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Buddhist Leaders Meet with Diem in Saigon

May 15, 1963 - Buddhist leaders in South Vietnam called on President Ngo Dinh Diem (pictured) today in Saigon with a list of demands aimed at heading off a religious crisis. Buddhist leaders said that unless the government complied within 24 hours, further trouble was likely. The current tension stems from a bloody riot May 8 in the city of Hue, which began when Roman Catholic officials ordered Buddhist flags to be taken down. Buddhists said government armored cars fired into the crowd. The government said Communist agitators set off two plastic explosives. In the list presented to President Diem today, the Buddhists made the following demands:

— that the Government rescind its order against flying religious flags

— that Buddhism be given the same legal standing as Roman Catholicism

— that the Government “stop terrorizing the (Buddhist) faithful”

— that Buddhists be given freedom to preach

— that the Government pay indemnities to the persons injured May 8



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