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Vietnam war: The Most Venerable Thich Quang Duc


http://www.truclamyentu.info/the-environmental-activist/hoa-thuong-thich-quang-duc.html (tiếng Việt)

We convey to you the historical facts about the Vietnam War in which the death of Venerable Thich Quang Duc on June 11, 1963, led to the collapse of the entire Republic of Vietnam in the following years.

Please help us to spread this truth to the media around the world.

With sincere appreciation.

July 31, 2017

Truc Lam Tran Nhan Viet Quoc, The Vietnamese Historical Association


The Venerable Thich Quang Duc, the symbol of national essence and Dharma, also symbolizes the destruction of Vietnamese national unity, the no-merit superstition, and the total surrender to Chinese demands.

I. The definition of words

On June 11, 1963, Venerable Thich Quang Duc set himself on fire. The late President of South Viet Nam Ngo Dinh Diem said about this event in the afternoon of the same day: (start of literal quote)

while the reconciliation of the nation is proceeding well, suddenly early today, for the harsh propaganda which intentionally hides the truth; and pushes the suspicion toward the goodwill of government has caused some credulous people to take their own lives in vain. The loss of lives saddened me deeply(end of quote)

Therefore, from this context, we can call the self-fire setting of Venerable Quang Duc a murder instead of so-called “self-immolation” as it was called before.

Also, for the matters of proper title and the righteousness of this brutal murder, the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, and the Communist Party of Vietnam mistakenly called the horrible incident “Venerable Quang Duc’s martyrdom” for the last 54 years.

Murder: Death by murdering (Vietnamese Dictionary authored by Le Van Duc and Friends, abridged by Le Ngoc Tru, page 23).

Proper title: Term properly used. For example: “King is king, subordinates are subordinate, Father is a father, son is a son” – Confucius doctrine - (Vietnamese Dictionary authored by Le Van Duc and Friends, abridged by Le Ngoc Tru, page 294).

Righteousness: Just cause, by just and truth. For instance: Must know how to differentiate just cause from puppet / fake administrations. (Vietnamese Dictionary authored by Le Van Duc and Friends, abridged by Le Ngoc Tru, page 295).

II/ The political movement of the Buddhist in Central Vietnam during the First Republic of Vietnam from May/1963 to June 11, 1963:

From 1945 to 1963, the Buddhist of Vietnam has been divided into three different groups with different forms of activities, as follows:

Following the Congress from May 6 to 9 (in the 1st to 4th of lunar year calendar) in 1951, the General Buddhist Association of Vietnam (Abbr. GBAVN) selected the Most Venerable Thich Tinh Khiet as the Supreme Leader. Although these three Buddhist organizations are parts of the Buddhist Congregation, they still have separate, unorganized activities. The core of the GBAVN is Central Vietnam Buddhism, a relatively old-fashioned organization.

The Honorable Ngo Dinh Diem returned to the country in the role of Prime Minister and then became the First President of South Vietnam in 1955, the starting year of the First Republic of Vietnam. The first elected president of the Republic of Vietnam had a special policy of support for Vietnamese Buddhism even though he was a devout Catholic.

Following are some concrete evidence (i.e. constructions, restorations of some prominent temples in Saigon):

The Construction of Xa-Loi Temple located on Ba Huyen Thanh Quan Street in Saigon.

The Construction of Xa-Loi Temple located on Ba Huyen Thanh Quan Street in Saigon.

Vinh-Nghiem Temple located on Cong Ly Street, Saigon

Vinh-Nghiem Temple located on Cong Ly Street.

Chùa Nam Thiên Nhất Trụ

Nam-Thien-Nhat-Tru Temple.

When being awarded the “Magsaysay Leadership Award” as the most brilliant leader in Asia at the time, President Ngo Dinh Diem was humble and secretly offered $ 15,000 (the entire monetary value of the said prize) to the Dalai Lama when the Highness and his fellow Tibetan monks and nuns left Tibet right after the Chinese occupation; and sought asylum in India and Sri Lanka.

From 1955 to the protests at Hue’s Radio Station broke out on May 8, 1963, the Central Buddhists of Venerable Thien Minh and Venerable Tri Quang has had a very good relationship with Mr. Ngo Dinh Can – The President’s younger brother.

Mr. Ngo Dinh Can treated the Buddhists in Central Vietnam, and Venerable Tri Quang and Venerable Thien Minh in particular, with full respect and support. There were always generous supplies of foods to Tu-Dam Temple, for example; provided oversea trips for the central Buddhist monks to attend international conferences, including Venerable Tri Quang. For the favors given by Mr. Ngo Dinh Can to all of Buddhist monks (from Tu-Dam Temple), Venerable Tri Quang was the person who benefited the most.

