History

58th anniversary of Lao People’s Revolutionary Party marked

March 25, 2013

The Organisation Board of the Party Central Committee held a lecture to celebrate the 58th founding anniversary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) in Vientiane Capital last Friday.

Head of Party Central Committee’s Organisation Board, Mr. Chansy Phosikham lectured on the long profile of the LPRP for Party members and his staff.

On the occasion, Mr. Chansy, representing the Party Central Committee’s Organisation Board, handed over red cards to 87 Party members, of whom 24 were women.

Mr. Chansy recalled the great history of the Party dating back to 1893 when Laos was a French colony and the Lao people were under French imperialist exploitation. “At that time there was a brave struggle of the Lao people for the independence and victory of the country in 1945,” said Mr. Chansy.

The LPRP was founded on 22 March 1955, following the resolution of the 2nd Congress of Indochina Communist Party, according to Mr Chansy.

The lecture was designed to equip Party members and civil servants a better understanding of tradition, history and the significant achievements in fighting for national independence against colonial power of the Party.

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Revolutionary fighters’ remains reinterred at National Cemetery

March 25, 2013

The remains of 11 leading officials and members of the Central Committee of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party were relocated from their previous resting places to the National Cemetery in Xaythany district, Vientiane, yesterday.

The 11 officials were named as Mr Souk Vongsak, Mr Ma Khaikhamphithoun, Mr Meun Somvichith, Mr Siphone Phalikhane, Mr Khamsouk Sayaseng, Mr Khamphouang Chanthaphomma, Mr Khampha Chaleunphonvixay, Mr Thonglai Kommasith, Mr Sithon Manola, Mr Singapore Sikhotchounlamany and Mr Somsak Saysongkham.

In his keynote address at the ceremony, Party Politburo member Dr Bounpone Bouttanavong said the Party, army and all Lao people acknowledged that the 11 revolutionary fighters were brave men with a strong sense of patriotism who tirelessly devoted themselves to the fight for national independence, freedom, democracy and the prosperity of the Lao people.

The relocation of their remains reflects the great importance the Party and government attaches to the brave fighters of the past and shows the respect and the gratitude that the Party, the Army and the people have for the virtue and devotion of these 11 comrades, Dr Bounpone said.

A ritual ceremony was later conducted by monks according to religious custom to make this event truly auspicious before the remains of the officials were placed inside stupas.

The relocation of the revolutionary fighters’ remains takes place after the first relocation in March last year when the remains of the country’s first generation of revolutionary leaders, who were the six members of the Party’s first Politburo, were placed in the newly-opened National Cemetery.

The six deceased leaders were the late President Kaysone Phomvihane, President Souphanouvong, former President Nouhak Phoumsavanh, former Acting President Phoumy Vongvichit, Mr Phoun Sipaseuth, and Mr Sisomphone Lorvanxay who, along with former President Khamtay Siphandone who is still alive, bring the number of the first generation of revolutionary leaders to seven.

On the same occasion, the remains of a later generation of leaders, namely Mr Saly Vongkhamxao, Mr Maychantan Sengmany, Mr Oudom Khatthiya, Mr Somlath Chanthamath, Mr Osakan Thammatheva, Mr Khambou Sounixay, Mr Sompheth Thipmala and Mr Vaenthong Luangvilay were also moved to the National Cemetery. The main purpose of the relocation of the remains of the country’s top leaders and revolutionary fighters is to keep them all together in the same place.

Dr Bounpone headed the hundreds of Party and government officials, relatives, friends and colleagues of the 11 comrades who attended the ceremony yesterday.

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Lao Women’s Union mark International Women’s Day in Manila

March 8, 2013

Lao Women's Union speaking to villagers on gender equality.

Lao Women’s Union speaking to villagers on gender equality.

The Women’s Union of the Lao Embassy in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, organized on 3 March a meeting to mark International Women’s Day (March 8). The event was attended by Mrs. Malayvieng Sakoniyom, Lao ambassador to the Philippines, Embassy’s staff, Lao students and Lao expatriates in the Philippines.

During the ceremony, Mrs. Souksanith Vongphankham, Head of Women’s Union of Lao Embassy in the Philippines, highlighted the history and background of March 8. She also reviewed the achievements made by her organization in the past year.

On the occasion, Mrs. Malayvieng highlighted the importance of International Women’s Day and asked the women who participated in the gathering to preserve the culture of Laos, especially the fine tradition of Lao women.

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Lao and Vietnamese youth solidarity promoted

January 9, 2012

Cultural performance represents the solidarity between Laos and Vietnam.

