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Laos Accused of Shirking Human Rights Commitments
A 2005 photo of Sombath Somphone in the Philippines.
A 2005 photo of Sombath Somphone in the Philippines.
AFP/Somphone family
By Joshua Lipes
2014-06-10
The government of Laos has failed to address the country’s “systemic human rights problems,” a rights group said Tuesday ahead of a United Nations review of its rights record during which the disappearance of civil society leader Sombath Somphone is expected to be highlighted by the international community.

Laos is set to appear for its second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in October at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, and in a critique submitted to the world body, New York-based Human Rights Watch raised “several human rights issues that deserve international attention.”

Among the problems were severe restrictions on fundamental liberties, absence of labor rights, and detention of suspected drug users without charge in “abusive” drug centers, the group said.

Of particular concern, Human Rights Watch said, is the forced disappearance of Sombath, who some international rights groups suspect may have been abducted by government-linked organizations. 

Sombath went missing after he was stopped in his vehicle at a police checkpoint, in the capital Vientiane on Dec. 15, 2012. He was seen in police surveillance video being transferred into another vehicle and has not been heard from since.

“The Lao authorities are defying international concerns by ignoring calls to respond to the enforced disappearance of activist Sombath Somphone,” said Phil Robertson, the group’s deputy Asia director.

“Concerned governments need to drive home the point that they will not sit complacently by as disappearances and other abuses multiply in Laos.”

Human Rights Watch also highlighted the disappearance of environmentalist Sompawn Khantisouk, who has been missing since he was ordered to report to a police station in January 2007.

Laos “has not made tangible changes” towards meeting commitments it made during the country’s first UPR session in 2010, it said, calling on the government to ratify core international human rights conventions, as well as end restrictions on rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly and the media.

“This government brooks no dissent from its people, and uses rights-abusing laws and long prison terms to prevent any challenge to its power,” Robertson said.

“Lao people fear their government because they know officials can act with near total impunity.”

Human Rights Watch challenged Laos to bring its labor laws into line with the standards of the International Labor Organization, a United Nations agency dealing with global labor issues.

“Workers are … denied their rights, and prohibited from establishing or joining a trade union of their own choosing since all unions must be part of the government-controlled Lao Federation of Trade Unions (LFTU),” the critique said.

“They are also unable to exercise their right to strike because of restrictions in labor law and authorities’ proven willingness to forcibly break up workers’ protests.”

Human Rights Watch also urged authorities to investigate abuses in the country’s drug detention centers and shift to voluntary, community-based drug dependency treatment.

It said Lao authorities frequently violate the rights of people held in drug detention centers and that detainees are often held against their will for months and even years without due process protections such as a court ruling, ongoing judicial oversight, or an appeal mechanism.

“Compulsory detention in the Lao drug centers violates a slew of human rights,” Robertson said.

“Suspected drug users are arbitrarily arrested, denied a fair trial, and subjected to cruel and inhuman treatment in the drug centers.”

International concerns

Last month, the European Union raised concerns with Laos about media controls, registration of nongovernmental organizations, and other human rights issues during a bilateral dialogue in Belgium, underscoring the need for a vibrant civil society environment in the Southeast Asian state.

The EU said that at the meeting its representatives again highlighted the case of Sombath, telling the delegation from Vientiane that his “unexplained” disappearance was “of grave concern” to the group.

International rights groups have accused Laos of being reluctant to investigate his enforced disappearance, saying his case has fostered a fearful environment for activists working in the country.

Lao officials say only that they are investigating the case and have denied involvement in the well-respected community development worker’s disappearance, suggesting he may have been kidnapped by “criminal elements,” according to his wife Ng Shui Meng.

Sombath was the recipient of the 2005 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership—Asia’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize—for his work in the fields of education and development.

Laos has turned down international assistance in the investigations into Sombath's disappearance, including a U.S. offer to provide technical help to enhance the quality of some blurry images of the surveillance video footage







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ຣົດກະບະ ສີຂາວ ທີ່ ນໍາເອົາໂຕ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ໄປຈາກ ປ້ອມຍາມ ຕໍາຫຼວດ, ຫລັກຖານໃໝ່ ທີ່ ທາງອົງການ ສາກົນ ຄົ້ນພົບ ຈາກກ້ອງ ວົງຈອນປິດ ແມ່ນມີການ ຍິງປືນຂຶ້ນຟ້າ ຊື່ງຫວັງວ່າ ອາຈໄດ້ອອກ ສູ່ສາຍຕາ ຂອງຊາວໂລກ
ຣົດກະບະ ສີຂາວ ທີ່ ນໍາເອົາໂຕ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ໄປຈາກ ປ້ອມຍາມ ຕໍາຫຼວດ, ຫລັກຖານໃໝ່ ທີ່ ທາງອົງການ ສາກົນ ຄົ້ນພົບ ຈາກກ້ອງ ວົງຈອນປິດ ແມ່ນມີການ ຍິງປືນຂຶ້ນຟ້າ ຊື່ງຫວັງວ່າ ອາຈໄດ້ອອກ ສູ່ສາຍຕາ ຂອງຊາວໂລກ
Sombat somphone
 
ສິງກະໂປກົດດັນລາວເຣື້ອງທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ອະວາຣີ
2014-04-23

ປະເທດ ສິງກະໂປ ນໍາໜ້າ ກົດດັນ ສປປລາວ ແຮງຂຶ້ນ ໃຫ້ຟ້າວ ສືບສວນ ການຫາຍ ສາບສູນ ຂອງ ທ່ານ ສົມບົດ ສົມພອນ. ບໍ່ພຽງ ເທົ່ານັ້ນ ເມື່ອວັນທີ່ 18 ເດືອນ ເມສາ ນີ້ ຣັຖບານ ສິງກະໂປ ຍັງ ຮຽກຮ້ອງ ໃຫ້ທຸກ ປະເທດ ໃນ ອາຊຽນ ໃຫ້ ສາມະຄີ ກັນ ພ້ອມກັນ ກົດດັນ ທາງການ ລາວ. ຣັຖບານ ສິງກະໂປ ອອກ ຖແລງການ ອີກເທື່ອນຶ່ງ ເມື່ອອາທິດ ແລ້ວວ່າ ສິງກະໂປ ມີຄວາມ ເປັນຫ່ວງ ຕໍ່ ຊະຕາກັມ ຂອງ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ແລະ ເປັນຫ່ວງ ທີ່ການ ສືບສວນ ນັ້ນ ຊັກຊ້າ ເກີນໄປ.ຣັຖມົນຕຣີ ກະຊວງ ການ ຕ່າງ ປະເທດ ແລະ ກົດໝາຍ ຂອງ ສິງກະໂປ ໄດ້ຂຽນ ຈົດໝາຍ ເຖິງ ສະມາຊິກ ສະພາ ສິງກະໂປ ເມື່ອອາ ທິດ ທີ່ແລ້ວວ່າ ຣັຖບານ ສິງກະໂປ ໄດ້ສເນີ ໃຫ້ການ ຊ່ວຍເຫລືອ ແກ່ ນາງ ອຶ້ງ ຊຸຍເມັງ ຊຶ່ງ ເປັນຄົນ ສັນຊາດ ສິງກະໂປ ແລະ ກໍເປັນ ພັລຍາ ຂອງ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ.ກ່ອນນີ້ ຣັຖບານ ສິງກະໂປ ໄດ້ສະແດງ ຄວາມ ເປັນຫ່ວງ ກ່ຽວກັບ ການຫາຍ ສາບສູນໄປ ຂອງ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ກັບ ເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ ຂັ້ນສູງ ຂອງ ສປປລາວ ທຸກຂັ້ນ ເປັນຕົ້ນ ກັບ ປະທານ ປະເທດ ນາຍົກ ຣັຖມົນຕຣີ ປະທານ ສະພາ ແຫ່ງຊາດ ລາວ ຮອງ ນາຍົກ ຣັຖມົນຕຣີ ຊຶ່ງພ້ອມທັງ ເປັນ ຣັຖມົນຕຣີ ການ ຕ່າງ ປະເທດ ສປປລາວ.ເມື່ອບໍ່ດົນ ຜ່ານມາ ຮອງ ປະທານ ສະພາ ແຫ່ງຊາດ ສິງກະໂປ ແລະ ຮອງ ປະທານ ຄະນະ ກັມມະການ ສິດທິມະນຸດ ຣະຫວ່າງ ສະພາ ອາຊຽນ ກໍໄດ້ ຮຽກຮ້ອງ ໃຫ້ທາງການ ລາວ ຟ້າວ ສືບສວນ ການຫາຍ ສາບ ສູນ ຂອງ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ເຊັ່ນກັນ. ບໍ່ເທົ່ານັ້ນ ຮອງ ປະທານ ສະພາ ສິດທິມະນຸດ ຣະຫວ່າງ ສະພາ ອາຊຽນ ຍັງ ສະແດງ ຄວາມ ເປັນຫ່ວງ ທີ່ ອາຊຽນ ບໍ່ສາມາດ ປັບປຸງ ການນັບຖື ສິດທິມະນຸດ ໃຫ້ດີ ຂື້ນ. ຜູ້ນຳ ອາຊຽນ ຄວນຖືວ່າ ການຫາຍ ສາບສູນ ຂອງ ທ່ານ ສົມບົດ ສົມພອນ ເປັນການ ລ່ວງຣະເມີິດ ສິດທິ ມະນຸດ ຢ່າງ ຮ້າຍແຮງ.


Singapore taking the lead in pressuring Laos to expedite investigation into dissapearance of Sombath Somphone

18 April 2014
BANGKOK – ASEAN Parliamentarians today praised Singapore for its consistent efforts to urge the Lao government to expedite its inquiry into the disappearance of civil society actor Sombath Somphone and urged other ASEAN nations to take a firm, united stand against the shortcomings of the Lao authorities’ investigation to date.The Singapore government this week reiterated its concern regarding the stalled investigation into Sombath’s whereabouts after he was disappeared from a street in Vientiane in December 2012.In written remarks to the Singapore Parliament, Singaporean Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said his government had made its misgivings known to the Lao government and that it has also offered assistance to Sombath’s wife, Dr. Ng Shui Meng, a Singaporean citizen resident in Vientiane.“[The Singapore government has] consistently raised our concern to the Lao PDR government over Mr Sombath’s disappearance at the highest levels, including with the Lao PDR President, Prime Minister, President of the National Assembly and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs,” K Shanmugam said. “We have urged the Lao PDR government to expedite their investigations and to resolve this case as quickly as possible.” Continue reading →



 
ພັນລະຍາ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ຍັງບໍ່ໄດ້ຮັບຂ່າວຄາວ ຈາກຜູ້ເປັນສາມີ ທີ່ຫາຍຕົວໄປ

ພາກປະຊາສັງຄົມ ທັງໃນອາຊຽນ ແລະນາໆຊາດ ໄດ້ພາກັນ ຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ ຊອກຫາ ທ່ານສົມບັດ.
ພາກປະຊາສັງຄົມ ທັງໃນອາຊຽນ ແລະນາໆຊາດ ໄດ້ພາກັນ ຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ ຊອກຫາ ທ່ານສົມບັດ.
22.04.2014
ພັນລະຍາ ຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ຍັງບໍ່ໄດ້ຮັບຂ່າວຄາວໃດໆເລີຍຈາກຜູ້ເປັນສາມີທັງຍັງບໍ່ມີ ຄວາມຄືບໜ້າໃນການສອບສວນສືບສວນຫາຄວາມຈິງໂດຍທາງການຕຳຫຼວດລາວອີກດ້ວຍ.
ພາຍຫຼັງຈາກທີ່ ທ່ານນາງ Ng Shui Meng ພັນລະຍາ ຂອງທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ນັກພັດທະນາລາວ ຜູ້ດີເດັ່ນຂອງອາຊ່ຽນ ທີ່ໄດ້ຫາຍຕົວໄປນັບແຕ່ວັນທີ 15 ທັນວາ 2013 ເປັນຕົ້ນມານັ້ນ ໄດ້ ຖະແຫລງການ ໃນໂອກາດການຫາຍຕົວໄປຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດ ຄົບຮອບ 1 ປີ ເພື່ອເຊີນຊວນ ໃຫ້ຜູ້ທີ່ຮັກ ຄວາມເປັນທຳ ທັງໃນລາວແລະຕ່າງປະເທດ 

ຈົ່ງໄດ້ພາກັນຂຽນຈົດໝາຍເຖິງ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ທີ່ມີເນື້ອຫາກ່ຽວກັບຊີວິດແລະຜົນງານ ແນວຄວາມຄິດ ອຸດົມການ ແລະ ວິທີການ ປະຕິບັດງານ 

ເຄືອຂ່າຍອົງກອນ ພັດທະນາເອກະຊົນຍີ່ປຸ່ນ ຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ ຊອກຫາ ທ່ານສົມບັດ
ເຄືອຂ່າຍອົງກອນ ພັດທະນາເອກະຊົນຍີ່ປຸ່ນ ຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ ຊອກຫາ ທ່ານສົມບັດ
ຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດເພື່ອເຜີຍແຜ່ອອກສູ່ການຮຽນຮູ້ ໃນວົງກວ້າງນັບແຕ່ ວັນທີ 15 ທັນວາ 2013 ເປັນຕົ້ນມາກໍປະກົດວ່າ ໄດ້ຮັບການຕອບສະໜອງຈາກພາກປະຊາສັງຄົມ ທັງໃນອາຊຽນ ແລະນາໆຊາດຢ່າງກວ້າງຂວາງ. ທັງນີ້ໂດຍບັນດາຈົດໝາຍ ແລະ ການສະແດງອອກຕ່າງໆ ທີ່ກ່ຽວຂ້ອງກັບ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ດັ່ງກ່າວໄດ້ ຖືກເຜີຍແຜ່ສູ່ ການຮັບຮູ້ໃນວົງກວ້າງໂດຍ Website ແລະ Facebook ທີ່ຊື່ວ່າ Find Sombath Somphone ທີ່ມີທັງຈົດໝາຍ ການຈັດກິດຈະກຳ ແລະ ການສະແດງອອກ ທີ່ເປັນສັນຍາລັກ ຂອງການທວງຖາມ ອຳນາດການປົກຄອງໃນລາວກ່ຽວກັບການຫາຍຕົວໄປ ຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດ.

ໂດຍການປະຕິບັດດັ່ງກ່າວນີ້ ກໍເພື່ອເປັນການສົ່ງກຳລັງໃຈແລະຄວາມປາດຖະໜາດີ ໄປເຖິງ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ທີ່ຫາຍຕົວໄປ ນັບເປັນລະຍະເວລາເກືອບ 500 ວັນມາແລ້ວ ຫາກແຕ່ວ່າຈົນເຖິງທຸກມື້ ສຳລັບທ່ານນາງ Ng Shui Meng ນັ້ນກໍຍັງຄົງບໍ່ໄດ້ຮັບຂ່າວຄາວໃດໆເລີຍ ຈາກ ຜູ້ເປັນສາມີ ຂອງທ່ານນາງແລະ ບໍ່ມີຄວາມຄືບໜ້າ ໃດໆ ເລີຍ ຈາກການສືບສວນສອບສວນ ຂອງທາງການຕຳ ຫຼວດລາວ ດັ່ງທີ່ທ່ານນາງໄດ້ກ່າວວ່າ:

ນາໆຊາດພາກັນ ຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ ຊອກຫາ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ
ນາໆຊາດພາກັນ ຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ ຊອກຫາ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ
"ສົມບັດ ເປັນຄົນສັນຊາດລາວ ລາວໄດ້ຫາຍໄປຢູ່ຕໍ່ໜ້າປົດຕຳຫຼວດ  ໃນວຽງຈັນ ເລື້ອງທີ່ວ່າ ຜູ້ໃດເປັນຜູ້ຮັບຜິດ ຊອບໃນການເອົາລາວໄປນັ້ນບໍ່ສຳຄັນ ແຕ່ທີ່ສຳຄັນແມ່ນວ່າ ມັນຍັງ ແມ່ນຄວາມຮັບຜິດຊອບຂອງລັດຖະບານ ແລະຂອງກຳລັງຮັກສາຄວາມປອດໄພ ຢູ່ທີ່ຈະຊອກຫາ ສົມບັດ ໃຫ້ເຫັນແລ້ວສົ່ງລາວ ໃຫ້ຂ້າພະເຈົ້າ ແລະ ຄອບຄົວຢ່າງປອດໄພພວກ ເຂົາເຈົ້າ ໄດ້ຈັດຕັ້ງທີມງານສືບສວນຂຶ້ນມາ ແຕ່ກໍບໍ່ເຫັນວ່າມີຫຍັງດີເພາະເທົ້າເຖິງ ປັດຈຸບັນນີ້ ກໍບໍ່ໄດ້ມີຂ່າວຄາວອັນໃດວ່າ ສົມບັດ ຢູ່ແຫ່ງໃດ." ນອກຈາກການເຊີນຊວນໃຫ້ມີການ ຂຽນຈົດໝາຍເຖິງ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ດັ່ງກ່າວແລ້ວບັນດາ ອົງການ ຄຸ້ມຄອງສິດທິມະນຸດຍະຊົນສາກົນເຊັ່ນ ເຄືອຂ່າຍສະໝານສັນພາກປະຊາຊົນອາຊຽນ ຄະນະປະສານ ງານມະຫະກຳພາກປະຊາຊົນເອເຊຍກັບຢູໂຣບ ຄະນະກຳມະການປະສານງານ ອົງກອນພັດທະນາ ເອກະຊົນໄທ ເຄືອຂ່າຍອົງກອນພັດທະນາເອກະຊົນຍີ່ປຸ່ນ ແລະ ເຄືອຂ່າຍເຍົາວະຊົນອາຊຽນກໍໄດ້ພາກັນຈັດກິດຈະກຳ ເພື່ອຮຽກຮ້ອງຂໍໃຫ້ ທາງການລາວຕາມຫາ ແລະ ໃຫ້ການຊ່ວຍເຫຼືອ ທ່ານສົມບັດ 

ຢ່າງຈິງຈັງອີກດ້ວຍ. ກ່ອນໜ້ານີ້ ທ່ານ Walden Bello ຮອງປະທານ ຄະນະກຳມະການ ດ້ານສິດທິມະນຸດຍະຊົນ ຂອງລັດຖະ ສະພາອາຊຽນ ໄດ້ຖະແຫຼງການໃນໂອກາດທີ່ຄະນະຜູ້ແທນຂອງລັດຖະສະພາຢູໂຣບ ຢ້ຽມຢາມ ສປປ. ລາວ ຢ່າງເປັນທາງການ ໃນວັນທີ28 ຕຸລາ ປີ 2013 ວ່າຖືເປັນອີກໂອກາດນຶ່ງທີ່ຈະໄດ້ວງຖາມທາງການ 

ລາວເຖິງຄວາມຄືບໜ້າຂອງການສືບສວນຫາຄວາມຈິງກ່ຽວກັບກໍລະນີ ຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດ.
ຄະນະຜູ້ແທນຂອງລັດຖະສະພາຢູໂຣບ ທີ່ຢ້ຽມຢາມລາວດັ່ງກ່າວ ນຳໂດຍ ທ່ານ Werner Langen ປະທານລັດຖະສະ ພາຢູໂຣບ ຊຶ່ງຄະນະຂອງທ່ານກໍໄດ້ພົບປະເຈລະຈາຮ່ວມ ກັນກັບ ຄະນະຜູ້ແທນຂອງສະພາແຫ່ງຊາດລາວ ທີ່ມີ ທ່ານໄຊສົມພອນ ພົມວິຫານ ຮອງປະທານສະພາແຫ່ງຊາດ ລາວ ເປັນຫົວໜ້າຄະນະໂດຍທັງສອງຝ່າຍ ກໍໄດ້ແລກປ່ຽນທັດສະນະຄວາມເຫັນທັງໃນດ້ານການພັດທະນາເສດຖະກິດ ສັງຄົມ ແລະ ສິດທິມະນຸດຍະຊົນ  ທັງທີ່ ເປັນການຮ່ວມມືລະຫວ່າງສະພາແຫ່ງຊາດລາວກັບລັດຖະ ສະພາຢູໂຣບແລະລັດຖະສະພາຢູ່ໂຣບແລະລັດຖະສະພາອາຊຽນດ້ວຍ.
ແຕ່ຢ່າງໃດກໍຕາມ ສະມາຊິກລັດຖະສະພາຢູໂຣບ ກໍເຄີຍພົບປະເຈລະຈາ ກັບຄະນະເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ຂອງທາງ ກ ານລາວ ຢູ່ນະຄອນວຽງຈັນມາ​ແລ້ວ​ ຄັ້ງນຶ່ງ​ເມື່ອ​ ເດືອນ​ສິງຫາ ປີກາຍ ​ໂດຍ​ຄະນະ​ຜູ້​ແທນ​ຂອງ​ລັດຖະ ສະພາ​ຢູ​ໂຣບກໍ​ໄດ້​ຢືນຢັນ​ວ່າ​ຈະ​ດຳ​ເນີນ​ມາດ​ຕະການ​ກົດ​ດັນ​ຕໍ່​ລັດຖະບານ​ລາວຫຼາຍຂຶ້ນ​ໃນ​ກໍລະນີ​ຂອງ​ການ​ຫາຍ​ຕົວ​ໄປ​ ຂອງ​ທ່ານສົມບັດ ​ເພາະ​ເຫັນ​ວ່າ​ທາງ​ການ​ລາວ​ບໍ່​ໄດ້​ດຳ​ເນີນ​ການ​ຢ່າງ​ຈິງ​ຈັງ​ໃນ​ການ ຄົ້ນຫາ​ຄວາມ​ຈິງ. ທັງ​ນີ້​ໂດຍ​ກໍລະນີ​ທີ່​ສະທ້ອນ​ ໃຫ້​ເຫັນ​ເຖິງ​ຄວາມ​ບໍ່​ຈິງ​ຈັງ ຂອງ​ທາ​ງການ​ລາວ​ໄດ້​ຢ່າງ​ຈະ​ແຈ້ງ​ກໍ​ຄື​ການ​ທີ່​ບໍ່​ໄດ້​ໃຊ້​ປະ​ໂຫຍ​ດ ຈາກ​ພາບ​ທີ່​ກ້ອງ​ວົງ​ຈອນ​ປິດ​ຂອງ​ທາງ​ການ​ລາວ​ບັນ​ທຶກ​ໄ​ວ້​ໄດ້​ ໃນ​ຕອນ​ແລງ​ຂອງ​ວັນ​ທີ 15 ທັນ​ວາ 2012 ຊຶ່ງ​ເປັນ​ມື້​ທີ່​ ທ່ານ​ສົມບັດ ຖື​ກລັກ​ພາ​ຕົວ​ໄປ​ຈາກ​ປ້ອມ​ຕຳຫຼວດ​ ໃນ​ເຂ​ດນະຄອນ​ວຽງ​ຈັນ

 
Participants at APF in Yangon speak out for Sombath



Over 3,000 people from the ASEAN region gathered together from March 21–23 for the ASEAN Civil Society Conference and ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF). The conference in Yangon was the largest ACSC/APF event since its inception in 2005, as well as the largest of its kind in Myanmar’s recent history.APF-01
Entitled “Advancing ASEAN People’s Solidarity Toward Sustainable Peace, Development, Justice and Democratization,” the conference included plenaries and 35 workshops under four clusters: Peace, Development, Justice and Human Rights, and Democratization.

Notable in the proceedings were recognition of enforced disappearances in the ASEAN region, and in particular those of Somchai Neelapaijit and Sombath Somphone. Plenaries on both the opening and closing days included calls for meaningful information regarding Sombath’s abduction and his safe return.
The Conference Declaration also explicitly links the negative impacts of the dominant development model and Sombath’s abduction:


Large-scale investment and development projects, including those in ethnic or indigenous areas, have triggered massive forced displacement and enabled human rights abuses. Civil Society leaders, like Sombath Somphone, who highlight these negative impacts and promoted sustainable participatory development, have been increasingly targeted. We are deeply concerned that the advent of the ASEAN Economic Community will only worsen the situation if it continues with these harmful development policies.
Posters, signs and T-shirts asking for Sombath’s safe return could be seen throughout the conferences proceedings.

ທ່ານນາງ ດຣ. Ng Shui-Meng ພັນລະຍາ ທ່ານສົມບັດ 
ທ່ານນາງ ດຣ Ng Shui Meng ພັນລະຍາ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ຜູ້ທີ່ຫາຍສາບສູນຢູ່ ໃນ ສປປ ລາວ ໃນປີ 2012
ທ່ານນາງ ດຣ Ng Shui Meng ພັນລະຍາ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ຜູ້ທີ່ຫາຍສາບສູນຢູ່ ໃນ ສປປ ລາວ ໃນປີ 2012
05.05.2014

ສົມພອນ ຢ້ຽມຢາມ ສະຫະລັດ ໃນ​ຕອນ​ເຊົ້າ​ວັນ​ອັງຄານ​ແລ້ວ​ນີ້ ທີ 29 ເມສາ ຢູ່​ທີ່ ສູນ​ກາງ​ສຶກສາ ຍຸດທະ​ສາດແລະນາໆ​ຊາດ ຫລື Center for Strategicand International Studies ທີ່​ນະຄອນຫລວງ ວໍ​ຊິງ​ຕັນດີ​.ຊີ ​ໄດ້​ມີ​ການໂຮມ​ຊຸມ​ນຸມຟັງ​ລາຍ​ງານ ກ່ຽວ​ກັບສະພາບການທີ່​ບໍ່​ມີ​ຄວາມ​ຄືບໜ້າ ໃນການ​ຫາຍ​ສາບ​ສູນ​ ຂອງ​ທ່ານສົມບັດ​ ສົມ​ພອນ  ນັກ​ພັດທະນາ​ສັງ​ຄົມ ອະດີດຫົວໜ້າອົງການPADETC ໃນ ສປປ ລາວ.​ທ່ານ​ນາງ Shui Meng ພັນ​ລະ​ຍາ​ ທ່ານ​ສົ​ມບັດ​ ສົມ​ພອນ​ໄດ້​ເດີນທາງ​ມາສະຫະລັດ ​ເພື່ອ​ລາຍ​ງານ​ ​ແລະ​ຊອກ​ຫາ​ການ​ຊ່ວ​ຍ​ເຫລືອ​ແກ່ ​ທ່າ​ນສົມບັດ​ ສົມ​ພອນ ທີ່​ໄດ້ຫາຍ​ສາບ​ສູນ​ໄປ​ໃນ ສປປ ລາວ ໃນ​ວັນ​ທີ 15 ທັນ​ວາ ປີ 2012.
ຊ້ອງ​ໜ້າ​ບັນດາເຈົ້າ​ໜ້າ​ທີ່ ກະຊວງ​ການ​ຕ່າງປະ​ເທດ ສະຫະລັດ ແຂກ​ຜູ້​ມີ​ກຽດ ແລະ​ບັນດາ​ນັກ​ຂ່າວ ທ່ານ​ນາງ Shui Meng ​ໄດ້​ລາຍ​ງານ​ກ່ຽວ​ກັບ ສະພາບ​ການ ສາມີຂອງ​ທ່ານນາງ ວ່າ​ຍັງ​ບໍ່​ມີ​ຫຍັງ​ຄືບ​ໜ້າ ​ແລະ​ກໍ​ບໍ່​ຮູ້​ວ່າ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມ​ພອນ​ ນັ້ນ​ຢູ່​ໃສ ​ແລະຍັງ​ມີ​ຊີວິດ​ຢູ່ ຫລື​ບໍ່. ຍ້ອນ​ສະພາບ​ການ​ທີ່​ຍັງ ​ຄ້າງ​ຄາ ດັ່ງກ່າວ​ນີ້ ທ່ານ​ນາງ Shui Meng ຈຶ່ງບໍ່​ໄດ້​ລົດ​ລະ​ໃນ​ຄວາມ​ພະຍາຍາມຊອກ ຫາຄຳ​ຕອບ ​ເພື່ອ​ຢາກ​ໄດ້ສາມີກັບ​ຄືນ​ມາ. ທ່ານ​ນາງ​ໄດ້​ກ່າວ​ຕໍ່ ວີ​ໂອ​ເອ ​ເຖິງ​ຈຸດປະສົງຂອງ​ການ​ມາ ສະຫະລັດ ວ່າ :

