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International Buddhist flag - US involvement - Coup Generals (2)

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Dec 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/23/98
The Buddhist incident - The involvement of Venerable

Thich Tri Do or CIA ?

In searching for evidence, Nguyen Tran has found witnesses or people involved
who have lived there at that time in Vietnam or abroad and gone to many
libraries in U.S. to dig out many Vietnamese or English documents or
microfilms related to the incident. He has been struck by different
assumptions and decided to display them so that one can judge by himself.

According to Nguyen Tran, he contacts the first witness after the coup d'etat
1/ 11/1963. That is Mr Ung Trao (U+ng Tra.o), a retiree in Phu Cam (Phu'
Cam), Hue. Ung Trao is known as a straightforward and respected old man.
Asked about the Buddhist incident, he says that Mr Hoang Huu Khac (Hoa`ng
Hu+~u Kha<'c), Chief Justice of the court Hue and Thua Thien province, has
had recourse to Mr Ung Trao to bring up his step child. Due to this intimate
relationship, Mr Khac let him know that he was appointed as secretary of the
board of management of the Society of Buddhist Study in the Central Vietnam
of which Ven. Thich Tri Quang was secretary-general or secretary. According
to Mr Khac, he once read a letter of Ven. Thich Tri Do from Hanoi to Ven.
Thich Tri Quang telling the latter to organize a Buddhist movement to topple
Mr Diem's regime. Due to this connection with Hanoi of Ven. Thich Tri Quang,
Mr Khac has resigned from the position in the board of the management.

Mr Trao informed immediately this to Mr Ngo Dinh Can who was Trao's godson,
but Mr Can did not believe this because Can and Ven. Thich Tri Quang were
intimate friends.

Nguyen Tran believes that Mr Trao's story is true because when searching for
evidence in writing his book, he finds Trao's 2 children -- Mrs. Ngo The Linh
in Campell and Buu Thieu in Anaheim, U.S.A.. Both confirm that the story is

Mr Do Tho has written in his diary that after the incident at the radio
station occurred, Mr Diem scolded Mr Can's wrongdoing, but reports from Can's
office and head of Thua Thien province said that the incident had originated
from the monks of Tu Dam pagoda, not from him.

According to Mr Do Tho, Can told Mr Diem that he often visited Tu Dam and
once in a while invited these monks to his residence to drink tea.
Furthermore, Can submitted annually offerings to the pagoda Tu Hieu (Tu+`
Hie^'u) where the altar of paternal grand-grand-grandpa of Mr Diem was

Mr Diem said "All religions are good. There are only bad and good elements
in every religion. We are now Catholic, but our ancestors are Buddhist.
When the monks in the pagodas Tu Dam, Tu Hieu, Dieu De are in need, you must
help them,..."

Mr Do Tho relates that Mr Diem never got intention to look upon Catholicism
and look down on Buddhism. This can be proved as he made a tour of
inspection in Vinh Binh province where head of the province had displayed the
Catholic flags to please him. Seeing that, Mr Diem became frustrated and
ordered to lower them down replacing them by the national flags. Mr Diem
only stepped out of his airplane when the national flags were hung.

When meeting Mr Cao Xuan Vy (Cao Xuan Vy~) who is very close to Mr Nhu,
Nguyen Tran asks him what reaction Mr Nhu has when the Buddhist incident
occurs. According to Vy, Mr Nhu says, "That is great crusher for the regime".
Nguyen Tran continues, "why let it become great problem ?". Mr Vy answers
me that, "I am a Buddhist and has been told by Mr Diem to go to Hue asking
senior nun Dieu Khong (Die^.u Kho^ng) for help, but that is impossible due to
another element."

happened ?

1. According to Father Cao Van Luan in "Be^n Gio`ng Su+?", the Buddhist
incident occurs as follows :

"On 7/5/1963, Bishop Ngo Dinh Thuc comes back from Lavang, pilgrimage shrine
marking the apperance of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Seeing the Buddhist flags
everywhere, he asks Ho Dac Khuong, representative of the government in the
Central Vietnam, why people don't obey the law not to display religion or
party flags outside worshipping areas or organizations.

