In the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon -- or Ho Chi Mihh City as the Communists have now renamed it -- a civilian administration has taken over the government of the country from the Military Management Committee which was set up when the city fell to the Viet Cong forces last April.
LV Delegates enter Municipal Theatre (MUTE)
LV INT (SOUND) Delegates take their seats
CU Chairman of Committee Vo Van Kiet speaking
SV Other Committee members listening and applauding
CU Another Committee member speaking
SV Delegates applauding
CU Lady committee member speaking
LV Committee applauding
Initials BB/1830 NPJ/MR/BB/1845
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Background: In the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon -- or Ho Chi Mihh City as the Communists have now renamed it -- a civilian administration has taken over the government of the country from the Military Management Committee which was set up when the city fell to the Viet Cong forces last April.
The hand-over of power was announced by the official Liberation Press Agency on 21. January, and the members of the new civilian committee were introduced to the people at a public meeting in Saigon's Municipal Theatre on Saturday (24 January), It will be known as The People's Revolutionary Committee of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
The Committee is headed by Mr. Vo Van Kiet, the former Deputy Chairman of the Military Committee. He told the audience that attended the public meeting that the new administration would be introducing a series of "legal measures" which would ensure the democratic freedom of the people.
Mr. Kiet said the Committee would also make sure that officials throughout the country, from precinct level to war level, behaved properly and did not "create law by themselves". They were determined to overcome all the difficulties, and to simplify the complicated administrative process.
He directed officials to be "polite with the people", and help them to create an easy atmosphere with the "most democratic freedoms".
Mr. Kiet also outlined the measures which the administration was carrying out to reduce unemployment in the city, and he urged those people who had fled to Saigon during the war, to join the "new economic area" where people were being relocated back to the countryside.
On Monday (26 January) the Committee announced that they wanted more than a million people to leave the city for the new economic zones in the countryside, or return to their native villages. The Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Professor Nguyen Van Hieu, told newsmen that already three hundred thousand people had left the city to be resettled in other areas.
Professor Hieu said that the Committee would not use force in its efforts to persuade the people to accept its resettlement programme. He describe the programme as the "most logical and quickest solution" to unemployment and the other economic problems in Saigon.