The Federal Government has confirmed there will be no official Anzac Day ceremony at the Long Tan Cross site in Vietnam this year.
Last year’s 50th anniversary plans were cancelled at the last minute by the Vietnamese Government, a diplomatic disaster which left many former veterans angry and disappointed.
The Vietnamese Government has confirmed there will no official commemoration, after Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade last week stated that it would not “currently commit” to any official activities.
In a statement, Veterans’ Affairs Minister Dan Tehan said small groups could still make low-key visits to the site.
Mr Tehan added that media would not be permitted.
“While disappointing, we respect Vietnam’s right as a sovereign nation to determine the nature of commemorations held on its soil,” he said.
Last week we told Australians to be prepared for this outcome, and while it is disappointing we ask any Australians who will be in Vietnam to respect the decision.
“We will communicate with veterans and the public should the situation change.”
No clear reason was given by the Vietnamese Government after last year’s cancelled ceremony, but it is believed the size and the tone of the commemorative events had offended the communist Government.
On August 18, 1966, 108 Anzac soldiers fought an estimated 2,500 North Vietnamese soldiers near Australia’s main army base.
Eighteen Australian soldiers were killed, along with an estimated 245 North Vietnamese, making it one of Australia’s largest encounters during the Vietnam War.