ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT OF THE BUDDHIST CRISIS ON THE PROVINCIAL (UNREADABLE)

Created: 8/2/1963

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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INFORMATION REPORT

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TE VIETNAM

ASSESSMENT OF ITS IMPACT OF THE botreist 0at63 CRISIS OS TEE FPCVirCIAL PC"" *T

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1 . SlMViR' ANT att? ai sal OF CONTENT: ALTHOUGH THE CONCLUSIONS HEREIN ARE

BY NO MEANS ECFINITTAT, THIS ISESSM^NT OF THE SITUATION BASED

3 LNTCPKAIICN AVAIIAWEE KEPT IN MIND THAT FEASANT

att1vutes on THIS AND OTHER ISSI."KS APE DITICULT TO ASSESSFCPMATION IS

GSKEP.AI.LY TEFRACTED THPCUCH SOUTH VIETNAMESE SOURCES WITH VARIOUS AXES TO GRIND.

A'-Z'CW! BEUEVS THAT THE B'JIDHJSTAiT HAS HADODEST

LMTACTTSE RURAL FOT-ILATION IN SO/TH VTETNAM AND THAT TEE PEASANTS HAVE NOT

BBEM MARKEDLYONGERTST/CCVERW<ENT OF VIETNAM 1mpasce

LASTS, TSE MORE ukely IT IS THAT RErTnCUSSIONS WIU. RADIATE FP.CMS,

WltEPS THE AFF/OT. IS LARGELY CENTERED, INTO TITSURAL AREAS

COMMENT. THIS REPORT WIILUPPLEMENTEDditir?:AL INFOPMATICN ANDAVAILABLE.)

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2. IS CENTRAL VIETNAM, THE UNRESTHE PRC7INCIAL POPULATIONESULT OF TEE BUDDHIST CRISIS IN3 IS CENTERED IN COASTAL CITIES, AND TEE BUDDHIST COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN PREVENTSAND ORDERS FROM BEING SENT TO THE WESTERN PCRTIONS CF THE PROVINCES. ESULT, THE FEOPLE IN THE WESTERN PORTIONS ARE CCNFJ5ED BY. DISTORTED RUMCRS OF INCIDENTS IN HUE, SAIGON, HOI AN, NBA TRANG,HICH CONFLICT COMPLETELY WITH GOVERNMENT OF VIETNAM (GVN) RADIO REPORTS, PROVINCIAL STATEMENTS, AND PRESS COVERAGE OF THE SAME INCIDENTS. THE UNREST IS PROBABLY STRONGER IN CENTRAL VIETNAMESULT OF THE RECENT SUICIDES IN PSAS THXST, NBA TRANG AND HUE, AND THE RESULTANT GVN RE ACT!UT

THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE SITUATION CANNOT BE JUDGED FROMEW VISITS AND

REPORTS. THE ARMY CF THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM (ARVN) EFFORT IN THE FIRST CCRp

AREA AGAINST TEE VIETNAMESE COMMUNISTS (VC) HAS UNDOUBTEDLY BEEN CURTAILED AS

MANY OF THE TROOPS ARE GARRISONED RATTER THAN ^PLOYED AGAINST THE VC AS USUAL,

RESULTINGEFINITELY LOWERED MORALE THAN PRIOR TOAY HUE INCIDENT.

IT IS HOPE DIFFICULT TO DETERMINE ANY CHANGE IN THE GENERAL PCrW.TIOr ATTITUDE

MALL DEGREE OF UNREST DOES NOW PREVAIL THROUGHOUT THE PROVINCES OF

NORTH CENTRAL VIETNAM. THIS PROBABLY POSES NO IMMEDIATE THREAT TO TBS GVN,

IT WILL MAKE THE GVN'S TASK MORE DIFFICULT ON THE LONG PA::GE BASIS AS IT HAS

PROBABLY AFFECTED WHAT HAD BEEN AN ENCOURAGING TENDENCY, SMALL BUT PERCEPTIBLE,

OF THE PEASANTRY TO RELY ON THE GVN AND MORE ACTIVELY TO OPPOSE THE VC. IT IS

HOT UNREASONABLE TO ASSUME THAT MANY OF, THESE PEOPLE WILL RETURN TO INDUTEREPCE

TOWARDS THE VC.

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3- COMMENTS ON SPECIFIC PROVINCES AND CITIES FOLLOW:

HANQ. ALTBCUOH UNDER MARTIAL LAV FOLLOWING THE INCIDENTS ON

UGUST, MAYOR (LIEUTENANT COLONEL) TRAH NGCC CHAU HAS DEMONSTRATED CONSIDERABLE ADROITNESS IN HANDLING THE BUDDHIST PROBLEM. BARRING ANY MAJOR INCIDENT OR COLLOSSAL GVN BLUNDER IN HUE CR SAIGON (OF TBE CHAIN REACTIONHAU WILL PROBABLY CONTINUE TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF TEE SITUATION.

NAM PROVINCE. THE HOI AN INCIDENT OFULY HASPROVINCEs WORST SITUATIONAY. THIS IS LARGELY THE RESULTINEPTTTUIE OF TEE PROVINCE CHIEF WHO IS PROBABLY AN EXCEPTIONAL ARMYANDJ'Z AND MORALLY COURAGEOUS OFFICIAL, BUT' IS NAIVE,UNSURE IN ADMINISTERING HIS PROVINCE. ALTHOUGH HE IS PROBABLY MORE ONA RESULT OFULY INCIDENT, HE CANNOT EE RELIED UPON TO PREVENT FUTUREFROM GETTING CUT OF HAND. THE SITUATION IS NOW RELATIVELY QUIET,IS STILL STRONG IN HOI AN AND IN THE IMMEDIATE ADJOINING VILLAGES.