Cultural performance represents the solidarity between Laos and Vietnam.

A cultural exchange “Vietnam-Laos solidarity, friendship and mutual development” between youths from Vietnam’s Phu Yen province and its twinned province of Savannakhet, Laos, was organized on January 7th at the Phu Yen provincial Museum of Vietnam.

The event included performances of traditional instruments of minority ethnic groups in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, folk songs and dances such as Lamvong dance of Laos, and exchange on the two countries’ culture and history.

The exchange also focused on the history of Vietnam-Laos relations; the special friendship between the two armies, two countries and two peoples, as well as achievements in national construction of the two countries in general and the two provinces in particular.

Addressing the event, the Secretary of the Savannakhet provincial youth union, Dr. Souphaphon Nanthanavon, said that the exchange clearly showed the determination of the Vietnamese and Lao Parties to preserve and promote the long-lasting Vietnam-Laos friendship, solidarity and cooperation, and believed that it would help boost the cooperation between Sanvannakhet’s and Phu Yen’s youths in the coming time.

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29 retired people, elderly awarded 3 billion kip (USD $337.7K) for their national contributions

January 7, 2012

Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese troops fighting imperialist invasion on Laotian territory during Vietnam War.

Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese troops fighting imperialist invasion on Laotian territory during Vietnam War.

Borikhamsay province has presented cash in total worth almost 3 billion kip to 29 retired people and the elderly in recognition of their contribution to the national safeguarding and construction between 1954 and 1973.

The authorities of the province held a handover ceremony to present the award to the retired and elderly people last week with Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Party of Borikhamsay Mr. Kongkeo Saysongkham representing the authorities of the province presenting the cash to the awardees.

The handover was witnessed by Provincial Party Committee and Director of the Labour and Social Welfare Service Mr. Khamla Oumaly, and representatives of relevant authorities. Twenty six of the awardees received a combined amount of 1.41 billion kip and the other three were given 150 million kip each.

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Praise for Vietnamese writings on Laos

January 1, 2013

Vietnam War memorial in Phonsavan, Laos, showing North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao soldiers.

Vietnam’s literary works on Laos are valuable assets that help strengthen the two countries’ friendship and cooperation.

Lao Deputy Prime Minister Asang Laoly made this affirmation while receiving a Vietnam Writers’ Association delegation, led by Chairman Huu Thinh, in Vientiane on December 27.

He thanked Vietnamese writers for their investigations and explorations of the past struggles for national independence and freedom as well as for their documentation of Laos’ new lifestyle development process. He said the writings encourage the peoples of both countries to extend their contributions to national development.

Writer Huu Thinh highlighted the special solidarity and traditional friendship between Vietnam and Laos. He noted a number of his association’s members were comrades of the Lao people in the past revolutionary war, stressing the veracity of their varied accounts.

Thinh said that in 2013 the Vietnam Writers’ Association will cooperate with its Lao partners to compile a collection of writings focused on Laos’ land and people. A number of Vietnamese writers were also officially honoured with prizes during their visit.

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Laos marks 37th founding anniversary

December 2, 2012

The Unknown Soldier Monument in Vientiane.

The Unknown Soldier Monument in Vientiane.

Party and state leaders yesterday placed wreaths at the Unknown Soldier Monument in Vientiane to mark the country’s 37th National Day on December 2 – the day when the Lao PDR gained full liberation and sovereignty.

By laying wreaths at the monument, the leaders commemorate the virtue and contribution of the unknown revolutionary fighters who sacrificed their blood and lives in the fight for national independence and liberty.

Secretary General of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) and President, Choummaly Sayasone, led other leaders in the wreath-laying procession. Vice President Bounnhang Vorachit, Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and other members of the Politburo and Party Central Committee were present on the occasion.

The Lao government describes National Day as a tribute to the ‘Great victory of the Lao people for fighting for thousands of years throughout history’.

“December 2, 1975, is the day when the Lao multiethnic people gained full independence and truly became owners of their country,” reads a document from the Party Central Committee’s Propaganda and Training Board which forms the basis of a lecture to mark the day.

All state agencies, mass-media organisations, and Lao multiethnic people across the country take part in activities each year to recall the decades-long struggle that led up to National Day. The occasion symbolises the end of the outsider-backed puppet governments’ influence and the founding of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

President Choummaly Sayasone (front) and other Party and state leaders pay their respects at the Unknown Soldier Monument in Vientiane on Friday.

President Choummaly Sayasone (front) and other Party and state leaders pay their respects at the Unknown Soldier Monument in Vientiane on Friday.

