Sunday, July 11, 2010

Vietnam after 1975 (contd-1)

(L to R) Thi Van Anh Vo Minh Tuan, Gen.Sec. , Central Committee, Communist Party of Vietnam, Mr. Nong Duc Manh, Nguyen Thanh Tam, Governor of New South Welles..etc.
From all Indications, however, these changes occurred more through coercion than volition. In Dong's own words, the party had initiated "various policies aimed at eliminating the comprador capitalists  
as a class and doing away with all vestiges of feudal exploitation ." These policies radically realigned the power elite so that the ruling machine was controlled collectively by the putative vanguard of the working class --the party -- and by the senior cadres of the party who were mostly from the north.
In its quest for anew socialist order in the South, hanoi relied on other techniques apart from socialist education. These included thought reform, population resettlement, and internal exile, as well as surveillance and mass mobilization. Party sponsored "study sessions" were obligatory for all adults. For the former elite of the Saigon regime, a more rigorous form of indoctrination was used; hundreds of thousands of former military officers, bureaucrats, politicians, religious and labor leaders, scholars, intellectuals, and lawyers, as well as critics of the new regime were order to reeducation camps for varying periods. In mid 1985, the Hanoi Govt. conceded that it still held about 10,000 inmates in the "reeducation camps ", but the actual number was believed to be at least 40,000. In 1982 there were about 120,000 Vietnamese in these camps. according to a knowledgeable  American observers, the inmates faced hard labor, but only rarely torture or execution.
Population resettlement or redistribution, although heralded on economic grounds, turned to be another instrument of social control in disguise. It was a means of diffusing tensiions in congested cities, which were burdened with unemployed and socially dislocated people even after most of the rural refugees had been repatriated to their native villages.These refugees had swelled the urban population to 45 % of the southern total in 1975 ( up from 33 % in 1970). The authorities sought to address the problem of urban congestion by relocating many of the metropolitan jobless in the new economic zones hastily set up in urbean lands , often malaria infested jungles, as part of a broader effort to boost agricultural out put, In 1975 and 1976 alone , more than 600,000 people were moved from Ho Chi Minh city  to these zones, in most instances, reportedly, against their will. Because of the barely tolerable living conditions in the new settlements, a considerable number of people escaped or bribed their way back to the city. The new economic zones came to be widely perceived as places of internal exile. In fact, the authorities were said have used the threat of exile to such places against those who refused to obey party instructions or to participate in the acivities of the mass organisations.