“ຈຸດປະສົງ​ກໍ​ຊອກ​ຫາ​ສົມບັດ​ ​ເວລາ​ຢູ່​ວຽງ​ຈັນ ກໍ​ພະຍາຍາມ​ສຸດ​ຂີດ ກໍ​ຮ້ອງ​ຂໍ​ລັດຖະບານ ​ແລະ​ຂັ້ນ​ເທິ່ງ ສົ່ງ​ຂ່າວແນ່ ສົມບັດ ຢູ່​ໃສ ສົມບັດ​ຫາຍ​ຕົວ​ແລ້ວ ມື້​ນີ້​ຄົບຮອບ ຫ້າ​ຣ້ອຍວັນ ຮອດ​ປັດ​ຈຸ​ບັນ​ ບໍ່​ມີ​ຂ່າວຫຍັງ​ເລີຍ ບໍ່​ຮູ້​ເພິ່ນ​ຢູ່​ໃສ ບໍ່​ຮູ້​ເພິ່ນ​ຍັງ ຫລື​ວ່າ ບໍ່​ຍັງສິ່ງທີ່ ຂ້າພະ​ເຈົ້າ​ຢາກ​ໄດ້ ຢາກ​ໄດ້​ຂ່າວ ​ເພີ່ນ​ຢູ​ໃສ​ແນ່ ​ເພີ່ນ​ຍັງ​ຢູ່​ບໍ່ ກະ​ທໍ່​ນັ້ນ ມາ​ຫາ​ສະຫະລັດ​ນີ້ ກະ​ຢາກ​ໃຫ້​ຜູ້​ທີ່​ວ່າ ຢູ່​ສະຫະລັດ​ນີ້ ​ເຂົ້າ​ໃຈ​ກໍລະນີ​ຂອງ ສົມບັດ ຫາຍ​ຕົວ ຮ້ອງ​ຂໍລັດຖະບານ ສະຫະລັດ ຖ້າ​ເຮັດ​ຊ່ວຍ​ໄດ້ກະ​ຊ່ວຍ ກະ​ຢາກ​ໃຫ້​ລາວ​ຊອກ​ຫາ​ສົມບັດ ​ໃຫ້​ເພີ່ນ​ກັບ​ຄືນ​ສູ່​ຄອບຄົວ​ດ້ວຍຄວາມປອດ​ໄພ.” ກ່ອນ​ໜ້າ ທ່ານ​ນາງ Shui Meng ​ໄດ້​ເດີນທາງ​ມາ​ເຖິງນະຄອນຫລວງ ວໍ​ຊິງ​ຕັນ ດີ​.ຊີທ່ານ​ນາງ ​ໄດ້​ຢຸດ​ແວ ທີ່ນະຄອນ​ພ​ອດ​ແລນ ລັດ ອໍຣິກັນ ​ແລະໄດ້​ກ່າວ​ລາຍ​ງານ​ກ່ຽວ​ກັບ ທ່ານ​ສົມບັດ ສົມ​ພອນ ​ໃຫ້​ແກ່​ບັນດາ​ພີ່ນ້ອງ​ຊາ​ວລາວ-ອາ​ເມຣິກັນ ​ແລະຊາວ​ຕ່າງປະ​ເທດ​ໄດ້​ຟັງ​ຢູ່່​ທີ່​ນັ້ນ. ທ່ານ​ນາງ Shui Meng ​ໄດ້​ໃຊ້​ຊີວິດ​ ກັບ ທ່ານ​ສົມບັດ​ ສົມ​ພອນຢູ່​ໃນ ສປປ ລາວ ​ເປັນ​ເວລາ​ກວ່າ 30 ປີ​ທີ່​ຜ່ານ​ມາ ທ່ານ​ນາງ ​ໄດ້​ເ​ລົ່າ​ຊີວິດ​ການ​ເປັນ​ຢູ່​ສູ່ຟັງຕື່ມ​ອີກ​ວ່່າ​ :
“ຂ້ອຍ ຢູ່​ລາວ 30 ປາຍ​ປີ ຄອບຄົວ​ຢູ່​ລາວກະດີ​ທີ່​ສຸດ ​ເລື່ອງ​ຮັບ​ຕ້ອນ ​ເລື່ອງ​ອັນ​ໃດ​ຂ້ອຍ​ເປັນ​ຄົນ​ ສິງກະ​ໂປ​ ສົມ​ທຽບ​ກັບ​ຄົນ ສິງກະ​ໂປ ຄົນ​ລາວ​ເປັນ​ຄົນ​ທີ່​ວ່າ ​ໃຈກວ້າງ​ໃຈ​ໃຫຍ່ທີ່​ສຸດ ​ແລະ​ວັດທະນາ​ທຳ​ກໍ​ດີ ຄວາມ​ຮັກ​ແພງ​ກັນກໍ​ດີ ອັນ​ນີ້ ຂ້າພະ​ເຈົ້າ ພູມ​ໃຈ​ທີ່​ສຸດທີ່​ວ່າ​ດຳລົງ​ຊີວິດ​ຢູ່​ລາວ ຜ່ານ​ມາ 30 ປາຍ​ປີ. ຂ້ອຍ​ຕ້ອງ​ຢູ່​ເມືອງ​ລາວ ຖ້າ​ຟັງ​ຂ່າວ ​ແລະ​ຊອກ​ຫາ​ສົມບັດ ມື້​ໃດ​ສົມບັດ ບໍ່ກັບ​ບ້ານຂ້ອຍ​ກະ​ຢູ່​ລາວ ຂ້​ອຍກະ​ຢາກ​ຢູ່​ລາວ ຖ້າສົມບັດ​ກັບ​ມາ  ຂ້ອຍ​ເປັນ​ເມຍ ຜູ້ເປັນ​ເມຍກະ​ຢາກ​ໃຫ້​ຜົວ​ໂຕເອງຍັງ​ຄົງ​ຊີວິດ​ຕະຫລອດ​ໄປ ອັນ​ນີ້​ແມ່ນ​ໜ້າ​ທີ່​ຂອງ​ເມຍ.

ຮອດປັດ​ຈຸ​ບັນ​ຄອບຄົວ​ລາວ​ ອ້າຍ​ນ້ອງ​ເພີ່ນ​ກໍຫລາຍ ​ແລະຫລານ​ນ້ອຍກະ​ຫລາຍ​ແຕ່​ກ່ອນ​ສົມບັດ​ຢູ່ ພວກ​ອ້າຍ​ພວກ​ນ້ອງ​ກໍ​ອາ​ໃສ​ເພີ່ນ ປັດຈຸບັນ​ຂ້ອຍ​ຍັງ​ມີ​ ຫລານ​ສາວ​ສອງ​ຄົນຢູ່​ນຳ​ຄອບຄົວສົ່ງ​ຂະ​ເຈົ້າ​ໄປ​ຮຽນ ຮັບຜິດ​ຊອບ​ຊີວິດ​ການ​ເປັນ​ຢູ່ຂອງ​ຫລານ​ສາວ​ສອງ​ຄົນ​ນີ້ ຫລັງ​ຈາກ​ເພີ່ນ​ຫາຍ​ໂຕ​ແລ້ວ ຂ້າພະ​ເຈົ້າ​ຍັງ​ສືບ​ຕໍ່ສືບ​ຕໍ່​ຄື​ເກົ່າ​ ຊ່ວຍ​ທຸກ​ຄົນ​ຢູ່​ໃນ​ຄອບຄົວຮັກ​ແພງ​ກັນ ຈັ່ງ​ຊັ້ນ​ຂ​ະ​ເຈົ້າ​ວ່າ ອັນໃດ​ກໍ​ຕາມ ສົມບັດ​ຢູ່ ຫລື​ບໍ່​ຢູ່ ເປັນຜູ້​ນຶ່ງ​ທີ່ຢູ່​ລາວ 30 ກວ່າ​ປີ​ແລ້ວ ຂ້າ​ພະ​ເຈົ້າ​ກໍ​ບໍ່​ຢາກ​ໜີບໍ່​ຢາກໄປ​ໃສ​ ລາວ ​ເປັນ​ບ້ານ​ຂອງ ຂ້າພະ​ເຈົ້າ ນອກຈາກ​ລາວ ຂ້ອຍ​ກໍ​ບໍ່​ຈັກ​ຊິໄປ​ໃສ ຂ້າພະ​ເຈົ້າ​ກັບໄປ ສິງກະ ໂປກະ​ໄດ້ ​ແຕ່​ວ່າ​ມັນ​ບໍ່​ຄື​ຢູ່​ລາວ.

ຖ້າວ່າ​ສົມບັດ​ໄດ້​ກັບ​ມາ​ແລ້ວ ຂ້າ​ພະ​ເຈົ້າ​ເປັນ​ຫ່ວງນຳ ສຸກຂະພາບ​ຂອງ​ເພີ່ນ​ເພີ່ນ​ກະ​ເຖົ້າ​ແລ້ວ​ແກ່​ແລ້ວ ອິກອັນ​ນຶ່ງ​ເພີ່ນ​ກະ​ມີ​ພະຍາດ ຈຳ​ເປັນ​ຂ້າພະ​ເຈົ້າ ​ກໍ​ຕ້ອງ​ສົ່ງ​ເພີ່ນ​ໄປ ​ກວດ​ສຸຂະ​ພາບ ບຳລຸງ​ສຸຂະພາບກ່ອນ ຖ້າ​ເປັນ​ໄປ​ໄດ້​ເຮົາ​ກະ​ຢາກ​ເມື່ອ​ລາວ ຖ້າວ່າ​ບໍ່​ມີ​ເງື່ອນ​ໄຂ ທີ່​ເມື່ອ​ເມືອງ​ລາວ ຈຳ​ເປັນ​ເຮົາ​ກະ​ຕ້ອງ​ຊອກ​ບ່ອນຢູ່ ຢູ່​ສິງກະ​ໂປ​ກໍ​ໄດ້ ຢູ່​ໃສ​ກໍ​ໄດ້ ຢາກ​ໄດ້​ແຕ່ ສົມບັດ ກັບ​ມາ.”
ດຣ Ng Shui Meng ອະດີດ ຜູ້​ຕາງໜ້າອົງການກອງທຶນເດັກຫຼື UNICEF ປະຈຳປະເທດ Timor ຕາເວັນອອກ ​ແລະ​ເປັນ​ພັນ​ລະ​ຍາ​ຂອງຜູ້ນຳ​ກຸ່​ມສັງຄົມ ພົນລະ​ເຮືອນ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມ​ພອນ ຜູ້ທີ່​ໄດ້​ຫາຍສາບສູນໄປ​ຢູ່​ໃນ ສປປ ລາວ​.​ ດຣ Shui Mengໄດ້ມາຢູ່​ເມືອງລາວກັບ ທ່ານສົມ​ບັດ ສົມ​ພອນ ມາແຕ່​ປີ 1986​ແລະ​ ມີ​ປະສົບ​ການ​ອັນ​ຍາວ​ນານ ພົວພັນ​ກັບເລື່ອງການ​ຊ່ວຍ​ເຫລືອ ​ແລະ ພັດທະນາ.

ທ່າ​ນນາງ ເຄີຍໄດ້​ເຮັດວຽກ​ໃຫ້​ແກ່ອົງການ​ UNICEF ຢູ່​ໃນລາວ ​ແລະ ຈີນ ນັບແຕ່​ປີ 1986ເປັນຕົ້ນມາ ຈົນໄດ້​ເປັນ​ຜູ້​ຕາງໜ້າຢູ່​ປະ​ເທດ Timor ຕາເວັນອອກ ຈາກ​ປີ2004 ຫາ 2008​.
ບັນດານັກຂ່າວ ທີ່ເຂົ້າຮ່ວມຟັງລາຍງານ
ບັນດານັກຂ່າວ ທີ່ເຂົ້າຮ່ວມຟັງລາຍງານ

ກ່ອນ​ມາ​ເຮັດ​ວຽກ​ກັບອົງການ​ທຶນ​ເດັກນ້ອຍ ດຣ. Shui Meng ​ໄດ້​ເປັນ​ນັກ​ຄົ້ນຄວ້າ​ອະ​ວຸໂສ​ຄົນ​ນຶ່ງ ທີ່ ສະ​ຖາ​ບັນ​ການ​ສຶກສາ ​ອາຊີ​ອາຄະ​ເນ ​ໃນ​ປະ​ເທດ ສິງກະ​ໂປ ຈາກ​ປີ 1976 ຫາ 1986. ດຣ Shui Meng ຍັງຈະດຳລົງ​ຊີວິດ ຢູ່​ໃນເມືອງລາວອີກ​ຕໍ່​ໄປ​ຈົນ​ກວ່າ​ຈະ​ໄດ້​ສາມີ​ຂອງ ທ່ານ​ນາງ​ກັບ​ຄືນ​ມາ.
  
Missing Lao Civil Society Leader’s Wife Urges Action on His Case

By Richard Finney
2014-04-29
Sombath's wife Ng Shui Meng speaking in Washington, April 29, 2014.
Sombath's wife Ng Shui Meng speaking in Washington, April 29, 2014.
http://www.rfa.org/english/news/laos/missing-04292014210149.html

Five hundred days after Laos civil society leader Sombath Somphone went missing at a police checkpoint, his wife called on the United States Tuesday to press the authorities in the Southeast Asian state for answers over his disappearance.
Ng Shui Meng, Sombath’s Singapore-born wife who is in Washington to highlight her husband’s case, said she hopes in meetings with congressional and White House staffers to “ask for whatever support they can give” to get to the bottom of the issue.
“I believe that Laos wants good relations with the U.S.,” Ng told reporters at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, calling on U.S. leaders to raise Sombath's case at regional summits.
“A statement from [U.S. President Barack] Obama or from [Secretary of State] John Kerry when they attend critical meetings, ASEAN meetings … would be very good,” Ng said, referring to future gatherings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to which Laos belongs.

“I’m not sure what more can be done,” Ng said.
Sombath, 63, has been missing since Dec. 15, 2012, when he was stopped in his vehicle at a police checkpoint in the Lao capital Vientiane. He was then transferred into another vehicle, according to police surveillance video, and has not been heard from since.
Five hundred days after Sombath’s disappearance, “I am completely in the dark,” Ng said.

Lao officials say only that they are investigating the case and have denied involvement in the well-respected community development worker’s disappearance, suggesting he may have been kidnapped by “criminal elements,” Ng said.

‘My only desire is to see my husband return’

“For me, I’m not interested in who has taken Sombath, I’m only interested in getting Sombath back,” she said. “My only desire is to see my husband return.”

“Sombath is a Lao citizen, he was last seen at a police kiosk in Vientiane, and so I am appealing to the government to use all their resources to [find] the kidnappers,” she said.
Ng noted that Laos has growing economic and political links to other countries in Southeast Asia and outside the region and seeks membership on the U.N. Human Rights Council. It is also set to chair a meeting of ASEAN in two years’ time.
“[But] Sombath’s case has already drawn some negative impact on the image of Laos,” Ng said.
“I believe that it’s good to continue to engage the Lao government and persuade them that if something like this can be resolved quickly, it will be in the best interest of the country.”
Sombath was the recipient of the 2005 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership—Asia’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize—for his work in the fields of education and development.
Laos has turned down international requests to provide assistance in the investigations into Sombath's disappearance, including a U.S. offer to provide technical help to enhance the quality of some blurry images of the surveillance video footage.

Lao media silent

Meanwhile, Sombath’s case has gone unreported in Lao media, “despite the hundreds of articles that have been published on the case” elsewhere, Ng said.
“There seems to be a wall of silence that’s fallen inside the country,” she said, adding that people fear discussing Sombath’s case and that the space for civil society work in Laos has now “narrowed.”
Civil society groups now need more government approvals to pursue their projects, Ng said.
“They have to make sure all their papers are in order before they continue their work. Some civil society groups have scaled back,” she said.
“Others have continued, but with caution.”

New post on Sombath Somphone | ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ 

Participants at APF in Yangon speak out for Sombathby rsbtws Over 3,000 people from the ASEAN region gathered together from March 21–23 for the ASEAN Civil Society Conference and ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF). The conference in Yangon was the largest ACSC/APF event since its inception in 2005, as well as the largest of its kind in Myanmar’s recent history. Entitled “Advancing ASEAN People’s Solidarity Toward Sustainable Peace, Development, Justice and Democratization,” the conference included plenaries and 35 workshops under four clusters: Peace, Development, Justice and Human Rights, and Democratization. Read more of this post


                                                                                                                                                                                    On 26 March 2014, the Australian Senate approved a motion calling on the Lao Government to:

…undertake an immediate and credible investigation of Mr Somphone’s disappearance, and willingly cooperate with the international community, including the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance.       
The motion was introduced by Senator Christine Milne from Tasmania and Leader of the parliamentary caucus of the Green Party, and passed with the full support of all parties. The full motion can be seen on the Parliament of Australia website, or in PDF format. Melissa Parke, a Member of the House of Representatives from Fremantle, Western Australia, also gave the following remarks: Today, I would like to raise the disappearance in Laos of Mr Sombath Somphone, a leading humanitarian and community development worker. As evidenced by CCTV footage on 15 December 2012, Mr Somphone was abducted after being pulled over for questioning by state police in Vientiane.The Laos government has asserted that there was no official involvement in his disappearance, but there does not appear to have been an investigation into his whereabouts. There are a number of critical questions that remain unanswered in relation to the CCTV footage; yet, the Laos government has refused the offer of technical assistance by several countries to examine the CCTV footage.The issue has been raised by successive US secretaries of state, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, by the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, by the European Parliament and by 62 NGOs, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.We have a role to ensure that universal human rights are observed and upheld across the world but particularly in those places where we might have some influence. Australia is one of Laos’ major aid donors. I encourage my parliamentary colleagues and the government to visit the website—www.sombath.org—that sets out the social justice contributions of Mr Somphone to the wellbeing of his fellow Lao citizens and the worrying circumstances of his disappearance; to join in international calls for the government of Laos to undertake prompt, transparent and thorough investigations in accordance with their obligations under international human rights law; and to ensure the immediate and safe return of Sombath Somphone to his family and community.
aust_res_3_26_14.pdf (PDF — 29 KB)


LAO
English

ຣາຍງານສິດທິມະນຸສໃນລາວ
ສົມເນ
2014-02-28
 
ທ່ານ John F. Kerry ຣັຖມົນຕຣີ ການຕ່າງປະເທດ ສະຫະຣັດ 
ອະເມຣິກາ US State department

ທ່ານ John Kerry ຮັຖມົນຕຣີຕ່າງປະເທດສະຫະຣັຖຖະແຫລງ
ໃນຣາຍງານການປະຕິບັດສິດທິມະນຸດປີ2013
ໃນທົ່ວໂລກໃນວັນທີ
27ກຸມພາ ວ່າ:ປີນີ້ຄົບຮອບຂີດໝາຍ 65 ປີຂອງການ ປະກາດ ສິດທິມະນຸດສາກົນ.
ທ່ານວ່າຣາຍງານຂອງກະຊວງການຕ່າງປະເທດສະຫະຣັຖອະເມຣິກາ ກ່ຽວກັບການປະຕິບັດສິດທິມະນຸດໃນແຕ່ລະປະເທດນັ້ນໄດ້ເນັ້ນ
ໃສ່ການສືບຕໍ່ 
ສະແຫວງຫາສິດທິເສຣີພາບແລະຄວາມສະເໝີພາບແບບມີສັກ ສີຂອງສິດທິມະນຸດ.
ສໍາລັບການປະຕິບັດສິດທິມະນຸດໃນລາວ,
ຣາຍງານໄດ້ຣະບຸໂດຍຫຍໍ້ວ່າສປປລາວຍັງ 
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ປະຕິວັດລາວທີ່ຣັຖ ທັມ ມະນູນຮັບຮູ້.
ການເລືອກຕັ້ງເມື່ອປີ2011ຖືວ່າບໍ່ເສຣີບໍ່ເປັນທັມ.ອໍານາດການປົກ ຄອງ ຄວບຄຸມກໍາລັງຮັກສາຄວາມປອດພັຍ ຢາງມີປະສິດທິພາບ, 
ເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ ຮັກສາຄວາມ 
ປອດພັຍບາງຄົນໃຊ້ອໍານາດເກີນຂອບທາງສິດທິມະນຸດ.
ບັນຫາສິດທິມະນຸດໂຕທີ່ສໍາຄັນທີ່ສຸດຍັງມີຢູ່ຕໍ່ໄປ.
ຣັຖບານປະຕິເສດບໍ່ໃຫ້ປະຊາຊົນມີ ສິດໃນການປ່ຽນຣັຖບານ,ສະພາບຄຸກຂັງໃນບາງແຫ່ງຍັງ 
ໂຫດຫ້ຽມຢູ່,ແລະການ 
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ໃຫ້ຂາດຂັ້ນຕອນການດໍາເນີນ 
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ບັນຫາສິດທິມະນຸດອື່ນໆກໍມີການ
ໃຊ້ຄວາມຮຸນແຮງຕໍ່ນັກໂທດໂ
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ຣັຖບານຈໍາກັດສິດ 
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ໃນສັງຄົມດ້ານເພດວັຍແລະຕໍ່ຜູ້ຕິດ 
ເຊື້ອໂຣຄHIV ແລະເປັນ AIDS.
ຣັຖບານບໍ່ເອົາມາຕການດໍາເນີນຄະດີແລະລົງ
ໂທດພະນັກງານຣັຖເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ຕໍາຫຣວດແລະເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ຮັກ ສາຄວາມປອດພັຍທີ່ເຮັດຄວາມຜິດໃນການໃຊ້ອໍານາດເກີນຂອບເຂດ.
ຣາຍງານການປະຕິບັດສິດທິມະນຸດໃນລາວມີທັງໝົດ26ໜ້າເຈັ້ຽ.













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Disappearance of Sombath Somphone
CCTV footage showing the abduction of Sombath Somphone outside a police post in Vientiane, Laos, evening of 15th Dec 2012. More information is here: www.Sombath.org.
  

Kidnapping In Laos Affects Civil Society
http://www.eugeneweekly.com/20140417/news-briefs/kidnapping-laos-affects-civil-society#.U16LgXw-JPE.facebook

Article | | By Camilla Mortensen 
 Sombath Somphone is “one of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s most respected civil society figures,” according  to a December 2013 press statement from Secretary of State John Kerry on the one year anniversary of Sombath’s disappearance. Sombath was kidnapped from a police checkpoint in Laos and has not been heard from since. Sombath’s wife, Ng Shui-Meng, will be speaking about her husband’s disappearance and the challenges to free speech and human rights in Laos and in the rest of Southeast Asia while in Eugene on Monday, April 21. “Laos has taken steps in recent years to become a responsible partner in the community of nations,” Kerry writes. “Sombath’s abduction threatens to undermine those efforts.”  Ng Shui-Meng says that while some have called Sombath the “Nelson Mandela of Laos,” her husband was never involved in politics. He worked in nonviolence and consensus building, she says, and always worked with the approval of government officials. Sombath established the Participatory Development Training Center in Laos, which works to train young people and local government officials in community-based development.  She says one link to Sombath’s disappearance could be his involvement in the Asia Europe People’s Forum (AEPF9) that took place from Oct. 16 to 19, 2012, in Vientiane, Laos, as part of his civil society work. Civil society groups are non-governmental organizations and other groups working on issues including health, education and living standards in both developed and developing nations.  The forum sought to promote universal social protection and access to essential services, food sovereignty and sustainable land and natural resource management, sustainable energy production and use, and just work and sustainable livelihoods, according to the AEPF9 website. Ng Shui-Meng, who is also involved in civil society work, is in the U.S. to promote awareness of Sombath’s disappearance in hopes of his safe return, she says. She says she will talk about who her husband is and the type of work he has being doing the last 30 years, what happened the day of his abduction as well as the aftermath and impact on the civil society movement. “In Laos there is not much media freedom, freedom of organization or freedom of assembly,” she says. Ng Shui-Meng speaks at 6 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 1685 W. 13th Ave.  





  Missing Lao activist's wife speaks out, appeals for information 
Updated 7 March 2014, 13:43 AEST, 
Missing Lao activist's wife speaks out, appeals for information
(Credit: ABC)
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 The wife of abducted Lao rights advocate Sombath Somphone has called on Australia to help maintain the pressure on Laos to do more to resolve the case. Missing Lao activist's wife speaks out, appeals for information (Credit: ABC)  Since Mr Sombath disappeared 15 months ago, Ng Shui Meng has campaigned tirelessly to find out what happened. Her husband's disappearance from a police post in central Vientiane generated an international outcry by donor governments, rights groups and NGOs for his safe return. The Lao government says it is continujng to pursue the case, but little progress has been reported. Ng Shui Meng has also appealed for anyone in Laos with information to come forward. Presenter:Sen Lam Speaker: Ng Shui Meng, wife of Sombath Somphone, retired academic and former UNICEF representative to East Timor NG: The reason why I've accepted to speak on Sombath is that over the last 15 months, there were a lot of reports on Sombath, some of them were not very accurate in depicting the kind of person he is or the kind of work he has done. So I want to put right what Sombath's work is and the kind of person he is basically to clarify things to the public out there. As to going back to Laos, I have not done anything wrong and assume the government would understand that my speaking about Sombath's disappearance is basically about a fact. He has disappeared, the government has acknowledged that he has disappeared and the government has also promised to conduct an investigation around his disappearance and to try and find him. LAM: Have you made any inquiries with the Laos authorities as to the progress of their investigations into Sombath's disappearance? NG: Yes, I have kept in touch with the police team responsible for the investigation of Sombath's case. I have asked them whether they have any updates for me. Unfortunately, up to now, they told me they still have no new information, except that the police are still conducting the investigation. LAM: And, of course, it's been about a year-and-a-half since Sombath disappeared? NG: Yes, it's 15 months. LAM: The case, of course, is widely reported internationally and indeed all reports say that Sombath was taken away after being stopped at a police post in Vientiane and that it was captured on CCTV, but the Laos government has denied any involvement in the disappearance and indeed has refused any outside help in scrutinising or analysing the footage. How do you feel about this? NG: I'm in no position to understand the various systems at work in Laos. The government said that the state is not responsible. I will have to trust whatever the government has stated publicly and I have appealed to the government right from the beginning and continue to appeal to the Lao government to use all its resources and capacities to conduct an investigation as speedily as possible and identify the perpetrators, find Sombath and return him safely. As an ordinary citizen, I just have to put my trust in what the government has promised to do. LAM: Australia, of course, is a major aid donor to Laos. Do you think the Australian government should perhaps be more assertive in making the Lao authorities more accountable and also perhaps nurture or encourage more democratic space in Laos? NG: I think Australia is a very good friend of Laos. I believe that the Lao government consider Australia a very strong ally and has to... LAM: But do think the Australian government can offer any assistance in getting at the truth of what happened to your husband, what happened to Sombath? NG: I believe that the Australian government through its embassy has also made inquiries, as to what else the Australian government can do or the Australian public can do I think that Sombath's case should continue to be an item on their bilateral discussion and also something for the Australian public, interested Australian public to continue to raise the issue, so that Sombath's case does not disappear from the public view. LAM: Do you hope to see any Australian government officials to make your case heard with them? NG: I have had the opportunity to meet with a number of Australian representatives, I have also urged them in my meeting to please use the good office of the Australian government to continue to pursue this case. The representatives whom I met have all agreed that they will not forget Sombath and the case will be something that they will continue to pursue with the Laos government. LAM: And Shui Meng, you have been campaigning for a thorough investigation into Sombath's disappearance and it's been a year-and-a-half. It's not a journey that anyone should take on their own. What kind of support do you have back in Laos? NG: The journey has been a very hard one. It's not easy to go on day-after-day not knowing where Sombath is and there has been no information and no news, so it is a daily struggle. But I have been fortunate to have strong family support in the form of Sombath's family and they are, we are all united in our aspirations, in our hope to find Sombath and get to the bottom of what happened to him. Externally, I have a lot of friends, both in the region as well as abroad who have shown great solidarity and they have all been great friends to me, but also they have been so supportive because they know Sombath. They know about him, they know who he is, they know about his work, they admire him for his long years of work in community development and his devotion and commitment to improve the lives of ordinary Laos people and they have offered me a lot of support and solace during this very, very difficult time. LAM: And do you find some comfort in the fact that not just the international media, but also parliamentarians in democracies, like the European countries, for instance, are keeping the issue alive and indeed, an European Union representative visited Laos last year. What did they tell you, what sort of information have you received from them? NG: Indeed, the support by the international community and governments, including the EU, and also Australia has been very comforting. Every time there is a foreign dignitary that comes to visit Laos, they have asked to meet me and I would always be ready to meet with them. They reassured me that Sombath continues to be an important issue in their bilateral discussion with the Lao government and for which I'm very grateful. To the Australian listeners and to those who have followed the case and have shown their support. I want to thank them sincerely from the bottom of my heart, not only for myself, but from the entire Somphone family. But I also have a message for the Lao people for the Lao listeners. I know that in Laos, there are many people who are also concerned about Sombath's disappearance and there are many good people in and outside government. I also appeal to them, if they have any information whatsoever, to please send the information to us, to my family. It has been too long. It has been an agony not to hear anything.




