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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