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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 10. 23rd May 1973

What We Must Do Now

What We Must Do Now

Discussions with the joint Vietnamese delegation have confirmed the Committee on Vietnam's view that the major aim of the New Zealand anti-war movement at present should be to demand that the United States Government, the Saigon regime and the New Zealand Government strictly implement all the provisions of the Paris Peace Agreement on Vietnam.

Peter Franks' report on meetings and discussions with the delegation outlines the extent of the violations of the ceasefire by the U.S. and Thieu. The seriousness of the present situation in Indochina cannot be overemphasised.

The Vietnamese told us they were determined to implement the Agreement peacefully through political struggle. However they said they had warned the United States Government and the Saigon Administration that if violations of the ceasefire continued the P.R.G. would be forced to go onto the offensive to defend liberated areas. The delegation called on the anti-war movement in Australia and New Zealand to assist the Vietnamese people in ensuring the correct implementation of the agreement.

Apart from this fundamental demand the New Zealand anti-war movement must concentrate on the following areas:
1)The New Zealand Government should recognise the P.R.G. and the D.R.V. as part of helping to ensure the strict implementation of the Peace Agreement. Failure to do so will only help Thieu in his policy of trying to sabotage the agreement.
2)The total and immediate release of about 300,000 political prisoners held by the Saigon Administration so that no one will be ill-treated, tortured or physically eliminated, and the provisions relating to the political future of South Vietnam can be fully implemented.
3)Support for medical and reconstruction aid to Indochina. A nationwide appeal for aid is in the process of being launched by the C.O.V. and the N.Z. Medical Aid Committee. The Vietnamese welcomed this appeal and suggested that aid to Indochina should be aimed at specific projects, such as a particular school or hospital. The idea behind this suggestion was that people giving money would know exactly where their money was going. Other specific requests were for building materials, school equipment and 12 horse power ploughing machines.
4)Support for the strict implementation of the Peace Agreement on Laos and the demand for the immediate cessation of the U.S. bombing of Cambodia, especially since the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have demanded the same thing.

— Michael G. Lam, Chairman, Wellington Committee on Vietnam