Over 1,000 Laotian Veterans Celebrate 66th Anniversary of Lao People’s Army

army's dayOver 1,000 senior military officers including Director of the Political General Deparment Brig. Gen Vilay Lakhamfong and soldiers gathered at the Ministry of National Defense to celebrate the 66th anniversary of Lao People’s Army (1945).

“Today, military officers and soldiers of the Lao People’s Army are happy and proud that together with the Party, government and Lao people of all ethnic groups, we’ve organized joyful celebrations for the 66th founding anniversary of the Lao People’s Army,” said Brig. Gen. Vilay.

“Sixty six years ago, on 20 January 1949, in order to respond to the requirements for national liberation due to a stronghold in Laohoung sub-district, Xiengkhor District, Huaphan Province, the Rasavong Unit was established and commanded by President Kaysone Phomvihane, a beloved leader. It was the unification of armed forces that were scattered across the country and merged into one Lao Issara force. It was a landmark proving the growth of the Lao revolution at the time,” said the Brig. General.

The Brig. Gen. recalled the fearless fighting of the Lao Issara force against invading armies that were many times stronger than Lao in terms of economic, personnel and weaponry, as well as victories over enemies by the clear-sighted leadership of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party.

The Brig. General urged the gathering officials to promote the fine national traditions of the Lao People’s Army, attach significance to strengthening the army in all areas, uphold revolutionary values, and be disciplined.


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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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Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia enhance defense cooperation

March 15, 2013

The Vietnam National Assembly (NA)’s Defence and Security Committee and its Lao and Cambodian counterparts met in HCM City on March 5 to discuss ways of promoting solidarity, friendship and cooperation.

At the meeting, the participants compared notes and share experience in legislation supervision and policy implementation in their respective countries.

They underlined the need to accelerate the implementation of bilateral and multilateral cooperation agreements in order to increase the quality and efficiency of cooperation.

In his speech, NA Vice Chairman Huynh Ngoc Son said the conference provides an opportunity for the delegates to discuss ways of strengthening relations between the three countries’ legislative bodies and peoples.

Other speakers highlighted the traditional relationship between the three nations which have grown considerably through effective and practical activities within the framework of tripartite national defence and security cooperation, especially in training, combating crime and building a common border for peace, friendship and national development.

They also proposed new forms of cooperation such as organizing annual conferences in rotation, exchanging information biannually and sharing operational experiences.

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First female parachutist in Laos shows women they can fly

By Xayxana Leukai
March 9, 2013

Lieutenant Souphavanh Kilachanh

Thousands of people in Xayaboury province had their eyes turned skywards to focus on an army helicopter, as a team of parachutists jumped out when the door opened.

The crowd had gathered for the opening ceremony of the Elephant Festival last month, and feasted their eyes on the daring actions of the team of army experts.

The team was led by Lieutenant Souphavanh Kilachanh, 36, and their exploits earned the congratulations on the onlookers after they landed smoothly and safely. The jump brought Souphavanh’s tally to more than the 1,000 since she joined the army in 1995.

She was the first woman in the whole of Laos to brave the jump down from a helicopter when she was employed with Battalion 702 in Xieng Khuang province 18 years ago.

“Some men and women were afraid to jump from such a height,” she recalls, adding that for her it was different as she really wanted to follow suit when she saw the men jumping.

Souphavanh is frequently invited to lead her team in entertaining spectators during opening ceremonies and other special occasions.

It is a source of great pride to her to know that she can contribute to such events. There are not many women brave enough to jump from a height of more than 1,000 metres and as she has already completed this feat more than 1,000 times it has now become an honour for her rather than a fear.

“It’s the sense of adventure and challenge that attracts me to parachuting. When I joined the army, I always saw men jumping but never women. So I decided to make a jump when the helicopter was at an altitude of about 2,000 metres,” she recalls.

It’s not easy to be a good parachutist, she says, but if you are brave and do a lot of training it’s certainly possible. First she studied the theory involved and learnt how to control a parachute during a jump.

She first practised jumping from a height of just two or three metres.

During her 18 years of jumping, she has never had an accident. She says good preparation is very important if you want to touch down safely. It’s also best to avoid jumping in bad weather, such as strong wind or rain.

Souphavanh says the safest altitude range for a jump is 2,500 to 3,000 metres. However, she decided to jump from 1,500 metres at the Elephant Festival because she wanted the spectators to see her and her teammates actually stepping out of the helicopter.

She became the first woman teacher in the sport three years ago after having joined Battalion 703 in Vientiane back in 1999. Every Thursday morning, she takes trainees out on practice jumps to make sure they learn all the right skills. However, they have a long way to go before they can chalk up more than 1,000 jumps like their teacher.


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Vietnam, Laos boost security ties

February 21, 2013

Minister of Public Security General Tran Dai Quang and his Lao counterpart Thongban Seng Aphon (Source: VNA)

Minister of Public Security General Tran Dai Quang held talks with his Lao counterpart Thongban Seng Aphon in Hanoi on February 21.

