994, of the forced relocation of the boat people by the Hong Kong Police happened here. Similar to the High Island Camp, in Whitehead, we were only allowed to meet a few refugees in a very big visiting room. We could only do it in the name of visiting relatives. We brought some fruit stuffs, and walked into this immense refugee detention center.
Those few refugees whom we interviewed, almost all of them fled from Au Lac and arrived in Hong Kong in 1989. Their motives were different from one another, but generally related to the fear of Communist rule in Au Lac. After their arrival in Hong Kong, they thought they had entered the free world, but all along, they have been detained in the Hong Kong refugees camps. Their personal freedom and living standard are probably still lagging well behind the ordinary prisons in Hong Kong. You will know by the following example.
In the refugee camp, every hut accommodates about one hundred refugees. Under the hot climate of Hong Kong, for one hundred people to be accommodated in a house, with only a few electric fans, one could imagine the stuffy, hot and congested condition. There is almost no sports or recreational facilities for the refugees unlike the prisons in the West where they have very spacious and ventilated areas, and also basketball courts and other games fields. Many of the refugees have been staying here for more than five to six years; they never saw what Hong Kong looks like because they are absolutely forbidden to leave the refugee camp. Therefore, they could only imagine in their dreams the place where they had once risked their lives for illegal entry - this so-called “Nocturnal Hong Kong”. No wonder someone in the refugee camp who had committed a homicide and was convicted by the Courts of Hong Kong, was not afraid because the refugee camps are nothing better than the Hong Kong Prisons. Sentenced into prison, perhaps one would receive better material treatment.
When we asked these few refugees whether they have enough to eat in the camp, all of them just shook their heads. On one hand, they said the food is difficult to eat and has no taste, on the other hand, even then, the food is always insufficient. Every day, one bucket of food is supplied to each hut which is shared by one hundred people. Often, everyone would only receive as little as a small cup of food. But, there is one thing admirable: for refugees staying together for such a long time, they have learnt to help each other, in a spirit of group unity and consolidation. Therefore, there is rarely any fighting-over-food incidents in the camp....
...In our program last week, we had introduced the Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her spearheading International Meditation Associations in movements to help the refugees. Now the core of the problem of the Au Lac refugees is: for those without a political excuse for asylum, must they definitely be repatriated, even by armed force. This year in February, 32 nations had an agreement in Geneva - its core content had confirmed the principle of repatriation. After the negotiation between the Supreme Master Ching Hai and the Hong Kong Government, the Hong Kong Government Secretariat Department responded in a letter to the Supreme Master Ching Hai, again reiterating this principle and clearly indicating that, even when a third nation agrees to accept these refugees, the Hong Kong government will not agree to release them. That is, whoever is recognized as not fulfilling the conditions of political refugee status will have to be repatriated to Au Lac.
Of course, the agreement of the 32 nations and the firm stand of the Hong Kong Government is a threat, mainly to cut off the possible illegal immigration waves, once and for all, and eliminate the intention of escapes without political cause. Otherwise, to Hong Kong, there is the fear the refugees may continue to flock there. This kind of decision is legitimate in the case of law and legislation and fulfils certain demand of the international order. But, in view of the practical situation of each refugee, it might be neither humane nor respecting human rights. It is even seriously against the human basic dignity.
The support activities of the Supreme Master Ching Hai: the motive is based on this kind of compassion and the respect of human rights. She believes, regardless of whatever reasons, there should not be any forced repatriation, which will excite and stir up the atmosphere and cause the loss of human lives. For this, She had been in many countries launching Signature Campaigns against the forced repatriation, and ill-treatment of the refugees.
In Hong Kong, in general, we had observed people with three kinds of views and attitudes towards the Au Lac refugees. One is sympathetic, and willing to sign their names for this. Second is apathetic, or thinks that they are insignificant. Even if they sign their names, what is the difference? The third kind maintains an adverse feeling against the Au Lac refugees, feeling that they have already been in Hong Kong for so many years without doing anything - this is the time they should be repatriated.
In the prosperous areas of Hong Kong, like Tsim Sha Tsui, Central District, etc., we observed that many members of the International Meditation Associations often spoke to the third kind. They said that the signature is only to oppose the violent treatment to the refugees, and is not to obstruct the resolution to the refugee problem. Furthermore, this is for the benefits of the Hong Kong people to project the principle and image of non-violence, because the ruling of Hong Kong will be returned to China after 1997 and in order to keep Hong Kong in peace forever, the promotion of a non-violence principle should begin now, for if the Hong Kong people do not conform to this principle, then others will also not conform in the future.
