NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
1st December, 1977 : Refugees are fleeing from the Communist regime of what was South Vietnam in ever-increasing numbers. Something like 1,500 a month are slipping away from isolated beaches in craft completely unsuitable for the open sea. But so desperate are those “boat people” to escape that they are prepared to risk certain hardship and possible death. They risk not only storm and shipwreck, but also pirates who board them at sea, raping and killing and stripping the survivors of all their meagre possessions. Many of them have no chance of reaching friendly land, but hope that passing ship will pick them up before they sink. This can prove embarrassing to ships’ captains unable to find a country willing to take them, and some skippers are ignoring the plight of the boat people. Many countries are responding, however, to this world problem. America, Australia,Canada, Germany, France and Britain have all accepted Vietnamese, who are proving to be admirable, hard-working citizens.