ສາກົນທັກທ້ວງຜູ້ນໍາລາວ ເຣື້ອງ ທ.ສົມບັດ
2013-12-16
ຊາວອະເມຣິກັນ ໃນນະຄອນ ນິວຢອກ ສະຫະຣັດ ຖືປ້າຍຖາມຫາ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດຢູ່ໃສ?
ຊາວອະເມຣິກັນ ໃນນະຄອນ ນິວຢອກ ສະຫະຣັດ ຖືປ້າຍຖາມຫາ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດຢູ່ໃສ?
Sombath Somphone & Beyond Project
ເນື່ອງໃນວັນ ຄົບຮອບ 1 ປີ ຂອງການ ຫາຍສາບສູນ ຂອງ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ສະຫະພັນ ສາກົນ ເພື່ອ ສິດທິມະນຸດ 62 ອົງການ ທີ່ບໍ່ຂື້ນ ກັບ ຣັຖບານ ໃນ ພູມີພາກ ແລະ ທົ່ວໂລກ ໄດ້ອອກ ຖແລງການ ຮຽກຮ້ອງ ແລະ ທວງໃຫ້ ຣັຖບານລາວ ສືບສວນ ການຖືກ ບັງຄັບ ໃຫ້ຫາຍສາບສູນ ຂອງ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ອີກໃຫມ່.ເມື່ອວັນທີ່ 13 ທັນວາ 62 ອົງການບໍ່ຂຶ້ນກັບຣັຖບານ ໄດ້ອອກຖແລງການສະແດງ ຄວາມບໍ່ພໍໃຈທີ່ຣັຖບານລາວ ບໍ່ສາມາດໃຫ້ຄວາມກະຈ່າງ ແຈ້ງກ່ຽວກັບການຫາຍສາບສູນ ຂອງ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ນັກພັທນາ ຊຸມຊົນ ໂດຍມີໃຈຄວາມດັ່ງນີ້: 

ວັນທີ 15 ທັນວາ ປີ 2013 ເປັນວັນຄົບຮອບ 1 ປີ ຂອງການຫາຍສາບສູນ ຂອງທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ. ຄັ້ງສຸດທ້າຍທີ່ຍັງເຫັນທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ຢູ່ນະຄອນຫລວງວຽງຈັນ ແມ່ນຕອນແລງຂອງວັນທີ່ 15 ທັນວາ 2012. ຮູບພາບວີດີໂອໃນກ້ອງວົງຈອນປິດ ບອກວ່າ ເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ ຕໍາຣວດຢຸດລົດທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ຢູ່ສະຖານີຕໍາຣວດ. ພາຍໃນບໍ່ເທົ່າໃດນາທີ ຫລັງຈາກຖືກຢຸດລົດແລ້ວ ບຸກຄົນທີ່ບໍ່ຊາບຝ່າຍ ບັງຄັບທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ຂືຶ້ນລົດ ອີກຄັນນຶ່ງແລ້ວຂັບໜີໄປ.ຈາກການວິເຄາະຮູບພາບວີດີໂອ ກ້ອງວົງຈອນປິດ ສະແດງອອກມາວ່າ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ຖືກເອົາໂຕໄປຕໍ່ໜ້າຕໍ່ຕາເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ຕໍາຣວດ. ຫລັກ ຖານຄວາມຈິງທີ່ເຫັນຢູ່ນີ້ ບອກເຖິງການສົມຮູ້ຮ່ວມຄິດຂອງຣັຖບານ ເຖິງແມ່ນວ່າ ຄໍາໝັ້ນສັນຍາ ຂອງຣັຖບານລາວວ່າ ຈະສືບສວນການ ຫາຍສາບສູນ ຂອງທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ໃຫ້ລະອຽດຖີ່ຖ້ວນແລະຈິງຈັງກໍດີ ການສືບສວນຂອງທາງການນັ້ນບໍ່ພຽງພໍ ແລະບໍ່ໄດ້ຜົນ. ໃນວັນທີ່ 18 ມົກກະຣາ ປີ 2013, 62 ອົງການບໍ່ຂື້ນກັບຣັຖບານໃນພູມີພາກ ແລະທົ່ວໂລກ ໄດ້ລົງນາມຮ່ວມກັນໃນຈົດໝາຍ ສົ່ງຫາທ່ານ ທອງສິງ ທັມມະວົງ ນາຍົກຣັຖມົນຕຣີລາວ ສະແດງຄວາມເປັນຫ່ວງນໍາການ ຫາຍສາບສູນ ຂອງທ່ານ ສົມບັດ.ນັບແຕ່ນັ້ນມາ ເຖິງແມ່ນວ່າມີການຮຽກຮ້ອງຢ່າງກ້ວາງຂວາງຈາກນານາຊາຕ ເພື່ອເອົາທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ກັບຄືນມາ, ໃນນັ້ນກໍມີທັງສະຫະພາບ ຢູໂຣບ, ຣັຖສະພາອາຊຽນ, ສະຫະຣັຖອະເມຣິກາ ແລະຫ້ອງການ ກໍາມາທິການສິດທິມະນຸດສະຫະປະຊາຊາຕກໍດີ, ກ່ຽວກັບວ່າ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດສົມພອນຢູ່ໃສນັ້ນ, ຍັງເປັນທີ່ບໍ່ຮູ້ຈັກຢູ່ ແລະບໍ່ມີຜົນຄືບໜ້າໃນການສືບສວນການຖືກບັງຄັບໃຫ້ຫາຍສາບສູນນັ້ນເລີຽ. ຍັງບໍ່ເທົ່ານັ້ນ ທາງການລາວ ໄດ້ປະຕິເສດຂໍ້ສະເໜີ ຊ່ວຍເຫລືອ ດ້ານເທັກນິກ ເພື່ອວິເຄາະຮູບພາບວີດີໂອ.ຖແລງການກ່າວຕໍ່ໄປວ່າ: ໃນລະຍະ 30 ປີມານີ້ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດໄດ້ກົດດັນໃຫ້ມີການຂະຫຍາຍໂຕຂອງພື້ນທີ່ການຈັດຕັ້ງທາງສັງຄົມ ແລະສິດ ທິຂອງຊາວຊົນນະບົດຜູ້ທຸກຍາກ ແລະຊາວຫນຸ່ມນ້ອຍ ໃຫ້ມີສຽງ ຫລື ຄວາມເຫັນຂອງເຂົາເຈົ້າໃນການພັທນາສັງຄົມ ແລະການປົກຄອງ. ໃນລະຍະເວລາສັ້ນໆ ກ່ອນການຫາຍສາບສູນຂອງທ່ານ, ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ໄດ້ມີບົດບາດສໍາຄັນໃນການຈັດເວທີ ປະຊາຊົນ ເອເຊັຽ-ຢູໂຣບ ຊຶ່ງເປັນເວທີຂອງ ການຈັດຕັ້ງທາງສັງຄົມ ກ່ອນໜ້າກອງປະຊຸມສຸດຍ້ອນຜູ້ນໍາ ເອເຊັຽ-ຢູໂຣບ ມີຂຶ້ນ. ຢູ່ເວທີກອງປະຊຸມນັ້ນ ບັນຫາທີ່ດິນ ແລະນໍ້າ, ແລະບັນຫາການລົງທຶນຕ່າງປະເທດທີ່ຂາດລະບຽບຫລັກການ ທີ່ດີ ແລະນາບຂູ່ຕໍ່ຊີວິດການເປັນຢູ່ ຂອງປະຊາຊົນ ໄດ້ຖືກນໍາ ມາສົນທະນາກັນ ເປັນຄັ້ງທໍາອິດໃນລາວ. ການຫາຍສາບສູນຂອງ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ບໍ່ແມ່ນເຫດການທີ່ເກີດຂຶ້ນໂດຍ ບັງເອີນ ແຕ່ສະເພາະ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດແຕ່ຜູ້ດຽວເທົ່ານັ້ນ.ມາຮອດທຸກມື້ນີ້ ໂຊກຊາຕາກັມ ຂອງຄົນ 9 ຄົນ, ແມ່ຍິງ ສອງຄົນ ນາງກິ່ງແກ້ວ ແລະສົມຈິດ, ຜູ້ຊາຍ 7 ຄົນ ທ້າວ ສຸບິນ, ສວນ, ສິນປະສົງ, ຄໍາສອນ, ນູ, ສົມຄິດ, ແລະສຸຣິຍາ ຖືກເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ຮັກສາຄວາມປອດພັຍ ຈັບໄປກັກໂຕໄວ້ຢ່າງບໍ່ມີເຫດຜົນ ເມື່ອເດືອນພຶສຈິກາ ໂດຍຍັງບໍ່ຮູ້ຈັກວ່າຢູ່ໃສ ມີສະພາບແນວໃດ. ຄົນທັງ 9 ຄົນນີ້ ມີແຜນວ່າຈະທໍາການປະທ້ວງແບບສັນຕິ ເພື່ອຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ມີປະຊາທິປະຕັຍ ແລະເຄົາຣົບສິດທິມະນຸດ ທີ່ຍັງບໍ່ຮູ້ໂຊກຊາຕາກັມອີກກໍມີ ທ້າວ ສົມພອນ ຂັນຕິສຸກ ເຈົ້າຂອງບ້ານພັກ ການທ່ອງທ່ຽວທັມມະຊາຕຜູ້ທີ່ຕໍານິ ໂຄງການກະສິກັມ ທີ່ຈີນສນັບສນູນ ຊຶ່ງທໍາລາຍ ສິ່ງແວດລ້ອມຢູ່ແຂວງຫລວງນໍ້າທາ ພາກເໜືອຂອງປະເທດ. ທ້າວ ສົມພອນຖືກຫາຍສາບ ສູນຫລັງຈາກເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ ລັກພາໂຕລາວໄປ ເມື່ອເດືອນມົກກະຣາ ປີ 2007.ຖແລງການກ່າວຕໍ່ໄປວ່າ ຄວາມລົ້ມເຫລວຂອງຣັຖບານລາວໃນການສືບສວນກໍຣະນີການບັງຄັບໃຫ້ຫາຍສາບສູນເລົ່ານີ້ ລະເມີດໜ້າທີ່ພາລະ ກິດຂອງສປປ ລາວ ພາຍໃຕ້ມາຕຣາ 2 (3) ຂອງອານຸສົນທິສັນຍາ ສາກົນ ວ່າດ້ວຍສິດທິພົລເມືຶອງ ແລະສິດທິທາງການເມືອງ (iccpr) ຊຶ່ງສປປ ລາວ ເປັນຣັຖພາຄີ. ອານຸສົນທິສັນຍານີ້ ຣະບຸວ່າຣັຖບານທຸກປະເທດຕ້ອງໃຫ້ຄໍາຕອບທີ່ມີປະສິດທິພາບ ສໍາລັບການລະເມີດ ສິດທິ ທີ່ຮັບປະກັນໂດຍຂໍ້ຕົກລົງນີ້ ຮ່ວມທັງສິດທິທາງເສຣີພາບ ແລະຄວາມປອດພັຍຂອງບຸກຄົນ. ທັງໝົດ 62 ອົງການບໍ່ຂຶ້ນກັບຣັຖບານ ໄດ້ຮຽກ ຮ້ອງຕໍ່ຣັຖບານລາວດັ່ງຕໍ່ໄປນີ້.1- ໃຫ້ຕັ້ງກໍາມາທິການວຽກສະເພາະໃໝ່ ແລະຈັດຕັ້ງປະຕິບັດວຽກງານຢ່າງຮີບດ່ວນ ລະອຽດຖີ່ຖ້ວນ, ມີຄວາມອິສຣະ, ແລະການສືບສວນທີ່ ເປັນທັມ ບໍ່ເຂົ້າຂ້າງອອກຂາ ກໍຣະນີຖືກບັງຄັບໃຫ້ຫາຍສາບສູນຂອງ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ແລະເອົາທ່ານກັບຄືນໃຫ້ຄອບຄົວຂອງທ່ານ ດ້ວຍຄວາມປອດພັຍ.2. ໃຫ້ຣະບຸໂຕແລະລົງໂທດ ຜູ້ທີ່ຮັບຜິດຊອບການບັງຄັບໃຫ້ທ່ານ ສົມບັດຫາຍສາບສູນ3. ໃຫ້ດໍາເນີນການສືບສວນຢ່າງຖີ່ຖ້ວນ, ເປັນທັມບໍ່ເຂົ້າຂ້າງອອກຂາ, ແລະມີປະສິດທິພາບຕໍ່ທຸກໆຂໍ້ຫາຂອງການຖືກບັງຄັບໃຫ້ຫາຍສາບສູນ.4. ໃຫ້ເຊື້ອເຊີນຄະນະເຮັດວຽກຂອງສະຫະປະຊາຊາຕ ກ່ຽວກັບການຖືກບັງຄັບໃຫ້ຫາຍສາບສູນ ໄປຢ້ຽມຢາມລາວ5. ໃຫ້ສປປ ລາວ ໃຫ້ສັຕຍາບັນສົນທິສັນຍາເພື່ອການປົກປ້ອງບຸກຄົນທຸກຄົນຈາກການຖືກບັງຄັບໃຫ້ຫາຍສາບສູນ6. ໃຫ້ສປປລາວເຄົາລົບແລະປົກປ້ອງສິດທິຂອງຜູ້ປ້ອງກັນສິດທິມະນຸດທຸກຄົນ, ນັກເຄື່ອນໄຫວ, ແລະສະມາຊິກການຈັດຕັ້ງທາງສັງຄົມ. ນອກນັ້ນ ຍັງຮຽກຮ້ອງເຖິງປະຊາຄົມນານາຊາຕ ໂດຍສະເພາະ ປະເທດ ສະມາຊິກສະຫະພາບຢູໂຣບ ປະເທດສະມາຊິກອາຊຽນ ແລະ ສະຫະຣັຖ ໃຫ້1. ຍົກເອົາບັນຫາ ການຖືກບັງຄັບໃຫ້ຫາຍສາບສູນຂອງທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ຕໍ່ຣັຖບານລາວ ແບບລະຫ່ວາງ 2 ປະເທດ ແລະໃນເວທີ ຫລາຍປະເທດ2. ໃຫ້ຮຽກຮ້ອງໄປຍັງຣັຖບານລາວ ປ່ອຍນັກໂທດການເມືອງທຸກໆຄົນຢ່າງຮີບດ່ວນ ແລະດໍາເນີນການສືບສວນຢ່າງຄັກແນ່ ແນໃສ່ ຄວາມ ປອດພັຍແລະການກັບຄືນມາຂອງຜູ້ທີ່ໄດ້ຮັບເຄາະກັມ ຈາກການຖືກ ບັງຄັບ ໃຫ້ຫາຍສາບສູນ ມາຍັງຄອບຄົວຂອງເຂົາເຈົ້າ.3. ໃຫ້ກົດດັນທາງການເມືອງແລະເສຖກິດຕໍ່ຣັຖບານລາວເພື່ອຮັບປະກັນໃຫ້ມີການສົ່ງເສີມການປະຕິຮູບທີ່ຮັບປະກັນຄວາມເຄົາລົບ ສິດທິ ພື້ນຖານມະນຸດຕາມພາລະໜ້າທີ່ຮັບຜິດຊອບຂອງລາວຕໍ່ສາກົນ.ຖແລງການທີ່ລົງນາມໂດຍ 62 ອົງການບໍ່ຂຶ້ນກັບຣັຖບານດັ່ງກ່າວ ໄດ້ນໍາສົ່ງໄປຍັງຣັຖບານລາວ ແລະທຸກອົງການຈັດຕັ້ງສາກົນ ແລະອົງ ການທີ່ບໍ່ຂຶ້ນກັບຣັຖບານໃນພູມີພາກ ແລະໃນໂລກ ທີ່ກ່ຽວຂ້ອງ  ເພື່ອຊາບ.

  
One Year Anniversary of Lao Civil Society Leader Sombath Somphone’s Disappearance
http://laos.usembassy.gov/pres_dec152013pres.html#.Url1tspQzAg.facebook
 Dec 16, 2013 
Secretary Kerry issused a statement marking one year of Mr. Sombath Somphone's disappearance
Secretary Kerry issused a statement marking one year of Mr. Sombath Somphone's disappearance
Sombath Somphone, one of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s most respected civil society figures, was abducted on the evening of December 15, 2012 from a Lao police checkpoint in Vientiane.  Today marks the one-year anniversary of this deplorable event, which was recorded on Lao Government surveillance cameras.  The United States remains deeply concerned over Sombath’s fate.  Our thoughts are with Sombath’s family, friends, and the countless others in the international community who have been inspired by Sombath’s exemplary leadership and devotion to his country. We welcome the recent statement by Lao President Choummaly Sayasone that the Lao Government is very concerned about Sombath’s disappearance and would continue its investigation and take all measures necessary to resolve the case.  We look forward to learning the results of a full, thorough, and transparent investigation. The United States values its partnership with Laos on a wide range of issues – including unexploded ordnance removal, health, education, combating trafficking in persons, environment, justice reform, counternarcotics, trade, and the search for our missing in action – and we wish to work constructively with Laos to protect human rights and promote the rule of law. Laos has taken steps in recent years to become a responsible partner in the community of nations.  Sombath’s abduction threatens to undermine those efforts.  We call on the government to take all actions possible to ensure his safe return to his family.  
ອັງກິດທວງຄວາມເປັນທັມໃຫ້ ທ.ສົມບັດ 

2013-12-17
ທ່ານ Hugo Swire ຣັຖມົນຕຣີ ການຕ່າງປະເທດຂອງອັງກິດ
ຣັຖມົນຕຣີຫ້ອງການຕ່າງປະເທດອັງກິດໄດ້ສະແດງຄວາມເປັນຫວ່ງໃນວັນຄອບຮອບນຶ່ງປີ ໃນການຫາຍສາບສູນຂອງ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ທີ່ນະຄອນຫລວງວຽງຈັນ. ທ່ານກ່າວວ່າ ທ່ານມີຄວາມກັງວົນ ຢ່າງຫນັກກ່ຽວກັບການລັກພາຕົວຂອງທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ໃນວັນທີ 15 ທັນວາ 2012. ເປັນເວລາວນຶ່ງປີແລ້ວ ຫລັງຈາກທີ່ທ່ານສົມບັດ ຖືກລັກພາຕົວ ຈົນເທົ່າເຖິງທຸກມື້ນີ້ຄອບຄົວຂອງຜູ້ ກ່ຽວກໍຍັງບໍ່ຮູ້ຮ່ອງຮອຍວ່າ ມີຫຍັງເກີດຂື້ນກັບລາວ.ທ່ານວ່າສີ່ງດັ່ງກ່າວເປັນທີ່ຍອມຮັບບໍ່ໄດ້ ແລະຢາກຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ທາງການເຈົ້າຫນ້າທີ່ລາວເລັ່ງລັດ ໃນການສືບສວນກ່ຽວກັບການຫາຍສາບສູນ ຢ່າງຈິງຈັງເພື່ອນຳເອົາຜູ້ທໍາຜິດມາລົງໂທດຕາມກົດຫມາຍບ້ານເມືອງ. ຄວາມໂປ່ງໄສ ແລະຄວາມຄືບຫນ້າໃນການສືບສວນ ຈະສົ່ງພາບພົດ ທາງບວກໃຫ້ແກ່ປະຊາຄົມສາກົນທີ່ວ່າລາວຍັງຍຶດຫມັ້ນໃນການ ເປັນປະເທດທີ່ນັບຖືຣະບົບກົດຫມາຍຢູ່. ມັນມີຄວາມສໍາຄັນຢ່າງຍິ່ງທີ່ປະຊາ ຊົນລາວແລະປະຊາຄົມໂລກ ຈະສາມາດໄດ້ຮັບຄວາມໂປ່ງໄສ ຄວາມຍຸຕິທັມ ແລະການປົກຄອງແບບຣະບົບກົດຫມາຍ ຢ່າງແທ້ຈິງໃນລາວ.ໃນຂນະດຽວກັນ ສະຫະພາບຢູໂຣບ ກໍອອກຖແລງການໃຫ້ລາວອ້າງອີິງຫລັກຖານ ໃນການສືບສວນຫາທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ໃນຣະຍະທີ່ ຜ່ານມາ.
  
UN OHCHR renews calls for investigation

 http://sombath.org/2013/12/16/un-ohchr-renews-calls-for-investigation/
 

A year on, the enforced disappearance of Sombath Somphone continues with impunity in Lao PDR
GENEVA (16 December 2013) – A group of United Nations human rights experts today urged the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) to increase its efforts in the investigations into the enforced disappearance on 15 December 2012, of Sombath Somphone, a prominent human right activist working on issues of land confiscation and assisting victims in denouncing such practices.
“Mr. Somphone has been disappeared for one year. We are deeply concerned about his safety and security”, the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances said. “We urge the Government of Lao PDR to do its utmost to locate Mr. Somphone, to establish his fate and whereabouts, and to hold the perpetrators accountable.”
The human rights experts noted that Mr. Somphone was held in police custody following his reported disappearance, according to additional information received that sheds new light on the case. A few days after his disappearance, he was seen inside a police detention centre with his car parked in the police compound.
Two days later, he was reportedly moved to a military camp outside Vientiane, and then transferred again to an unknown location one week later. It was further reported that, a few days following his disappearance, relevant Government officials said that Mr. Somphone would be released.
It has also been reported, the experts pointed out, that the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage, which recorded the incident of the abduction of Mr. Somphone on 15 December 2012, has not been analysed by any independent body. “We call on the Government of Lao PDR to accept external technical assistance to analyse the original CCTV footage of the incident,” they said.
“Defenders play a key role in promoting human rights and their legitimate work should be fully respected,” the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, said. “Mr. Somphone’s disappearance might have a chilling effect on human rights defenders operating in the country, owing to his high profile at the national and international levels.”
The Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, called on the Government of Lao PDR “to fully cooperate with the Human Rights Council and its Special Procedures, particularly as it seeks election to the Human Rights Council for 2016.”
Mr. Maina Kiai expressed deep regret over the lack of response of the Lao PDR to his letters dated 12 December 2011 and 30 October 2013 requesting an invitation to visit the country.


NGO speak out

We, the undersigned 62 regional and international organizations, express outrage over the Lao Government’s ongoing failure to shed light on the enforced disappearance of prominent activist and civil society leader Sombath Somphone.
62 Non-governmental organizations have released a statement calling for a new investigation into the enforced disappearance of Sombath Somphone. Signatories include NGOs from all ASEAN countries, except Brunei and Laos. The full statement is available in English here, and in Chinese here.
http://sombath.org/2013/12/13/ngos-speak-out/
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Country boy forever_Sombath Somphone
This VDO was made by PADETC, in preparation of Mr. Sombath to receive Ramon Magsaysay Award in year 2005.
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Sombath Somphone News update Nov 11 - 2013
ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ຖືກສັງຫານ ໂດຍຮດັຖະບານລາວແດງ
  

Sombath Somphone, Lao activist missing for 10 months, spurs wife's desperate plea
October 22 2013
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Sombath Somphone, Lao activist missing for 10 months, spurs wife's desperate plea
CCTV vision captures the last known images of Sombath Somphone who disappeared in December 2012 on the streets of Vientiane, Laos.Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/sombath-somphone-lao-activi...
  Vientiane: The wife of prominent social activist Sombath Somphone has made a desperate plea to Lao authorities, declaring he will leave the country and retire quietly with her if returned safely after being abducted in the Lao capital 10 months ago. Ng Shui Meng, who has been married to the award-winning Sombath for 30 years, says she does not want to see any more damage done to Laos' image and credibility over the abduction which human rights groups describe as a state-sponsored forced disappearance.
Every day since Sombath disappeared has been "an eternity of waiting, wavering between hope and despair." 
"All I want is only the safe return of Sombath," Ms Shui Meng, a Singaporean, told Fairfax Media. "He is an old man who is in need of medical attention. Once he is returned I will take him out of the country for medical care and we will live out the rest of our lives in quiet retirement," she said. Ms Shui Meng said every day since Sombath disappeared has been "an eternity of waiting, wavering between hope and despair." Hopes for 62 year-old Sombath's welfare have been fading as the authoritarian communist-led Lao government denied any knowledge of his disappearance, claimed an investigation has failed to establish who was behind it and dismissed concerns by alleging that he must have been the victim of a shadowy business feud, without providing any evidence. Even in a country with a notoriously poor human rights record where government critics have "disappeared" previously, the abduction of Sombath has shocked many Laotians and prompted calls for international donors to press for more to be done to ensure his return. A widely respected agriculture specialist, Sombath received the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award in Community Leadership in 2005, the equivalent of the Nobel peace prize in Asia. He was last seen by Ms Shui Meng as they were driving separately from his office in Vientiane to their home for dinner on the evening of December 15 last year. The abduction was captured on grainy closed-circuit television footage that apparently was not supposed to be released by police. It shows that Sombath's jeep was stopped at a police post and he was taken inside. A motorcyclist stopped at the post and drove off with Sombath's vehicle. A truck with flashing lights then stopped at the police post, two people got out and took Mr Sombath to the truck and drove off. He never arrived home. Amnesty International says the Lao authorities' likely involvement in Sombath's disappearance has been compounded by the police's failure to conduct thorough investigations, which suggested a cover-up. Other countries' offers of external assistance, including analysis of the original CCTV footage, have been rejected. Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, says the Lao government "needs to stop playing games and release Sombath or explain what happened to him". "This is a huge black mark on Laos' already poor record as one of the worst rights-abusing governments in the region and we and other friends of Sombath will ensure this comes up in every international forum and meeting Laos attends," he said. Sombath's abduction is perplexing because he is seen as a conciliatory figure who sat on panels with influential government members. One clue may be a keynote speech he made two months before his disappearance at the Asia-Europe People's Forum, the largest civil society event held in Laos. "We focus too much on economic growth and ignore its negative impact ... we need to give more space for the ordinary people, especially young people, and allow them to be drivers of change and transformation," he said. Sombath, who founded a non-government organisation called the Participatory Development Training Centre in 1996, which seeks to advance community education and training on sustainable development, has also spoken out about land seizures as Laos opened its doors to massive foreign investments that include mining, hydroelectric plants, rubber plantations, hotels and casino projects. Earlier this year Laos joined the global community as a member of the World Trade Organisation and is lobbying for a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council. But the governing Communist Party fiercely defends its hold on power and vigorously cracks down on dissent while moving to liberalise its economy and promote tourism. Activists who unravelled a banner calling for democracy are languishing in jail. Five years ago environmentalist Sompawn Khantisouk was forced into a car in northern Laos and was never seen again while the government earlier this year blocked a US investigation into the disappearance of a US citizen and two other men in a southern Lao province. A ceremony to honour Sombath in Laos was cancelled after security police threatened his colleagues and family. In riverside Vientiane, most people decline to speak publicly about Sombath's disappearance, fearful of reprisals from police and security forces which are under close communist party control. Among those internationally who have expressed regret and called for Sombath's safe return are US Secretary of State John Kerry, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In June 42 Australian academics signed an open letter to then foreign minister Bob Carr asking for Australia, as a major aid donor to Laos, to take a more assertive stand with the Lao government on the disappearance. Human rights groups also want other countries to increase pressure on the government that benefits from hundred of millions of dollars a year in development aid. "The government's continued denials of complicity in the disappearance have zero credibility and point more clearly than ever to the critical importance of redoubled international pressure on Lao leaders if we are ever going to learn what has happened to Sombath," said Human Rights Watch's Mr Robertson. Ms Shui Meng, a former UNICEF staffer who met Sombath in Hawaii in the 1970s while he was studying there on a scholarship, urged donor countries like Australia to help get the government to be more transparent, identify the kidnappers and return Mr Sombath or if he is incarcerated allow family members to visit. "So far quiet diplomacy or more overt calls for action by governments have yielded zero results," she said. Ms Shui Meng said she can "only hold on to my hope and faith, as anything otherwise is unthinkable." "Not having hope is to give up and I will not give up ... not yet," she said.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/sombath-somphone-lao-activist-missing-for-10-months-spurs-wifes-desperate-plea-20131022-2vy38.html#ixzz2nXrk64tT


ອົງການໃນໄທຈະຮຽກຮ້ອງ ທາງການລາວ
 2013-10-30
ຊາວເອເຊັຽ ທ້ອນໂຮມ ເພື່ອ ທັກທ້ວງຮຽກຮ້ອງ ໃຫ້ຣັຖບານ ສປປ ລາວ ສືບສວນແກ້ໄຂ ການຫາຍສາບສູນ ຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອ

ໃນໂອກາດວັນຄົບຮອບ 1 ປີ ຂອງການຫາຍສາບສູນຂອງທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ນັກພັທນາຊຸມຊົນດີເດັ່ນຂອງລາວ ທີ 15 ທັນວາ ຫລາຍ ອົງການທີ່ບໍ່ສັງກັດຣັຖບາລໃນປະເທສໄທ ຕຣຽມຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ຣັຖບາລລາວ ອອກຣາຍງານ ກ່ຽວກັບ ການຕິດຕາມສືບສວນຫາທ່ານ ຍ້ອນວ່າ ທີ່ຜ່ານມາຣາຍງານແບບບໍ່ຕໍ່ເນື່ອງ ແລະບໍ່ມີຄວາມຄືບໜ້າ. ດັ່ງເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ ອົງການປົກປ້ອງສິດທິມະນຸດ ທີ່ບໍ່ສັງກັດຣັຖບາລ ທ່ານນຶ່ງເວົ້າວ່າ:"ທ່ານວ່າ ໃນໂອກາດຄົບຮອບ 1 ປີ ຂອງການຫາຍສາບສູນຂອງທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ອົງການຕ່າງໆຈະຮຽກຮ້ອງ ກົດດັນຣັຖບາລລາວ ໃຫ້ ຣາຍງານເຖິງຄວາມຄືບໜ້າ ຂອງຄວາມພຍາຍາມ ໃນການສືບສວນສອບສວນ ເພາະນັບຕັ້ງ ແຕ່ທ່ານໄດ້ ຫາຍສາບສູນໄປ ການຣາຍ ງານນັ້ນ ບໍ່ໄດ້ເຮັດແບບຕໍ່ເນື່ອງ ແລະເຖິງວ່າມີການຣາຍງານ ກໍບໍ່ມີຄວາມຄືບໜ້າ ແນວໃດເລີຍ".ທ່ານເວົ້າຕໍ່ໄປວ່າ ນອກຈາກນັ້ນ ກໍຈະໄດ້ຮຽກຮ້ອງ ໄປຍັງຣັຖບາລ ປະເທສຕ່າງໆ ທີ່ມີຜົລປໂຍຊນ໌ ທາງເສຖກິດຈາກ ສປປລາວ ເປັນຕົ້ນ ອອສເຕຣເລັຍ ສະຫະພາບຢູໂຣບ ຊຶ່ງຄະນະຜູ້ແທນຣັຖສະພາຢູໂຣບ ໄປຢ້ຽມຢາມລາວ ໃນຕົ້ນອາທິດນີ້ ແລະໄປຍັງກຸ່ມປະເທສ ສະມາຊິກ ອາຊຽນ ໃຫ້ກົດດັນຣັຖບາລລາວ ໃຫ້ມີຄໍາຕອບ. ສລຸບແລ້ວ ແມ່ນຫຍັງເກີດຂຶ້ນກັບ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ແລະດຽວນີ້ເພີ່ນຖືກ ນໍາຕົວໄປໄວ້ຢູ່ໃສ.ທ່ານວ່າປະມານ 4 ເດືອນແລ້ວ ທີ່ທາງການລາວບໍ່ໄດ້ແຈ້ງຜົລ ຂອງການສືບສວນສອບສວນຊອກຫາ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ໃຫ້ສັງຄົມຮູ້ນໍາ ຈຶ່ງເຮັດ ໃຫ້ ອົງການຕ່າງໆ ທີ່ຕິດຕາມເຣື່ອງນີ້ມາຕລອດ ບໍ່ສະບາຍໃຈ. ດັ່ງນັ້ນຈຶ່ງຕ້ອງໄດ້ ຮຽກຮ້ອງຕື່ມ ອີກເທື່ອນຶ່ງ ຊຶ່ງຄາດວ່າຈະເປັນຄັ້ງສໍາຄັນ ເພື່ອສະແດງໃຫ້ຣັຖບາລລາວ ເຫັນວ່າຫລາຍອົງການຈັດຕັ້ງ ຍັງບໍ່ຫລົງລືມທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ.ເຖີງຢ່າງໃດກໍດີ ຍັງບໍ່ມີ ຣາຍຣະອຽດວ່າ ໃນວັນທີ 15 ທັນວາ ຊຶ່ງເປັນວັນຄົບຮອບ 1 ປີ ທີ່ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ຫາຍສາບສູນໄປ ຢູ່ຕໍ່ ໜ້າປົດຕໍາຣວດ ກາງນະຄອນຫລວງ ວຽງຈັນ ນັ້ນ ຫລາຍອົງການທີ່ບໍ່ສັງກັດຣັຖບາລ ໃນໄທ ຈະຮວມຕົວກັນຮຽກຮ້ອງ ຢູ່ສະຖານທີ່ໃດ ຊຶ່ງ ຂະນະນີ້ ກໍາລັງ ປຶກສາຫາລືກັນຢູ່.

ລັດຖະສະພາ ຢູໂຣບ ຈະກົດດັນ ລາວ ເພີ່ມຂຶ້ນ ຕໍ່ກໍລະນີ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ
ການປະທ້ວງຂອງກຸ່ມອາຊ່ຽນ ກ່ຽວກັບກໍລະນີ ການຫາຍຕົວ ຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ
ການປະທ້ວງຂອງກຸ່ມອາຊ່ຽນ ກ່ຽວກັບກໍລະນີ ການຫາຍຕົວ ຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ
ຊົງຣິດ ໂພນເງິນ 30.10.2013
ຄະນະ​ກໍາມະການ​ ດ້ານ​ສິດທິ​ມະນຸດ​ຂອງ​ລັດຖະສະພາ​ອາ​ຊ່ຽນ​ແລະ​ຢູ​ໂຣບ ຈະ​ເພີ່ມ​ມາດ​ຕະການ​ກົດ​ ດັນ​ລັດຖະບາ​ນລາວ​ຫຼາຍ​ຂຶ້ນ​ ໃນ​ກໍລະນີ​ ການຫາຍ​ຕົວ​ໄປ​ຂອງ​ທ່ານສົມບັດ​ ສົມພອນ ນັກ​ພັດທະນາ​  ດີ​ເດັ່ນ​ຂອງ​ລາວ.ທ່ານ Walden Bello ຮອງ​ປະທານ​ຄະນະ​ກໍາມະການ​ດ້ານ​ສິດທິ​ມະນຸດ ຂອງ​ລັດຖະ ສະ ພາ ​ອາ​ຊ່ຽນ ​ໄດ້​ຖະ​ແຫຼ​ງການ​ໃນໂອ​ກາດ​ທີ່​ຄະນະ​ຜູ້​ແທນ​ຂອງ​ລັດຖະສະພາ​ຢູ​ໂຣບ ຢ້ຽມຢາມ ສປປ.ລາວ ຢ່າງ​ເປັນ​ທາງ​ການ ​ໃນ​ວັນ​ທີ 28 ຕຸລາ​ນີ້​ວ່າ ຖື​ເປັນ​ອີກ​ໂອກາດ​ນຶ່ງ​ທີ່​ຈະ​ໄດ້ທວງຖາມ​ທາງ​ການ​ລາວ ​ເຖິງ​ຄວາມ​ຄືບໜ້າ​ ຂອງ​ການ​ສືບສວນ​ຫາ​ຄວາມ​ຈິງ​ກ່ຽວ​ກັບ​ກໍລະນີ​ຂອງ ທ່ານ​ສົມບັດ ສົມ​ພອນ ນັກ​ພັດທະນາລາວ​ຜູ້​ດີ​ເດັ່ນ​ຂອງ​ອາ​ຊ່ຽນ ທີ່​ໄດ້​ຫາຍ​ຕົວ​ໄປ​ນັບ​ຕັ້ງແຕ່​ວັນ​ທີ 15 ທັນ​ວາ ປີ 2012 ​ເປັນ​ຕົ້ນ​ມາ.  
ຄະນະຜູ້ແທນລັດຖະສະພາ ຢູໂຣບ ຂະນະເຈລະຈາກັບ ເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ລາວ ກໍລະນີ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ
ຄະນະຜູ້ແທນລັດຖະສະພາ ຢູໂຣບ ຂະນະເຈລະຈາກັບ ເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ລາວ ກໍລະນີ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ
ຄະນະ ​ຜູ້​ແທນ​ ຂອງ​ລັດຖະສະພາ​ຢູ​ໂຣບ ທີ່ຢ້ຽມຢາມ​ລາວ​ ໃນ​ຄັ້ງນີ້  ນໍາໂດຍ​ທ່ານWerner Langen ປະທາ​ນລັດຖະສະພາ​ຢູ​ໂຣບ ຊຶ່ງ​ຄະນະ​ຂອງ​ທ່ານກໍ​ໄດ້​ພົບ​ ປະ​ເຈລະຈາ​ຮ່ວມ​ກັນ ກັບ​ຄະ​ນະ​ຜູ້ແທນ​ຂອງ​ສະພາ​ແຫ່ງ​ຊາດ​ລາວ​ທີ່​ມີ​ທ່ານ ​ ໄຊ​ສົມ​ພອນພົມວິຫານ ຮອງ​ປະທານ​ສະພາ​ແຫ່ງ​ຊາດ​ລາວ​ເປັນ​ຫົວໜ້າ​ຄະ ນະ ​ໂດຍ​ທັງ​ສອງ​ຝ່າຍ​ກໍ​ໄດ້​ແລກ​ປ່ຽນ​ທັດ​ທະນະ​ຄວາມເຫັນ​ທັງ​ໃນ​ດ້ານ​ການ​ ພັດທະນາ​ເສດຖະກິດ ສັງຄົມ ​ແລະ​ສິດທິ​ມະນຸດທັງ​ທີ່​ເປັນ​ການ​ຮ່ວມ​ມື ລະ ຫວ່າງ​ສະພາ​ແຫ່ງ​ຊາດ​ລາວ ກັບ​ລັດຖະສະພາ​ ຢູ​ໂຣບ ​ແລະ​ລັດຖະສະພາ​ອາ​ຊ່ຽນ​ອີກ​ດ້ວຍ.
 
​ແຕ່​ຢ່າງ​ໃດ​ກໍ​ຕາມ ສະມາຊິ​ກລັດຖະສະພາ​ຢູ​ໂຣບ ກໍ​ເຄີຍ​ພົບ​ປະ​ເຈລະຈາ​ກັບ​ຄະນະ​ເຈົ້າ ໜ້າ​ທີ່​ຂອງ​ທາງ​ການ​ລາວ ຢູ່​ນະຄອນ​ວຽງ​ຈັນ ມາ​ແລ້ວ​ຄັ້ງ​ນຶ່ງ ​ເມື່ອ​ເດືອນ​ສິງ​ຫາ​ປີ​ນີ້ ​ໂດຍ​ຄະນະ​ຜູ້ແທນ​ຂອງ​ລັດຖະສະພາ​ຢູ​ໂຣບຢືນຢັນ​ວ່າ​ຈະ​ດໍາ​ເນີນ​ມາດ​ຕະການ​ ກົດ​ດັນ​ລັດຖະບານ​ລາວ​ຫຼາຍ ຂຶ້ນ​ໃນ​ກໍລະນີ​ການ​ຫາຍ​ຕົວ​ໄປ​ຂອງ​ທ່ານ​ສົມບັດ ສົມ​ພອນ ​ເພາະ​ເຫັນ​ວ່າ​ທາງ​ການ​ລາວ​ບໍ່​ໄດ້ ດໍາ​ເນີນ​ການ​ຢ່າງ​ຈິງ​ຈັງ​ ໃນ​ການ​ສືບສວນ ​ເພື່ອ​ຄົ້ນ​ຫາ​ຄວາມ​ຈິງ.   
ຊາວລາວ ຕ່າງປະເທດ ປະທ້ວງ ໃຫ້ຊ່ວຍຊອກ ຫາ  ທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ
ຊາວລາວ ຕ່າງປະເທດ ປະທ້ວງ ໃຫ້ຊ່ວຍຊອກ ຫາ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ
ທັງ ​ນີ້​ໂດຍ​ກໍລະນີ​ທີ່​ສະທ້ອນ ​ໃຫ້​ເຫັນ​ເຖິງ​ຄວາມ​ບໍ່​ຈິງ​ຈັງ​ຂອງ​ທາງ​ການ​ລາວ​ໄດ້​ຢ່າງ​ຊັດ​ເຈນ ກໍ​ຄື​ການ​ທີ່​ບໍ່​ໄດ້​ໃຊ້ປະ​ໂຫຍ​ດ ຈາກ​ພາບ​ທີ່​ກ້ອງ​ວົງ​ຈອນ​ປິດ​ຂອງ​ທາງ​ການ​ລາວ​ບັນ ທຶກ​ໄວ້​ໄດ້​ໃນ ຕອນ​ແລງ​ຂອງ​ວັນ​ທີ 15 ທັນ​ວາ 2012 ຊຶ່ງ​ເປັນ​ມື້​ທີ່​ທ່ານ​ສົມບັດ ຖືກ​ລັກ​ພາ​ຕົວ​ໄປ​ຈາກ​ປ້ອມຕໍາຫຼວດ​ໃນ​ເຂດ​ນະຄອນ​ວຽງ​ຈັນ. 
 
ກ່ອນ​ໜ້າ​ນີ້ ພັນເອກ ​ເພັງ​ສະຫວັນ ທິບ​ພະ​ວົງ​ໄຊ ຮອງ​ຫົວໜ້າກົມ​ໃຫຍ່​ຕໍາຫຼວດ​ ກະ ຊວງ ປ້ອງ​ກັນ​ຄວາມ​ສະຫງົບ​ພາຍ​ໃນ ​ໄດ້​ໃຫ້ການ​ຢືນຢັນ​ໃນ​ໂອກາດ​ການ​ຖະ​ແຫຼ​ງຂ່າວ​ຢ່າງ​ເປັນ​ທາງ​ການ​ຄັ້ງ​ທີ 3 ກ່ຽວ​ກັບ​ກໍລະນີ​ການ​ຫາຍ​ຕົວ​ໄປ​ຂອງ​ທ່ານ​ສົມບັດ​ ວ່າ​ທາງ​ການ​ຕໍາຫຼວດ​ລາວ​ໄດ້​ດໍາ​ເນີນ​ການ​ສຶບສວນ​ສອບ​ສວນ​ເພື່ອ​ຄົ້ນ​ຫາ​ ຄວາມ​ຈິງ​ກ່ຽວ​ກັບ​ກໍລະນີ​ດັ່ງກ່າວ​ນີ້​ຢູ່ເລື້ອຍ​ມາ.
 
​ໂດຍ​ທາງ​ການ​ລາວ​ກໍ​ໄດ້​ເຮັດ​ໜັງສື​ ສະ​ເໜີ​ໄປ​ເຖິງ​ອົງການ​ຕໍາຫຼວດສາກົນ ​ເພື່ອ​ຂໍ​ໃຫ້​ອອກໃບ ​ແຈ້ງຄົນ​ຫາຍ​ສາບ​ສູນ ຊຶ່ງ​ອົງການ​ຕໍາຫຼວດ​ສາກົນ​ກໍ​ໄດ້​ອອກ​ເອກ​ກະສາ​ນ​ເປັນ​ໃບ​ແຈ້ງ​ການ ວ່າ​ທ່ານ​ສົມບັດ ​ເປັນ​ຄົນ​ຫາຍ​ສາບ​ສູນ​ຢ່າງ​ເປັນ​ທາງ​ການ​ໃນ​ວັນ​ທີ 23 ​ເມສາ​ທີ່​ຜ່ານ​ມາ ​ແລະ ​ໃນ​ລະຍະ​ດຽວ​ກັນ ທາງ​ການ​ລາວ​ກໍ​ໄດ້​ສົ່ງ​ໜັງສື​ ເຖິງ​ທາງ​ການ​ຕໍາຫຼວດ​ສາກົນ​ຂອງ​ສະຫະລັດອາ​ເມຣິກາ ອິນ​ເດຍ ​ເກົາ​ຫຼີ​ໃຕ້ ຍີ່ປຸ່ນ ຝຣັ່ງ ​ແລະ​ສະ​ເປ​ນ ​ເພື່ອ​ຂໍ​ໃຫ້​ຊ່ວຍ​ຊອກ​ຫາ​ຕົວ​ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ອີກ​ດ້ວຍ. 
 
ທາງ​ດ້ານ​ທ່ານນາງ ອັງຄະນາ ນີລະ​ໄພຈິດ ປະທາ​ນຄະ​ນະ​ທໍາ​ງານ​ຍຸຕິ​ທໍາ​ເພື່ອ​ສັນຕິ ພາບ​ໃນ ​ໄທ​ກໍ​ໃຫ້​ທັດສະນະ​ວ່າ ການ​ຫາຍ​ຕົວ​ໄປ​ຂອງ​ທ່ານ​ສົມບັດ ​ເກີດ​ຈາກ​ສາ​ເຫດ​ອັນ​ດຽວ​ກັນ​ກັບ​ການຫາຍ​ຕົວ​ໄປ​ຢ່າງ​ບໍ່​ມີ​ຮ່ອງຮອຍ​ຂອງ​ ທ່ານ ສົມ​ຊາຍ ນີລະ​ໄພຈິດ ທະ ນາຍຄວາມ​ຊື່​ດັງ​ຂອງ ​ໄທ ​ໂດຍສາ​ເຫດ​ທີ່​ວ່າ​ນີ້ ກໍ​ຄື​ການ​ໃຊ້​ອໍານາດ​ລັດ​ຄຸກ​ຄາມ​ສິດທິ​ຂັ້ນ​ພື້ນຖານ​ຂອງ​ປະຊາຊົນ ດັ່ງ​ທີ່​ທ່ານ​ນາງ ໄດ້​ກ່າວ​ວ່າ:
 
“ກໍລະນີ​ສົມບັດນີ້ ມີ​ຮູບ​ພາບ​ທີ່​ອອກ​ມາ ​ແລະ​ເຫັນ​ຢ່າງ​ຊັດ​ເຈນ​ວ່າ​ເກີດ​ຫຍັງ​ຂຶ້ນ ຂະໜາດ​ມີ ຫຼັກ​ຖານ​ແບບ​ນີ້​ແລ້ວ ສປປ.ລາວ ກໍ​ຍັງ​ໃຫ້​ຄໍາ​ຕອບ​ວ່າ​ ເຈົ້າໜ້າ​ທີ່​ຕໍາຫຼວດ​ລາວ​ນີ້ ບໍ່​ມີ​ສ່ວນ​ກ່ຽວ ຂ້ອງ ​ໃນ​ຂະນະ​ດຽວ​ກັນ​ກັບ​ໃນ​ກໍລະນີ​ຂອງ​ສົມ​ຊາຍ ນີລະ​ໄພຈິດ ນີ້​ ກໍ​ມີ​ຫຼັກ​ຖານ​ ການ​ໃຊ້​ໂທ​ລະສັບ ມີ​ຄົນ​ບອກ​ໄດ້​ວ່າ​ ເປັນ​ເຈົ້າໜ້າ​ທີ່​ຕໍາຫຼວດ ​ແຕ່​ສຸດ​ທ້າຍ ຂໍ້​ມູນ​ຕ່າງໆ ກໍ​ຖືກ​ລຶບ​ຖິ້ມ​ໄປ​ ໃນ ​ເວລາ​ອັນ​ວ່ອງ​ໄວ.”  
 
ທ່ານ​ນາງ ອັງ​ຄະນາ​ ​ເປັນ​ພັນ​ລະ​ຍາ​ໝ້າຍ​ຂອງ​ທ່ານ​ສົມ​ຊາຍ ທະນາຍຄວາມທີ່​ໄດ້​ໃຫ້ ການ​ຊ່ວຍເຫຼືອ​ແກ່​ບັນດາ​ຊາວ​ໄທ​ມຸສລິ​ມ ທີ່​ຖືກ​ກ່າວ​ຫາ​ວ່າ​ກໍ່​ການ​ຮ້າຍ​ໃນ​ເຂດ​ພາກ​ໃຕ້​ຂອງ​ໄທ ຈົນ​ໃນສຸດ​ທ້າຍ​ທີ່​ສຸດ ຕົວ​ຂອງ​ທ່ານ​ເອງ​ກໍ​ຖືກ​ລັກ​ພາ​ຕົວ​ໄປ​ ນັບ​ຕັ້ງ​ແຕ່​ປີ 2004 ​ເປັນ​ຕົ້ນ​ມາ.


EU-Parlamentarier machen im Fall Sombath weiter Druck auf Laos 
http://www.eu-info.de/dpa-europaticker/239150.html


28.10.2013 12:16 
Ein prominenter Aktivist verschwindet in Laos bei einer Polizeikontrolle. Die Regierung sagt, sie weiß von Nichts und will zur Tagesordnung übergehen. EU-Parlamentarier lassen das nicht zu.
Bangkok (dpa) - Zehn Monate nach dem Verschwinden des bekannten laotischen Aktivisten Sombath Somphone haben EU-Parlamentarier in dem südostasiatischen Land Druck auf die Regierung gemacht. Die
Delegation habe der Regierung des kommunistischen Landes sehr deutlich gesagt, das es für das Image des Landes wichtig sei, den Fall zu lösen, sagte der CDU-Abgeordnete und Delegationsleiter Werner
Langen der Nachrichtenagentur dpa telefonisch aus der Hauptstadt Vientiane. Die Delegation reiste am Montag nach Vietnam weiter.Das EU-Parlament überlege, Sombath für den Sacharow-Preis «für die Freiheit des Geistes» zu nominieren, sagte Langen. Preisträger waren unter anderem Nelson Mandela und Friedensnobelpreisträgerin Aung San
Suu Kyi aus Birma. Sie nahm den Preis mit 23-jähriger Verspätung vergangene Woche in Straßburg entgegen. Sie lebte bei der Zuerkennung 1990 unter Hausarrest.Sombath war im Dezember vergangenen Jahres mit seinem Auto in der Hauptstadt Vientiane an einem Polizeikontrollpunkt gestoppt und verschleppt worden. Seitdem fehlt von ihm jede Spur. Er hatte kurz
vorher im Rahmen des ASEM-Gipfels in Vientiane mit Staats- und Regierungschefs aus Europa und Asien ein Bürgerforum organisiert, bei dem es unter anderem um Landenteignungen ging. Seine Anhänger
glauben, dass das der kommunistischen Regierung ein Dorn im Auge war.Eine Überwachungskamera zeichnete die Verschleppung zufällig auf.
Die Behörden beteuern, nichts mit dem Verschwinden zu tun zu haben.
Die Polizei habe Sombaths Papiere kontrolliert, wer ihn verschleppte,
wisse sie nicht. «Wir haben keine überzeugenden Antworten bekommen,»sagte Langen. Allerdings sei das Gespräch offener gewesen als erwartet. «Es war eine gewisse Ernsthaftigkeit erkennbar.»«Die EU muss alle Hebel nutzen, um Sombaths Rückkehr sicherzustellen,» verlangten mehrere Menschenrechtsorganisationen, darunter Human Rights Watch und Amnesty International. Ob die EU.,
die Laos mit 16 Millionen Euro bei der Armutsbekämpfung unterstützt.
Gelder kürzt, sei bislang kein Thema, sagte Langen. «Die EU muss die Regierung drängen, eine unabhängige Kommission zur Untersuchung des Falls einzusetzen, idealerweise mit internationaler Besetzung.» Die
EU gehört zu den größten Geldgebern des bitterarmen Landes.

LEAD: European parliamentarians pressure Laos on missing activist Eds: Updates with EU delegation quotes

http://en.europeonline-magazine.eu/lead-european-parliamentarians-pressure-laos-on-missing-activisteds-updates-with-eu-delegation-quotes_302910.html
Bangkok (dpa) - European parliamentarians on a visit to Vientiane Monday vowed to keep diplomatic pressure on Laos to solve the case of missing activist Sombath Somphone.

"We did not get convincing answers to any of our questions," said Werner Langen, chairman of the European Parliament‘s delegation for South-East Asia. "We will keep the pressure on."

Langen and three other European parliamentarians met Lao legislators and ministers including Phongsavath Boupha, head of Laos‘ national steering committee on human rights, to discuss the case of Sombath who went missing in a Vientiane suburb on December 15after being stopped at a police checkpoint.

CCTV footage showed Sombath being pushed into a pickup truck that was driven off. He has not been seen since.

The Communist regime has denied knowledge of the incident or Sombath‘s whereabouts.

"We made it clear that if the case is not solved they will lose credibility in the EU," Langen said.

While stopping short of threatening to penalize Laos over the case, Langen said the EU had shortlisted Sombath for its prestigious Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought.

Myanmar democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi picked up the prize last week, 23 years after winning it while under house arrest in Yangon.

The EU is one of the leading donors to Laos, which still ranks among the world‘s least developed countries.

"The EU should use all its leverage to ensure Sombath‘s safe return," said a joint letter from Amnesty International, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, and Federation Internationale des Ligues de Droits.

In August, Danish member of the European Parliament Soren Bo Sondergaard led a delegation to Vientiane to pursue the case.

Sondergaard concluded that the government was "still in a state of denial" over Sombath‘s disappearance.

He called on the EU to put more pressure on Laos, such as threatening to block its bid to sit on the UN Human Rights Council or to graduate from its current status as a least-developed country.


  
Rights groups pressure EU to help find missing Lao activist 


 Human rights groups pressured visiting European parliamentarians in Laos Monday to demand answers about missing activist Sombath Somphone. "The EU should use all its leverage to ensure Sombath’s safe return," said a joint letter from Amnesty International, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Federation Internationale des Ligues de droits de l’homme and Human  Watch.

The civil rights activist has not been seen since December 15, when he was detained at a police checkpoint in Vientiane, and CCTV footage captured images of him being forced into a truck and driven away.

The Communist regime has denied knowledge of the incident or Sombath’s whereabouts.

The EU group, led by Werner Langen of Germany, met Monday morning with its diplomatic mission to Laos and was scheduled for a full day of meetings with legislators and ministers including Phongsavath Boupha, head of Laos’ national steering committee on human rights, officials said in Vientiane.

The rights groups said the delegates should "urge the Laos government to answer the many outstanding questions around Sombath’s disappearance and to establish an independent commission, ideally with international involvement or support." The EU is one of the leading aid donors to Laos, listed as one of the world’s least-developed countries. The bloc has expressed concern over Sombath’s disappearance and its implication for activists.

In August, Danish member of the European Parliament Soren BoSondergaard led a delegation to Vientiane to pursue the case.

Sondergaard concluded that the government was "still in a state of denial" over Sombath’s disappearance.

He called on the EU to put more pressure on Laos, such as threatening to block its bid to sit on the UN Human Rights Council or to graduate from its current status as a least-developed country. 


EU Parliament Dissatisfied with Lao Efforts to Locate Missing Activist
http://www.rfa.org/english/news/laos/eu-10282013191323.html
A European parliamentary delegation at a press conference in Bangkok on Lao activist Sombath Somphone's disappearance, Aug. 28, 2013.
A European parliamentary delegation at a press conference in Bangkok on Lao activist Sombath Somphone's disappearance, Aug. 28, 2013.
A European parliamentary delegation has expressed dissatisfaction with the Lao government’s explanation of the disappearance of prominent local activist Sombath Somphone, who was last seen 10 months ago being stopped in his vehicle at a police checkpoint in the Lao capital Vientiane.
The second European Parliamentary visit to Laos this year came as rights groups urged sustained pressure on Vientiane to secure the safe return of Sombath, a rights campaigner who had been critical of the government’s policies for the poor.
The four-member parliamentary group, led by the chairman of the European Parliament's delegation for South-East Asia, Werner Langen, met with a number of Lao officials and ministers on Monday, including Phongsavath Boupha, head of Laos’ national steering committee on human rights.
Langen told RFA’s Lao Service that his delegation had held “frank” discussions on the Sombath case with Lao officials, but that little progress had been made.
“The ministers said, ‘We don’t have an answer for where Sombath is now’,” Langen said.
“I said to the ministers, ‘We need a lifeline. Could you give us from the government side a lifeline?’ But the answer was not clear.”
Langen said that the delegation would present a report on its findings to the EU subcommittee on human rights and to the foreign affairs committee before “we decide the next steps.”
“We need, in the next month, a clear sign. But our impression is that … Laos could be isolated in ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) if the human rights situation is not clear—if it does not get better.”
German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported that while Langen stopped short of threatening to penalize Laos, he did say that the EU had shortlisted Sombath for its prestigious Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought.