Ho Dac Khuong telegraphs to Saigon to verify the validity of the law. He is
told that the royal decree 10 is still effective. Mr Khuong gives a
directive to head of Thua Thien province to lower Buddhist flags outside
pagodas. Feeling uneasy, Mr Nguyen Van Dang (Nguye^~n Va<n DDa<?ng), head
of the province Thua Thien, goes to see Mr Ngo Dinh Can to suggest putting
on hold of the directive for now and wait until the celebration of the
Buddha's birthday to be over. Mr Can agrees and sends the message to all
provinces to hold it. This matter is over, but on 8/5/1963, the monks
attack heavily the government... Then the Buddhists rush to the radio
station forcing the director to broadcast the whole celebration's tapes...
The representative and head of the province do not agree. While the
authority findway to settle down the matter, suddenly a "grenade explodes in
the crowd in protest...

Father Cao Van Luan suggests 3 hypotheses :

- some government officials or soldiers throw them.

- the secret police or unknown instigators are the culprits.

- a fanatic faction in the Buddhist movement do it to push the two --
Buddhists and government -- into confrontation.

Father Luan says that the 1st hypothesis is unreliable. The other two can be
looked at.

2. According to Marguerite Higgins in her "Our Vietnam Nightmare", Foreign
minister Bui Van Luong (Bu`i Va<n declares to a U.N. delegation on
3/ 12/1963 that he goes to Hue on 7/5/1963, the same day whereby there is a
circular that "the national flag must be hung higher than the international
Buddhist flag and there was no prohibition of hanging the Buddhist flags".
But when he sees the Buddhist flags already hung all over in the city, Mr
Luong tells head of Thua Thien to postpone the execution of the circular. He
then goes to the pagoda Tu Dam to explain the monks about the matter of
hanging the flags. All monks, including Ven. Thich Tri Quang, show
satisfaction. But, unfortunately, some policemen who got late the order did
confiscate some flags. Ven. Thich Tri Quang immediately grasps this
opportunity ordering some monks to inform Buddhists that the government tells
them to lower the flags...

Two things here may be questioned :

- Regulation of hanging the flag is urgent. It couldn't be under the form
of a circular; it should be a telegram. Is there a mistake in using right
words ?

- Minister Luong ordered head of Thua Thien province to hold the directive.
If the latter already ordered so, he had to use all possible means to
propagate the new order quickly. Are there some saboteurs ?

According to a report from the U.N. delegation from Marguerite Higgins' book :

At 8 pm of 8/5/1963, when the crowd come to the radio station, Ven. Thich
Tri Quang follows suit bringing with him a tape recording his sermon
attacking the government he made in the morning and wants to be broadcasted.
Then lots of yelling happen from the crowd some of whom flush to the
corridor of the station. Panicking, director of the station runs to inside ,
closes the door and phones head of the province for help. The latter comes
and tries to make a frustrated Ven. Thich Tri Quang calm down, but it is
impossible. The head of Thua Thien phones Mr Dang Sy, vice-head of Thua
Thien, to mobilize the police, military, security and fire cruise to come to
protect the station.

When Mr Dang Sy arrives, there was already chaos before the station.
Buddhists block them with their motocycles and bikes. Then, men of Ven.
Thich Tri Quang throw stones into the police and fire cruise. The latter
use water to disperse the crowd, but this only makes the crowd more
aggressive. Head of the province invites Ven. Thich Tri Quang to enter the
station for discussion, ordering the fire cruise to stop action. At that
moment, two explosions occur at the corridor and after that come the sounds
of the broken glass, the firing and then another explosion of grenade.

Mr Dang Sy reported that he hears two loud explosions when his armored cars
just come to the gate of the radio station. Due to the darkness of the
night, he can't see what happens and thinks that VC are intruding the city.
Due to this, he fires 3 bullets up to the air and orders his soldiers to use
kind of "concussion" grenades to disperse the crowd. 15 grenades like that
are shot out. The crowd run in panic.

