Laos, Vietnam Army Crackdown in the Kingdom of A Million Elephants

As President Barack Obama arrives in Southeast Asia for talks, over eleven hundred and seventy-six Laotians have been arrested in Laos for suspected opposition to the authoritarian military regime and the increasingly violent intervention of Hanoi's armed forces in Laos. Thirty-eight (38) more people were brutally arrested in midnight, door-to-door raids by secret police and army units of the Lao Peoples Army (LPA) and Vietnam last night in Vientiane, Laos. With the start of the Southeast Asia Games (SEA Games) slated to begin just weeks from now in early December, Laos is seeking to renew a major faltering military effort to maintain civil order against Lao and Hmong pro-democracy, human rights and political and religious dissidents, as well as ordinary citizens, who have sought to mobilize in mass opposition to the authoritarian regime in the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (LPDR).

Online PR News – 14-November-2009 –Vientiane, Laos, Hanoi, Vietnam, Bangkok, Thailand and Washington, D.C., November 14, 2009, For Immediate Release

Vietnam has deployed more combat troops, security forces and secret police from Hanoi to Laos ahead of the SEA Games and U.S. President Barack Obama's trip to Southeast Asia in an attempt to quell anti-government marches and demonstrations from spreading and to crackdown on those opposed to the Lao military regime, the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (LPDR). Vietnam army units are also assisting the LPDR in renewed and intensified military operations and attacks directed against Lao and Hmong dissident groups and civilians in key provinces in Laos.

As U.S. President Barack Obama prepares to meet with Southeast Asia leaders in Singapore, thirty-eight more Lao political and human rights activists have been imprisoned for advocating peaceful reform of the communist regime in Laos, including Laotian students.

As of November 14, the total number of Laotian political and religious dissidents, as well as ordinary Laotian citizens urging peaceful reform and change in the LPDR, that have been arrested in Laos by secret police and army units since November 2nd has been confirmed at 1176. The arrests have been confirmed from sources inside Laos, including multiple sources inside the Lao government and Lao military.

"It is important to note, that the Laotian students and Lao people, including Lao political and religious dissidents, are now continuing to seek true freedom and human rights for Laos and are seeking political change and regime change in Laos, and to rid Laos of the old Stalinist, communist LPDR regime," said Khamphoua Naovarangsy, President of the Laos Institute for Democracy (LIFD).

Khamphoua Naovarangsy said further: "The corrupt communist regime in Vientiane and bogus communist flag of Laos are not the real and true government and flag of Laos and the Lao people, Laos was once the peaceful, free and proud Royal Kingdom of a million elephants during the time of our beloved King and Queen whom the Hanoi-backed communist leaders starved and killed in the reeducation camp after they took power in 1975."

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) has intervened in Laos with its armed forces and secret police. Thirty-eight (38) more people were arrested in midnight door-to-door raids by secret police and army units last night in Vientiane. With the start of the Southeast Asia Games (SEA Games) just weeks away, Laos is seeking to renew a major faltering effort to maintain civil order against Lao and Hmong pro-democracy, human rights and political and religious dissidents who have sought to mobilize in mass opposition to the one-party, authoritarian regime in Laos.

“The Socialist Republic of Vietnam has intervened in Laos with special police and army units to seek to halt the spread of anti-government opposition in key provinces inside Laos, including Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Xieng Khouang, Khammoune, Sam Neua and Savanakhet Provinces and others,” said Bounthanh Rathigna of the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc (ULDL). "Marxist Leninism is a foreign system imposed on the Lao people by the army of North Vietnam and corrupt communist leaders in Hanoi and Vientiane."

"Communism in Laos was imposed by armed force and the armies of North Vietnam on our peace and freedom-loving people who installed the puppet LPDR regime, and the people are tired and sick of its failures, military dictatorship and corruption," Mr. Rathigna said further.

"More and more, from North to South in Laos, ordinary Lao people as well as students and religious and political dissidents are seeking to protest the corrupt LPDR regime in Laos and the soldiers from Hanoi that are continuing to oppress and exploit the Laotian and Hmong people," Mr. Rathigna at a ULDL meeting in the U.S. Congress yesterday.

"Hundreds more have been arrested by the LPDR secret police in Laos and Lao army along with troops from Hanoi, more and more each day," Rathigna said
http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/10586-1257366404-hundreds-more-laotians-arrested-by-laos-army-as-sea-games-approach.html

"We want Vietnam and its army from Hanoi out of Laos now, that is what the Laotian people want. The Laotian people who are trying to demonstrate against the Lao government all across Laos want political change and reform in Laos; they want true religious freedom for all Lao Buddhists, Christians and Animists, and to end the LPDR regime's Stalinist and one-party communist control of the Lao peoples' religious affairs, political affairs and economic freedom. The Lao students, activists and protesters in Laos, along with Laotian people, want an end to the LPDR regime's corruption and military rule; The Lao and Hmong people want the soldiers and troops from Vietnam and Hanoi out of Laos," said Boon Boulaphanh, of the Laotian Community of Minnesota (LCMN). http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/10856-1257565794-laos-vietnam-crisis-activists-moblize-for-human-rights-religious-freedom-before-sea-games.html