Currently, the Supreme Master Ching Hai is still campaigning for the Au Lac refugees world-wide, seeking a way to resolve this problem appropriately. But, the Hong Kong Government still does not change its plan for the refugees repatriation. Whether or not this repatriation move will again provoke refugees to commit suicide, it is difficult to predict now. We wish that the movements of the Supreme Master Ching Hai will have positive results, and also wish that the refugee problem will ultimately be resolved in a harmonious way.
Now there are LAVAS (Legal Assiatance Au Lac Asylum Seekers)
and the Supreme Master Ching Hai
Meditation Associations earnestly helping the refugees, what about us???
(Material regarding Hong Kong is not included here. For details, please refer to the Special Report on Aiding the Au Lac Refugees in issues No. 34 & 35 of the Supreme Master Ching Hai News magazine.)
According to the Cao-Daist religious group and Former Policemen
Friendship Committee at Galang, by 19:00 of May 7, 1994 there were:
-1092 people sent to the hospital because of exhaustion:
-4 persons committing suicide by stabbing their bellies (2 of
them were in critical condition and were sent to hospital outside the
-2 committed suicide by cutting their wrists: -1 lit himself on fire (named Pham Van Chau, born in 1955, AS#274036, a former soldier of the 18 Infantry Division, and died on 4/28/1994 at Tanjung, Pinang).
On April 27, 1994 and May 4, 1994 most of the boat people, at Galang refugees camp did not accept food from the UNHCR.
It was nearly a month that the protesters were patiently sitting down under the burning heat during the day and the biting cold at night. Their peaceful but determined position to obtain the goals of the protest had drawn the attention and respect from the delegations visiting the camp, who talked to the protesters.
On April 24, 1994 the Director General of the PMI (Indonesia Red Cross) and his group toured the camp and received some petitions.
Two days later, on 4/26, a delegation of the Indonesian government headed by a general visited the camp and received a petition from the organizing committee of the demonstration.
It was informed that the protest and hunger strikes were still intensely on going. All letters were stopped from being mailed out. Those who passed the screening process and were ready for resettlement in a third country were also searched for letters to avoid the news of the protest at Galang refugee camp from leaking out.
For an effective protest based on the desire of the refugees at Pulau Galang, Indonesia, a Committee for Human Rights was formed and headed by Mr. Do Van Tron. Upon its formation, the committee sent an appeal to the world community and Au Lac community abroad to lobby and put pressure on Communist Au Lac to cancel the bilateral agreement between Au Lac and Indonesia signed on October 2, 1993 of the forced repatriation of the Au Lac boat people at Pulau Bidong.
DAN VIET is prominently following up on the tragic protest of the refugees at Galang and will have more news coverage in the coming issues.
Trieu Nguyen, one of the members of the Movement For Human Rights at Sungei Besi refugees camp believed that the UNHCR and Malaysian government had the scheme of using the Au Lac people to oppress and terrorize the Au Lac people, just like in Hong Kong, the local government was protective of the "bad guys" for they caused some difficulties and mental crisis among the rest of the refugees, forcing them to register for "voluntary repatriation".
Also according to Trieu Nguyen, the UNHCR and local government had enticed some educated elements, former soldiers of the Republic of Au Lac among the community and religious leadership to get in touch with a communist delegation visiting the refugees camp for repatriation... this brought about a division detrimental to the refugees community in Galang, one of the strongest communities, due to the correct guidance of the Movement For Human Rights which was formed several years ago at the Malaysian refugee camp.
The Movement For Human Rights strongly condemned the act of this division governed by the UNHCR, the local government and those who betrayed the aspirations for freedom of the entire group of refugees in the camp.
The Movement For Human Rights suggested a plan of getting out of the camp with bloodshed. According to this plan, groups of those ready to collectively commit suicide were on hand, for forced repatriation by the UNHCR and Malaysian government. The Movement For Human Rights also sent out letters of protest to the world, condemning the Hong Kong government for it's violent assault on the boat people in the Whitehead Camp. The letter also appealed to all refugees camps in Hong Kong and elsewhere in Southeast Asia to simultaneously rise up against the forced repatriation and for the legitimate rights of the refugees.