Joint letter
In a joint letter last week, rights groups Amnesty International, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, International Federation for Human Rights and Human Rights Watch called on the EU to “use all its leverage to ensure Sombath’s safe return.”
“The EU must also urge the Lao government to answer the many outstanding questions around Sombath’s disappearance and to establish an independent commission, ideally with international involvement or support, to investigate the case,” they said.
Sombath Somphone has been missing since Dec. 15, 2012, when he was stopped at a police checkpoint in Vientiane. He was then transferred into another vehicle, according to the surveillance video. No one has seen him since.
Lao officials say they have no knowledge of the whereabouts of the prominent civil rights activist, a winner of the 2005 Magsaysay Award.
Some foreign diplomats in Laos had told RFA's Lao Service recently that Sombath may have been abducted by groups linked to the government and possibly killed for his relentless campaign to defend the human rights of the poor rural population and to protect the environment.
The rights groups in their letter said Sombath’s disappearance “has sent a chilling, intimidating message to the country’s already fragile civil society” and called on the EU to demand that the Lao government guarantee “a more enabling environment for human rights defenders.”
They said that “significant progress” in the Sombath case “must be a prerequisite of Laos’ candidacy for the U.N. Human Rights Council,” which the country has expressed hopes to join for the 2016-2018 period.
“In the country demonstrating the fastest growth in Southeast Asia in 2012, the work of civil society, including individuals like Sombath, is critical in ensuring human rights are not sidelined during Laos’ rapid development,” it said.

EU pressure
The EU is one of the largest donors to Laos, an impoverished and landlocked country that is rich in natural resources.
Its members of parliament have expressed concerns over the Sombath case before.
In August, Danish member of parliament Soren Bo Sondergaard led a delegation to Laos to pursue the investigation and found that Vientiane was “still in a state of denial” about the activist’s disappearance.
He threatened to block the country’s bid for a seat on the U.N.’s Human Rights Council or to upgrade its status as a least-developed nation so that it would fail to qualify for aid.
Lao authorities have denied knowledge of his disappearance, claiming an investigation has failed to establish who was behind it and suggesting the activist had been the victim of a business feud, without providing any evidence.
Over the weekend, Sombath’s wife, Singaporean Ng Shui Meng, appealed to the Lao authorities, promising that her husband would leave the country and retire with her if he was returned safely.
In a report by The Age newspaper in Australia, Ng said she no longer wanted to see Laos’ image and credibility damaged over the abduction.
“All I want is only the safe return of Sombath,” she told Fairfax Media.
“He is an old man who is in need of medical attention. Once he is returned I will take him out of the country for medical care and we will live out the rest of our lives in quiet retirement.”
She said that every day since his disappearance has been “an eternity of waiting, wavering between hope and despair.”

Reported by RFA’s Lao Service. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

Laos through my eyes – Andy Rutherford
http://blogs.fco.gov.uk/philipmalone/2013/10/11/296/
October 11, 2013 This article is part of a series of guest blogs contributed by Brits who have lived and worked in Laos, or who have other interesting links to Laos.
Andy Rutherford
Andy Rutherford
Laos was at the centre of unprecedented international attention for much of 2012 culminating with hosting the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) in November 2012, gathering the Heads of State and Government of ASEM’s 49 member countries in Vientiane. ASEM has a number of related events including the Asia Europe People’s Forum.  This is the place where Asian and European civil society organisations and social movements working for sustainable and equitable economic and social development meet and exchange visions and plans. It is a vibrant and exciting event.

Asia Europe People’s Forum 9 took place in Vientiane between the 16 and 19 October 2012. It was also the culmination of a number of smaller meetings that took place in different parts of Laos and South and South-East Asia earlier in 2012.
As a member of the International Organising Committee of the Asia Europe People’s Forum I had the privileged of working with Lao civil society organisations, mass organisations, international NGOs based in Laos and representatives of the Lao government to plan and organise the 9AEPF.  It became the largest international civil society event in the history of Laos with over 1,000 participants and including volunteers and stall organisers involved 1,250 people. Over the four days of the Forum there were 36 workshops, 4 Plenary Workshops on the four themes of AEPF9 and more than 20 exhibitions.

As a member of the International Organising Committee of the Asia Europe People’s Forum I had the privileged of working with Lao civil society organisations, mass organisations, international NGOs based in Laos and representatives of the Lao government to plan and organise the 9AEPF.  It became the largest international civil society event in the history of Laos with over 1,000 participants and including volunteers and stall organisers involved 1,250 people. Over the four days of the Forum there were 36 workshops, 4 Plenary Workshops on the four themes of AEPF9 and more than 20 exhibitions.
For many Lao civil society organisations this was an historic access to a range of discussions and issues that were of great relevance for their work for sustainable development. It enabled over 440 participants from Laos to be part of the exchanges and discussions of the Forum itself.  The preceding Provincial level consultations also opened up new spaces for dialogue on development and social issues.  Constructive and positive dialogue at national and local level was a significant result of the AEPF being held in Laos and led to the development of the ‘Lao People’s Vision’ statement.
I was a regular visitor to Laos over 2012 and learnt much from our Lao partner organisations, working closely with many Lao women and men committed to inclusive sustainable development.
I am involved in establishing the first not-for profit UK based tour company, Fresh Eyes –People to People Travel, enabling socially responsible travel and designed for travellers to meet people involved in community development.  I had planned to begin partnerships with Lao organisations in 2013.
Since the Forum I have continued to work closely with Laos but sadly with a different focus. Sombath Somphone, one of the most prominent Lao co-organizers of the Asia Europe People’s Forum 9, the founder and former Director of PADETC and one of the most respected and influential voices for sustainable people-centred and just economic and social development in Laos, disappeared about 5pm on Saturday December 15 2012. Nobody has seen or heard from him since.
The 9th AEPF
The 9th AEPF
  
I have had the privilege of working very closely with Sombath and have a deep respect for him, his principles and his commitment to inclusive sustainable development.   I have contributed to the extensive international activities that are encouraging Sombath’s safe return to his family as soon as is possible. I have returned to Laos in 2013, as part of a delegation from Europe to meet Lao government representatives as part of the international actions which are working for Sombath’s safe return to his family. It is now widely recognised, including by the United Nations and Amnesty International that Sombath’s disappearance is an enforced disappearance. Whilst Sombath has not returned safely to his family, sadly there will be a growing negative effect on foreign engagement and foreign investment in Laos at a time where Laos is deeply committed to developing stronger ties and links.   In 2013 there is now a very real possibility that the credibility of Laos will be tarnished whilst Sombath is not returned safely to his family.  I sincerely hope that he will return, safely, soon.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PUBLIC STATEMENT

29 August 2013
ASA 26/003/2013
Laos: Return Sombath Somphone
Ahead of International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances on 30 August, Amnesty
International calls once more on the Lao government to ensure the safe return of Sombath
Somphone. The human rights group calls also on other countries to do more to demand that the
civil society leader, a victim of enforced disappearance, is found and returned safely to his family.
Sombath’s disappearance is examined in detail in Amnesty International’s report “Caught on
Camera”. He was taken away on the evening of 15 December 2012 in the presence of security
personnel at a police post in the Lao capital Vientiane, and has not been heard from since. His
disappearance was recorded on closedcircuit
television (CCTV) footage that his family was able to
copy. The Lao authorities’ likely involvement in Sombath’s disappearance has been compounded
by the police’s failure to conduct thorough investigations, which suggests a coverup.
Other
countries’ offers of external assistance, including to analyze the original CCTV footage, have been
rejected.
Amnesty International has made a series of recommendations to help ensure Sombath’s safe
return. But over two months since the human rights group issued its report on his case, it appears
that no progress has been made in achieving a positive resolution.
Calling again on the Lao authorities to find Sombath and return him to his family, Amnesty
International reiterates its recommendation for the government to establish a new, independent
commission to undertake an impartial investigation into Sombath’s disappearance. The new
commission should seek external technical assistance for its investigations and provide detailed
information about the progress of investigations to Sombath’s family.
Sombath’s disappearance has focused international attention on the disturbing situation of freedom
of expression and related rights in Laos, and has raised questions about the success of other
countries’ efforts to encourage the Lao authorities to respect and protect human rights. Laos
receives hundredsofmillions
of dollars in development aid each year. The human rights situation
in Laos will be considered at the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Period Review in 2014,
while the Lao government is lobbying for a seat on the Council from 201618.
Amnesty International again calls on other countries – including Australia, EU member states,
Japan and the US – to use their leverage and continue to demand publicly Sombath’s safe return.
They should demand that the Lao government answers the many outstanding questions around
Sombath’s disappearance, explains why investigations have been inadequate, and establishes a
new commission to investigate the case. Should the Lao government fail to address these
questions and ensure that adequate investigations are undertaken, other countries should explore
initiating their own investigations into Sombath’s disappearance and persons suspected of being
responsible, and attempt to bring such individuals to justice in their own national courts.
Further, Amnesty International calls once more on the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on
Human Rights to investigate Sombath’s disappearance, and seek to coordinate expert support for
any investigations undertaken by the Lao authorities. The apparent failure of the regional rights
body to take any action on the disappearance of a worldrenowned
civil society leader in an
ASEAN member state is raising further questions about its credibility, with Laos set to chair
ASEAN in 2015.
Until Sombath Somphone is back safely with his family, his case will not be forgotten, calls for his
return will persist and the Lao government’s reputation will continue to be affected adversely.
Notes:
For background, see:
“Laos: Caught on Camera: The enforced disappearance of Sombath Somphone”, Amnesty
International Report, 13 June 2013.
“Laos must ensure return of disappeared civil society leader”, Amnesty International Press
Release, 13 June 2013.
“Lao citizen abducted, not seen or heard from: Sombath Somphone”, Amnesty International Urgent
Action, 18 January 2013.
For further information, please contact:
Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s Researcher on Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam. Tel: +855
017 500 778 (Cambodia). Email: Rupert.Abbott@Amnesty.org
Amnesty.pdf (PDF — 232 KB)
 
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http://www.rfa.org/english/news/laos/sombath-08292013024733.html
ທ່ານ Soren Bo Sondergaard ສະມາຊິກສະພາຢູໂຣບ ຈາກປະເທດ Denmark
ທ່ານ Soren Bo Sondergaard ສະມາຊິກສະພາຢູໂຣບ ຈາກປະເທດ Denmark
ສະພາຢູໂຣບຮູ້ສຶກວ່າທາງການລາວ ບໍ່ເຜີຍຄວາມຈິງ2013-08-29
ສະມາຊິກສະພາຢູໂຣບ ທ່ານນຶ່ງ ເຕືອນໃນມື້ວັນພຸດ ວ່າ ສປປລາວ ເມີນເສີຍຕໍ່ ການຫາຍສາບສູນ ຂອງຫົວຫນ້ານັກພັທນາຊຸມຊົນ ຄົນ ສຳຄັນຂອງລາວ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ແຕ່ຢ່າຄາດຫວັງວ່າ ສະພາຢູໂຣບ ຈະຢຸດໃນບັນຫາດັ່ງກ່າວ. ທ່ານ Soren Bo Sondergaard ສະມາຊິກສະພາຢູໂຣບຈາກປະເທດ Denmark ຜູ້ຊຶ່ງນຳພາ ຄນະຜູ້ແທນ ຈາກຫລາຍປະເທດ ເຂົ້າໄປ ນະຄອນຫລວງວຽງຈັນ ໃນວັນຈັນ ເວົ້າວ່າ ສປປລາວ ຍັງປະຕິເສດກ່ຽວກັບ ການບີບບັງຄັບ ການຫາຍສາບສູນ ຂອງ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດສົມພອນ ຢູ່ ແລະໃນມື້ວັນອັງຄານ ທ່ານ ໄດ້ສົ່ງສັນຍານ ໄປຫາຜູ້ນຳລາວ ວ່າ ຄະດີດັ່ງກ່າວ ຈະບໍ່ຍຸຕິລົງ ໂດຍງ່າຍ. ທ່ານ ສົມບັດສົມພອນ ນັກຕໍ່ສູ້ເພື່ອຊຸມຊົນ ຜູ້ທີ່ກ້າປາກກ້າເວົ້າ ຖືກກັກໂຕທີ່ ດ່ານກວດຣົຖສະຖານີຕຳຣວດ ທີ່ນະຄອນຫລວງວຽງຈັນ ໃນມື້ ວັນທີ 15 ທັນວາ 2012 ກ້ອງວົງຈອນປິດ ຂອງທາງການລາວ ໄດ້ບັນທຶກພາບ ການຈັບກຸມແລະບັງຄັບ ໃຫ້ທ່ານຂຶ້ນຣົຖກະບະຄັນນຶ່ງແລ້ວ ຂັບຫນີໄປ ດ້ວຍຄວາມໄວ ຕໍ່ຈາກນັ້ນມາ ກໍບໍ່ເຫັນທ່ານເລີຍ. ທ່ານ Sondergaard ຍັງບໍ່ໄດ້ເອີ່ຍເຖິງ ການລົງໂທດທາງດ້ານເສຖກິດ ຕໍ່ ສປປລາວໃນບັນຫາດັ່ງກ່າວເທຶ່ອ ມີແຕ່ບອກວ່າ ສະພາຢູໂຣບ ສາມາດກີດກັ້ນ ສປປລາວ ບໍ່ໃຫ້ເປັນສະມາຊິກສະພາສິດທິມະນຸດ ອົງການສຫະປະຊາຊາດ ຫລືການທີ່ສປປລາວຈະອອກ ຈາກຖານະການ ເປັນປະເທດ ດ້ອຍພັທນາ ມາໃຊ້ເປັນມາຕການໃນການບັງຄັບ ສປປລາວ ຊຶ່ງເປັນນຶ່ງໃນບັນດາ ປະເທດຄອມມຸນິດ ທີ່ຍັງເຫລືອຢູ່ໃນໂລກ.
Many believe that Sombath Somphone was taken by elements within the security establishment
Many believe that Sombath Somphone was taken by elements within the security establishment
28 August 2013 
Laos accused of lying over Sombath Somphone abduction By Jonah Fisher BBC News, Bangkok  
    European parliamentarians have accused the Lao authorities of telling them "ridiculous lies" in relation to the disappearance of leading civil society figure Sombath Somphone. He was last seen in December when CCTV footage showed him being stopped at a police checkpoint and forcibly bundled into another car. Authorities say that they cannot find Mr Sombath despite the video evidence. Laos has been run by the Communist party since 1975. Both civil society and media are tightly controlled. Tightly controlled Eight months after his disappearance there is still no information about what happened to Sombath Somphone. CCTV footage showed the pick-up in which Mr Sombath was taken away This was the third parliamentary delegation from the European Union to travel to the capital, Vientiane. As with the other two - the Lao authorities told them they had made no progress but rejected offers of technical help. The Danish head of the delegation, Soren Bo Sondergard, said it was clear from their discussions that the Lao authorities were in denial and at times had told them "ridiculous lies". Lao police say they have not been able to identify any of the people or vehicles involved in Mr Sombath's abduction. Many believe that he was taken by elements within the security establishment - angered by his role in organising the Asia-Europe People's Forum in October last year. Lao society and public debate is tightly controlled and at the time the Forum was seen as an unprecedented opening up of political space. 

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23862691
    ທ່ານ Rupert Abbott ນັກຄົ້ນຄວ້າ ຈາກອົງການ ນິຣະໂທດກັມ ສາກົນ ສາຂາ ກຳພູຊາ ລາວ ແລະ ວຽດນາມ
    ທ່ານ Rupert Abbott ນັກຄົ້ນຄວ້າ ຈາກອົງການ ນິຣະໂທດກັມ ສາກົນ ສາຂາ ກຳພູຊາ ລາວ ແລະ ວຽດນາມ
     ຊາວໂລກຍັງບໍ່ລືມທ່ານສົມບັດ 2013-08-30
    ຄວາມບໍ່ສາມາດ ຂອງຣັຖບານລາວ ທີ່ຈະຊີ້ແຈງຢ່າງໜ້າເຊື່ອຖືໄດ້ ກ່ຽວກັບ ການຫາຍສາບສູນຂອງທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ກັບມາເປັນ ບັນຫາໃຫຍ່ອີກເທື່ອນຶ່ງເພາະມີການຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ບັນດາປະເທດທີ່ໃຫ້ການຊ່ວຍເຫລືອ ແກ່ສປປລາວ ໃຫ້ຄິດຄັກໆກ່ອນທີ່ຈະ ເອົາເງິນເສັຽ ພາສີ ຂອງປະຊາຊົນ ໄປໃຫ້ ປະເທດຄອມມິວນິສ ທີ່ປົກຄອງດ້ວຍ ພັກດຽວ. ຕາມຣາຍງານຂ່າວ The Diplomat ສະບັບວັນທີ 30 ສິງຫາ 2013. ຄໍາຮຽກຮ້ອງລ່າສຸດນັ້ນ ມາຈາກອົງການນິຣະໂທດກັມສາກົລ ທີ່ຍົກບັນຫາກ່ຽວກັບ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ຂຶ້ນມາເວົ້າອີກໃນວັນສາກົລ ເພື່ອຜູ້ຖືກບັງຄັບ ໃຫ້ຫາຍສາບສູນ. ທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ຖືກພົບເຫັນຄັ້ງສຸດທ້າຍ ຢູ່ໃນການຄວບຄຸມຂອງເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ຕໍາຣວດລາວ ເມື່ອ ວັນທີ 15 ທັນວາ ປີ 2012 ແຕ່ທາງການລາວກັບຢືນຢັນວ່າ ບໍ່ຮູ້ບໍ່ເຫັນວ່າທ່ານສົມບັດຢູ່ໃສ. ທ່ານ Rupert Abbot ນັກຄົ້ນຄວ້າກ່ຽວກັບ ກັມພູຊາ ລາວແລະວຽດນາມ ກ່າວວ່າ ອົງການສິດທິມະນຸດ ດັ່ງກ່າວ ຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ ປະເທດຕ່າງໆ ທວງຫາ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ຫລາຍຂຶ້ນ ເພາະທ່ານເປັນຜູ້ນໍາທາງສັງຄົມ ທີ່ກາຍເປັນຜູ້ເຄາະຮ້າຍ, ຖືກບັງຄັບ ໃຫ້ຫາຍສາບສູນ ນັ້ນ ເພື່ອໃຫ້ໄດ້ກັບຄືນສູ່ ຄອບຄົວ ຂອງທ່ານ ຢ່າງປອດພັຍ. ທ່ານ Abbot ວ່າ ການຫາຍສາບສູນຂອງ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ເຮັດໃຫ້ປະຊາຄົມສາກົນ ເລັງຈຸດສົນໃຈໃສ່ສະພາບ ຂອງການສະແດງ ຄວາມຄິດຄວາມເຫັນ ແລະສິດທິມະນຸດ ທີ່ໜ້າເປັນຫ່ວງ ໃນລາວ ແລະທັງຕັ້ງເປັນຄໍາຖາມ ກ່ຽວກັບຜົລສໍາເຣັດ ຂອງຄວາມ ພຍາຍາມ ຂອງປະເທດຕ່າງໆ ໃນການຊຸກຍູ້ໃຫ້ທາງການລາວ ນັບຖື ແລະປົກປ້ອງສິດທິມະນຸດ. ສປປລາວ ກໍາລັງຂົນຂວາຍເພື່ອໃຫ້ຕົນ ມີທີ່ນັ່ງໃນສະພາສິດທິມະນຸດ ສະຫະປະຊາຊາດ ແຕ່ໂອກາດທີ່ຈະສໍາເຣັດນັ້ນແມ່ນມີໜ້ອຍເຕັມທີ່. ສະມາຊິກສະພາຢູໂຣບ ທ່ານ ໂຊເຣັນ ຊັນເດີກາດ ຈາກປະເທດ ແດັນໝາກ ວ່າ ທາງການລາວ ເວົ້າຕໍ່ທ່ານ ໃນຣະຫວ່າງ ການຢ້ຽມຢາມ ສປປລາວເມື່ອມໍ່ໆມານີ້ ວ່າ ທາງການລາວ ຮູ້ສຶກເສັຽໃຈກ່ຽວກັບ ການຫາຍສາບສູນ ຂອງທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ແຕ່ກໍປາກົດວ່າ ທາງການລາວ ບໍ່ກະທໍາສີ່ງໃດໆ ກ່ຽວກັບເຣື່ອງນີ້. 
     Agence France-PresseAugust 28, 2013 06:28
    Laos urged to intensify missing activist probe 
    A European Union lawmaker pressed Laos Wednesday to intensify an investigation into the disappearance of a prominent activist, after raising the case during a trip to the secretive communist state. Sombath Somphone, 62, was last seen in December 2012 being led away by police in Vientiane after his car stopped at a checkpoint. CCTV images later emerged appearing to show him being driven away with two unidentified people. The US and EU have joined rights groups in calling for Sombath's safe return, and an official European Parliament delegation is expected to raise his disappearance when it travels to Laos in October. "The Laos regime is still in a state of denial... what the regime (is doing) to investigate is not sufficient," Danish MEP Soren Bo Sondergaard told reporters in Bangkok, after returning Tuesday from Laos. "Of course there's a lot of words about how sorry they (Lao authorities) feel... but when it comes to the concrete steps that have been taken, things are very unclear," Sondergaard said. Sondergaard, whose political group will join the October EU trip, said the EU should heap diplomatic pressure on Laos over the missing man, who has been hailed for his work on poverty reduction and sustainable development in a country that remains one of Southeast Asia's poorest. Sombath's wife had been told by local police that they were no longer investigating the case, the lawmaker said, adding a senior foreign ministry official had even questioned whether the man apparently kidnapped in the CCTV footage was Sombath. The Laos government has repeatedly denied Sombath was taken by them or is in their hands. To turn up the heat, the EU must obstruct Laos' efforts to join international forums such as the United Nations Human Rights Council, Sondergaard added. Laos is a one-party communist state which exerts total control over the media and does not tolerate criticism of its institutions. In recent years observers had detected signs it was easing its attitude to civil society groups as it seeks greater engagement with the outside world, but Sombath's case has cast doubt over those efforts. "There's a conspiracy of silence in Laos," said Mugiyanto of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances, who travelled with the EU delegation to Laos. Activists are now "afraid to talk about what happened to Sombath", Mugiyanto, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, added. apj/sm
    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130828/laos-urged-intensify-missing-activist-probe
    Lao Activist Sombath May Not Be Alive: Diplomats
    A 2005 photo of Sombath Somphone in the Philippines.
    A 2005 photo of Sombath Somphone in the Philippines.
    AFP/Somphone family
    2013-07-09

    More than six months after his disappearance, some foreign diplomats in Vientiane think it is very unlikely that respected Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone is still alive.

    Sombath was driving on the outskirts of the Lao capital Vientiane on Dec. 15 last year when he was stopped in his vehicle by police and then transferred into another vehicle, as surveillance video from that day showed. No one has seen him since.

    Based on private discussions with officials from the Lao government, the ruling Communist Party, and the military, as well as other well-connected sources in the country, several foreign diplomats told RFA's Lao Service that the 60-year-old community worker's chances of being alive are very slim.

    Lao authorities have reported little or no progress in their investigations since Sombath's disappearance on the night of Dec. 15, 2012, when police-recorded surveillance video showed him being stopped at a police post.

    Amid the impasse, many in the foreign diplomatic community in Laos think it is most unlikely that Sombath is still alive, one diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    The diplomat indicated that Sombath may have been killed by government-linked groups, saying that one "highly placed source" told him bluntly that Sombath was "finished" and "planted," using jargon to exemplify that he may have been murdered and buried in an undisclosed location.

    Lack of trust

    Another diplomat quoted an unnamed member of the Lao Communist Party's central committee as saying that the party leadership did not trust Sombath, who has been campaigning to upgrade youth training, improve the rights of the poor rural population and to protect the environment.

    His attempt to plant the seeds of “freedom” in Lao youth minds was perceived as a clear challenge to the Communist Party leadership, which has ruled Laos with an iron fist since 1975, the diplomat said, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

    The Lao authorities have also been concerned over his role in organizing the Asia Europe People's Forum—where various "sensitive" issues such as corruption, land rights and environmental threats were discussed—ahead of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit that took place in Vientiane in November 2012, he said.

    One particular concern of the authorities was that Sombath had allegedly written a letter to Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi inviting her to attend the forum, he said.

    Aung San Suu Kyi did not attend the forum.

    The Communist Party’s suspicion was further inflamed by Sombath’s close contact with Thai and international environmentalist groups fiercely opposed to the construction of dams on the Mekong River and which had organized demonstration against the Xayaburi dam project during the ASEM Summit, the second diplomat said.

    The diplomat felt that the Lao government’s current strategy is to "drag its feet" over the Sombath's case, hoping that the issue will fade away like all past arbitrary arrests, imprisonments, and forced disappearances in the country.

    International community's concerns

    The United Nations, the United States, and the European Parliament have all raised concerns about Sombath's disappearance while human rights groups expressed fears he may have been abducted by security groups linked to the government.

    London-based Amnesty International and U.S.-based Human Rights Watch had said that Sombath was a victim of "enforced disappearance"—defined under international law as the arrest or detention of a person by state officials or their agents followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or to reveal the person’s fate or whereabouts.

    “Based on the evidence, the most plausible conclusion is that Sombath Somphone is a victim of an enforced disappearance, for which Lao officials are responsible,” Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s Researcher on Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam said recently.

    “The fact that Sombath was taken from a police post in the center of Laos’ capital city, and that the police there did nothing to resist, raises very serious concerns,” he said.

    Human Rights Watch had said that the authorities in Laos have "failed to seriously investigate or credibly explain the enforced disappearance" of Sombath.

    It said there was no indication that the Lao authorities had made any follow-up inquiries into the actions recorded on the police security video.

    “After six months, the Lao government’s failure to explain the abduction of a prominent social activist at a police checkpoint or account for his whereabouts raises the gravest concerns for his safety,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

    Sombath was the former director of the Participatory Development Training Centre (PADETC), a nongovernmental organization he founded in 1996 to promote education, training, and sustainable development.

    He was the recipient of the 2005 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership for his work in the fields of education and development across Asia.

    Reported by RFA's Lao Service. Translated by Viengsay Luangkhot. Written in English by Parameswaran Ponnudurai.

    http://www.rfa.org/english/news/laos/sombath-07092013214754.html
      
    ອົງການຕໍາຫຼວດສາກົນ ກໍໄດ້ອອກເອກກະສານເປັນໃບແຈ້ງການວ່າ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ເປັນຄົນ ສູນຫາຍຢ່າງເປັນທາງການແລ້ວ.
     ຕໍາຫຼວດລາວຈັດຖະແຫຼງຂ່າວຄັ້ງທີ3ກ່ຽວກັບການຫາຍຕົວ ຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດ
    ການປຸກລະດົມຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ທາງການລາວຊອກຫາທ່ານສົມບັດສົມພອນຂອງເຄືອຂ່າຍເຍົາວະຊົນອາຊ່ຽນ ຈັດຂຶ້ນທີ່ປະເທດໄທ
    ການປຸກລະດົມຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ທາງການລາວຊອກຫາທ່ານສົມບັດສົມພອນຂອງເຄືອຂ່າຍເຍົາວະຊົນອາຊ່ຽນ ຈັດຂຶ້ນທີ່ປະເທດໄທ
     
    ຊົງຣິດ ໂພນເງິນ25.06.2013
    ທາງການຕໍາຫຼວດລາວຈັດຖະແຫຼງຂ່າວຢ່າງເປັນທາງການຄັ້ງທີ3 ກ່ຽວກັບກໍລະນີການຫາຍຕົວໄປຂອງ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ສ່ວນເຄືອຂ່າຍເຍົາວະຊົນອາຊ່ຽນ ກໍຍັງສືບຕໍ່ເຄື່ອນໄຫວກົດດັນລັດຖະບານລາວ.
     
    ພັນເອກ ເພັງສະຫວັນ ທິບພະວົງໄຊ ຮອງຫົວໜ້າກົມໃຫຍ່ຕໍາຫຼວດກະຊວງປ້ອງກັນ ຄວາມສະຫງົບພາຍໃນ
    ລາວ ໄດ້ໃຫ້ການຢືນຢັນໃນໂອກາດການຈັດຖະແຫຼງຂ່າວຢ່າງ ເປັນທາງການເປັນຄັ້ງທີ 3 ກ່ຽວກັບກໍລະນີການ
    ຫາຍ ຕົວໄປຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ນັກພັດທະນາທາງສັງຄົມຜູ້ທີ່ດີເດັ່ນຂອງລາວແລະເອເຊຍວ່າທາງ ການ ຕໍາຫຼວດລາວ ຍັງດໍາເນີນການສືບສວນ-ສອບສວນ ເພື່ອຄົ້ນຫາຄວາມຈິງກ່ຽວກັບກໍລະນີດັ່ງກ່າວນີ້ຢູ່ເລື້ອຍມາ.
     
