South Viet Nam: Hunger & Desperation


On a rainy afternoon, South Viet Nam's top three monks made separate arrivals at Saigon Buddhist headquarters—Thich Tri Quang in a blue Renault taxi, Thich Tarn Chan in a Mercedes, Thich Tinh Khiet in a Peugeot 404. In a dressing room they changed from street habits to their yellow robes. Then, amid clashing gongs and curling incense, the trio stood before a neon-lighted Buddha, chanting: "We pledge to fulfill our religious duties, to sacrifice ourselves for the defense of religion, to pray for the people and the nation to live in peace."

The bonzes thus began a 48-hour fast...

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