Page 4-Saturday, June 17, 1978-The Michigan Daily
Trials of the 'boat neonle'
Eighty-eight Years of Editorial Freedom By Rich Lerner
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI. 48109RANTAU, Malaysia - May 28
420 aynad St, An Aror, I. 4109 - Every year ait this time, the
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 33-S News Phone: 764-0552 giant Penyu turtle completes its
S1800-mile pilgrimage through the
SatudayJune17, 978ocean and comes ashore at this
Edited and managed by students tiny fishing village to lay its eggs.
.tU .sy McgThe annual event attracts
tthe University tourists from Australia, America
But this year the turtles came
'o o n with company - a boatload of
Vietnamese refugees. Fourty-
four adults and nineteen children
(the youngest was 18 months old)
landed here yesterday, squeezed
aboard a 30-foot fishing boat.
A S THE DAILY reported yesterday, more
and more documents are surfacing which THEY REPRESENT only a
show the Central Intelligence Agency's dubious small portion of thousands of
itrsinAmerican institutions of higher Vietnamese 'boat people" who
interest inhhave successfully made their
education and specifically this University. way to the beaches of Thailand,
But the administration, the Regents and the Malaysia and Australia in the
faculty have yet to take a hard-line stance with last two years. Hundreds of
government intelligence agencies to prevent in- others have perished at sea, or
fingement of personal freedoms. haaebeen caught trying to
The documents released so far indicate that, in Delighted to touch land again
the name of national defense, the CIA has spon- after nine days at sea, those who
sored research and experimented with various could speak some English told
means of controlling the human mind at the the story of their exodus.
The group left Ho Chi Minh City
University without informing the public. (formerly Saigon) in trickles of
University faculty members have often one, two or three people, taking
received free research aid in a variety of forms the bus to Baclieu, a small village
from the CIA often in return for favors such as 190 miles away. Once there, they
were housed in three small huts,
covert recruiting, writing propaganda, and col - waiting several nights until the
lecting intelligence data. entire group assembled.
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
has expressed the legitimate concern that THEN, UNDER cover of
"American academics involved in such activities darkness, again in one or two at a
time, the group walked six miles
may undermine public confidence that those who through the government-
train our youth are upholding the ideals, indepen- patrolled jungle to reach the
dence and integrity of American universities." shore.
This University should adopt guidelines for "It was very dangerous," said
with intelligence agencies to protect the Lien Chau, a former captain in
dealing wthe Republic of Viet Nam army.
rights of individuals to live without fear of "We used two small boats to
political spying. And, although guidelines would reach the fishing boat. The Viet
not be a panacea, they would be a strong first step Cong shot guns and ran after us.
showing the University is on guard to defend our If they (had) caught us, they
personal and academic freedom. would (have) killed us."
Ell' ' ' '010'
Once safe at sea, the ordeal
was only beginning. The meager
provisions of rice and water
would not be enough to last to the
intended destination of Darwin,
"IT WAS TERRIBLE," Chau
said. "We were hungry and thir-
sty. We took food from Viet Nam
but it was finished after five
days. We met big waves and rain
on the way to here."
On the eighth day, the engine
on the crowded trawler gave out,
stranding the refugees in the
south China Sea. All attempts to
"I had two
choices - die or
freedom. I want
government can help us."
"We want to live in Malaysia a
short time," said Lim Chee, a 29-
year-old mother of two. "After
that we want to go to any nation
where there are no Communists." i
"WE HAD NO freedom, no
human rights, only poverty,"
said Chiang, who like the rest of
the group is of Chinese ancestry.
"If we had stayed, the Viet Cong
would force us to leave the city
and take us to villages in rural
"Our family was doing a small
business, but it and our house
were liquidated by the gover-
nment six months ago.
"Everyone now in the city,
especially the Chinese, is being
forced to rural areas. They work
farming, but there are no
machines, and the government
takes all food but gives no money.
The people are now feeling
FOR LIEN CHAU, the decision
to leave Vietnam was an easy
"I had two choices - die or
freedom. I want freedom," Chau
said. "Because I was a captain in
the army, I was in prison for two
and a half years, from June 1975
until January 1978.
"One day I had to go into the
forest to cut wood, and I ran
away. The prisoners that are still
there will be killed gradually.
Many killed themselves."
Chau left together with his son,
but his 'wife and small daughter
had fled in the same manner one
week earlier. He doesn't know if
their fate was as lucky as his
own. Chau and the rest of the
group were sent to a nearby
refugee camp, and will stay there
until homes are found for them.
Rich Lerner, former Daily
Executive Sports Editor, met
the refugees on his current
trip around the world.
repair the engine and continue on
Then, nine days after setting
out, when things seemed as bad
as they could possibly be, they
had a change of fortune.
AFTER THREE DAYS with no
food or water, and now with no
means of propulsion, the boat
drifted within sight of the East
coast of Malaysia. Before long a
Malaysian vessel found the boat,
provided the people with food and
water and towed them to shore.
"We were very happy when we
saw Malaysia," said Kwok Chian,
a 22-year-old who came without his
family. "We hope the Malaysian
'Hell no! Our dough won't go!'
-rHE VOICE OF T-I PEOPLE
By Dick West
WASHINGTON - Ma and the
kids heard there was a tax revolt
headed this way from California
and wanted to know if they could
go out and watch for it.
I told them they could do no
such of a tomfool thing.
movements are dangerous." I
said. "An innocent bystander
could easily get trampled by
politicians rushing up to call for
In the distance came the sound
of protesters chanting "Hell, No:
Our Dough Won't Go!" Young
Elrood got very excited.
"This is where it's at, Pa," he
pleaded. "Why can't I go out and
demonstrate against con-
fiscatory taxes like other kids my
"SON," I said, "your ancestors
came over here frgm the old
country to escape low taxation.
They lived in a land where only
the rich and the high born were
"Our family has always been in
the thick of the fight for universal
high taxation, and I hope you kids
will carry on the tradition after
"Has it been a long, hard
struggle, Pa?" asked little Owly
I NODDED vehemently. "This
very house we are living in is
testament to how far we've come.
"When your Ma and I first
bought the place, the assessed
valuation was so low the property
tax was inconsequential. Now,
thanks to the miracle of modern
inflation, we can live in a more.
expensive neighborhood without
having to move.
"And it's been much the same
situation with income taxes." I
said, warming to the story.
"Nowadays, of course, even the
most modest wage earners start
having their taxes withheld from
the day they first landa job."
ELROOD SHUFFLED his feet
in chagrin. "I never thought of it
that way," he said quietly.
"And that isn't all," I con-
tinued. "My own income has
failed to keep pace with living
costs. But, again thanks to our
dynamically inflated economy,
the dollar amount has risen to the
point where I am in a much
higher tax bracket."
I have never seen Owly Sue
look more impressed. Her little
jaw was as slack as an IRS
"Without getting irtno Society
Security taxes, which are an in-
spiration unto themselves, I think
you can see that our forefathers'
dream of exorbitant taxes for the
masses has been largely
- Shooting a thumb in the direc-
tion of the tax revolt, I added,
"Don't let them take it away."
Dick West is the resident
humorist based in UPI's
Washingtrrbtreai - ' -