    ທັງນີ້ ໄດ້ລົງໄປປະສານງານສົມທົບກັບອໍານາດການປົກຄອງບ້ານຊໍາເກດ ເມືອງສີໂຄດຕະບອງກັບບ້ານຊ່າງຫົວ
    ບໍ່ ເມືອງໄຊທານີ ເພື່ອເກັບກໍາຂໍ້ມູນແລະ ສາຍພົວພັນຕ່າງໆ ຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດ ຢູ່ທີ່ສູນປັນຍານິເວດ ແລະສູນຮຽນ ຮູ້ສວນໄມ້ລາວ. ນອກນັ້ນ ກໍໄດ້ລົງໄປເກັບກໍາຂໍ້ມູນຢູ່ບ້ານນາຄໍາ ເມືອງສີໂຄດຕະບອງ ກັບບ້ານໂຄກນິນ ເມືອງສີສັດ ຕະນາກແລະຈຸດອື່ນໆອີກຈໍານວນນຶ່ງ ເພື່ອເປັນບ່ອນອິງ ໃນການຊອກຫາຕົວທ່ານສົມບັດຕໍ່ໄປ.
     
    ຍິ່ງໄປກວ່ານັ້ນ ພັນເອກ ເພັງສະຫວັນ ຍັງໄດ້ຢືນຢັນວ່າ ທາງການຕໍາຫຼວດລາວໄດ້ປະສານງານກັບອົງການ ຕໍາ ຫຼວດສາກົນອີກດ້ວຍ ໂດຍທາງການລາວກໍໄດ້ເຮັດໜັງສືສະເໜີໄປເຖິງອົງການຕໍາຫຼວດສາກົນ ເພື່ອຂໍໃຫ້ອອກ ໃບແຈ້ງຄົນຫາຍສາບສູນ ຊຶ່ງອົງການຕໍາຫຼວດສາກົນ ກໍໄດ້ອອກເອກກະສານເປັນໃບແຈ້ງການວ່າ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນເປັນຄົນສູນຫາຍຢ່າງເປັນທາງການແລ້ວ.
     
    ໃນວັນທີ 23 ເມສາທີ່ຜ່ານມາ ແລະໃນໄລຍະດຽວກັນນັ້ນ ທາງການລາວກໍໄດ້ສົ່ງໜັງສືໄປເຖິງທາງການຕໍາຫຼວດ ສາກົນຂອງສະຫະລັດອະເມຣິກາ ອິນເດຍ ເກົາຫຼີໃຕ້ ຍີ່ປຸ່ນຝຣັ່ງ ແລະ ສະເປນ ເພື່ອຂໍໃຫ້ຊ່ວຍຊອກຫາຂໍ້ມູນ ແລະຕົວທ່ານສົມບັດ ອີກດ້ວຍ.
     
    ການດໍາເນີນການດັ່ງກ່າວນີ້ ພັນເອກເພັງສະຫວັນ ໄດ້ຢືນຢັນວ່າ ເປັນການສະແດງເຖິງ ຄວາມຈິງໃຈຂອງທາງການລາວ ທີ່ມີຕໍ່ກໍລະນີການຫາຍຕົວໄປຂອງ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ທັງ
    ຍັງໄດ້ປະສານງານຮ່ວມກັບທ່ານນາງ Ng Shui Mengພັນລະຍາຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດ ຢ່າງສະ ໝໍ່າສະເໝີອີກດ້ວຍ.
     
    ແຕ່ຢ່າງໃດກໍຕາມ ພາຍຫຼັງຈາກທີ່ທ່ານນາງ Ng ShuiMeng ໄດ້ພົບ ປະກັບເຈົ້າ ໜ້າທີ່ ຕໍາຫຼວດລາວຄັ້ງຫລ້າສຸດເມື່ອວັນທີ 24 ເມສາທີ່ຜ່ານມາ ກໍມີລາຍງານວ່າ ທ່ານນາງໄດ້ ເດີນທາງໄປຫຼາຍແຫ່ງ ເພື່ອພົບປະກັບບັນດາອົງການເຄື່ອນໄຫວເພື່ອຄຸ້ມຄອງສິດທິ
    ມະນຸດໃນທົ່ວອາຊ່ຽນ ທັງຍັງໄດ້ມີການພົວພັນກັບບັນດາທູດຂອງອາຊ່ຽນ ແລະບັນດາ ປະເທດທີ່ມີສະຖານທູດ ຕັ້ງຢູ່ໃນອາຊ່ຽນ ເພື່ອຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ຊ່ວຍກົດດັນທາງການລາວໃຫ້ເລັ່ງດໍາເນີນການ ສືບສວນ-ສອບສວນຢ່າງຈິງ ຈັງອີກດ້ວຍ.
     
    ກ່ອນໜ້ານີ້ ຜູ້ແທນຂອງ 125 ອົງການເຄື່ອນໄຫວ ເພື່ອຄຸ້ມຄອງສິດທິມະນຸດໃນອາຊ່ຽນກໍໄດ້ໃຫ້ການຢືນ
    ຢັນວ່າ ການເຄື່ອນໄຫວເພື່ອຄົ້ນຫາຄວາມຈິງ ແລະ ຮຽກຮ້ອງຂໍຄວາມຍຸຕິທໍາໃຫ້ກັບທ່ານສົມບັດ ທີ່ຫາຍ ຕົວໄປໃນລາວ ນັບຕັ້ງແຕ່ວັນທີ 5 ທັນວາ 2012 ເປັນຕົ້ນມາຈົນເຖິງທຸກມື້ນີ້ ຈະຍັງຄົງດໍາເນີນການເຄື່ອນ ໄຫວຕໍ່ໄປຢ່າງບໍ່ຢຸດຢັ້ງ ຫຼືຈົນກວ່າຈະໄດ້ຮັບຮູ້ເຖິງຄວາມຈິງທີ່ວ່າ ສາເຫດໃດແທ້ທີ່ເຮັດໃຫ້ ທ່ານສົມບັດຖືກ ລັກພາຕົວໄປແລະເປັນການກະທໍາຂອງກຸ່ມບຸກຄົນໃດ ດັ່ງທີ່ຜູ້ແທນຂອງເຄືອຂ່າຍເຍົາວະຊົນໃນອາຊ່ຽນ
    ໄດ້ຖະແຫຼງການວ່າ:

    ການລັກພາຕົວທ່ານສົມບັດ ຄືອາດຊະຍາກໍາຕໍ່ສັນຕິພາບ ແລະຄວາມໝັ້ນຄົງຂອງພູມິພາກແມ່ 
    ນໍ້າຂອງ ແລະອາຊ່ຽນ ເປັນສິ່ງຂັດຂວາງການພັດທະນາຂອງພູມິພາກນີ້ ອີກທັງລະເມີດຫຼັກການສິດ ທິມະນຸດຂັ້ນພື້ນຖານ ທັງນີ້ເປັນເຫດການຂັ້ນຮຸນແຮງ ທີ່ຈະຕ້ອງໄດ້ຮັບການແກ້ໄຂໃຫ້ດີຂຶ້ນ ດ້ວຍ ຄວາມເຫັນພ້ອງຕ້ອງກັນຂອງທັງພູມິພາກໃນລະດັບລະຫວ່າງປະເທດ.”
     
    ທັງນີ້ ບັນດາອົງການສິດທິມະນຸດ ເຊື່ອວ່າກໍລະນີການຫາຍຕົວໄປຂອງທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ເປັນການກະທໍາຂອງເຈົ້າ ໜ້າທີ່ຂອງລັດຖະບານລາວ ໂດຍມີພາບທີ່ບັນ ທຶກໄວ້ດ້ວຍກ້ອງວົງຈອນປິດຂອງທາງການລາວເອງ ເປັນພະຍານ ຫຼັກຖານ ຫາກແຕ່ທາງການລາວກັບບໍ່ໄດ້ໃຊ້ພະຍານຫຼັກຖານດັ່ງກ່າວເປັນປະໂຫຍດຕໍ່ການສືບສວນ-ສອບສວນ ຫາຄວາມຈິງແຕ່ຢ່າງໃດ.
     
    ຍີ່ງໄປກວ່ານັ້ນ ທາງການລາວຍັງໄດ້ປະຕິເສດ ຕໍ່ການສະເໜີຂອງທາງການສະຫະລັດອະເມຣິກາ ແລະສະຫະພາບ ຢູໂຣບ ທີ່ຈະໃຫ້ການຊ່ວຍເຫຼືອໃນດ້ານເທັກນິກສະໄໝໃໝ່ ສໍາລັບການກວດສອບພາບທີ່ບັນທຶກໄວ້ ດ້ວຍກ້ອງວົງ ຈອນປິດດັ່ງກ່າວອີກດ້ວຍໂດຍໃຫ້ເຫດຜົນກ່ຽວກັບຄວາມໝັ້ນຄົງຂອງຊາດເປັນສໍາຄັນ



    ສະມາ​ຊິກ​ສະພາ​ຈາກ​ຫຼາຍ​ປະ​ເທດ​ສະ​ແດງ​ຄວາມ​​ເປັນກັງ​ວົນ​ໃຈ​by rsbtwsສະມາຊິກສະພາຈາກ​ຫຼາຍ​ປະ​ເທດທີ່​ໄດ້​ເດີນທາງ​ໄປ​ປະ​ເທດ​ລາວ​​​ເມື່ອ​ເດືອນມັງກອນ ​ແລະ ​ເດືອນ​ມີນາ ​ໄດ້​ຂຽນ​ຈົດໝາຍ​ເຖິງ​ຜູ້ນຳ​ຂອງ​ລາວ "...​​ມີ​ຄວາມເປັນກັງ​ວົນ​​​ຕໍ່​ການຂາດ​ເຈດ​ຈຳນົງ​ທາງ​ການ​ເມືອງ​​ທີ່​ຈະ​ດຳ​ເນີນ​ການ​ສືບສວນ​ສອບ​ສວນ​ຢ່າງ​ຈິງ​ຈັງ​​ກ່ຽວ​ກັບການ​ກາຍ​ຕົວ​ໄປ​ຂອງ ສົມບັດ ສົມ​ພອນ.​​​​"ນັກ​ອອກ​ກົດໝາຍຈາກປະ​ເທດຟີລິບປິນ, ມາເລເຊຍ, ອິນໂດເນເຊັຍແລະເນເທີແລນໄດ້ຂຽນ​ຈົດ​ໝາຍມີ​ເນື້ອ​ໃນດັ່ງ​ນີ້:​ລະຫວ່າງ​ການ​ຢ້ຽມຢາມ​, ພວກ​ຂ້າພະ​ເຈົ້າ​ໄດ້​ຮັບ​ຄຳ​ໝັ້ນ​ສັນຍາ​ໃນ​ຫຼາຍ​ປະ​ເດັນ ຈາກຄະນະຜູ້​ແທນ​ສະພາ ​ແລະ ຜູ້​ແທນລັດຖະບານ ທັງ​ນີ້​ລວມທັງ​ຄຳ​ໝັ້ນ​ສັນຍາ​ທີ່​ຈະ​ດຳ​ເນີນ​​ການເຕັມທີ່​ສືບສວນ​ສອບ​ສວນ​ຢ່າງ​ລະອຽດ ​ແລະ ໂປ່​ງ​ໃສຕໍ່​ກໍລະນີ​ການ​ຫາຍ​ຕົວ​ໄປ​ຂອງ​ສົມບັດ​ສົມພອນ​ເມື່ອ​ວັນ​ທີ 15 ທັນວາ 2012...ມື້​ນີ້, ວັນ​ທີ 15 ມິຖຸນາ 2013 ​ເປັນມື້​ຄົບຮອບ​ 6 ​ເດືອນຂອງ​ການ​ຫາຍ​ຕົວ​ໄປ​ຂອງ​ສົມບັດ ຈົນ​ຮອດ​ປັດຈຸບັນ​ຍັງ​ບໍ່​ເຫັນການ​ສົ່ງ​ຕົວ​ສົມບັດ ກັບ​ຄືນ​ຫາ​ຄອບຄົວຢ່າງ​ປອດ​ໄພ​ແຕ່​ຢ່າງ​ໃດ​ເລີຍ​. ຈາກ​ການ​ຖະ​ແຫຼ​ງລາຍ​ງານຄວາມ​ຄືບ​ໜ້າ​ຂອງ​ເຈົ້າ​ໜ້າ​ທີ່ລາວ​ລ່າ​ສຸດ​​​ມີ​ຄວາມ​ຂັດ​​ແຍ້​ງ ​ແລະ ສ້າງ​ໃຫ້​ເກີດ​ຄວາມ​ເຂົ້າ​ໃຈ​ຜິດ ​ເຊິ່ງສະ​ແດງ​ໃຫ້​ເຫັນ​​ເຖິງ​ຄວາມ​ບໍ່​ຍຸດຕິ​ທຳ ​ແລະ ຄວາມ​ບໍ່​ເລິກ​​ເຊິ່ງຂອງ​ຂະບວນການ​ສືບສວນ​ສອບ​ສວນ​ຂອງ​ເຈົ້າ​ໜ້າ​ທີ່...ພວກ​ຂ້າພະ​ເຈົ້າ​ຮຽກຮ້ອງ​ໃຫ້​ລັດຖະບານ​ລາວດຳ​ເນີນ​ການ​ຢ່າງຮີ​ບດ່ວນ ພາຍ​ໃຕ້​ພັນທະ​ສັນຍາ​ທີ່​ມີ​ຕໍ່​ກົດໝາຍ​ສາກົນ ​​​ໃນດຳ​ເນີນ​ການ​ສື​ບສວນ​ສອບ​ສວນຊຸດ​ໃໝ່​ແບບ​ອິດສະຫຼະ ​ແລະຮັບປະກັນວ່າ​ການ​ດຳ​ເນີນ​ການ​ທຸກ​ຂັ້ນ​ຕອນ​ແມ່ນ​ເປັນ​ໄປ​ເພື່ອ​​ການ​ຄົ້ນ​ຫາ ​ແລະ ຊ່ວຍ​ເຫຼືອ​ຊີວິດ​ຂອງ​ສົມບັດ​ໃຫ້​ຫຼຸດ​ພົ້ນ​ຈາກ​ການ​ຄຸມ​ຂັງ ​ແລະ ​ໄດ້​ກັບ​ຄືນ​ຫາ​ຄອບຄົວ​ຂອງ​ລາວ​ຢ່າງ​ປອດ​ໄພ​ໂດຍ​ດ່ວນ...ຈົດໝາຍ​ສະບັບ​ເຕັມ​ໄດ້​ຖືກ​ສົ່ງ​​ໄປ​ເຖິງປະ​ທານ​ປະ​ເທດສປປລາວ, ນາຍົກລັດຖ​ະມົນຕີ​ສປປລາວ, ລັດຖະມົນ​ຕີວ່າການ​ກະຊວງ​ການ​ຕ່າງປະ​ເທດສປປລາວ, ​ແລະ ປະທານ​ສະພາ​ແຫ່ງ​ຊາດ ສປປລາວ ​ໂດຍສາມາດ​ອ່ານ​ຈົດໝາຍ​ພາສາອັງກິດສະບັບ​ເຕັມ​ໄດ້​ທີ່​ນີ້.
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    Action at the Embassy of Laos in Manila on the 6th month of Sombath Somphone's Forced Disappearance
    Candle lighting and offering of flowers to represent messages of hope, support and remembrance from all over the world for Sombath at the Lao PDR Embassy in Makati, Philippines on the 6th month since ...
      
    ຜແນກ ພາສາລາວ | ການເມືອງ
    ຂໍ້ມູນໃຫມ່ເຣື້ອງ ທ.ສົມບັດ2013-06-17
     : ຣົດກະບະ ສີຂາວ ທີ່ ນໍາເອົາໂຕ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ໄປຈາກ ປ້ອມຍາມ ຕໍາຫຼວດ, ຫລັກຖານໃໝ່ ທີ່ ທາງອົງການ ສາກົນ ຄົ້ນພົບ ຈາກກ້ອງ ວົງຈອນປິດ ແມ່ນມີການ ຍິງປືນຂຶ້ນຟ້າ ຊື່ງຫວັງວ່າ ອາຈໄດ້ອອກ ສູ່ສາຍຕາ ຂອງຊາວໂລກ
    ຣົດກະບະ ສີຂາວ ທີ່ ນໍາເອົາໂຕ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ໄປຈາກ ປ້ອມຍາມ ຕໍາຫຼວດ, ຫລັກຖານໃໝ່ ທີ່ ທາງອົງການ ສາກົນ ຄົ້ນພົບ ຈາກກ້ອງ ວົງຈອນປິດ ແມ່ນມີການ ຍິງປືນຂຶ້ນຟ້າ ຊື່ງຫວັງວ່າ ອາຈໄດ້ອອກ ສູ່ສາຍຕາ ຂອງຊາວໂລກ
    fresh-detail-emerges-about-sombath-abduction
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    ມີຂໍ້ມູນ ໃຫມ່ ທີ່ຄົ້ນພົບ ໃນຊ່ວງ ທີ່ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ຖືກຈັບ. ຫນ່ວຍງານ ຄົ້ນຄວ້າ ແລະພິສູດ ຫລັກຖານ ຈາກອົງການ ນິຣະໂທດກັມ ສາກົນ ໃຫ້ການວ່່າ: ອິງຕາມ ການສັນຣະສູດ ຈາກ ກ້ອງວົນຈອນປິດ ທີ່ ພັລຍາ ຂອງທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ໄດ້ copy ສົ່ງໃຫ້ ແລະ ພົບວ່າ ມີມືປືນ ໃນເວລາ ທີ່ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ຖືກຈັບ ແລະ ມີການຍິງປືນ ຂຶ້ນຟ້າ ໃນເວລານັ້ນ, ເຫດການ ດັ່ງກ່າວ ເປັນ ສິ່ງສຳຄັນ ເພາະ ເຈົ້າຫນ້າທີ່ ຕຳຣວດລາວ ໃນປ້ອມ ຕຳຣວດ ແຫ່ງນັ້ນ ບອກວ່າ ສະຖານນະການ ໃນ ຄຶນນັ້ນ ປົກກະຕິດີ . ທາງ ອົງການ ສາກົນ ເວົ້າວ່າ ຈະເປັນ ປົກກະຕິ ໄດ້ຢ່າງໃດ ເພາະມີ ເຫດການ ເກີດຂຶ້ນ ໃນຄືນນັ້ນ.ອົງການ ນິຣະໂທດກັມ  ສາກົນ ບອກວ່າ ການສືບສວນ ຂອງ ຕຳຣວດລາວ ຍັງຂາດ ມາຕຖານ ແລະ ຂາດຄວາມ ໂປ່ງໄສ ຫລາຍ, ການສລຸບຜົລ ແບບ ແປກ ປະຫລາດ ແລະ ຜິດ ປົກກະຕິ ທີ່ວ່າ ບໍ່ມີຫຍັງ ເກີດຂຶ້ນ ໃນຄືນ ເກີດເຫດ ທັ້ງໆທີ່ ເຈົ້າຫນ້າທີ່ ເປັນຜູ້ ຢຸດຣົຖ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ແລະ ໃຫ້ມືປືນນຳ ເອົາທ່ານ ຂຶ້ນຣົຖໄປ.ນອກຈາກນັ້ນ ທາງການລາວ ຍັງ ປະຕິເສດ ການຊ່ອຍເຫຼືອ ໃນການ ສືບສວນ ດັ່ງກ່າວ ຈາກ ຕ່າງປະເທດ ຕົວຢ່າງ: ອົງການ ສາກົນ ຕ້ອງການ ວິຈັຍ ຮູບພາບ ໃນກ້ອງ ວົງຈອນປິດ ຢ່າງຣະອຽດ ດ້ວຍການໃຊ້ ເທັກໂນໂລຈີ ທີ່ ທັນສມັຍ ເພື່ອຢາກຮູ້ ປ້າຍຣົຖ ຂອງ ຄັນທີ່ເອົາ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ໄປຈາກ ປ້ອມຕໍາຫຼວດ ແລະ ຢາກຮູ້ຫນ້າຕາ ຂອງບຸກຄົນ ທີ່ເອົາທ່ານໄປ. ແຕ່ ທາງການລາວ ກໍ ປະຕິເສດ ທີ່ຈະໃຫ້ ຄວາມຮ່ວມມື.ອົງການ ນິຣະໂທດກັມ ສາກົນ ໄດ້ພຍາຍາມ ຂໍເຂົ້າໄປ ສປປ ລາວ ແລະ ຢາກໂອ້ລົມ ກັບ ເຈົ້າຫນ້າທີ່ ລາວ ກ່ຽວກັບ ເຣື້ອງນີ້ ບໍ່ວ່າໃນລາວ ຫລື ຢູ່ ຕ່າງປະເທດ ແຕ່ ຄຳຮ້ອງຂໍນັ້ນ ກໍຖືກ ປະຕິເສດ ຈາກ ທາງການລາວ ມາຕຣອດ.
    Six months after the abduction of activist Sombath Somphone, the nation appears to be falling behind its neighbours and stuck in the grip of a self-serving regime ruling on fear
    UNITED FRONT:
    UNITED FRONT:
    A group of about 20 activists from Thailand and Laos gather in Bangkok to call on authorities in Vientiane to speed up their investigation into the disappearance of Sombath Somphone.


    Six months after the disappearance in Vientiane of Sombath Somphone, the founder of an NGO set up to help rural youth, the Lao government is looking increasingly like the black sheep among its Asean.
    As Myanmar progressively distances itself from its dictatorial past by liberalising the press and opening political space for the opposition, the Lao regime is sinking into an obscurantist authoritarianism which seems out of touch with the regional context.
    The last sign of this anachronism came at the end of May when Lao authorities sent back to North Korea nine youths who had fled their Stalinist mother country and, with the help of South Korean Christian, had crossed from China into Laos.
    ''I would characterise the Laotian regime as a plutocracy that is auctioning the natural resources of the country for the benefit of a small group under the guise of communism,'' said a Western observer in Vientiane.
    And the disappearance of Mr Sombath, the most well known and respected Lao NGO worker, is a tragic testament to the country's dark side.
    On Dec 15, Mr Sombath was driving home in his Jeep along Tha Deua Road, which follows the Mekong on the eastern side of Vientiane. He was arrested by uniformed policemen and then led by plainclothes individuals to a pickup and driven away.
    The scene was filmed by a CCTV camera and seen the day after by Mr Sombath's wife, Ng Shui Meng, at the police station. She had the presence of mind to make a copy of the film on her mobile phone. [ It can be viewed at http://sombath.org ]
    Since then, police have refused to release the original video. Despite having recognised that the investigation was hampered by their lack of technological expertise, Lao authorities have rejected an offer of assistance from the US embassy to help identify the people and vehicles seen in the film.
    ''The government has kept the same story from the beginning, speaking about a 'business conflict''', Ng Shui Maeng, a Singaporean national, said. ''They did not give me any substantive information.''



    HOLDING OUT HOPE:
    HOLDING OUT HOPE:
    Ng Shui Meng, the wife of Sombath Somphone, holds a poster of her husband at a shop in Vientiane shortly after his disappearance early this year.
     
    Most foreign observers in Vientiane consider that the authorities are at least partially involved in the disappearance.

    A widespread theory is that a powerful Lao politician took the initiative to move against Mr Sombath and has subsequently been protected by the regime's leaders.
    ''Laos is a small country and has a good security information system,'' a long-time Vientiane resident said.
    ''It goes from the top to the village level. Every village has a system to look for strangers. How could the Politburo not know what has happened?''
    The Lao police, so efficient when they want to act against pro-democracy demonstrators as they did in 1999, have not distinguished themselves during the investigation on Mr Sombath's disappearance. After six months, they have not even been able to find his Jeep.
    Lao authorities have a record of being ruthless against political opponents, even after the advent of a more liberal economic policy at the end of the 1980s.
    ''The Lao government uses hard methods against members of the anti-government movement on Thai territory. They hire gunmen to kill them,'' Adisorn Semyaem, an expert on Laos at Chulalongkorn University's Institute of Asian Studies, said.
    A famous case was the killing in January, 2006, of Anouvong and Uraiwan Setthathirath, two Lao-Americans who claimed to belong to the Lao royal family.
    In October, 1999, four organisers of an aborted pro-democracy demonstration in Vientiane were arrested and sentenced to 10 years in jail but were never seen again despite having completed their sentences.
    ''Laos is a deceptive country. We have no image of repression, because the repression is never visible. Things are happening but it is like nothing happens,'' an NGO worker said.
    But the disappearance of Mr Sombath has been especially surprising as he is not a political activist and has always worked in close cooperation with the authorities. After his studies in the US, he returned to his home country at the end of the 1970s and worked in agricultural development.
    In 1996, he founded PADETC (Participatory Development Training Centre), an organisation with an objective to train young people so that they can disseminate information to villagers about their rights.
    In 2005, he was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay award in recognition of his work.
    ''His focus has been to make the people understand their rights, not to confront the government,'' Ng Shui Meng said.
    Mr Sombath resigned last year from the leadership of the organisation.
    Most sources are linking his disappearance with the prominent role he played as co-chairman of the organising committee of the Asia-Europe People's Forum (APF), which took place in Vientiane last November, ahead of the Asia Europe Summit.
    Mr Sombath and other co-chairmen organised the forum in agreement with the authorities and with the full participation of the various movements and fronts controlled by the regime. But a number of ''incidents''during the event seem to have irritated some top leaders.


    MOST WANTED BACK:
    MOST WANTED BACK:
    A poster in Vientiane calling for information on the disappearance of Sombath Somphone. Many foreign countries and activists are pressuring Laos to speed up the investigation into his disappearance.
     
    A Lao vision statement co-written by Mr Sombath and summing up all the consultations that had taken place before the forum stated that economic growth in itself was not the solution to all problems in Laos - a position that could be seen as contradicting the obsessive quest of the country's leadership for high economic growth. Lao authorities blocked its distribution at the forum.During the APF, some villagers took to the stage to describe how their land had been confiscated to be given to concession owners - most of them Vietnamese or Chinese companies - in different regions.''This is one of the most sensitive issues in a country where mining operations and rubber plantations are developing fast,'' an NGO director in Vientiane said.Some of the villagers were threatened on the spot, either verbally or via phone text messages accusing them of being ''traitors to the country''. They continued to be harassed after returning to their villages.The phone number from which the messages were sent was shown to the authorities by the forum organisers, but no action was taken.''The forum brought civil society out,'' the NGO director said. ''It showcased an ability to organise and mobilise, also at the provincial level. It was unsettling for authorities.''The actions also made the government aware of the potential of civil society groups, another NGO source said. ''They felt they needed to send a message by moving against Sombath,'' he said.An atmosphere of fear and intimidation surrounds the case. Almost no sources based in Vientiane agreed to be identified by name for this report. The people sympathetic to Mr Sombath within the circles of power have been told to ''mind their own business''.''There is a wall of silence, and I don't know why,'' Ng Shui Meng said.In a country as impenetrable as Laos, where the press is totally under government control and where judges are named by the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, it is not easy to track down who precisely could be behind Mr Sombath's disappearance. A few names are circulating regularly: Those of children of Politburo members, offshoot of a nomenklatura who exploit the system to seize economic opportunities.''The structural principle of Laotian politics is based on family dynasties,'' a Western analyst in Vientiane said. ''They work across generations. You have 10 or 15 families who compete internally with each other, but who, outside, have the same interests.''The spoiled children of these families are said to be ''totally wild'' and not dissimilar to the ''Chinese princelings''. They drive across Vientiane in their sport cars, knowing that in case of accidents they can escape the court because of family protection. They control businesses in various provinces, most notably in Khammouane and Savannakhet.Martin Stuart-Fox, emeritus professor at the University of Queensland in Australia who has studied Lao politics for the past 50 years, agrees that patronage is the key word to understanding the regime.''If they take a model from anywhere, they take it from Cambodia,'' he said.''Like Cambodia, the politics of Laos is based on patron-client relationships. Powerful people in the Politburo are where they are because of the way they have built political networks within the party.''And the generation of well-meaning Lao technocrats in their 40s and 50s trained in Europe, Australia or the US have also adapted to this pattern, he said.''They may wish they had a more open society, but they don't. And they know they have to be part of that patron-client system if they want to benefit,'' Mr Stuart-Fox said.One thing is clear: The people who organised Mr Sombath's disappearance and those in the leadership who have helped to cover it up have grossly underestimated the extent of the international reaction.''They probably thought it'd be soon back to business as usual, but that's not been the case,'' a Western representative in Laos said.''The cost for them is getting higher by the minute. And the only solution is that they release him, even if it involves a loss of face''.Most European countries have made Mr Sombath's case a priority issue in any bilateral meetings, and Lao ministers travelling in Europe are constantly reminded of the case. In Thailand, a broad network has been set up by friends, NGO workers, journalists and academics to help search for Mr Sombath and keep the pressure on Lao authorities.At the Asean government level, Singapore has, by far, been the most active, while the Yingluck Shinawatra government has seemed particularly unconcerned about the fate of Mr Sombath.Even undemocratic Vietnam, Laos' ''big brother'' since the Pathet Lao takeover in Vientiane in December 1975, is said to have been irritated by the inept and incompetent handling of the case by the authorities in Vientiane, which is beginning to affect its reputation.''There has never been so much talk on the bad practices of Vietnamese companies in Laos,'' a source involved in land issues in the country said of the shifting attitude within Laos.During the Asean summit in April in Brunei, some member countries proposed that the issue of disappearances be written (along with the Rohingya issue) on the agenda of the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, but there was no consensus and the proposal was blocked.Ng Shui Meng said that Asean can play a crucial role, because, ''the case is not only a Lao issue but also a regional issue, as Sombath represents the voice of Asean on people-centred and sustainable development.''Despite the fear created by the disappearance, some Westerners working in Vientiane consider that the tragic event has also some less negative impact''The Lao government is not a government by law but a government by fear,'' an NGO source said.''But what happened made a dormant fear more apparent. The unknown line has materialised, which is healthier.''The scope of the international concern, the largest ever faced by Laos, will also probably act as a protection for other development workers and humanitarian agents who are taking risks to promote a more open and more just society, a fight for which Mr Sombath has become a symbol.''Those who did it will now think twice before doing it again,'' the NGO source said.
    rsbtws | June 16, 2013 at 11:50 am | Categories: News coverage | URL: http://wp.me/p31ee8-v9

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    ນັກເຄື່ອນໄຫວເພື່ອສິດທິມະນຸດໃນອາຊ່ຽນຢືນຢັນວ່າ ພັນລະຍາຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ຍັງຄົງສືບຕໍ່ການ ເຄື່ອນໄຫວເພື່ອຮຽກຮ້ອງຂໍຄວາມເປັນທໍາໃຫ້ກັບທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ຈົນເຖິງທຸກມື້ນີ້.
     
