Archives par mot-clé : Gary Jones

Gary Jones : Skyluck, the ship that smuggled 2,600 boatpeople to Hong Kong – and freedom

[ndlr] A découvrir sur le site du South China Morning Post, l’histoire oubliée des boat people sino-vietnamiens. Chapitre 1.

The first of a two-part story recounts how, after the 1975 fall of Saigon, tens of thousands of persecuted Chinese-Vietnamese fled their country, and how a ship called the Skyluck came to symbolise their long and perilous journey.

« In office at 07.45 and then at 09.30 it all started: Skyluck cut her anchor chain and drifting. The proverbial hit the fan and we were off.”

June 29, 1979, turned out to be a “day of high drama” for Talbot Bashall, who had recently been appointed controller of the Hong Kong government’s Refugee Control Centre, and he recorded its chaos in his diary.

Bashall’s unenviable task was to oversee the arrival, processing and care of tens of thousands of desperate Vietnamese who, having taken to the high seas, were fleeing their country to seek refuge in the British colony on the southern coast of China. The Skyluck was a 3,500-tonne Panamanian-registered freighter. Its cargo on this day was 2,600 men, women and children, a small cross section of the mass migration of refugees from Indochina that the global media had dubbed “the boatpeople”.

Lire la suite / Read more : SCMP

Image « à la une » : Refugees pack the deck of the Skyluck, anchored off Lamma Island, in February 1979 © SCMP