On the Easter holiday in early April 1963, President Ngo Dinh Diem made a visit to his fellow citizens; and he found out that the Catholics’ religious flag was not hoisting consistently with the directions of his administration. Returning from the said trip, the President immediately issued another ordinance on how to honor the national flag about the honoring of all religious flags; as such, no religious flags were to be discriminated.

At the beginning of May 1963, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the ordination of Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc in Hue, many Catholic flags were incorrectly hoisted (i.e. not complying with the president’s ordinance regarding the regulating the display of religious flags). Also in May, there is Buddha's birthday. Similarly to the Catholic flagging, the Buddhist flag was not in line with the said presidential ordinance.

The ordinance mentions that religious flags should not be hung higher than national flags. President Ngo Dinh Diem was very respectful of the national status, so the flag of any religion was not allowed to hang higher than the national flag. Also, during his time of visiting the countryside, the president did not allow the old or worn out flags to be displayed in any way.

The administration’s electronic memo number of 9195, dated 5/6/1963, which reminded the correct display of the Buddhist flag on Buddha's birthday has not arrived in time in Hue; As a matter of fact, this memo has been delivered to the Representative Office and Thua Thien province Chief on the afternoon of May 6th. Consequently, Mr. Ngo Dinh Can's Advisory and Guidance Office would not receive it until the very next day (i.e. May 7th, 1963).

Ironically, the Tu-Dam temple already possessed the said text in advance(?).

The reason of which Mr. Ngo that Dinh Can knew the memo too late was Mr. Ngo Dinh Can no longer having the trust of the President ever since the Bishop Ngo Dinh Thuc returned to Hue.

During an emergency meeting in the Advisory and Guidance Office, Mr. Ngo Dinh Can decided along with Mr. Nguyen Van Dang, Thua Thien’s Province Chief, Captain Minh, etc., to postpone the presidential order stated within the memo. In another word, the province of Thua Thien let the Buddhist hoist their flag the way they wanted.

The province’s information vehicles have announced that the province Chief temporary allowed the Buddhist flags to be raised as usual; However, since the Tu-Dam temple already had the presidential memo number 9195 before Mr. Ngo Dinh Can’s office did, the Buddhists were confused. Even though the information vehicles tried to call for the public to keep calm; the atmosphere got too intense and seemingly ready to explode any moment.

Around 6:00 PM, approximately a thousand Buddhist followers and monks from the Tu-Dam temple had gathered in front of the Province Palace to protest against the presidential memo regarding the hanging of Buddhist flag. Presently at the palace, as for the government officials, there were Mr. Nguyen Van Dang, Thua Thien Hue province Chief; Mr. Deputy Chief; Mr. Phong Thua Thien’s Police Chief. On the Buddhist’s side, Venerable Thien Minh, Tri Thu, and Tri Quang appeared altogether.

Of the three, Ven. Tri Quang was the most aggressive. He protested and suggested that the government officers and police in the morning of May 7th.had taken down the Buddhist flag; some even tore off the flags. Mr. Dang, the Province Chief and Mr. Phong, the Police Chief, consistently stated that this was not the case; It was not true because the provincial authority already received the presidential order to postpone the regulation of the religious flag displays.

Mr. Phong, the Police Chief asked the Venerable to tell him exactly where the locations which have encountered this unfortunate cases were? Venerable Tri Quang was unable to give out any evidence.

In the end, everything is resolved peacefully with the agreement between the government officials and the Venerable: Thua Thien Province Chief sent out three information trucks with loudspeakers going around the city to announce that the Buddhist flag hanging status has changed at all. On these trucks, there were also Buddhist monks and followers to work on information of the situation.

On the morning of May 8, 1963, Buddhist followers gathered to Tu-Dam Temple en masse to celebrate Buddha's birthday. However, as the number of participants increased unusually, many people were whispering that the government may crack down on Buddhists this morning and suppress the procession as well.

Attending the ceremony at Tu-Dam Temple, for the government officials, there was the presence of Major General Le Van Nghiem, Representative Ho Dac Khuong, and Province Chief Nguyen Van Dang. All dressed up as Buddhist followers as well.

During the ceremony, Tri Quang has made an anti-government sermon as never done before. In which, he harshly criticized the government.

