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WORLD : Hong Kong Wants Refugees Out

November 29, 1989|From Times wire services

HONG KONG — The Legislature today passed a motion urging the forced return of Vietnamese refugees, and several lawmakers condemned U.S. opposition to the idea.

The Legislative Council vote reflected the strong local sentiment to rid this British colony of the nearly 57,000 Vietnamese languishing in squalid detention centers after fleeing their communist homeland by boat.

"Mandatory repatriation is a must, and it should have been implemented yesterday," lawmaker Rita Fan said during the debate.

Some lawmakers attributed Washington's position to a "guilty conscience," a reference to the U.S. role in the Vietnam War.

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