Surveillance was a familiar tool of the regime, which was bent on purging all class enemies. Counter-revolutionaries , real and suspected, were summarily interned in reform camps or forced labor camps that were set up separately from the new economic zones in several border areas and other undeveloped regions. The Hanoi govt had claimed that not a single political execution took place in the South after 1975, even in cases of grave war crimes. Generally, the foreign press corroborated this claim by reporting in 1975 that there seemed to be no overt indication of the blood bath that many western observers had predicted would occur in the wake of communist takeover. Some western observers, however, had estimated that as many as 65,000 south Vietnamese may had been executed..
In Mrch 1982, the Vietnamese Communist Party in its fifth National Party Congress to assess its achievements since 1976 and to outline its major tasks for the 1980s.The congress was revealing if only because of its somber admission that revolutionary optimism was no substitute for common sense.Despite rigid social controls and mass mobilization, the party fell far short of its original expectations for socialist transition. According to the party's assessment, from 1976 through 1980 shortcomings and errors occurred in establishing transition goals and in implementing party line.