Over the past 37 years, the Lao PDR has grown economically, politically and culturally, thanks to the Party’s wise leadership. It has led the Lao multiethnic people in two strategic tasks – national defence and national development – and has achieved tangible results.

Laos has registered high levels of economic growth in recent years, with an 8.1 percent growth in 2010-2011 that saw per capita average income rise above US$1,100.

The robust economic growth saw the proportion of poor families fall from 27.7 percent in the 2002-2003 fiscal year to just under 19 percent in 2010-2011.

Regarding education, over 95 percent of school-aged children are enrolled in primary schools, with a plan to increase this to 98 percent by 2015. With the total population now exceeding six million, the literacy rate of those aged 15 and over now stands at about 80 percent.

More and more people are healthy and live in hygienic conditions. Some 79.5 percent of people have access to clean water.

In the area of foreign relations and cooperation, Laos has established diplomatic relations with 135 countries, and economic relations and cooperation with more than 50 countries across the globe.

In addition, Laos enjoys sound relations and cooperation with a number of international organisations – each of which has uplifted Laos’ profile in the regional and international arena.

The birthday of former Party Secretary General and President, Kaysone Phomvihane, who was an important figure in the Party’s foundation, the revolution, and the founding of the Lao PDR, is also marked on this occasion every year. This year the country celebrates what would have been his 92nd birthday.

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Statue of late revolutionary leader Ongkeo to be cast

September 4, 2012

Ongkeo’s statue mold made by craftsmen in Vientiane.

The Government plans to cast more statues of late leader “Ongkeo” to recognise his virtue to the national safeguarding when Laos was fighting for freedom from French colonialism.

An Ongkeo statue will be cast with around 4 tonnes of bronze as a symbol of public worship, particularly to La Ngae tribe in Saravane province.

Ongkeo, who belonged to La Ngae tribal group, has been considered as a great and brave leader of Laos. He dedicated most of his life to the cause of national defence.

Presently, the Daoheuangsong Bridge Construction Company was constructing Ongkeo Park on 1.2 ha in the Saravane district, Company Director Mr Khammouane Phanyasane has said.

He added that his company spent about two years collecting data on Ongkeo’s history to propose to the government for approval.

Now the company is preparing to cast the mold of the Ongkeo statue in Vientiane Capital. The cast of statue mold is expected to be completed by November this year. The bronze for casting will be imported from Korea.

After casting, the Ongkeo statue will be transported from Vientiane Capital to his hometown of Saravane province to be placed.

The cast is solely invested by the Daoheungsong Bridge Construction Company, which will be reimbursed later by the government.

“I am very happy to participate in the cast of national leader statue who dedicated his life to national protection,” said Mr. Khammouane.

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Exhibition marks Laos-Vietnam Relationship Year

By Khonesavanh Latsaphao
July 18, 2012

Politburo member of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Mr Asang Laoly, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, opened an exhibition on the Laos-Vietnam Relationship at the Kaysone Phomvihane Museum yesterday.

Deputy Prime Minister Mr Asang Laoly (center) and Politburo member of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Le Hong Anh (first left).

The opening ceremony was attended by a high-level Vietnamese delegation led by a Politburo member of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Le Hong Anh, who is also a permanent member of the Party’s Central Committee Secretariat.

The Central Committee’s Office of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, in partnership with the Central Committee’s Office of the Vietnamese Communist Party and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Vietnam organised the exhibition entitled “Special Vietnam-Laos, Laos-Vietnam Relationship Year in the period 1962-2012.”

This exhibition is also to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Diplomatic Relations and 35th Anniversary of the Lao-Vietnam Friendship and Cooperation Treaty in both Vientiane, as the capital of Laos and Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.

The Deputy Head of The Central Committee’s Office Mr Souvandy Sisavad, said that both exhibitions aim to provide information and knowledge about the special solidarity between the two Parties, countries and their peoples in their struggle for freedom as well as in the cause of national construction and development.

More that 400 images, documents, exhibits and books selected from the archive centres of the Central Committees of two Parties are on display, obtained from the Kaysone Phomvihane Museum, Ho Chi Minh Museum, and the national libraries and ministries of the two countries.

Mr Souvandy mentioned at the opening ceremony that some documents and images in this exhibition are going on public display for the first time.

The friendly relations and special solidarity between Laos and Vietnam are long- standing. Their shared history of friendship goes back to when the two countries were suffering oppression from both old and new colonialists, until Laos and Vietnam finally emerged from the struggles victorious.

At present, under the care of the Party, government and people of the two countries, the friendly relations, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos will be continually developed in the interests of their peoples, for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

The exhibition provides an introduction to the Lao and Vietnamese people and extols their patriotism and pride at resisting oppressive forces to gain independence, and the development of the special solidarity that exists between them.