When the head of Thua Thien runs out to the corridor, he sees many pools of
blood : 7 dead and one dying kid. All victims are lying on the corridor;
their hair and flesh did fly everywhere; one piece of flesh is stuck on a
wheel of an armored car.

Mr Luong declares, "I observe the corpses and recognize that their heads are
gone, but they don't have any injury but holes on their chests. There is no
metallic pieces on the corridor or on the courtyard. I request a doctor to
make autopsy on the victims and send the result to me".

"That doctor is Dr. Le Khac Quyen (Le^ Kha<'c Quye^'n), director of the Hue
hospital. His report is as follows : "The death of victims is caused by an
explosion on the air. It's resulted force of air to make the victims beheaded
and injured. Kind of explosive is unknown."

Mr Luong continues : " Right after 8/5/1963, Mr Diem orders an investigation
for this incident. A committee of 3 is formed. They are general Tran Van
Don, a military surgeon (head of the military hospital in Saigon) and an
officer attache'. After interviewing witnesses, this committee let people
know that the cause of deaths is from a plastic explosive.

III. The book "History of the Struggle of Vietnam's Buddhism" ( su+?
tranh dda^'u Vie^.t Nam) by Mr Kiem Dat (Kie^m DDa.t), published by the
International Buddhist Institute, 1981, reports :

On 7/5/1963, the Hue's police force all Buddhist leaders to inform their
followers to lower Buddhists flags...In that afternoon, the leaders in the
Buddhist General Association comprising Ven. Thich Tinh Khiet, Ven. Thich
Huyen Ton, the Committee of Organizing the Celebration of Buddha's Birthday
and representatives of Orthodox Buddhism (Gia'o Ho^.i Pha^.t Gia'o Nguye^n
Thu?y) go to the provincial Administrative Building presenting requests one
of which is justification of hanging the Buddhist flag on the occasion of the
Buddhist festival.

While the delegation is in negotiation inside, 5000 Buddhists from all over
gather before the building to wait for the explanation from the head of Thua
Thien. The latter declares that he is sorry because the local authority must
abide with the order from the government.

To the request of the Buddhist delegation, head of Thua Thien province
agrees to use cars with loudspeakers to inform the Buddhists in Hue about
the decision of the local authority.

On 8/5/1963, after the ceremony to celebrate the Buddha's birthday, Ven.
Thich Tinh Khiet requests Ven. Thich Tri Quang and the Buddhist delegation
to explain to the crowd the content of the negotiation... Then, Buddhists
gather before the radio station to listen to the celebration from tape
recording. Contrary to previous announcement, the station broadcasts
different program. The crowd become angry and pour to the station building
to request for broadcasting the morning festival. At 8 pm, there are about
10,000 Buddhists at the station. At that moment, Major Dang Sy mobilizes
forces of security, soldiers with armored cars, THE POLICE WITH CANNONS and
armed to teeth with tear gas grenades, and the military police to crush the

Meanwhile, Ven. Thich Tri Quang goes immediately to the station to meet the
officials; they answer that due to technical reasons the broadcast is
cancelled. Right at that moment, the police, the security force, the fire
cruise pump water to the crowd. The latter scream asking for stopping this,
but fail.

At 9h30, Dang Sy ORDERS TO USE CANNONS (dda.i ba'c) to fire at the crow many
series of blank ammunition. Next is all kinds of arms fired at the crowd :
grenades, guns,... There are 3 Red Cross vehicles which transfer plenty of
injured people to the hospital of Hue; the victims are composed of 7 dead and
one dying kid ..."

4. According to "How to Kill a President" (La`m The^' Na`o DDe^? Gie^'t
Mo^.t To^?ng Tho^'ng) by Cao The Dung (Cao The^' Dung) and Luong Khai Minh
(Lu+o+ng Kha?i Minh; doctor Tuye^'n), there is an official telegram numbered
9195 dated 6/6/1963 issued by Quach Tong Duc (Qua'ch To`ng DDu+'c), Director
of Cabinet (DDo^?ng Ly' Va<n Pho`ng), to the governmental representatives in
the Central Vietnam and head of Thua Thien province according to the password
of Mr Diem. This telegram comes at night to both places. At 8h30 of the next
day, 7/5/1963, Mr Nguyen Van Dang, provincial head, goes to inform Mr Ngo
Dinh Can who in turn orders Dang to inform Hue people that,"There is nothing
changed. Hang flags as normal..."

