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Leader of Hoa Hao forces largely loyal to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) during the Indochina War. He was born into a rural family in Gia Dinh province near Saigon. Little is known about his activities during the interwar period, except that he was sufficiently active between 1930 and 1945 to land himself in colonial prison four times – each time at Poulo Condor (from which he apparently escaped four times). During his time there, this adept of the Hoa Hao Buddhist sect rubbed shoulders with Pham Hung, a southern senior communist who would head up the DRV’s security forces during the Indochina War. Huynh Van Tri’s last jailbreak put him in southern Vietnam in time to help nationalists take power there. In 1947, he took over the leadership of Detachment 4 (Chi Doi 4) before becoming the head of the 304th regiment. In March 1947, Nguyen Binh sent him to negotiate with Hoa Hoa leaders suspicious of the Viet Minh, but to no avail. Despite the violent break between the Hoa Hao and the DRV’s southern forces in 1947, Huynh Van Tri remained loyal to the government, with his prison ties to the communists undoubtedly coming into play. He was responsible for rebuilding cooperation with the Hoa Hoa in the Long Chau Ha region and he ran the Indochina Communist Party’s Provincial Committee for Long Chau Ha province between 1950 and 1954 (meaning that he must have joined the party early on). With the division of Vietnam into two provisional states during the Geneva Conference in 1954, he relocated to northern Vietnam where he would hold ranking posts in the army during the Vietnam War.