At the same time, he called on all Buddhist followers to stand up and fight for the religious equality. There were banners condemning the government on religious discrimination all over places. The government officials present at the site seemed very calm and tolerated throughout the ceremony. The incident was reported to Mr. Ngo Dinh Can. Mr. Can threw his hand in the air and said: "Why did Ven. Tri Quang behave like that?"

In the evening of the same day, around 19:30, the ceremony organizers had announced to cancel a gathering of followers at the Tu-Dam temple to burn fireworks. Instead, people were invited to gather on a Hue radio station near Trang Tien bridge. As planned, the station manager Ngo Ganh had prepared to broadcast the pre-recorded a Buddhism program. Buddhist followers of Tu-Dam temple pressured the station manager to broadcast directly the morning ceremony including the anti-government sermon by Ven. Tri Quang. Nevertheless, Mr. Ngo Ganh refused to give in to this pressure because any broadcasting session must have been screened and approved in advance.

The situation wass getting intense! The gathering people began to throw rocks and bricks at the radio station. Mr. Ngo Ganh had to call to Major Dang Sy for help every 5 minutes.

There was a young monk who climbed on the roof of the radio station called on the people to move forward. Ven. Tri Minh and Tri Quang had called for people to calm down, but it was too late…

Major Dang Sy slowly approached the radio station because of the thick crowd. When he was about 50 yards from the station door, suddenly there was a loud bang, right in front of the door, then another bang followed.

Chaos and horror had covered the Hue radio station.

Some officers standing near the station said that the explosion shook everything up, and the sparkling lights from the explosives was something they had never seen in their military service or training.

During the chaos, there were voices saying, or shouting as "Run this way ... Do not go that way… Dang Sy’s cars will run over us.”

It was an awful mess.

They did not die because of shrapnel, but because of the stampede and the explosion’s pressure incurred by about 5 kilograms of TNT.

The list of dead Buddhist followers that included:

1/ Dang Van Cong, 13-year-old;

2/ Tran Thi Phuoc Tu, 17;

3/ Nguyen Thi Yen, 20;

4/ Huynh Thi Ton Nu Tuyet Hoa, 12;

5/ Le Thi Kim Khanh, 17;

6/ Nguyen Van Dat, 13;

7/ Nguyen Thi Ngoc Lan, 12;

8/ Nguyen Thi Phuc, 15.

Among the victims, there was a Catholic woman. As such, the dead victims at Hue radio station were eight Buddhists and one Catholic.

Immediately after the blast in front of the radio station, Venerable Thien Minh stood up and took the blame in front of government officials including Mr. Nguyen Van Dang, Thua Thien Province Chief, Major Dang Sy, and another person who was a Lieutenant Colonel and director of Judicial Police Corp.

For the next day, the both Government Officials and Buddhist Temple have done nothing drastically. The local Government Officials were actually waiting for directions and resolutions from the Central Administration in Saigon. Not until May 10, the Central Administration in Saigon sent the new minister of interior, Mr. Bui Van Luong, to Hue to start the investigation; however, all seemed to be just a routine administrative procedure.

Around 1966, Captain Scott (Advisor to the Battalion 1/3 of the First Infantry Division since 1965) told Captain Buu (cousin of Major Dang Sy) that he was the one who masterminded the explosion at Hue radio station at 10:30 PM on the May 8th, 1963.

Back to the situation of Hue after the horror night in Hue radio station, after a few days in fear of the government’s suppression, when it became quiet, Ven. Tri Quang regained calm and also came up with some requests such as the receiving of victims’ bodies for burial; however, the government has turned down such request. Ven. Tri Quang then proposed a 5-point declaration which would be the platform of the Buddhist protest for the years to come:

1. Request that the government of the Republic of Vietnam to permanently withdraw the ordinance for not allowing the displays of religious flags in public.

2. Request that the Buddhism be entitled to a special treatment as that of the Catholics missionaries as stated in the Religious Ordinance 10.

3. Request that the government has to stop the persecution of Buddhist followers.

4. Request that Buddhist monks and Buddhist followers are to be free to propagate and worship the Buddhist faith.

5. Request that the government adequately compensate the victims’ families, and prosecute the persons who masterminded the dead incident.

The Declaration was signed by the Most Venerable Thich Tinh Khiet. However, in the United Nations Report on the Situation of Buddhism in 1963, it was reported that Venerable Tinh Khiet did not want to sign this document. He was forced to do it.

May 09, 1963, the Inter-sectional Committee for Buddhist Protection was established and headed by the Most Venerable Thich Tam Chau, the office was located at Xa Loi Temple instead of An Quang Temple.