Quang, who is also a Politburo member, briefed the guest his ministry’s success in ensuring the social safety and security during the recent Lunar New Year (Tet) festival, as well as the focuses in the ministry’s operation in the future.

Regarding the cooperation results between the two ministries, he stressed that right after the signing of their cooperation plan for 2013, the Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security has directed its units and departments in localities to work out plans to strictly implement the agreement.

During the talks, the two sides reviewed regional and international situation and issues of mutual concern.

The two ministers agreed that in the time to come, the two ministries would step up their cooperation in order to further ensure the national security and social order and safety in both countries, contributing to consolidating the traditional and everlasting friendship between Vietnam and Laos.

On the occasion, the Lao Government awarded the Friendship Order and Freedom Order (Issala) of various classes to Vietnamese public security generals, officials and soldiers, in recognition of their significant contributions to the protection of security as well as the building and development of the relationship between the two forces and two nations over the past years.


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Women’s Union of MOFA present gifts to frontline soldiers

January 17, 2013

Mrs. Naly Sisoulith (right) presents 5 million kip in cash to Dr. Venkeo Outhavong.

Mrs. Naly Sisoulith (right) presents 5 million kip in cash to Dr. Venkeo Outhavong.

The Women’s Union of the External Relation Commission of the Party CC and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) held a ceremony in Vientiane on 16 January to present grant aids to the Women’s Union of the Ministry of National Defence, who will then deliver them to the military officers who are working in the rural and remote areas.

Mrs. Khampao Ernthavanh, President of Women Union of MOFA, presented the grant aids to Dr. Venkeo Outhavong, President of Women Union of Ministry of National Defence. Mrs. Naly Sisoulith, spouse of Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith and honorable President of the Women’s Union of MOFA, was invited to witness the presentation of the said grant aids.

The grant aids included 3 million kip consumer goods and 5 million of cash. The grant aids is a contribution from the women of the MOFA and External Relation Commission of the Party CC.

On this occasion, the Women’s Union of MOFA also conveyed their best wishes and warm greetings to all women, soldiers and military during the 64th Anniversary Founding of the Lao People’s Army.


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New indoor firing range opened in Vientiane

January 14, 2013

Lao citizen training at shooting range in Vientiane.

Lao citizen training at shooting range in Vientiane.

Ministry of National Defence opened a new indoor firing range in Vientiane last Friday. The handover ceremony for the facility took place between Head of the construction of Economic Strategy Unit, Lieutenant Colonel Souknilanh Khamphilavong and Chief of the General Staff Department of the Ministry of National Defence Colonel Saichay Kommasith.

The ceremony was attended by Deputy Minister of National Defence, Major General Sayahak Phomvihane and senior officials. The indoor range comprises two buildings. The first is 50 x 72 metres in size and construction cost supported by the Ministry of Defence worth 8.1 billion kip.

The first building has a rifle gallery where marksmen fires from three positions, standing, crouching and prone and 17 lanes of pistol shooting at slow moving targets. It also has 10 lanes with rapidly moving targets.

There are also 20 lanes for practicing with long and short air rifles. Additionally, there is a meeting room, an army museum, a VIP room, a study room, shooting equipment storage and a dining room.

The second building is mainly for shooting equipment storage, a VIP room, a sleeping room and bathroom. A new indoor firing range holds shooting competitions for the Lao shooting team from the ministry and to develop shooting events for the army.

The Lao shooting team will be able to train at the new indoor firing range and the army would also allow interested persons to train there. The construction of the project started in 2011 and was completed by the end of 2012.


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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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China, Laos to strengthen military cooperation

October 20, 2012

Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), met with a delegation of academies of the Lao People’s Army (LPA) headed by Brigadier General Thongloi, president of the National Defense College of the LPA, in Beijing on October 17, 2012.

Ma Xiaotian said that China and Laos are close and friendly neighbors, and China attaches great importance to developing relations with Laos. The China-Laos relationship has witnessed in recent years frequent exchanges of visits by high-ranking officials of the two countries and constantly deepened mutual political trust as well as good communication and coordination in international and regional affairs.

The relations between the Chinese and Lao militaries have well developed over the years as evidenced by fruitful cooperation in various fields.

The Chinese PLA is willing to make joint efforts with the Lao side to further strengthen the pragmatic cooperation in various fields including exchanges among military academies, so as to promote the relations between the two militaries to a new high, Mao Xiaotian told the guests.

Thongloi said the Laos is grateful to China for its long-term strong support and assistance to the development of Laos and its military.

The Lao side speaks highly of the long-term close cooperation between the Lao and Chinese military academies, Thongloi said.

The Lao LPA greatly cherishes Laos-China traditional friendship, attaches importance to developing relations with the Chinese PLA and hopes to strengthen cooperation with the Chinese side to further promote the relations between the two militaries to a new high.


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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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