“More attacks have occurred against the Lao Hmong Christians and Animist dissident groups hiding in Phou Bia and Phou Da Phao mountain areas in Laos in recent days,” said Vaughn Vang, Executive Director of the Lao Hmong Human Rights Council. “We are appealing to President Obama to help urge the Lao government to stop these attacks on religious and political dissidents as well as ordinary Laotian and Hmong civilians who wish to live in peace and freedom away from the corrupt one-party communist regime in control of Laos.”
http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/10907-1257617640-mortars-slam-jungle-enclaves-in-laos-killing-wounding-6-hmong.html

“The Laotian and Hmong people, along with international human rights and humanitarian NGOs, are urgently appealing to U.S. President Barack Obama to help end the political violence and institutional violence in Laos that the Lao Army and LPDR continue to inflict of ordinary people who want only to live in peace and freedom; On behalf of the Laotian and Hmong political and religious dissidents, as President Obama prepares to meet with Southeast Asia leaders in Singapore in a follow-on to recent meetings by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the recent ASEAN summit in Hua Hin, Thailand, we appeal to him and the United States Congress to continue to press the LPDR to respect international human rights and stop its military attacks against its own people.” concluded Vaughn Vang. “We are urging the Lao government to cease these arrests of political and religious dissidents and the killing of Lao and Hmong civilians and minority opposition groups.” http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/10212-1257129045-laos-crisis-sea-games-preceded-by-human-rights-concerns-violations.html/preview

“Currently, the Lao Peoples Army (LPA) backed by special units and battalions of the Vietnam Peoples Army (VPA) have mobilized forces in key provinces of Laos to attack enclaves of Laotian and Hmong civilians hiding in the mountains and jungles of Laos as well as groups of religious and political dissidents opposed to the Communist regime in Laos, especially dissident Christian, Animist and Buddhist groups,” Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C.

“The growing movement of support for the Lao Students Movement for Democracy of October 1999, has come under heavy attack by the Lao security forces following efforts to organize various protests and events to mark the 10thanniversary of the peaceful protests that occurred in Vientiane, Laos,” Smith said.
http://www.pr-inside.com/sea-games-crisis-in-laos-mldh-r1578605.htm

“The confirmed total number of Laotian political and religious dissidents arrested in Laos in November now stands at 1176 with scores jailed in Vientiane's infamous Sam Khe prison,” said “The ongoing and unnecessary arrests of ordinary Laotians and students peacefully opposed to the Lao military junta as well as political and religious dissidents is overshadowing the start of the Southeast Asia Games ( SEA Games ) slated to begin in weeks. Laos’ Sam Khe prison has swelled with the arrest of dozens more Laotian political and religious dissidents in recent days, including 38 more people today in Vientiane,” Smith continued.

Smith concluded: “Laos is seeking to renew a major faltering effort to maintain civil order against pro-democracy, human rights and political and religious dissidents who have mobilized in mass opposition to the Laos regime, according to multiple sources in Laos as well as the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc., Lao Students Movement for Democracy and a coalition of Lao and Hmong non-governmental organizations (NGOs)."
http://www.media-newswire.com/release_1105478.html

The Lao Movement for Human Rights (MLDH - Mouvement Lao pour les Droits l’Homme, or LMHR ), the Lao Students Movement for Democracy (LSMD), the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc. (ULDL), the Lao Hmong Human Rights Council (LHHRC), the Laos Institute for Democracy (LIFD), the Lao Veterans of America, Inc. (LVA), Lao Community of Minnesota (LCMN) Hmong Advance, Inc. (HA), Hmong Advancement, Inc. (HAI), the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and other organizations have issued statements and appeals in opposition to the arrests of the some 1176 Laotians in recent days.
www.onlineprnews.com/news/10586-1257366404-hundreds-more-laotian ..

“We are very concerned that the new Laotian protesters and pro-democracy activists in Laos are being jailed in terrible and harsh conditions in Sam Khe prison where they are suffering in horribly from the abuses of communist authorities,” said Mr. Oudong Saysana and Ms. Nouamkham Khamphylavong of the Lao Students Movement for Democracy ( LSMD ). “By the 5th of November we received reports and confirmation from Lao student movement members inside Laos that the arrests of over 300 Laotian people had indeed occurred.”
http://www.media-newswire.com/release_1105004.html

Currently, as of November 14, over 1176 Laotian people have been arrested by the Lao government and VPA troops from Hanoi for suspected roles in organizing or participating in rallies in opposition to the Lao government’s policies and oppressive regime.

Ms. Nouamkham Khamphylavong, along with other Lao students, participated in the October 26, 1999, peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations in Vientiane, Laos seeking political freedoms and change in Laos. Many of her colleagues and fellow students have been imprisoned in Laos for over 10 years by the Lao military junta.
http://asiapacific.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGASA260042000?open&of=ENG-LAO
http://www.media-newswire.com/release_1096784.html

President Barack Obama is also being urged to address the current Lao Hmong refugee crisis in Thailand where over 5,000 Laotian and ethnic Hmong political refugees face forced repatriation back to the Stalinist regime in Laos that they fled. The Lao Hmong refugees do not want to return to the communist regime in Laos where they fled political and religious persecution as well as armed attacks by the Lao army.

###

Center for Public Policy Analysis - CPPA

Contact: Mr. Juan Lopez
Tele. (202)543-1444
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

CPPA
2020 Pennsylvania Ave., North West
No. 220
Washington, D.C. 20006

http://www.cppa-dc.org

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