|The headquarters of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam in Cam Lo, Quang Tri province (photo: VOV)
When the Paris Accord was signed in January, 1973, Quang Tri province was liberated and had become a juncture between the large rear of the Socialist North and the large Southern front. The Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam chose Cam Lo district to build its headquarters.
In early 1973 the first ships carrying construction materials, including cement, iron frames, and corrugated iron sheets from the North docked at Dong Ha Port. 500 people worked for 28 days and nights to complete the construction.
The headquarters of the Provisional Government was built on an area of 17,000 square meters, divided into two independent zones. Zone A’s three blocks include the Government Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office, and a cantine.
Zone B’s five blocks include two guest houses for Ambassadors and 3 guest houses for diplomatic corps, reporters, and government employees. Many types of ornamental trees were planted on the campus, including rows of coconut trees, a symbol of the resurgent vitality of the Southern people.
Nguyen Cong Doan, Chairman of the National Liberation Front of Cam Lo district from 1972 to 1975, said that the headquarters affirmed the position of the Provisional Government and bolstered the confidence of the army and people.
He recalled the Provisional Government on June 6, 1973. “We were very excited and surprised. The country was not yet completely liberated but the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam was stationed in Cam Lo. This event made all officers, soldiers, and people very excited.”
The Provisional Revolutionary Government led the southern people to fight and advance towards the 1975 General Offensive and Uprising to completely liberate the South and reunify the country.
72-year-old Dao Cong Tuong of Dong Ha city, said that after November 1973, he was an accountant of the Provisional Government. Amid countless difficulties, the army and people of Cam Lo successfully completed their task of ensuring security for diplomatic delegations visiting the Provisional Government and the liberated zone.
“The Provisional Revolutionary Government received diplomatic delegations and foreign reporters visiting Quang Tri province, including Ambassadors coming to present their credentials. On the inauguration day, people from every region, including a lot of reporters, gathered here. They came with pride and excitement to celebrate the newly liberated zone,” said Tuong.
|The stele marks the are of the guest houses for cadres of the Provisional Revolutionary Government. (photo: VOV)
Although the Provisional Government was stationed in Quang Tri province for only two years, it contributed to the development of the Vietnamese revolution and Vietnam’s relationships with many countries. From 1973 to 1975, the Provisional Government received international delegations and Ambassadors from 40 countries, who came to present their credentials and establish diplomatic relations.
The visit by Cuban President Fidel Castro in September 1973 was a special event, which strongly encouraged the spirit of the army and people of South Vietnam. Nguyen Minh Ky, Chairman of the Quang Tri provincial People's Committee from 1999 to 2004, had the honor of welcoming Cuban President Fidel Castro.
“The Party Committee and people of Quang Tri province are proud and very excited that Cam Lo was chosen as the headquarters of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam. Among the delegations of heads of states and ambassadors presenting their credentials, Cuban Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro visited the Provisional Revolutionary Government and many other many places in Quang Tri. He infused great energy into the people of Quang Tri. He showed his great love for Vietnam," said Ky.
After 1975, when the Provisional Revolutionary Government ended its historic role, the headquarters was handed over to a civilian agency. In September 1985 the headquarters building was severely damaged by storms and floods. In early 2007, the Ministry of Culture and Information restored the Government Ofice and the guest houses for Ambassadors, and built a memorial and other facilities.
On holidays and anniversaries the Government and Quang Tri province organize ceremonies to honor the values of the relic site and recall the heroic history of Cam Lo.
Every year thousands of Vietnamese and foreign tourists come to learn about the relic site, a symbol of aspiration and determination to gain independence, unity, and territorial integrity.