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Madame Nhu Calls Buddhist Demonstrators “Hooligans” and “Communists”

Oct. 6, 1963 - Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu (pictured), controversial sister-in-law of the President of South Vietnam, today denied that Buddhists were being mistreated in her country, and she called Buddhist demonstrators “hooligans” dressed in monks’ garb. Madame Nhu was interviewed in Paris on ABC’s “Issues and Answers” television program, which was taped Friday. She accused American correspondents in South Vietnam of making false reports on conditions there because “they just dislike the Vietnamese government, and they want to topple it.” Asked what proof she had that the leaders of the Buddhist uprising are Communists, as she has previously claimed, Madame Nhu replied: “The 10 monks we had arrested, they have a Communist file, a Communist past. But even with or without a Communist past, their present activities speak for themselves.” Madame Nhu is expected to come to the United States tomorrow. She is slated to visit Washington Oct. 15 and will address the National Press Club Oct. 19. She is traveling in a private capacity and does not plan to see any American officials in Washington. If she meets President Kennedy, Madame Nhu said, “I think I shall be satisfied to say to him, ‘Bon Jour.’” Her father, Tran Van Chuong, the former South Vietnamese ambassador to the U.S. who resigned in protest against the policies of the Diem regime, predicted today that his daughter’s three-week speaking tour of the U.S. would amount to an all-out propaganda campaign on behalf of the regime. He described his daughter as “the strongest headline catcher in Vietnam” and “a very sad case of power madness.”


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