The Words of the Salonen Family

The Death of Le Khac Sinh-Nhat

Neil Albert Salonen
July 2, 1971

The following telegram was received at FLF Headquarters Friday, July 2:

We urgently announce the President of Saigon Law School, newly elected Vice-President of Saigon Student Union, Mr. Le Khac Sinh-Nhat, 23, was assassinated by communist terrorists at 10:30 a.m., June 28, in the premise of the Law School, Saigon. We request your support in denouncing to the whole world that inhuman action and pray for Le Khac Sinh-Nhat, who died for our just cause.Ly Buu Lam, President, Saigon Student Union

FLF President, Neil Salonen, 26, of Washington, D.C. sent the following reply:

The member of the Freedom Leadership Foundation are profoundly shocked by the tragic murder of Le Khac Sinh-Nhat who shared out devotion to the cause of democracy and freedom. We are asking all major youth groups to join us in publicly denouncing this act, which reveals the true politics of communism. Together we must force the world to acknowledge the meaning of this tragedy.

Neil Albert Salonen,
President, Freedom Leadership Foundation

The attached letter was sent to the national offices of major American youth organizations. Salonen travelled to Vietnam last April, where he discussed the so-called "People's Peace Treaty" with many Vietnamese student leaders, who denounced the document as "a political fraud."

FLF President Neil A. Salonen charged the American press with "irresponsibility" in its "failure to cover adequately" the June 28 slaying of Vietnamese nationalist student leader Le, Khac Sinh-Nhat.

Sinh-Nhat, 23, had been particularly outspoken in his opposition to pro-communist leader Huynh Tan Mam, a chief supporter of the "People's Peace Treaty" circulated in the U.S. last spring.

"If it had been Mam who was assassinated" said Salonen, "it would have been front page news across the country. But Le Khac Sinh -- Nhat's death remains largely unknown to the American public.

Sinh-Nhat was recently elected President of Saigon's School of Law Student Association, and Vice-President of the Saigon Student Union.

Salonen, 26, expressed his concern for Sinh -- Nhat's Presidential running mate, Ly Buu Lam, who ousted the Mam faction in the Saigon Student Union. Mam's supporters had been known to use strong-arm tactics against his political opponents in past elections.

Salonen has been to Vietnam twice, meeting with student and labor leaders on both occasions.

He said that Vietnamese youth leaders were largely unaware of Mam's using his position to support the "People's Peace Treaty" in the U.S. and that their learning of his activities was a significant factor in his ouster. 

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