It is unfortunate that a large number of Buddhist monks and nuns who led the Vietnamese Buddhism movements were wrong to follow the policy of Beijing when they repeatedly attacked the government of South Vietnam before 4/30/1975 but kept silent in front of the merciless crimes of Vietnam Communist and Beijing since then.

21/ Before the explosion at Hue radio on the evening of 05/08/1963, the relation and communication between Mr. Ngo Dinh Can and Ven. Tri Quang was in good terms. However, because of political ambition as well as the need to kill to keep people silenced have blurred the human conscience; Ven. Tri Quang has lost heart and mind of a Buddhist monk. After the First Republic of South Vietnamese was overthrown, Ven. Tri Quang has exerted pressure on the junta government led by General Nguyen Khanh to hastily execute Mr. Ngo Dinh Can on 05/09/1964 at Chi-Hoa’s Jailhouse.

The rumor of 9-cell detention center, which set up by Ngo Dinh Can detain the innocents, is all systematically fabricated by the Buddhists and Vietnamese communists.

22/ The United Nations delegation's report on the subject of Buddhism in 1963 allowed the Vietnamese Historical Association to conclude that there was no repression of Buddhism as well as stigmatization of Buddhism and Buddhist followers.

23/ Stop writing about the “memorial” of Venerable Thich Quang Duc self-immolation as well as Buddhist suppression in 1963. These were the groundless superstitions and allegations created by the propaganda of both Vietnam and Chinese communists.

24/ The Vietnamese Historical Association has sent a request to Mr. Tam Dieu Nguyen Xuan Quang, who was the director of websites “thuvienhoasen.org” and “sachhiem.net,” as well as the other authors who wrote several articles on the “memorial” theme of Thich Quang Duc Bodhisattva in the guidance of Communist Vietnam. They all would rather return to the halo of Buddha.

25/ Finally, it showed that Quang Duc's death did not have righteousness, justification as it was falsely proclaimed. The name and the cause themselves were fabricated by Communists of Vietnam and Beijing. People should not be mesmerized by this senseless death.

26/ Venerable Thich Quang Duc was drugged and burned to death. Consequently, how could he leave the so-called “immortal heart”? An immortal heart or relics are only originated by a natural death, a death in the state of tranquility.

The Most Venerable Thich Quang Duc and his immortal heart were simply represented the shackles, slavery, superstitious spirit which misled the Vietnamese Buddhists followers became unwilling to stand up against the Viet Cong and the Chinese Communist aggressors.

IV. The road in front of the Vietnamese Buddhist followers:

If the Most Venerable Thich Quang Duc was the symbol of Nationalist Spirit and Buddhist Teachings, then, today, Vietnam must be a truly developed and civilized nation. A proud country which stood in line with the other nations in the East Sea regions. A country for the happy and prosper people.

In reality, as of 2017 - 54 years after the death of Venerable Thich Quang Duc - Vietnam is still in a state of unprecedented misery. From the Vietnam sea (Southeast Asia Sea) to Paracels, Spratlys islands include occuped by Chinese, the bauxite disaster of the Central Highlands, the Ha Tinh Formosa disaster lasting more than a year (04/2016 until now). The Chinese crowded the provinces of Vietnam, to the drought disaster in the Mekong Delta and hundreds of other catastrophes have been fallen on Vietnam.

In such a situation, is it proud to have fun in writing the “memorial” articles as Dr. Tran Hong Lien distributed via site “sachhiem.net”?

If Mr. Tran Hong Lien still has the minimum self-esteem of the writers, please immediately stop promoting the superstition and the slavery to the Chinese aggressors.

Vietnamese Buddhists followers would rather bravely strip off the superstitious slave shack. Firstly, it is to save ourselves and our families. Secondly is to chase out the Chinese invaders, and completely disband the Communist Party of Vietnam and rescue the Vietnamese race.

V. Conclusion:

Once Vietnam gets away from the Chinese invaders and becomes free and democratic, the first thing people and Vietnamese Buddhists followers needed to do was to immediately destroy the two superstitious statues which represented the slavery to Chinese aggressors: Ho Chi Minh’s and Thich Quang Duc’s.

No Ho Chi Minh’s and No Thich Quang Duc’s

No Ho Chi Minh’s and No Thich Quang Duc’s

Oversea 07/11/ 2017

Truc Lam Nguyen Viet Phuc Loc

(Former Professor from the Buddhism Study College).

Translated English version by Van G. Tran

Vietnamese version by Truc lam Nguyen Viet Phuc Loc

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