In the night of 7/5/1963, 1000 Buddhists accompanying the monks including
Ven. Thich Don Hau and Ven. Thich Tri Quang go to the Administrative
Building to show their standpoint. A Buddhist named Nguyen Huu Khang
(Nguye^~n Hu+~u Khang) has reported what happened to both authors of the book
that the provincial head must agree to let Mr Tru, head of provincial
Information Branch, send 3 cars with loudspeakers informing Buddhists that
the festival on 8/5/1963 would be normal; there is no change.

In the night 8/5/1963, Buddhists go to Tu Dam pagoda, but they are told to
go to the radio station to wait for a carnival (xe hoa ?) coming from Da
Nang. Due to this, there are lots of people gathering near the station.
Like the spirit of the last no-sleeping night of 7/5/1963, requesting for
the equal rights in religion, the night of 8/5/1963 implies the same

To the request for help of director of the station Ngo Ganh, provincial head
ordered Major Dang Sy to mobilize the military to protect the station. Dang
Sy got permission from General Le Van Nghiem (Le^ Va<n Nghie^m) to use the
military force...

These forces are never ordered to oppress the people, but use water to
dissolve the excited crowd. The soldiers holding rifles parallel to their
chests to push the crowd back so that their cars can move closer to the
station. When Dang Sy's car is about 50 m from the station, there is a big
explosion and then another one. That is 10h30 pm. Afraid of VC attacks,
Dang Sy fires bullets on the air and orders soldiers to use "concussion

The explosive is a plastic one used often by CIA; the person who threw it is
Captain James Scott. In 1966, in a military operation in Nam Dong (Nam
DDo^ng), captain James Scott, advisor of the battalion 1/3, 1st Infantry
Division from 1965, revealed to captain Buu (Bu+?u) that he did it.
According to Buu, in 5/ 1963, Scott went from Da Nang to Hue on 7/5/9163.
After many times of questionings by Buu who is cousin of Dang Sy's wife's,
Scott admitted that he threw that explosive which is a special one used by
CIA. Its size is of bigger than a match box with time detonating device.

This books says that on 7/5/1963, commander Conein who went to Hue for
inspection said to a person named Tran Khoi that U.S. government had the
feeling that the government of Vietnam is the one of Catholics; the American
public opinion showed some discontent for Vietnam; to oppose communists, one
had to mobilize Buddhists; Hue is the kingdom of bishop Ngo Dinh Thuc. In a
party at an American consulat, vice-consul told Tran Khoi that, "Buddhist
force is a big one; they would not participate in anti-communist activities
if the government do not open door for Buddhists to join in." However, as
the Americans find out later it is not the case. That is the reason for the
return of Mr Henri Cabot Lodge.

5. The fifth book entitled "South Vietnam : Reesing's Reports - a Political
History, 1954-1970" writes :

"On 5/5/1963, on the occasion of "Le^~ Nga^n Kha'nh" (the 25th anniversary as
a bishop) of Bishop Ngo Dinh Thuc in Hue, Ngo Dinh Can requests Ven. Thich
Tinh Khiet to send a congratulatory mail to bishop Thuc, but Ven. Thich Tinh
Khiet refuses to do so. On 7/5/1963, the government orders to ban the
Buddhist flag. On 8/5/1963, that is the Buddhist festival but the Roman
Catholic flags are still on. The radio station has order not to broadcast
the tape of the Buddhist festival. 20,000 Buddhists including women and kids
went to the radio station for objection. Provincial vice-head comes to
disperse the crowd throwing tear gas grenades. There are 9 dead including
kids, and 20 injured. The government says that VC did sabotaging, but 3
professors of the Hue university and one West German came out as witnesses
informing what they saw to the press, western diplomatic corps, the
secretary-general of U.N., foreign military officials, International Buddhism
and the Vatican. The 3 are deported 3 months later. 47 professors of the
Hue university resigned on 17/8/1963 to object the arrest of Father Cao Van
Luan who doesn't stop the demonstration of students."

