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ANZAC Day Celebration At Long Tan Cross Site Cancelled By Vietnam Government

The ceremony was also cancelled a day before last year's ceremony.

17/03/2017 4:31 PM AEDT | Updated 17/03/2017 4:36 PM AEDT
Reuters Photographer / Reuters
Memorial services for Vietnam Veterans Day have been held at Long Tan since 1989.

The Vietnamese government has confirmed there will be no ANZAC Day commemoration ceremony held at the Long Tan Cross site in 2017. Small groups will still be allowed to visit the site on April 25 for low-key visits without media although further regulations and guidance is set to come from the Vietnamese government, according to a statement released by the Australian Federal government on Friday.

Minister for Veterans' Affairs Dan Tehan said any Australians looking to travel to the site for ANZAC Day should reassess their plans according to the announcement.

"The Government continues to work with Vietnamese authorities on an outcome that would work for both countries," he said.

"While disappointing, we respect Vietnam's right as a sovereign nation to determine the nature of commemorations held on its soil.

"We also thank them for allowing continued access for small groups making private visits and for providing us with this advice in time to allow Australians to properly plan their visits. 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."

The Battle of Long Tan in the Vietnam War

On August 18, 1966, 108 young and -- many inexperienced -- ANZACS fought in the pouring rain and mud at the rubber plantation of Long Tan in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War, to hold off an army of more than 2000 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers.

Eighteen ANZACS died and 24 were injured while 245 men in the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese army died. It was one of the heaviest conflicts during the war and remains one of the most well known.

Vietnam Veterans Day is celebrated on August 18 every year and commemorations have been held at Long Tan since 1989.

The announcement comes after the 50th anniversary Vietnam War commemoration at the site in 2016 was cancelled by the Vietnamese Government just one day before the ceremony.


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