Impact of the Strategic Hamlet Program on a village

SR 2080
Beep tone
Roll 80 of Vietnam Project.
Interview with Y True Nie, Rhade.
591 Take 1
The first question is how you managed to organize the ethnic minority peoples to participate in the revolution.
Y True Nie:
When the Ngo Dinh Diem and the American authorities were here they controlled the population so tightly that the inhabitants in this area could not go anywhere at all. In order to go somewhere, one had to obtain special papers. And it was very difficult to obtain them.
Therefore, the living conditions of the people became ever worsened day by day. For all these reasons, the people did not want to have the strategic hamlets around.
592 Take 1
Please tell us from the beginning. For example, how they forced you to dress, how you could not go out of the hamlet, how you would be punished if you took a bath and so on.
Y True Nie:
During the Diem period it was difficult to go outside of the strategic hamlets. He forbade people to travel about. In order to go from one place to another people had to obtain special papers. For this reason it was difficult for people to go about to do their work.
When people took a bath or a shower, they had to wear clothes. People just could not go skinny-dipping. And in wearing the loincloth, people were required to put on a double loincloth otherwise they would be fined from five to ten dong each.
Please go on.
Y True Nie:
There had been no strategic hamlet in this area before. After they established the strategic hamlets, they handed out guns to the young men. In 1962 they distributed the guns and had the strategic hamlets constructed.
Each person who was given a gun had to put up two layers of fences, each ten meters in length. The population had to supply all the materials for the construction of the strategic hamlets. The regime did not give them anything at all.
By 1965 – on November 10, 1965 – the puppet used tanks and drove the population of the twelve villages into this strategic hamlet in order to control them. The regime was afraid that if they allowed the people to remain in their own villages then they would have contacts with the revolution, so they forced everybody into this strategic hamlet.
593, On the end.