Nguyen Tran ("Co^ng va` To^.i : Nhu+~ng Su+. Tha^.t Su+?" [Credit and
Sin : Historic Truths; 1991] writes a letter to Father Cao Van Luan asking
about these allegations, he answers :

- "Le^~ Nga^n Kha'nh" of Bishop Ngo Dinh Thuc was celebrated on 29/6/1963 in
Hue, not on 5/5/1963. The day of 5/5/1963 was the one Bishop Pham Ngoc Chi
took the office in DA NANG AND THERE WERE FLAGS ON THE STREETS. Then there
was no such thing like Mr Ngo Dinh Can told Ven. Thich Tinh Khiet to send
congratulations to Bishop Ngo Dinh Thuc before 1 month and 24 days.

- The 3 German professors -- one is communist sympathizer -- stayed at the Hue
university only for 2 years from 1959 to 1961, and has gone back to Germany.
There were no professors to be witnesses to accuse the government.

- There were no such things like 47 professors resigning on 17/8/1963. There
were only some students who gathered to beg Father Cao Van Luan to stay and
not accept the new dean Tran Huu The (Tra^`n Hu+~u The^), but he dissuaded
them to do it.

6. The 6th document is "US News and World Report", issue 10/10/1983, entitled
"Untold Story of the Road to War in Vietnam". It says :

"On 8/5/1963, thousands of Buddhists entered the Hue city to object the law
banning the raise of Buddhist flags. That is because the Roman Catholic
flags were raised to celebrate the consecration of the archbishop Ngo Dinh
Thuc in Hue, older broher of Mr Diem. When the Buddhists in protest did not
dissolve, the security force came in. There were at least 7 dead."

Needless to say, one can conclude that this is also not true.

7. There is another source of data for Nguyen Tran's book coming from a
witness who is now living in Los Angeles. His name is T. Mr T. says :

"On 7/5/1963, he received an offical telegram of the Directorate of
Information to its branches in all provinces saying generally that, "As
compared with the circular which had been issued 5 or 6 months ago, the
national flag must be respected; the flag should be hung in the middle and
above all the flags of religions or organizations,..."

That is it; there is no order to ban hanging religious flags, nor to lower
the International Buddhist flags. The director-general of the Information
is the congressman, doctor Tran Van Tho (Tra^`n Va<n Tho.); this Directorate
belongs to the Presidential Office; due to this, all letters have the header
as "The Office of the Presidential Office, the Directorate of Information"
(Va<n pho`ng To^?ng Tho^'ng Phu?, To^?ng Nha Tho^ng Tin). The official
telegram mentioned above is the directive of the Directorate, but it does not
mean that that directive is worked out directly from the Presidential Office,
but from the Directorate itself.

At that time, the Information Branch in Hue belonged to the Office-5 of the
1st Infantry Division of commander Do Cao Tri (DDo^? Cao Tri'). Mr Tri
brings that official telegram to lieutenant Duong Dien Nghi (Du+o+ng Die^n
Nghi.), head of Office-5, who then hands it to major Nguyen Van Hieu
(Nguye^~n Va<n Hie^'u who became brigadier-general and died in action later).
Mr Hieu did put down :" Tranfer this to the Information Branch for public
announcement". Mr T. gives the job to head of Technical Section. A moment
later, this head complains that some people threw stones into his car
breaking the glass. Mr T says to me that when fleeing from Vietnam, he
brought this official telegram with him but through many times of moving, the
document has been lost.

After that, Mr T. is informed that there is a policeman who climbs onto the
post before the store "Tailleur Lien" in the main market Dong Ba (DDo^ng Ba)
of Hue, rips the Buddhist flag, throws it to the ground and disappears. Mr T.
checks about this with his officials who report that there was no order to
lower the flag; that is a sabotage.

Informed about the flag which has been thrown, Buddhists rush to the
Administrative Building to protest.

