Vietnam has for the first time publicly revealed details of continuing anticommunist resistance groups operating in the southern part of the country. The accounts carried by Vietnamese newspapers March 13 officially confirmed what has been suspected outside Vietnam for some time.
This is that anticommunist forces, sometimes made up of former South Vietnamese Army men, have kept up their activity in what once South Vietnam.
Indeed, there have been unconfirmed reports that these anticommunist groups have been cooperating with anticommunist forces in both Cambodia and Laos in order to launch a unified Indo-china-wide campaign against the Vietnamese communists. One source suggests China has been hoping to encourage such an anti-Vietnamese resistance confederation.
Vietnam's official press confirmation of the movement came in the form of an announcement that a former south vietnamese soldier was sentenced to death March 6 for establishing an underground opposition movement.
The people's court of Binh Tri Thien Province in central Vietnam found Ha Xuang Hung guilty of organizing a group called the "front of the people and the army of Vietnam for national restoration."
Two alleged members of the group were sentenced to life imprisonment. Several "accomplices" were sent to jail for terms ranging from eight to 20 years.
The Vietnamese press said the accused operated from Hue and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). They were accused of setting up clandestine assembly points.
But the Vietnamese newspapers gave few details.
The accused "wrote reactionary texts inciting people to riot and set up a group of 'diplomats' to make contact with reactionaries in various countries to use the imperialist radios to put out their propaganda, giving a deformed picture of Vietnamese government policies and appealing to Vietnamese reactionaries living abroad," the papers said.