TIN. THERE IS VERY LITTLE BUDDHIST ACTIVITY EVIDENTTIN, MAINLY BECAUSE THE PROVINCE HAS THE MOST SERIOUS SECURITY SITUATION

OF AMY IN NtCENTRAL VIETNAM. TBE VC HAVE JUST ABOUT PARALYZED VEHICLE TRAVEL WITHIN THEND ARE OTHERWISE MAKING THEIR PRESENCE KNOWN. jHOUT TBE PROVINCE. QUANG TIN IS ALSO BADLY HAMPERED BY EXTREMELY WEAK, AND QUITE OFTEN CORRUPT, OFFICIALS FROM THE PROVINCE CHIEF TO TBE LOWEST LEVEL. THE ONLY BRIGHT SPOT IN THIS PROVINCE IS THAT FATHER HAO CONTINUES TO EXERT HIS INFLUENCE OVER THE COASTAL AREA AND HASOINT OF NOT AT SIZING THE BUDDHISTS IN ANY

KGAI. THE PROVINCE CHIEF HAS RULEDTRONGEFFICIENCY AND THEREBY PREVENTED ANY MAJORISRESENTMENT AGAINST HISRJTARIAN METHODS, BUT THIS IS NOT CONSIDEREDTHREAT TC THS GVN.

THIS PROVINCE IS VERY SPARSELY SETTLED AND THUSNTEREST IN THS BUDDHIST MOVEMENT HAS BEEN EVIDENCED HERE. TEESTATEDUGUST THAT IF TROUBLE DID START HE WOULD TAKE HIS CUE FROMNGAI PROVINCE CHIEF AND BAN ANY GATHERING OF OVER TEHEE PEOPLE. HESERIOUSLY IFAN WOULD EE NECESSARY AS THERE IS VERY LITTLEEVIDENT.

P. HUE. HUE IS THE MAIN TROUBLE SPOT AND PROBABLY WILL CONTINUE TO BS. PAST HEPCRTING ON HUE ADEQUATELY COVERS THIS CITY.

TRI. THIS IS ANOTHER PROVINCETRONG CHIEF. INTRI CITY BAD SIGNIFICANT UNREST, BUT TIGHT CONTROLS HAVE STOPPED IT, ANDITS RECURRENCE.

THJEN. LITTLE UNREST IS APPARENT IN THUA THXEN PROVINCETHOSE VILLAGES ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF HUE, WHOSE INHABITANTS HAVE BEEN GOINGTO DEMONSTRATE.

TRANO. TEE BCNZESS SUICIDERIEF FLAREUP IN NBA TRANG.

ALTHCUGH CURFEW IS 8TILL tfl FORCE, THE SITUATION IS RETURNING TO NORMAL ACCORDING

A SECURITY SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE. THE POPULATION IS GENERALLY APATHETIC TO THE

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BUDDHIST ISSUE AND THEIR ROLE IB THE RECENT DEMOHSTRATICtfS WAS LARGELY THAT OF INTERESTED ONLOOKERS WITH HO NOTICEABLE APPEARANCE OF EMOTIONAL INVOLVEMENT. BECAUSE OF THE HEAVY AMERICANITURES IN THIS RESORT TOWN, THE LOCAL BUSINESSMEN ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE TOO MUCH AT ST AXEONTINUED CALM THAN TO SUPPORT THE BUDDHISTS THROUGH SHCP CLOSINGS, ETC. ONE OF THE MAIN PROBLEMS IN NBA TRANG IS TEE BANDS C? LATE TEEN-AGES"CCVBCYS'WHO ENJOY HARASSING AND TAUNTING THE PCLICE AND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM (ARVN) SECUHITY FORCES. GVN OFFICIALS IN NBA TRANG STATE THAT THE BUDDHIST LEADERSHIP IS WORXINO BARD TO GENERATE VILLAGE-LEVEL SUPPORT IN THE RURAL AREAS CF TEE PROVINCE, BUT THE OFFICIALS CLAIM THAT THEIR EFFORTS ARE BEAPINO LITTLE FRUIT. THE OFFICIALS INSIST THAT THIS IS STILL ALSO THE CASE IN OTHER PROVINCES IN THE SOUTH CENTRAL COASTAL AREA.

U. IN THE SCOTEE ASTERN PROVINCES TO THE NORTH CF SAIGCN, THERE HAS EEKN LITTLE PUBLIC MANIFESTATION OF SENTIMENT ABOUT THE BUDDHIST ISSUE, EITHER IN THE TOWNS OR IN RURAL AREAS. EGIONAL SECURITY SERVICE OFFICIAL CLAIMS THAT HE AND HIS SECURITY SERVICE CCfLlEAGUES HAVE THE SITUATION WELL, ARE IN DISCREET CONTACT WITH TEE LOCAL BUDDHIST LEADERSHIP, AND DO NOT EXPECT ANY SERIOUS TROUBLE TO DEVELOP IN THEIR REGION.

5. IN THE DELTA AREA, THERE HAS LIKEWISE HEEE LITTLE OUTWARD EXPRESSION OF POPULAR SENTIMENT ON THE BUDDHIST ISSUX, WHICH IS TO ES EXPECTED IN VTEV OP THE FACT THAT BUDDHISM HAS NEVER BEEN A3 ORGANIZATIONALLY STRONG OR AS DEEPLY FELT BY

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