Leaders of the Vietnamese community in Melbourne have expressed anger and disbelief that a monument erected in March on an Indonesian island once home to hundreds of Vietnamese refugees has been removed at the request of the Vietnamese Government. Another monument, erected on the Malaysian island of Bidong, is under threat after a similar request to local authorities.And what the Vietnamese government doesn't want the world to remember is what the refugees feared was a fate worse than that suffered in the boats...
The monuments were erected as a symbol of the refugees' gratitude to their rescuers in the two countries. The Vietnamese community in Melbourne said the monument on Bidong "honours the humanity and the compassion of the Malaysian people towards their fellow human beings in time of need"...Every former refugee had an extraordinary story to tell, often of terror on the seas in dangerously overcrowded boats, of murderous pirates who raped women and girls and of people at sea dying of hunger, thirst or by drowning.
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Monuments to the "boat people" - the Vietnamese people who fled South Vietnam after it's fall to the forces of the North- are being destroyed at the request of the current Vietnamese government as reported here.