On the next day, 8/5/1963, it is the celebration for Buddha's birthday. The
monks from Tu Dam pagoda give sermons calling for a struggle to the end so
that Buddhism cannot be discriminated. They also attack the policy of
family despotism (gia ddi`nh tri.) of Mr Diem's regime and accuse bishop Ngo
Dinh Thuc of abusing the power interfering politics. Ven. Thich Tri Quang
declares that he would go to the radio station to have a talk. Informed by
this, Buddhists rush to the station in abundance.

Provincial head, Nguyen Van Dang, went to Tu Dam pagoda to meet Ven. Thich
Tri Quang and both went to the radio station. When they arrive at the gate
of the station, they must use the back door because the crowd is dense.
When they enter into the station, there is an explosion... Later,
provincial head and Ven. Thich Tri Quang used the back door to go toward the
river bank and drive home and pagoda. Mr T says that major Dang Sy just
uses armored car M-113 to protect the station when the explosion occurs.

Mr T. says that he is a Buddhist and can't lie about this.

According to Nguyen Tran's judgement, Mr T.'s words are most trustworthy
because he is a Buddhist official present at the scene. About other sources,
there are fluctuations of accounts and, especially informations from 2
American documents which have untrue reporting. It means that the Western
news basing on what have been seen or reported by others who did distort the
matter and bring down Mr Diem's regime.

About the explosive before the station in the night of 8/5/1963, it has been
looked at by Father Cao Van Luan who suggested according to the public
opinion that it migh be the job of CIA. Mr Cao The Dung did mention this in
his book about captain James Scott. This is the same news Nguyen Tran read
in an American review in 6 or 7/1975 when he stayed in his daughter's house
in Arcadia after he had moved there. The man who signed under that article
was James Scott who acknowledged that he threw the plastic explosive before
the radio station on 8/5/ 1963. Nguyen Tran read the article loudly for his
family, but because he was in a state of sadness after fleeing away from
Vietnam and left behind his son he had no mood for writing anything and as a
result, he did not save the article.

Writing this book Mr Nguyen Tran has tried to track down James Scott's
article in many microfilms in U.S. libraries, but failed. He phoned the
Defense Department asking about James Scott; they answered that there were
two James Scott, but they were discharged and had no names in pension records
: they did not know their addresses.

In summary, the official telegram about the regulation of hanging the flag
is directly from the Directorate of Information, not from the Presidential
Office. The telegram is not for lowering the international Buddhist flag,
but for hanging the national flag in the middle and above the other flags.

The death at the radio station in the night of 8/5/1953 can't be done by
Major Dang Sy or his soldiers by using "concussion" grenades because these
ones are not fatal. The exlosive must be from James Scott or "somebody
else". And this has been confirmed by a court session to try Mr Dang Sy

It's no doubt that the Buddhist incident of 1963 is just an event set up by
the opponents of Mr Diem's regime. In other words, using faked accusation
that Mr Diem oppressed Buddhism is the theme or pretext for a political
purpose of religious people. Oppostion of a regime is political matter, but
some factions of Buddhist hierarchy interfered heavily into politics,
instigated more confrontation heating up hatred instead of using Buddhism to
make peace with Mr Diem.

After Mr Diem is killed, Buddhists continue "struggle" with their incessant
going to the streets, self-immolating and even bringing their altars to the
streets. These events show that some An Quang Sectarian monks and followers
abuse Buddhism for a political goal -- reconciling with communists by
cheering Ho Chi Minh, but not with Mr Diem, and the latter has to be
eliminated. Other anti-communist leaders of SVN are also objected by them
when labeled as Regime-Diem-Without- Diem.

Buddhism used for political purpose

According to "A Death in November" by doctor Ellen J. Hammer, when ambassador
Buu Hoi returned home in order to persuade his mother, senior monk Dieu
Khong (Die^ .u Kho^ng), not to self-immolate, he received a letter from Ven.
Thich Tinh Khiet and Ven. Thich Tam Chau who have complained that "Buddhism
had been used for political purpose," and events in the days before the
attacks on pagodas lost religious goals. The chaos became thoroughly
political and when the monks went beyond their limit, the government of Mr
Diem had no choice to cope with them for self-defense. Ambassador Buu Hoi
submitted the two letters (from the two venerables) to U.N. It may be that
these monks have had no knowledge about the letter from Ven. Thich Tri Do
sent from Hanoi to Ven. Thich Tri Quang. Excluding subordinates of Ven.
Thich Tri Quang, it may be that a majority of monks did not know intentions
of Ven. Thich Tri Quang who has taken advantage of them.