Facing the tragic situation of the more than 50,000 Au Lac refugees in island camps, the Supreme Master Ching Hai and LAVAS have tried their best to lobby the world to save their fellow citizens. LAVAS would try to sent Ngo Van Ha to France so that he could testify before the French National Assembly and Unified European Congress on the misery of the Au Lac refugees in Hong Kong. As previously reported on DAN VIET, Ngo Van Ha had already came to testify before the Asian and Pacific Subcommittee of the American Congress on April 26, 1994 and touched deeply American congressmen and senators.
On this occasion, DAN VIET insistently appealed to the Au Lac community overseas to actively support our fellow citizens in the refugees camps by sending contributions, mentally as well as materially to the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Meditation Associations and LAVAS for their efforts to save the refugees.
[By our press]
There are still 1,800 Au Lac refugees, with refugee status, stuck in Hong Kong, even though they could be accepted by a foreign country. Some of them have stayed in Hong Kong nearly 10 year. They have been waiting endlessly with the hope that they would be able to move to a foreign country where most of their friends and relatives live, to live together with their own kind.
Dinh Khac Cu has been granted refugee status. He told (Spot Light) that, he came to Hong Kong in 1986 from Northern Au Lac. He was sixteen and he has been staying in the Mon Hau Shek Camp in Tuen Mun because of his refugee status. He was able to work outside six years ago when the camp was an open camp.
He told the reporter that even though he is now able to find job in Hong Kong, he can only work as a hard laborer because he doesn't know Chinese and his English is not good. He is now working on construction at the Chap Lap Kok new airport. He earns around 10,000 Hong Kong dollars a month doing hard labor.
He, Dinh Khac Cu, doesn't want to stay in Hong Kong. He came to Hong Kong because earlier he wanted to go to live in a foreign country. His preference is England, because his older brother is in England.
Dinh Khac Cu married a boat person from the Whitehead Camp in Satin two years ago. His wife left Whitehead Camp after the marriage. They rent an apartment in Tuen Wan, and are now waiting to be accepted by another country.
An Au Lac refugee Mr. Ly from Mon Hau Shek in Tuen Mun told the reporter that he has been waiting in Hong Kong for 13 years. Recently in October of this year he received written permission to move to England.
According to Mr. Ly, most of the refugees wish to go to a foreign country, but they have no choice in the country. Most of them are willing to go to countries with many friends and relatives. Therefore, refugees seems to be picky on where to go.
According to sources, countries that refugees want to go to most are England, U.S.A., Canada and Japan etc.
Six Billion H.K. Dollars
Government Spent - an average
of one thousand for each citizen
[By our press] According to the latest information from the Hong Kong
government, there are over 25,000 Au Lac boat people and 1826 refugees
stuck in Hong Kong.
According to the plan of Hong Kong government, it is estimated that all of the boat people will be sent back to Au Lac by 1996, and the problem of the boat people, which has disturbed the people in Hong Kong for 10 years, will be resolved.
Government spending on the boat people during the ten years is close to six billion Hong Kong dollars. An average of a thousand dollar per person for the 6 million population in Hong Kong.
Turmoil At The Whitehead And
High Island Detention Centers
Six Thousand Boat People Refuse To Eat
[By Our Press] 3,585 and 2,417 Au Lac boat people at the Whitehead and High
Island Detention Centers, respectively, refused to take food provided by
The spokesman for CSD pointed out that during the period of May 1 to May 29, there were an average of 423 refugees at Whitehead and 151 at High Island refusing to take food.
Up to two days ago, there were a total of 545 people treated in hospitals outside the camp in the month of May. Of those, 419 were from Whitehead and 126 from High Island. Sixty-one persons had to be retained for observation, of which eleven were still there as of yesterday.
U.N. Decide To Deport 500 Au Lac Orphans In Detention Centers First H.K. Government Takes No Action Yet, For Fear Of Opposition
[By Our Press] From the Eastern Express' report, the United Nations Refugee Conference held in Bangkok yesterday, reached a conclusion to deport the Au Lac orphan children in detention centers as the first step in returning all refugees home by the end of 1995, according to the Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Mr. Brian Bresnihan, Hong Kong Government Refugee co-ordinator, admitted that any step taken by the Government of Hong Kong might result in a large scale opposition by the refugees.
Therefore, the Government will not take any action for now, at least until the investigation report on the tear-gas incident on April 7 has been completed.
The meeting continues today to discuss the refugee issue, including
ways to speed up the deportation of Au Lac people without refugee status.
So far, there are a total of approximately twenty-five thousand people.
About 500 are children without legal guardians. They are the first to be
sent back. Mr. Bresnihan appeals to the West for a flexible solution
regarding the 1,800 refugees who have been staying in Hong Kong for a long