    ຜູ້ແທນຂອງ 125 ອົງການເຄື່ອນໄຫວເພື່ອຄຸ້ມຄອງສິດທິມະນຸດໃນອາຊ່ຽນ ໃຫ້ການຢືນຢັນວ່າ ການເຄື່ອນ ໄຫວ ເພື່ອຄົ້ນຫາຄວາມຈິງ ແລະຮຽກຮ້ອງຂໍຄວາມຍຸຕິທໍາໃຫ້ກັບທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ນັກພັດທະນາທາງ ສັງຄົມ ທີ່ດີເດັ່ນຂອງລາວ ແລະເອເຊຍ ທີ່ຫາຍສາບສູນໄປໃນລາວນັບຕັ້ງແຕ່ວັນທີ 5 ທັນວາ 2012 ເປັນຕົ້ນ ມາຈົນ ເຖິງທຸກມື້ນີ້ ຈະຍັງຄົງດໍາເນີນການເຄື່ອນໄຫວຕໍ່ໄປຢ່າງບໍ່ຢຸດຍັ້ງ ຫຼືຈົນກວ່າວ່າຈະໄດ້ຮັບຮູ້ເຖິງຄວາມຈິງ ທີ່ວ່າ ແມ່ນສາເຫດໃດແທ້ທີ່ເຮັດໃຫ້ທ່ານສົມບັດຖືກລັກພາຕົວໄປ ເປັນຝີມືຫຼືການກະທໍາຂອງກຸ່ມບຸກຄົນໃດ ໃນລາວ.
     
    ຫລ້າສຸດນີ້ ກໍມີລາຍງານວ່າທ່ານນາງ Ng Shui Meng ພັນລະຍາຊາວ ສິງຄະໂປຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດ ໄດ້ເດີນທາງ ໄປພົບປະກັບບັນດາອົງການເຄື່ອນໄຫວ ເພື່ອຄຸ້ມຄອງສິດທິມະນຸດໃນທົ່ວອາຊ່ຽນ ລວມທັງຍັງໄດ້ມີການ ພົວ ພັນກັບບັນດາ ຄະນະທູຕານຸທູດຂອງອາຊ່ຽນ ແລະບັນດາປະເທດທີ່ມີສະຖານທູດຕັ້ງຢູ່ໃນ 10 ປະເທດສະມາ ຊິກຂອງອາຊ່ຽນເພື່ອຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ປະກອບສ່ວນເຂົ້າໃນການກົດດັນຕໍ່ທາງການລັດຖະບານລາວໃຫ້ເລັ່ງດໍາເນີນ ການສືບສວນສອບສວນຫາຄວາມຈິງໃນກໍລະນີດັ່ງກ່າວນີ້ຢ່າງຈິງຈັງດ້ວຍ.
    ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ແລະວຽກງານ ພັດທະນາດ້ານການກະເສດໃນລາວ
    ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ແລະວຽກງານ ພັດທະນາດ້ານການກະເສດໃນລາວ
    ກ່ອນໜ້ານີ້ບັນດາຜູ້ແທນຂອງ 125 ອົງການສິດທິມະນຸດຊົນ ກໍໄດ້ຮ່ວມກັນຍື່ນຈົດໝາຍ ເຖິງທ່ານນາງຢິ່ງລັກ ຊິນນະວັດ ນາຍົກລັດຖະມົນຕີໄທເພື່ອຮຽກ ຮ້ອງຂໍໃຫ້ ລັດຖະບານໄທ ປະກອບສ່ວນເຂົ້າໃນການກົດດັນຕໍ່ລັດຖະບານລາວຕໍ່ໍກໍລະນີ ການ ຫາຍຕົວໄປຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດມາແລ້ວ ໂດຍເນື້ອໃນສໍາຄັນຂອງຈົດໝາຍດັ່ງກ່າວໄດ້ ລະບຸວ່າ ການຮ່ວມມືລະຫວ່າງລັດຖະບານໄທກັບລາວໃນໄລຍະຜ່ານມາ ໄດ້ເນັ້ນໜັກ ສະເພາະດ້ານເສດຖກິດຈົນລະ ເລີຍຄວາມສໍາພັນໃນການຄຸ້ມຄອງສິດ ທິຂັ້ນພື້ນຖານ ຂອງປະຊາຊົນຊຶ່ງຈະເຫັນໄດ້ຢ່າງຈະແຈ້ງ ຈາກກໍລະນີການຫາຍຕົວໄປຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດ ທີ່ນາໆຊາດເຊື່ອວ່າ ເປັນການກະທໍາຂອງເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ຂອງລັດຖະບານລາວ ໂດຍມີພາບທີ່ ບັນທຶກໄວ້ດ້ວຍກ້ອງວົງຈອນປິດຂອງທາງການລາວເອງເປັນພະຍານຫຼັກຖານຫາກແຕ່ ວ່າທາງການຕໍາຫຼວດລາວກັບບໍ່ໄດ້ໃຊ້ພະຍານຫຼັກຖານດັ່ງກ່າວໃຫ້ເປັນປະໂຫຍດຕໍ່ການ ສືບສວນ-ສອບສວນ ຫາຄວາມຈິງແຕ່ຢ່າງໃດ.
     
    ຍິ່ງໄປກວ່ານັ້ນ ທາງການລາວຍັງໄດ້ປະຕິເສດຕໍ່ການສະເໜີຂອງທາງການສະຫະລັດອາເມຣິກາ ແລະສະຫະ ພາບຢູໂຣບທີ່ຈະໃຫ້ການຊ່ວຍເຫຼືອໃນດ້ານເທັກນິກສະໄໝໃໝ່ສໍາຫຼັບການກວດສອບພາບທີ່ບັນທຶກໄວ້ ດ້ວຍ ກ້ອງວົງຈອນປິດດັ່ງກ່າວອີກດ້ວຍ ໂດຍໃຫ້ເຫດຜົນກ່ຽວກັບຄວາມໝັ້ນຄົງຂອງຊາດເປັນສໍາຄັນ ຊຶ່ງດ້ວຍທ່າທີ ດັ່ງກ່າວ ຈຶ່ງເຮັດໃຫ້ບັນດາອົງການສິດທິມະນຸດເບິ່ງ່ວ່າເປັນຄວາມບໍ່ເອົາຈິງເອົາຈັງຂອງລັດຖະບານລາວໃນການ ຄົ້ນຫາຄວາມຈິງເພື່ອທີ່ວ່າຈະໄດ້ໃຫ້ການຊ່ວຍເຫຼືອ ແກ່ທ່ານສົມບັດຢ່າງທັນການແລະໃນຖານະທີ່ໄປກັບ ລາວຕ່າງ ກໍເປັນສະມາຊິກໃນອາຊ່ຽນດ້ວຍກັນ ຈຶ່ງມີຄວາມຈໍາເປັນຢ່າງຍິ່ງທີ່ລັດຖະບານໄດ້ຈະຕ້ອງສະແດງ ການກົດດັນຕໍ່ ລັດຖະບານລາວໃນກໍລະນີດັ່ງກ່າວເພື່ອສະແດງເຖິງການເຄົາລົບຕໍ່ ສິດທິຂັ້ນພື້ນຖານຂອງປະຊາຊົນຢ່າງແທ້ຈິງ.
     
    ທາງດ້ານທ່ານນາງ ອັງຄະນາ ນີລະໄພຈິດ ພັນລະຍາຂອງທ່ານສົມຊາຍ ນີລະໄພຈິດ ທະນາຍຄວາມທີ່ມີຊື່ສຽງທີ່ໃຫ້ ການຊ່ວຍເຫຼືອດ້ານກົດໝາຍແກ່ຊາວໄທມູສລິມ ທີ່ຖືກອໍານາດລັດຄຸກຄາມຈົນຕ້ອງຖືກລັກພາ ຕົວໄປເມື່ອ 8 ປີ ກ່ອນ ແລະ ຍັງຫາຍສາບສູນຈົນເຖິງທຸກມື້ນີ້ ກໍໄດ້ໃຫ້ທັດສະນະວ່າ ກໍລະນີຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດ ກັບກໍລະນີຂອງ ທ່ານ ສົມຊາຍ ເກີດຂຶ້ນໃນລັກສະນະດຽວກັນ ດັ່ງທີ່ທ່ານນາງໄດ້ ໃຫ້ການອະທິບາຍວ່າ:
    ທ່ານນາງ ອັງຄະນາ ນີລະໄພຈິດ ພັນລະຍາ ຂອງທ່ານ ສົມຊາຍ ນີລະໄພຈິດ
    ທ່ານນາງ ອັງຄະນາ ນີລະໄພຈິດ ພັນລະຍາ ຂອງທ່ານ ສົມຊາຍ ນີລະໄພຈິດ
    ທັງສົມບັດ-ສົມຊາຍ ນີ້ ກໍຖືກເຮັດໃຫ້ຫາຍໄປໂດຍເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ລັດຄືກັນ ກໍລະນີ ສົມບັດນີ້ ມີພາບທີ່ອອກມາແລ້ວເຫັນຊັດເຈນວ່າເກີດຫຍັງຂຶ້ນ ຂະໜາດມີຫຼັກຖານ
    ແບບນີ້ ສປປ.ລາວ ກໍຍັງໃຫ້ຄໍາຕອບວ່າເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ຕໍາຫຼວດນີ້ ບໍ່ມີສ່ວນກ່ຽວຂ້ອງ ໃນຂະນະດຽວກັນກັບກໍລະນີ ສົມຊາຍ ນີລະໄພຈິດ ກໍມີຫຼັກຖານການໃຊ້ໂທລະສັບ ມີຄົນບອກດ້ວຍວ່າ ເປັນເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ຕໍາຫຼວດ ແຕ່ສຸດທ້າຍຂໍ້ມູນຕ່າງໆ ກໍຖືກລຶບ
    ຖິ້ມ ໄປໃນເວລາອັນວ່ອງໄວຫຼາຍ.”
     

    ກ່ອນໜ້ານີ້ ພັນເອກເພັງສະຫວັນ ທິບພະວົງໄຊ ຮອງຫົວໜ້າກົມໃຫຍ່ຕໍ່ຫຼວດ ກະຊວງ ປ້ອງກັນຄວາມສະຫງົບ ກໍໄດ້ໃຫ້ການຢືນຢັນວ່າໄດ້ປະສານງານກັບຫ້ອງການປ້ອງກັນ ຄວາມສະຫງົບທັງຂັ້ນເມືອງ ແລະແຂວງໃນທົ່ວປະເທດ ແຕ່ກໍຍັງບໍ່ພົບ ຕົວທ່ານສົມບັດ ແລະຍັງບໍ່ມີພາກສ່ວນໃດພົບເຫັນລົດ Jeep ທີ່ເປັນລົດຍົນສ່ວນຕົວຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດ ອີກດ້ວຍ.
     
     
    Solidarity Event for Sombath Somphone in Manila
    The Solidarity for Asian People’s Advocacy (SAPA) working group for ASEAN released a message during an event held in front of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs on April 12th. The statement calls on the leaders of ASEAN to put enforced disappearances on the agenda of their upcoming summit:
    On April 24 and 25, these ASEAN leaders will gather in Brunei under the theme of “Our People, Our Future Together.” But how can we invest our future in an ASEAN where peoples’ basic rights are continuously ignored and violated, a community where people are abducted and forced to disappear? We cannot be part of this. If ASEAN wants us to be part of this community then they should put the interests of the people above everything else. They should respect and uphold basic human rights.
    The entire statement can be read here. The event was organized by Focus on the Global South, Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), and Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearances (FIND).
    Let's visit Sombath Somphon'e Webside:
    http://sombath.org/


    Where is Sombath Somphone?
    Those who assert there is little civil society in the Lao PDR (Laos) have apparently never attended a celebration or festival in the country. Nor have they given due consideration to the staggering diversity of ethnicity and cultures, and the myriad and dynamic ways Lao communities have for centuries dealt with food shortages, natural disasters, and management and sharing of natural resources. Inside Laos, the current elite also seems to have forgotten that it was this same ability to organise and cope in the face of diverse, changing conditions that fed and sheltered the revolutionary struggle.But if one were to put a face to those aspects of Lao civil society more recognized at the national and international levels, it would be that of Sombath Somphone.Sombath grew up in rural Laos as the eldest child of a farming family. Passion, determination and a keen intellect led him through education at local, national and international institutions to obtain a BA in Education and an MA in Agriculture. While thousands of others were still fleeing Laos after the country gained independence in 1975, Sombath returned to work with the new government and his compatriots. Over the next three decades Sombath worked with remarkable persistence and humility to promote sustainable agriculture, participatory development and learner-centred education.In 2005, he received the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership for “…his hopeful efforts to promote sustainable development in Laos by training and motivating its young people to become a generation of leaders.” Sombath is one of only two Lao citizens to receive this award, often called Asia’s Nobel Prize, in its 55-year history. A practicing Buddhist, Sombath advocates a holistic approach to living, guided by respect for nature, compassion and honesty.On the evening of December 15, 2012, Sombath Somphone was abducted at a major street in Vientiane after being stopped by the police. Recorded by a CCTV camera, the abduction shocked people inside the country and across the world. The abduction itself as well as the government’s responses, continue to raise many troubling questions and paint the Lao government in very poor light.Slow and shallow investigationAlthough Lao authorities have repeatedly stated that they take Sombath’s disappearance seriously and are investigating it thoroughly and intensively, the investigation has been slow, shallow and ridden with contradictions.Four days after Sombath’s disappearance and after CCTV footage of the event was obtained by family members and posted on the internet, a Lao government report released by the KPL News Agency acknowledged that Sombath’s Jeep had been stopped by traffic police, during which he got out of his Jeep to present documents to the police officers. This was confirmed by the Lao Permanent Representative to the United Nations on January 4th 2013.Yet on February 4th2013, another report released in the Vientiane Times contradicted the first one on several points and asserted the authorities could no longer identify whose Jeep it was, or who had driven it. Further, investigators now “…found that the driver walked out of the car and went to the area around the back of the Jeep” rather than to present documents to the police as had been reported earlier. The first report stated that soon after the jeep had been stopped, someone had arrived on a motorbike and rushed toward the police outpost. Yet the second report again omitted mention of the police or their outpost, saying only that the motorcycle driver “…. walked into the direction where the owner of the Jeep walked to.” The first account reported that someone had driven Sombath’s car away and several minutes later a “…pickup truck stopped near the police outpost.” But the second report stated that the pickup had stopped in the vicinity where the Jeep had parked. Notable in these contradictions are attempts to erase connections between the abduction and the police.Authorities claim that the police were conducting routine, random vehicle checks on December 15, but there is no evidence to support this in the more than 10 minutes of CCTV footage available. While police statements claim it is not possible to ascertain whether Sombath entered the pickup truck, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told a delegation of visiting Parliamentarians that Sombath voluntarily boarded that vehicle, thus proving it was not forced abduction.The latest briefing by the Ministry of Public Security released on March 2, 2013 provides no new information and confirms the tardy pace of the investigation. At the same time, a great deal of misinformation slandering Sombath is being spread within the country through informal channels, as also are hints that it is not good for Lao people to ask or even talk about him. Posters about the disappearance of Sombath placed around Vientiane have been quickly removed.Why was Sombath taken?With virtually no meaningful results from the official investigation, speculation about why Sombath was taken has been both widespread and wide-ranging. Lao authorities have suggested it may have been due to a business or personal conflict, but have offered no supporting evidence. Rumours, many of them slanderous and ludicrous, have been rampant and range from his alleged opposition to the Xayabouri Dam to his collaborating with US-based opposition groups.Many believe that his disappearance resulted from his close involvement in the Asia-Europe People’s Forum (AEPF) held in mid-October, 2012. Sombath served as Co-Chair of the National Organising Committee for the event, was instrumental in organising popular input into the “Lao People’s Vision” statement prepared for the conference, and had also helped to follow-up cases of harassment of Lao citizens who had shared their views in some of the sessions.Sombath has always advocated sustainable development—much like senior Lao policy makers and the country’s “development partners.” And his relationship with the international world has been largely in the realm of teaching, and as speaker at conferences and lectures—again like other Lao scholars, government officials and NGO staff. The AEPF was organised in close collaboration with the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs and heralded as a crucial step forward for the country’s growing engagement in international processes.Even if the authorities were to conduct a serious investigation, the full details of the “who?” and “why?” behind Sombath’s abduction will likely not come to light. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has identified it as an enforced disappearance that could be related to his human rights work.What is increasingly evident though are the devastating effects of Sombath’s abduction on the evolution of Lao civil society, and on those Lao citizens who would advocate a more equitable and sustainable development path for their country. Sombath’s greatest influence has been with young people, who he inspires to learn, question, engage and act for collective good rather than individual gain. His abduction has spread extreme fear and insecurity among Lao people who aspire to exercise their citizenship and contribute constructively towards their country’s development. And this may well have been the intent behind the act.Losing credibilitySombath’s abduction has prompted a barrage of letters and statements of concern from parliamentarians, civil society organisations, scholars, Magsaysay award recipients and the human rights community, all calling for his release and safe return. The regional and international press have followed and reported the case with admirable regularity and responsibility.In Southeast Asia, Sombath’s abduction has been declared a slap in the face of ASEAN human rights initiatives and described as a deliberate actintended to suppress and threaten the emergence of independent and free thinking civil society actors in Laos.The lack of progress in the investigation has drawn comments from senior officials among Laos’ top donors including Switzerland, the European Union, Australia and the United States of America.Daniel Baer, deputy assistant secretary for the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor said on February 19, “For as long as the case remains unresolved and Sombath doesn’t come home to his wife, the international community as well as many people here who know and love him will continue to ask questions.”From January 13-15, prominent parliamentarians from the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia met with their Lao counterparts and senior Lao government officials to exhort them to take urgent, appropriate action to secure Sombath’s release and safe return. One of the parliamentarians noted that, “…our visit raised more questions than answers.” Another said, “Now this raises fundamental questions…this actually shows that the police and civilian administration have absolutely no interest, no political will to get to the root of this problem…” The parliamentarians were told that Laos lacked the capability for sophisticated video analysis of the CCTV footage; but while the country relies on foreign assistance for many other things, from writing laws to maintaining public parks, assistance in this case has not been sought.On February 6, the European Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution on Sombath and expressed concern about “the tardiness and lack of transparency of the investigation into the disappearance of Sombath Somphone” and called on the Lao authorities “to undertake prompt, transparent and thorough investigations, in accordance with their obligations under international human rights law, and to ensure the immediate and safe return of Sombath Somphone to his family.” The resolution acknowledged the intimidation provoked by Sombath’s disappearance and asked the Lao government to put an end to arbitrary arrests and secret detentions, make enforced disappearance a criminal offense and respect the rights of expression, association, of minorities and freedom of religion.On March 8, following meetings with Lao parliamentarians and senior government officials, Senator Tuur Elzinga from the Netherlands stated, “If Lao officials think the issue of Sombath’s disappearance will go away, they are wrong. It will be the first item on any agenda in bi-lateral, multi-lateral and international discussions with and about Laos, until Sombath is safely returned to his family.”Although space for political participation is extremely restricted in the country, Laos has somehow escaped the pariah label that dogged Myanmar until recently. But with Myanmar moving towards political pluralism, the world’s eyes will be on Laos, especially in light of Sombath’s abduction and continuing suppression of civil society voices. Laos seeks greater international recognition through its recently acquired membership in the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). It seeks to exit its status as a Least Developed Country but needs significant foreign assistance and investment to build the required infrastructure to do this.As Laos negotiates its way in these international spheres, a question that will haunt Lao officials in every space is, where is Sombath Somphone?Image from prachathai.org


    Laos Feels Heat Over Missing Activist's Case
    By Parameswaran Ponnudurai 2013-03-26
    Are the authorities in Laos trying to cover up a carefully planned abduction of Sombath Somphone, the country's most respected civil society leader?
    It may seem so — going by the conduct of the one-party Communist government since he went missing on Dec. 15 last year.
    As his disappearance reached its 100th day on Monday, the Lao government has yet to come up with a satisfactory report on the circumstances under which the 60-year-old highly respected community worker vanished after being stopped at a police checkpoint in the capital, Vientiane.
    "Observers can't help but think its continuing refusal to release its findings is a cover-up for something," said Murray Hiebert, deputy director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington.
    "The Lao government needs to quickly make public the findings of its investigation into what happened to Sombath," he said.
    The activist's disappearance "sends a chill through civil society and nongovernmental organizations operating in Laos," said Heibert, who had worked on development issues in Laos in the 1970s when he first met Sombath, a U.S.-educated agronomist.
    Not only has the Lao government failed to acknowledge any responsibility for Sombath's disappearance, it has also turned down international requests to provide any assistance in the investigations.
    This has raised concerns that the case represents the beginning of a state crackdown on dissenting voices.
    "One hundred days have passed since Sombath's abduction and two things remain constant—there is no sign of Sombath, and the Lao government's assertions and claims regarding his disappearance still totally lack credibility," said Phil Robertson, Deputy Director of New York-based Human Rights Watch's Asia Division.  
    "The Lao government should recognize they cannot play for time because the international community's interest in this issue is not going to diminish," he said. 

    U.S. offer rejected
    A U.S. offer to provide technical help to the government to enhance the quality of some blurry images of a vital closed circuit video footage on Sombath's last known moments has been rejected.
    The Lao Ministry of Public Security said it was its own "internal responsibility" and "it is unnecessary to seek assistance from outside" for any inspection of the police-recorded CCTV footage, which suggests that Sombath may have been abducted after he was stopped by police in the capital Vientiane.
    The government claims it has notified Interpol that Sombath is missing, but a search on the International Criminal Police Organization's website revealed that he is not included in its register of missing persons.
    "We are concerned at the lack of significant information we have received from the Lao government about Mr. Sombath’s case, despite our offers to assist with the investigation and numerous expressions of concern about Mr. Sombath’s welfare," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a weekend statement.  
    "Regrettably, the continuing, unexplained disappearance of Mr. Sombath ... raises questions about the Lao government’s commitment to the rule of law and to engage responsibly with the world," he said.
    Laos's refusal to forthrightly address the case of Sombath, an internationally recognized development leader, may also cost it international aid, which makes up about 70 percent of the country's budget.

    'Grave concern'
    The European Union indicated that Laos will face some form of action, expressing "grave concern" over the Sombath issue.
    "[F]or many organizations, 100 days is a time for reflection and taking stock on progress," the EU said after its delegation met with Lao government leaders and lawmakers on the issue earlier this month.
    "If no positive result" is achieved by that time, Laos will come under "a new phase of international activity," the EU warned in a statement after the talks.   
    "If Lao officials think the issue of Sombath’s disappearance will go away, they are wrong," said Dutch Senator and EU delegation leader Tuur Elzinga. 
    "It will be the first item on any agenda in bilateral, multilateral and international discussions with and about Laos, until Sombath is safely returned to his family."
    Nongovernmental groups in countries neighboring Laos are also concerned over Sombath's disappearance, highlighting the case as among growing human rights concerns in the region. 
    But governments of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which recently adopted its first declaration on giving greater protection of human rights for the region's 600 million people, have remained silent.
    Based on the terms of reference of the ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), which is the group's central but nonbinding rights mechanism, the ASEAN Secretary-General can bring “relevant issues" to the attention of the panel and "concurrently inform the ASEAN Foreign Ministers of these issues.”  

    'Critical test'
    But most of the 10 ASEAN member states—Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam—are wary of any scrutiny of their own human rights records.Sombath's case is a "critical test" as to whether AICHR can play a meaningful role obtaining information independently and impartially in serious human rights cases in the ASEAN region, Human Rights Watch said.
    Still, the rights group says, authorities in Laos have not answered a simple but key question about this case: Why, if Sombath was kidnapped, did the police at the scene do nothing to protect him?
    And the absence of any real investigation points to the Lao government’s responsibility, it said.
    "It's time for the powers that be in Vientiane to release Sombath back to his family, and come clean on what happened by transparently investigating and holding accountable those responsible," said Human Rights Watch's Robertson.
    Failing to act now means that Laos's already poor human rights record will continue to transform the international image of the impoverished country, he said.
    "One can see the tourism campaign motto already—travel to Laos where abductions happen and impunity reigns supreme."
    Click on thumbnail to open text:
    WASHINGTON - US Secretary of State John Kerry urged Laotian authorities to step up their investigation "without further delay" into the disappearance of a prominent US-educated Laotian community development worker 100 days ago.
    Daniel Baer, deputy assistant secretary for the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour, said Sombath's disappearance has had "a chilling effect" on his activist network."For as long as the case remains unresolved and Sombath doesn't come home to his wife, the international community as well as many people here who know and love him will continue to ask questions," Baer noted.The secretive one-party communist state - which exerts total control over the media and does not tolerate criticism - has in recent years gradually given local civil society groups more room to operate.Sombath's disappearance has sparked an international campaign of solidarity with the activist and his family.The European Union, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, members of parliament from Asia and Europe, and numerous international organisations have urged the Laotian government to take all actions necessary to ensure the safe return home of this respected figure 
      Click on thumbnail to open text:

     
    ໃນວັນຈັນ ວັນທີ່ 25 ມິນາ 2013ນີ ທາງອົງການສາກົນ ປະກາດໃຫ້ມີການປະທ້ວງທາງອອນລາຍຫາທາງການ ສປປລາວ
    ເປັນວັນຄົບຮອບຮ້ອຍວັນການຫາຍສາບສູນ ຂອງ ທ່ານ
    ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ພວກເພີ່ນຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ ທຸກຄົນທີ່ເຫັນຄວນ ໂທ ຫລື ແຟັກ ເຂົ້າຫາທູດລາວ ໃນແຕ່ລະປະເທດ ທີ່
    ທ່ານສັງກັດຢູ່ ໂດຍຖາມວ່າ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນຢູ່ໃສ

    ດັ່ງເອກະສານແຈ້ງການລຸ່ມນີ້:
      
    Teleattack on the Lao Embassy on the 100th Day of Sombath's Disappearance
    by Jenina Joy ChavezNotizen Wednesday, 20. März 2013 um 08:00
    Dear All,
     
    Thank you very much for all the help you've been giving to disseminate news of Sombath Somphone's disappearance, and the demand for his return. The wide clamor has reached the mainstream media nationally, regionally and globally, and has caught the attention of some world leaders. Still, Sombath has yet to be found.
     
    On March 25, Monday, it will be 100 days since Sombath disappeared. 
     
    We would like to mark this day by launching a teleattack on Lao Embassies. We request you to please print out the attached flyer (a note in English, Lao and Tagalog asking for Sombath) and fax the same to the Lao Embassy in Manila on MONDAY, MARCH 25. The Lao Embassy's telefax number in Manila is (02) 852 5759. You may please also ask to talk to somebody from the Embassy to ask one simple question: "where is Sombath?"
     
    For friends outside Manila, please send the fax and messages to Lao Embassies in your respective countries.
     
    If any of you have the mobile number of the Lao Ambassador, please share it with us, so we may also send the note thru SMS.
     