In "Our Vietnam Nightmare", p. 28, Marguerite Higgins says that Ven. Thich
Tri Quang invited her to Xa Loi pagoda. He spoke to her publicly that, "We
can not negotiate with North Vietnam until we topple Diem-Nhu."

Doctor Ellen J. Hammer in "A Death in November" wrote the same and added
that "Ven. Thich Tri Quang wanted also a neutral man sitting in Saigon" (Is
it Duong Van Minh or Vu Van Mau ?).

Both authors wrote that "Ven. Thich Tri Quang said to an American official
in Hue two days after the Buddhist incident before the radio station of the
night of 8/5/1963 that he would never stop struggle until the government

It means that the Americans knew clearly the scheme of Ven. Thich Tri Quang
from the start, and especially Marguerite Higgins let president Kennedy know
the intention of Ven. Thich Tri Quang after she came back from Saigon. To
Kennedy, he did not react a bit or wanted also to collaborate with Ven. Thich
Tri Quang to overthrow Mr Diem ? One clear thing is that Kennedy was an ally
of Ven. Thich Tri Quang because he accepted Ven. Thich Tri Quang's seeking
asylum at the U.S. embassy.

In the spring of 1965, McNamara called this strategy a big mistake of U.S.
because great problems caused by Ven. Thich Tri Quang had created more havocs
for U.S..

One of the worst scheme of Ven. Thich Tri Quang in order to topple the
government of Mr Diem was to organize self-immolations, tricking devout
persons to destroy their bodies; the reason is there was nothing to excite
public opinion better than the picture of a man who burns himself like a
torch : that was an atrocious and deplorable scene and this was also the
plan urging U.S. to act when seeing that the U.S. public opinion
"recognized" that that was in no doubt the crime committed by Mr Diem who
oppressed Buddhism so much that it created incredible sacrifices in protest.

About Ven. Thich Tri Quang, contemplating that his Buddhist group could not
topple Mr Diem, he had to lean on the hands of U.S. and as Marguerite
Higgins assessed : "Ven. Thich Tri Quang wanted to take the head of Mr Diem
and put it not on a silver plate but wrapped it inside an American flag."

About Major Dang Sy, standing before a military court in Saigon (after the
coup d'etat 1/11/1963), he declares : I have two offences. I am a Catholic
and I obey the order. Dang Sy also says that ones imprisoned him for many
months in dark cell to force him to put murder charge on Archbishop Ngo Dinh
Thuc for his own freedom, but Dang Sy refused to do so.

It's no doubt that all came from religious discrimination, but it's not
Catholics to discriminate agaisnt Buddhists but on the contrary, some bad
elements in Ven. Thich Tri Quang's group discriminate against Catholics.
This originated from the history whereby the royal courts opposed Catholicism
and tortured their Vietnamese Catholics for more than 300 years. While
emperor Meiji (Vua Minh Tri.) of Japan opened his hands to Westerners and led
his country to a prosperous nation, Vietnam was colonized and mixed with

Consequences caused by Ven. Thich Tri Quang were not only related to
religious discrimination, but destruction of South Vietnam fit with the plan
of Ven. Thich Tri Do from Hanoi.

Using the pretext that Buddhism was oppressed so that it must stand up to
struggle against oppression, but after 1963 when Buddhism was seen as upper-
handed bearing no oppression, these Buddhists (An Quang Sect) still created
havocs and chaos (People's Council of Salvation : Ho^.i DDo^`ng Nha^n Da^n
Cu+'u Quo^'c in the Central Vietnam in 1964, the Buddhist struggle in 1965,
in 1966,...) which paralyzed totally the campaign against communists.


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