Through the turmoil of their history with its ups and downs and a constantly evolving situation the Laos-Vietnam relationship has remained unchanged. “We are comrades and brothers, sharing our rice and vegetables.”

This exhibition has profound historic, social and human significance, focusing on describing typical events, putting forth realistic documents, images and exhibits concerning the close and comprehensive cooperation between the two parties, states and peoples of Laos and Vietnam, in the development of the two countries.

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For Clinton, Vietnam War’s legacy is vivid on visit to Laos

The following article below was originally published by The New York Times

By Jane Perlez
July 11, 2012

Mrs. Clinton at the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise Center which provides artificial limbs for victims of the Vietnam War, in Vientiane, Laos. Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

VIENTIANE, Laos — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made a brief stop on her Asia tour on Wednesday in Laos, the first visit by an American secretary of state in 57 years and one that brought into stark relief the enduring legacy of the Vietnam War.

At an artificial limb center, Mrs. Clinton met a 19-year-old who lost his forearms and eyesight when a bomb, dropped by the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War and unexploded for decades, finally blew up three years ago.

The young man, Phongsavath Sonilya, gesticulated with his arm stumps as he explained to Mrs. Clinton that more than three decades after the end of the war, not enough had been done to stop the use of cluster bombs and to support those who may be injured in the future by bombs still lying unexploded in the countryside. The United States has not signed the Convention on Cluster Bombs.

The four-hour visit by Mrs. Clinton to Laos provided other reminders of the Vietnam War.

On Wednesday Mrs. Clinton visited with Phongsavath Souliyalat, who lost his forearms and sight from a blast of an unexploded bomb. — Photo by Brendan Smialowsk

The government is run by the Communist Party, and five of the nine members of the Politburo, including the Prime Minister, Thongsing Thammavong, who met with Mrs. Clinton, are veterans of the Pathet Lao guerrilla group that supported North Vietnam against the United States. Until 1975, Vientiane, the capital, had a strong American influence. After Saigon fell, more than 1,200 Americans were evacuated from Laos when the Pathet Lao, backed by the Soviet Union, took power.

Now Laos is closely aligned with China, its biggest benefactor by far, with investments of more than $4 billion in mining, hydropower and agriculture. The Chinese built many of the main buildings in this relaxed tropical capital and are now constructing a new convention center with 50 villas for a European-Asian summit in November, a meeting that does not include the United States.

Mrs. Clinton’s visit, in keeping with the understated nature of the people, was quite subtle. When Secretary of State John Foster Dulles came here in 1955, he tried to persuade the Lao royal family to drop their neutrality in the cold war and join the American camp. Mrs. Clinton did not attempt anything as brazen, even avoiding mentioning China, though the import of her visit — to seek warmer relations between the United States and Laos — was quite clear.

There was no news conference with the prime minister, but a carefully worded statement negotiated by both sides that noted the coming entry of Laos into the World Trade Organization, and cooperation between the United States and Laos on environmental protection.

After the meeting with the prime minister, the State Department said that Laos had decided to suspend the construction of the Xayaburi dam, a project being built by Thailand to send electricity there. Neighboring countries have complained that the dam would upset the flow of the Mekong River, the main waterway of Southeast Asia.

At the center that provides artificial limbs, known as the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise, Mrs. Clinton viewed a map embedded with red dots that showed where bombs were dropped along the Ho Chi Minh Trail and on the Plain of Jars. There were more than 580,000 bombing missions by the United States Air Force, making Laos the most heavily bombed country on a per-person basis, the text said.

At the end of the war, more than 30 percent of the bombs remained unexploded, leaving Laos with a deadly problem in rural areas that persists today.

Each bomb contained about 600 bomblets, and in recent years about 100 people have been killed by unexploded ordnance, 40 percent of them children.

Rural people often scavenge for the bombs, believing the metal has value. Young children think they are toys, said Soksai Sengvongkham, the operations manager of the visitors center. As she toured the center, Mrs. Clinton asked several times why more sophisticated technology could not be used to find the bombs, which are currently located by workers with metal detectors.

There was evidence, too, of the low-cost nature of some of the homemade limbs that farmers put together using bamboo, metal tubes from bombs, and wood, while they awaited more professional limbs.

After the visit to the center, Mrs. Clinton said it was “a painful reminder of the Vietnam War era.”

“The international community will join us in our efforts to bring this legacy of the Vietnam War to a safe end,” she said.

From Laos, Mrs. Clinton flew to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, for the annual meeting of foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

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