Many thousands of people gathered at Buddhist Central HQ in Saigon to pay homage on Buddha's 2509th Birthday.
Shot from aircraft at takeoff from Delta airfield. (not applicable - was on other job)
Crowds of Buddhists at VIEN HOA DAO (Vin Wah Dow) - Central Buddhist HQ in Saigon.
People at street side pagoda - set up for celebration.
Striking bell at street-side temporary pagoda to call faithful.
Girls with Buddhist flags.
Buddhist Youth marching (boys).
Street scenes - temporary pagoda in background.
Pagoda in Central Market area.
Figure of Lord Buddha on spire.
Buddhist martyr THICH THIEN MY (Tik Tee-en Mee) portrait - 2nd monk to burn himself as protest against regime of DIEM.
Fruit, &c. together with joss sticks....base of temporary shrine.
Striking drum as accompaniment to religious music.
NOTE: Sorry about skimpy coverage, but was in Delta early in day to investigate reported action and did not return till 1100 hrs.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Many thousands of people gathered at Buddhist Central HQ in Saigon to pay homage on Buddha's 2509th Birthday. Gathering was quiet and orderly in comparison to many violent scenes of the past when Viet Nam's Buddhists have rallied en masse. In the city and suburbs temporary places of worship were set up and many people congregated at these points to offer their prayers. The BUDDHIST YOUTH, so often before aroused to blood-shed and rioting, were prominent in crowds of boys and girls. However today they were in gay mood. The figure of Lord Buddha dominated the Central Market area. The Market has been renamed the QUACH THI TRANG Market to commemorate the girl who was shot to death in the Market prior to the overthrow of Diem. Also prominent was a portrait of THICK THIEN MY, the Buddhist Monk who died by fire as a protest to the Diem Regime's alleged persecution of Buddhists. He was the 2nd monk to do so. No trouble was expected, although Saigon Buddhists are reported angry over the Govt's refusal to allow former Chief-of-State DUONG VAN MINH (Big Minh) to land in Saigon a few days ago.