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Campaign of terror against Vietnamese officials overstated



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it· . P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A

- .

? 3 Q 1 V H O U S E O F R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

OFFICE OF P H ILIP R U D D O C K , M.P. SUITE 3 02 PARLIAMENT HOUSE

M EMBER FOR DUNDAS EASTW OOD CENTRE CANBERRA. A CT. 2 6 0 0

S H ADO W MINISTER FOR 160 ROWE STREET

TEL. (062) 72 1211

IM M IGRATIO N AND ETHNIC AFFAIRS EASTW OOD. N S W. 2122

TEL. 8 5 8 1011 !

PRESS STATEMENT BY PHILIP RUDDOCK . SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND ETHNIC AFFAIRS

"CAMPAIGN OF TERROR AGAINST VIETNAMESE OFFICIALS OVERSTATED"

Opposition Spokesman for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs,

Philip Ruddock has warned that reports of a terror campaign

against Vietnamese Officials could be overstated.

Mr Ruddock said that it was possible to take out of perspective

alleged incidents of violence against officials from the

Vietnamese Embassy. .

"While in no way condoning the attacks in some instances

it appears there has been provocation by Vietnamese officials

of Australian Vietnamese. . . . .

"In addition there was the acceptance of students from the

Communist Hanoi Government without any sensitivity to the .

feelings of the local Vietnamese community.

"There has also been some discrepancy in the reports of

violence against Officials. This is particularly so in relation

to a recent incident at a Canberra market where it is still

unclear who was at fault.

Mr Ruddock said this situation was not helped by the precipitate

reaction of Ministers of the Hawke Government who publicly

apologised to the Vietnamese Embassy before the facts had

been verified.

"It would be unfortunate if the majority of the Vietnamese

Community, who are law abiding citizens, were to earn a bad

reputation either through the actions- of a minority or through

misleading reports. ·

. . . 2 . .

.2 .

Mr Ruddock said the Opposition had repeatedly stressed

that any demonstrations should be of a peaceful nature.

"It is important that the wider community is aware of the

violation of human rights in Vietnam and the continuing

detention of more than 120,000 Vietnamese in re-education

camps. '

"I am confident that the Leaders of the Vietnamese Community

share my concern that such matters be highlighted only

through peaceful demonstration.

Mr Ruddock said that it was unfortunate that on a number

of occasions the future of the Orderly Departure Program

for relatives of Vietnamese Australians had been threatened

because of the sensitivity of the Hanoi Government to -

criticism of their regime.

25 July 1985

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

COLYN MACKAY 062 72.6817 or 062 95.9530 (H)