March 28, 2012
In a stirring act of patriotism, the remains of the country’s first generation of revolutionary leaders were taken from their various resting places and placed at the Kaysone Phomvihane Museum in Vientiane on Friday, accompanied by a traditional Buddhist ceremony.
Thousands of people including high-ranking Party and government officials gathered at the museum for the merit-making ceremony following the arrival of the leaders’ remains.
Party Secretary General and President of Laos Choummaly Sayasone and other Politburo members were among those present.
The remains included those of the late President Kaysone Phomvihane, former President Nouhak Phoumsavanh, President Souphanouvong, Mr Phoumy Vongvichit, Mr Phoun Sipaseuth and Mr Sisomphone Lorvanxay.
The remains of a later generation of leaders included Mr Saly Vongkhamxao, Mr Maychantan Sengmany, Mr Oudom Khattiya, Mr Somlath Chanthamath, Mr Osakan Thammatheva, Mr Khambou Sounixay, Mr Sompheth Thipmala, and Mr Vaenthong Luangvilay.
The ceremony, which was led by 120 monks, gave devotees the opportunity to make merit and show their respect for these leaders, whose great contributions and sacrifices ultimately led to national liberation in 1975.
Among those attending the ceremony was Mr Khammeung Boulaphone of Luang Namtha province. He said he was proud of the contributions and efforts of these leaders, who inspired solidarity among all Lao people in joining the fight against powerful colonialists.
“Despite difficulties, our leaders were determined not to surrender to the colonialists. If they hadn’t been there for us then, we may not have what we do today,” he said.
Monk Sithon Xayavongsone of the Buddhist Organisation for Development said “There are three things in particular that make me proud of our revolutionary leaders. These include their sacrifice and devotion, their honesty, and their strength of heart . Today’s young people should learn from them, so they can accelerate the nation’s development efforts.”
Today, an almsgiving ceremony will take place at the museum in the morning, with 120 monks again in attendance. This will be followed by the removal of the leaders’ remains to the National Cemetery in the afternoon.
At the cemetery, there will be a mass mourning of the leaders, whose remains will be placed in stupas.
The reinterment is part of activities to mark the 57th anniversary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party.
The relocation assembles the remains of the revolutionary leaders in one place to make it easier for the younger generations to pay tribute and recall their good deeds.
The placement of their remains in the National Cemetery serves to express gratitude to those leaders who devoted their lives to the fight for liberation, as well as encouraging a spirit of patriotism and solidarity among young people.
Since the Party Central Committee issued a notice concerning the reinterment last week, various government bodies in Vientiane and the provinces have delivered lectures on the virtuous deeds of the leaders.
The lectures ensured that officials fully understood the good deeds of the leaders and their sacrifices in fighting powerful colonialists, in their bid to bring independence, freedom and prosperity to all Lao people.
By being fully informed about the good deeds and shining example set by the revolutionary leaders, government officials can absorb these and apply them to their work and personal life.