Vietnam protests to Canada over ‘boat people’ commemoration

(Reuters) – Vietnam’s government rebuked Canada on Friday after the Canadian Senate passed a bill to commemorate the acceptance of 60,000 “boat people” who sought refuge in the wake of the communist takeover of South Vietnam 40 years ago.

Vietnam’s foreign ministry said it had summoned Canada’s ambassador to denounce the move by the Senate to officially mark April 30 as “Journey to Freedom Day”.

North Vietnamese forces captured the South Vietnamese capital Saigon on April 30, 1975, marking the end of a long war and prompting more than a million people to flee, many by boat.

Vietnam refers to the event as the date of its reunification.

The Canadian bill, proposed by a senator of Vietnamese descent, officially came into force on Thursday and is purely symbolic…