    Please make as many calls and send as many faxes as you can. Please share this note and appeal to other friends and advocates for help.
     
    Thank you very much for keeping the pressure up on the Lao Government. We do this also in solidarity with all the disappeared in the region and the world.
     
     
    Best,
    Joy
     
    Jenina Joy Chavez
    Southeast Asia Monitor for Action
    Action for Economic Reforms
    (63 918) 902 6716
    chavezjoy@gmail.com
    Skype ID: jeninajoy
    Twitter ID: jeninajoy
    ຊາວລາວໃນຕ່າງປະເທດປະທ້ວງຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ຊອກຫາທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ
    ການປະທ້ວງຂອງ ປະຊາຄົມລາວກຸ່ມນຶ່ງ ທີ່ນະຄອນຫລວງປາຣີ ປະເທດຝຣັ່ງ ຮຽກຮ້ອງ ໃຫ້ຊອກຫາ ແລະປ່ອຍໂຕ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ, ວັນທີ 9 ກຸມພາ 2013.
    ການປະທ້ວງຂອງ ປະຊາຄົມລາວກຸ່ມນຶ່ງ ທີ່ນະຄອນຫລວງປາຣີ ປະເທດຝຣັ່ງ ຮຽກຮ້ອງ ໃຫ້ຊອກຫາ ແລະປ່ອຍໂຕ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ, ວັນທີ 9 ກຸມພາ 2013.
    ກິ່ງສະຫວັນ ປະຖຳມະວົງ 21.02.2013

    ເປັນ​ເວລ​າ​ສອງ​ເດືອນ​ປາຍ ທີ່ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມ​ພອນ​ ​ນັກ​ພັດ​ທະ​ນາ​ສັງ​ຄົມ ໄດ້​ຫາຍສາບ​ສູນ​ໄປ​ ໃນ​ຕອ​ນແລງ
    ວັນ​​​ ເສົາ ທີ15 ​ເດືອນທັນວາ ປີ 2012 ຈາກຖະ​ໜົນ​​ເສັ້ນທີ່ ທ່ານໄດ້​ໃຊ້ທ່ຽວ​ໄປ​ມາ​ແຕ່​ລະ​ວັນ ອັນ​ເປັນ​ບ້ານ​ເກີດ​ເມືອງນອນບ່ອນ​ທີ່ທ່ານເຕີບ​ໃຫ​ຍ່ ແລະສາມາດບອກ​ໄດ້​ທຸກ​ຮ່ອມ​ທຸກ​ແຈ ໃນ​ເຂດ​ນະ​ຄອ​ນ​ຫລວງວຽ​ງ​ຈັນ. ​
    ເຖິງ​ແມ່ນ​ວ່າຈະ​ມີ​ຫລັກ​ຖານ​ ຈາກ​ບັນທຶກ ​ກ້ອງ​ວົງຈອນປິດ​ ທີ່​ຕິດຕັ້ງ​​ໄວ້ຢູ່​ຖະໜົນ​ ບ່ອນ​ທີ່ມີຄົນເຫັນ ​ທ່ານ​ສົມ​
    ພອ​ນ ເປັນຄັ້ງ​ສຸດທ້າຍນັ້ນກໍ​ຕາມ ຕົກ​ມາ​ເຖິງ​ເປັດຈຸບັນ​ນີ້ ກໍຍັງ​ບໍ່​ມີ​ຄໍາ​ອະທິບາຍອັນ​ກະຈ່າງ​ແຈ້ງ ຈາກ​ເຈົ້າ​ໜ້າ​ທີ່ລັດຖະບານ ສປປ ລາວ​ວ່າ ແມ່ນ​ຫຍັງ​ໄດ້ເກີດຂື້ນ​ແກ່ ທ່ານສົມ​ພອນ​​ ແລະ​ທ່ານຍັງ​ມີ​ຊີ​ວິດ​ ຫລື​ວ່າ​ ທ່ານ​ໄດ້ຈາກ​ໂລກ​ມະ​ນຸດ​ໄປແລ້ວ.
    ​ການ​ຫາຍ​ສາບ​ສູນ​​ໄປ​ຂອງ ທ່ານສົມ​ບັດ ສົມ​ພອນ ​​ອັນ​ບໍ່​ຄາດ​ຝັນໄດ້​ກໍ່​ໃຫ້ເກີດຄື້ນຟອງນອງ​ໜັ່ນ​ໄປທົ່ວ​ໂລກ ​ເພາະວ່າ ທ່ານ​ ​ສົມ​ພອນ ເປັນ​ບຸກຄົນ​​ສໍາຄັນ ​ທີ່​ໄດ້​ສ້າງ​ຄຸນງາມຄວາມດີ ​ແລະໄດ້​ວາງ​ບົ​ດບາດ​​ ເປັນ​ແບບຢ່າງ
    ອັນດີ​ເລີດໃຫ້​ແກ່ ​ປະຊາ​ຄົມ​ລາວ ຊຶ່ງອົງ​ການສາກົນ​ທົ່ວ​ໂລກ​ພາ​ກັນ​ຍ້ອງ​ຍໍ​ຮັບ​ຮູ້ເປັນ​ກຽດ​ຢ່າງສູງ.
    ຊີວິດຄວາມ​ເປັນ​ມາຂອງ ທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມ​ພອນ ​ນັ້ນເປັນ​ທີ່ໜ້າ​ສັນລະ​ເສີນ​ ທ່ານເກີດ​ທີ່ ບ້ານດອນ​ຂຽວ ​​ເມືອງ ໜອງ​ບົກ ແຂວງ​ຄໍາ​ມ່ວນ ເປັນ​ລູກ​ຊາຍ​ກົກຂອງອ້າຍ​ເອື້ອຍນ້ອງ​ດ້ວຍ​ກັນ 8 ຄົນ. ​ໃນ​ຕົ້ນ​ປີ 1970 ທ່ານ​ໄດ້​ຮັບ​ທຶນ​ສຶກສາ​ໄປຮຽນຢູ່​ທີ່ ມະຫາວິທະຍາ​ໄລລັດຮາ​ວາຍ ໄດ້​ຮັບ​ປະລິນ​ຍາ​ຕີຝ່າຍ​ການ​ສຶກສາ ​​​ໃນ​ປີ 1974 ​ຈາກສູນ​ກາງ​ຕາ​ເວັນອອກ
    ທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ໃນບົດບາດນັກພັດທະນາ
    ທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ໃນບົດບາດນັກພັດທະນາ
    ຕາເວັນ​ຕົກ ຫລື East West Center ແລະ​ໄດ້​ຮັບປະລິນຍາ​ໂທ ຝ່າຍ​ກະ​ເສດ​ສາດ​ໃນ​ປີ 1978​​.
    ເຖິງ ​ແມ່ນ​ລະບອບ​ການ​ປົກຄອງ​ໄດ້​ປ່ຽນ​ແປງ​ໄປ​ໃນ ບ້ານ​ເກີດ​ເມືອງ​ນອນ ຕອນ​ທີ່​ ທ່ານ​ຍັງ​ສຶກສາ​ຢູ່​ຕ່າງປະ​ເທດ​ກໍ​ຕາມ ທ່ານສົມ​ພອນ ກໍໄດ້​ຕັດ​ສິນ​ໃຈ​ກັບຄືນ​ເມື່ອ​ບ້ານ​ເກີດ​ ດ້ວຍ​ຄວາມມຸ້ງ​ມາດ​ ປາດ​ຖະ​ໜາ​ອັນ​ແຮງ​ກ້າ ຢາກ​ອຸ​ທິດຄວາມ​ຮູ້​ທີ່ຕົນ​ຮຽນມານັ້ນ ​​ຊ່ວຍ​ສ້າງ ສາພັດທະນາປະ​ເທດ​ຊາດ ​ໃຫ້​ພົ້​ນຈາກ​ຄວາມ​ທຸກ​ຈົນ ແລະ​ກ້າວ​ໄປ​ສູ່ການ​ກຸ້ມ​ຕົນ​ເອງເພື່ອ ໃຫ້ຫລຸດ​ພົ້ນ​ຈາກ​ການ​ເປັນ​ປະ​ເທດ​ດ້ອຍ​ພັດທະນາ.
    ​ເປັນ​ເວ​ລາ​ 30 ກວ່າ​ປີ​ ທີ່ທ່ານ​ສົມ​ພອນໄດ້​ບືກ​ບື​ນ​ສູ້​ທົນກັບ​ວຽກການ.  ​​ທ່ານ​ເປັນ​ຜູ້ນຳ​ພາ​ຄົນ​ທຳ​ອິດ ໃນ​ການ​ປູກຝັງ​ໃຫ້​​ໄດ້​ຜົນໃນ​ປີ 1996 ທ່ານໄດ້​ຮັບອະນຸຍາດ​ຈາກ ກະຊວງ​ສຶກສາ​ທິການ ​ຮ່ວມ​ສ້າງ ສູນອົ​ບ​ຮົມ​ຮ່ວມ​​ພັດທະນາ ຫລື Participatory Development Training Center ທີ່​ເອີ້ນ​ຫຍໍ້​ວ່າ PADETS ຂື້ນ​ມາ​ເພື່ອນສິດ​ສອນບັນ​ດາ​​ຊາວໜຸ່​ມລາວ ​ແລະ​ເຈົ້າ​ໜ້າ​ທີ່​ທ້ອງ​ຖິ່ນ​ຂອງລັດ ຖະບານ ​ກ່ຽວ​ກັບ​ວຽກ​ງານ​ການພັດທະນາ ​ເປັນເວລາຫລາຍ​ປີ ​ແລະມັນ​ກໍເປັນອົງການຈັດ​ຕັ້ງ​ປະຊາ​ຄົມ​ທໍານອງ​ 
    ນີ້​ແຫ່ງ​ດຽວ ທີ່​ມີ​ຢູ່​ໃນ ສປປ ລາວ.
    ທ່ານນາງ ດອກເຕີ້ ບຸນທອນ ຈັນທະລາວົງ ວິດເຊີ
    ທ່ານນາງ ດອກເຕີ້ ບຸນທອນ ຈັນທະລາວົງ ວິດເຊີ
    ດ້ວຍ​ຄວາມ​ຂະຫຍັນ​ຂັນ​ແຂງ​​ທາງ​ດ້ານ​ຜົນງານ ​ແລ​ະ​ເປັນ​ແບບ​ຢ່າງ​ທີ່​ດີ​ເລີດ ຢູ່​ໃນ​ປະ​ເທດ​ກໍາລັງ​ພັດທະນາ ທ່ານ​ສົມບັດ ສົມ​ພອນ ​ຈຶ່ງໄດ້ຮັບຄວາມຍ້ອງ​ຍໍ​ຈາກ​ວົງ​ການສາກົນ​ ມາ​ເປັນ​ລໍາ​ດັບ ​​ຈົນໄດ້​ຮັບ​ລາງວັນ ​​ຣາມົນ ມາ​ກ​ໄຊ​ໄຊ (Ramon Magsaysay) ຊຶ່ງ​ເປັນ​ລາງວັນ ກຽດຕິ​ຍົດ ທີ່ສູງ​ສຸດປະ​ຈໍາປີ 2005 ຢູ່​ໃນ​ເຂດ​​ເອ​ເຊຍ.​ ​
    ການ​ຫາຍ​ສາບ​ສູນ​ໄປຂອງ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມ​ພອນ ​​ໄດ້​ສ້າງ​​ຜົນສະທ້ອນ​ທາງ​ດ້ານ​​ສິດ​ທິ​ມະ​ນຸດ ພາ​ໃຫ້ບັນ​ດາປະຊາ​ຄົມສາກົນ ​ອັນ​ມີ ສະຫະພາບ​ຢູ​ໂຣບ ອົງການ​ສະຫະປະຊາ​ຊາດ ສະຫະລັດອາ​ເມຣິກາ ​ແລະປະເທດ​ສະມາຊິກສະມາ
    ຄົມ​ບັນດາ​ປະ​ຊາຊາດ​ໃນເຂດ​ເອ​ເຊຍ​ອາຄະ​ເນ ຫລື​ອາ​ຊ່ຽນ ຮວມທັງ​ໝົດ​ 50 ກວ່າ​ປະ​ເທດ ໄດ້ພາ​ກັນຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້
    ລັດຖະບານ ສປປ ລາວ ສືບສວນ​ຊອກ​ຫາແລະ​ພາ​ໂຕທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມ​ພອນ ນັ້ນຄືນມາ. ​

    ຕົກ​ມາ​ເຖິງເທົ້າ​ປັດ​ຈຸ​ບັນ​ນີ້ ຄວາມ​ວິ​ຕົກ​ກັງວົນ​ຍັງ​ດໍາ​ເນີນ​ຢູ່​ຕໍ່​ມາ​​ໂດຍ​​ບໍ່​ເຫືອດ​ຫາຍ. ​
    ໂຕ​ຢ່າງ​ກໍ​ຄື ​ໃນ​ວັນ​ເສົາ ​ທີ 9 ​ເດືອນ​ກຸ​ມພາທີ່​ຜ່ານ​ມາ​ນີ້ ຊາວ​ລາວ​ຈໍານວນນຶ່ງ ພາຍ​ໃຕ້
    ການ​ ນໍາພາ​ຂອງອົງການ​ພັນທະ​ມິດ​ເພື່ອ​ປະຊາທິປະ​ໄຕ​ໃນ​ລາວ ທີ່ມີ​ສາຂາ​ຢູ່ປະ​ເທດ​​ຝຣັ່ງ​ ​​​​ເຢຍຣະ​ມັນ ກາ​ນາ​ດາ ອອສ​ເຕ​ຣເລຍ ​ແລະ​ສະຫະລັດ ​ຮ່ວ​ມ​​ກັບອີກເກືອບ​ຊາວ​ອົງ​ການ​ຈັດ​ຕັ້ງ​ຂອງປະ​ຊາ​ຄົມ​ລາວ​ຢູ່​ທົ່ວ​ໂລກ ໄດ້​ພ້ອມ​ພຽງ​ກັນທໍາ​ການຮຽກ​ຮ້ອງ​ ໂດຍ​ການ​ສົ່ງ​ສານ​ປະ
    ​ທ້ວງຂອງ ຂະ​ບວນ​ການຈັດ​ຕັ້ງ ແລະ​ຊຸ​ມ​ຊົນ​ລາວ ເພື່ອ​ປະ​ຊາ​ທິ​ປະ​ໄຕ ​ຕໍ່​ການ​ຫາຍສ​າບ​ສູນ ຂອງ​ທ່ານ ສົ​ມ​ບັດ​ ສົມ​ພອນ. ​
    ເອກ​ກະ​ສານ​ດັ່ງ​ກ່າວ​ໄດ້ຖືກ ​ນຳ​ສົ່ງເຖິງ ທ່ານ​ທອງ​ສິງ ທຳ​ມະ​ວົງ  ນາ​ຍົກ​ລັດ​ຖະ​ມົນ​ຕີແຫ່ງ ສ​ປ​ປ ລາວ ດັ່ງ​ທ່ານ​ຈະ​ໄດ້​ຍິນ​​​ໃນ​ການສໍາພາດຂອງ ​​ວີໂອ​ເອ ໃນ​ຂະນະ​ທີ່​ມີ​ການປະ​ທ້ວງຢູ່ Maison de Association ​ໃນ​ນະຄອນຫລວງ​ປາຣີ ທີ່​ປະ​ເທດ​ຝຣັ່ງ ກັບ​ທ່ານ​ນາງ ບຸນ​ທອນ ຈັນທະ​ລາ​ວົງ ວິດ​ເຊີ ປະທານ​ອົງການ​ພັນທະ​ມິດເພື່ອ​ປະຊາທິປະ​​ໄຕ​ໃນລາວ​ ດັ່ງ​ຕໍ່​ລົງ​ໄປ​ນີ້:​​
    ທ່ານກາດ ດິດທະວົງ ກັບຄະນະ ເຂົ້າພົບທ່ານ ບອບ ຄາຣ໌ ລັດຖະມົນຕີຕ່າງປະເທດອອສເຕຣເລຍ
    ທ່ານກາດ ດິດທະວົງ ກັບຄະນະ ເຂົ້າພົບທ່ານ ບອບ ຄາຣ໌ ລັດຖະມົນຕີຕ່າງປະເທດອອສເຕຣເລຍ
    ດຣ. ບຸນທອນ ຈັນທະລາວົງ ວິດເຊີ
    ທ່ານ ກາດ ດິດທະ​ວົງ ຫົວໜ້າ​ອົງການ​ພັນທະ​ມິດ​ເພື່ອ​ປະຊາທິປະ​ໄຕ​ໃນ​ລາວ ສາ​ຂາປະ​ເທດ​​ອອສ​ເຕ​ຣເລຍ ກໍ​ໄດ້ກ່າວກັບວີ​ໂອ​ເອ ​ວ່າ ​“ໃນ​ວັນ​ທີ 8 ​ເດືອນ​ກຸ​ມພາ ​ຢູ່ທີ່ນະຄອນ Sydney ໄດ້ມີການປະຖະກະຖາຢູ່ Australian National Maritime Museum ໂດຍລັດຖະມົນຕີ ຕ່າງ ປະເທດ ອອສ​ເຕ​ຣ​ເລຍ ທ່ານBob Carr ​ໃນ​ຫົວ​ຂໍ້ Perpective on Human Right and

    Australian Foreign Policy” ຫລື ຄວາມ​ຄິດ​ເຫັນກ່ຽວ​ກັບ​ສິດ​ທິ​ມະ​ນຸດແລະນະ​ໂຍ​ບາຍ​ການ​ ຕ່າງ​ປະ​ເທດ ຂອງອອ​ສ​ເຕຣເລຍ ຊຶ່ງທ່ານກາດ ດິດທະວົງ ພ້ອມດ້ວຍຄະນະ ກໍ​ໄດ້ເຂົ້າຮ່ວມ
    ຟັງ ແລະ​ໄດ້ມອບເອກກະສານຮຽກຮ້ອງສະບັບ​ນຶ່ງ ກ່ຽວ​ກັບ​ການ​ຫາຍ​ສາບ​ສູນ​ໄປ​ຂອງ ທ່ານ​ສົມ​ບັດ ສົມ​ພອນ ໃຫ້ແກ່ທ່ານ Carrຜູ້ທີ່ຈະເດີນທາງໄປຢ້ຽມຢາມ ສປປ ລາວ ຊຶ່ງທ່ານ Carr ​ກໍ​ໄດ້​ໄປຢ້ຽມຢາມປະເທດລາວມາແລ້ວ ໃນລະຫວ່າງ​ວັນ​ທີ 17-20 ກຸມພາ ​ຜ່ານ​ມາ​ນີ້ເອງ.
    ໃນ​ວັນ​ເສົາທີ 9 ກຸ​ມ​ພາ ພ້ອ​ມໆ​ດຽວ​ກັນ​ກັບການ​ປະ​ທ້ວງ​ຢູ່ປະເທດ​ຝ​ຣັ່ງນັ້ນ ຊາວລາວຢູ່ອອ​ສ​ເຕຣ​ເລຍ ກໍ​ໄດ້ພາກັນ​ ປະ​ທ້ວງ​ ຢູ່​ທີ່ Fairfield Council Hall Bonnyrigg Heightຫ່າງຈາກນະຄອນ​​ຫລວງ Canberra ປະມານ 300 ວ່າກິໂລແມດ.
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    Demonstrations for Sombath Somphone in France and Australia
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    Lao Overseas TV Feb 16 2013 (1)
    ເຊີນຕິດຕາມການປະທ້ວງ ຂອງລາວຊາວລາວໃນປະເທດຝຣັ່ງເສດກ່ຽວກັບທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ


    Urgent Appeal of Parliamentarians across Asia and Europe for Mr. Sombath Somphone
     
    February 5,2013
    His Excellency
    Thongsing Thammavong
    Prime Minister
    People’s Democratic Republic of Laos
    Dear Excellency,
    Re: Request urgent investigation into the disappearance of Mr. Sombath Somphone
    We, members of parliament across  Asia and Europe, write to you deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of Mr. Sombath Somphone one of the most prominent Lao co-organizers of the Asia Europe People’s Forum 9, the founder and former Director of PADETC and one of the most respected and influential voices for sustainable people-centred and just economic and social development in Laos as well as in Asia.
    Mr. Sombath Somphone has been missing since about 5 PM on Saturday December 15th 2012. His wife and colleagues last saw Mr. Sombath Somphone on December 15 at 5 PM when he left the PADETC office in Vientiane to go home.  He left the office in his own car; his wife was in another car.  He did not reach home and his family has had no news from or about him since then.
    We are concernedabout his safety, his state of health and his well-being.
    We are aware that the International Organising Committee of the Asia Europe People’s Forum has worked intensively with Mr. Sombath Somphone over the last year. His contribution to the successful Asia Europe People’s Forum 9 in Vientiane on the 16-19 October was extremely significant, widely recognized and deeply respected.  In addition he is a highly respected educationalist, inspiration for sustainable development and a recipient of the prestigious international Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2005.  He has dedicated his life to sustainable development and poverty reduction in the Lao PDR, and has contributed positively to numerous international processes, including the AEPF9. Mr. Sombath is an inspiration to development practitioners all over the world.
    We are deeply concerned for Mr. Sombath’s safety and well-being and his disappearance is cause for great alarm.
    We urge the Lao Government to immediately and urgently initiate an investigation into Mr. Sombath’s disappearance.  And, we call on the government to undertake all actions necessary to ensure his immediate safe return to his family.
    Yours sincerely,
    EU steps up pressure on Laos over activist’s disappearance 
    Straits Times, 01 Feb 2013BANGKOK – The European Union has piled more pressure on Laos with a strong expression of concern over the disappearance in December last year of prominent Magsaysay Award winner Sombath Somphone.In a one-hour meeting on Friday morning in Vientiane, senior European diplomats raised the issue with Laos’ Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Thongloun Sisoulith. “They also spoke for other like-minded countries – the United States, Switzerland, Japan and Singapore,” said a diplomatic source familiar with the meeting, known in diplomatic jargon as a démarche.The 62-year-old Mr Sombath, who is married to a Singaporean national, is one of Laos’ most prominent civil society figures. His Participatory Development Training Centre was active in education, health and food security issues. He won the Magsaysay Award – Asia’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize – for Community Service in 2005. He is no firebrand, however; instead, he is known for his mild manner and his nuanced approach to sensitive issues.He vanished on the evening of Dec 15. CCTV footage of the incident showed him pulling over in his jeep at a busy intersection in Vientiane and getting out to speak with police. Minutes later, a man on a motorbike pulled up and drove away in his jeep. Next, a big car with hazard lights flashing pulled up and Mr Sombath got in. He has not been heard from since.
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    WeißenhornKampf für mehr Freiheit
    Drei Weißenhorner setzen sich für die Befreiung von Sombath Somphone ein. Die kommunistische Regierung in Laos hat den international geachteten Bürgerrechtler im vergangenen Monat entführt. 
    Autor: PATRICK FAUSS | 30.01.2013 
    Drei Auslandsstudenten aus Laos erlebten Anfang der 90er Jahre das Ende des kommunistischen Warschauer Pakts mit. 1990 protestierten sie vor den laotischen Botschaften in Prag und Warschau für Demokratie in ihrem südostasiatischen Heimatland. Seither ist Outhong Manivong (54), Keovilay Aloun (64) und Douangta Pangnanouvong (50) die Rückkehr nach Laos verwehrt. Alle drei leben und arbeiten in Weißenhorn. Manivong und Aloun arbeiten bei Peri, Pangnanouvong betreibt gemeinsam mit seiner Frau einen Asia-Imbiss.Die Entführung des Bürgerrechtlers Sombath Somphone (62) durch die laotische Polizei im Dezember 2012 hat nun Exilanten in der ganzen Welt aktiv werden lassen. Auch die drei Weißenhorner wollen die internationale Kampagne unterstützen. Ziel ist, dass Somphone wieder freigelassen wird. "Er war eigentlich nicht politisch, er wollte den Wohlstand der Laoten verbessern", betont Outhong Manivong. Er, Aloun und Pangnanouvong haben deshalb eine Petition an die laotische Regierung verfasst. Somphones Entführung, festgehalten auf dem Video einer Straßenüberwachungskamera, hat weltweit Reaktionen ausgelöst. Amnesty International und die Vereinten Nationen haben sich eingeschaltet."Es sind schon viele Leute in Laos von der Regierung entführt worden", berichtet Douangta Pangnanouvong. Im Fall von Somphone könnte die Regierung aber zu weit gegangen sein, hofft er. 2005 hat Somphone den als "Asien-Nobelpreis" geltenden "Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership" erhalten. Das Video mit der Entführung ist auf zahlreichen Internet-Plattformen zu finden, unter anderem auf Youtube. Die Bilder zeigen, wie Somphone am 15. Dezember 2012 von der Polizei angehalten wird, in einen Pickup einsteigt und weggefahren wird.Auch die Bundesregierung hat die Regierung von Laos aufgerufen, dem Entführten "eine schnelle und sichere Rückkehr zu seiner Familie" zu ermöglichen, wie es in einem Brief des Beauftragten für Menschenrechte heißt. Laut Bundesregierung war Somphones Ziel, durch Ausbildung und Motivation der Jugend zur Entwicklung des Landes beizutragen. Somphone habe sich "vorbildlich für Armutsbekämpfung und Partizipation der dörflichen Bevölkerung"eingesetzt. "Wirwollen, dass die laotische Regierung für die Entführung zur Verantwortung gezogen wird", sagt Manivong. 2002 waren alle drei bei der Gründung der Weißenhorner Abteilung des Vereins "Thongsouk Saysangkhi" dabei. Der Namenspate des Vereins kam wegen seiner Forderung nach Demokratie in ein laotisches Gefängnis, wo er 1998 starb. Nach einigen Veranstaltungen des Vereins, unter anderem in der Stadthalle, hatte die politische Arbeit nachgelassen. Die dreiste Entführung Somphones hat die Mitglieder nun wieder aktiv werden lassen. 
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    Sombath Somphone: debate in European Parliament, 7th Feb 2013
    The case of Sombath Somphone was discussed at a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 7th February 2013. A 9-point resolution was passed unanimously. Further information includin...
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-%2F%2FEP%2F%2FNONSGML+MOTION+P7-RC-2013-0054+0+DOC+PDF+V0%2F%2FEN
    sombath-somphone.pdf (PDF — 174 KB)
     
     
    Urgent Appeal of Parliamentarians across Asia and Europe for Mr. Sombath Somphone
     
    February 5, 2013
    His Excellency
    Thongsing Thammavong
    Prime Minister
    People’s Democratic Republic of Laos
    Dear Excellency,
    Re: Request urgent investigation into the disappearance of Mr. Sombath Somphone
    We, members of parliament across  Asia and Europe, write to you deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of Mr. Sombath Somphone one of the most prominent Lao co-organizers of the Asia Europe People’s Forum 9, the founder and former Director of PADETC and one of the most respected and influential voices for sustainable people-centred and just economic and social development in Laos as well as in Asia.
    Mr. Sombath Somphone has been missing since about 5 PM on Saturday December 15th 2012. His wife and colleagues last saw Mr. Sombath Somphone on December 15 at 5 PM when he left the PADETC office in Vientiane to go home.  He left the office in his own car; his wife was in another car.  He did not reach home and his family has had no news from or about him since then.
    We are concerned about his safety, his state of health and his well-being.
    We are aware that the International Organising Committee of the Asia Europe People’s Forum has worked intensively with Mr. Sombath Somphone over the last year. His contribution to the successful Asia Europe People’s Forum 9 in Vientiane on the 16-19 October was extremely significant, widely recognized and deeply respected.  In addition he is a highly respected educationalist, inspiration for sustainable development and a recipient of the prestigious international Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2005.  He has dedicated his life to sustainable development and poverty reduction in the Lao PDR, and has contributed positively to numerous international processes, including the AEPF9. Mr. Sombath is an inspiration to development practitioners all over the world.
    We are deeply concerned for Mr. Sombath’s safety and well-being and his disappearance is cause for great alarm.
    We urge the Lao Government to immediately and urgently initiate an investigation into Mr. Sombath’s disappearance.  And, we call on the government to undertake all actions necessary to ensure his immediate safe return to his family.
    Yours sincerely,
    Third Appeal to the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic 
    Ng Shui Meng, Wife of Sombath Somphone, 30 January 2013 
    This is my third appeal to the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic to release information or results of investigation of the disappearance of my husband, Sombath Somphone, on the evening of 15 December 2012. Today is the 45th day since my husband’s disappearance and I have done all I can to cooperate with the police and provided information to assist the investigation and find my husband as quickly as possible.  I have also met with the National Assembly Vice-President and his staff to appeal to the National Assembly, as the representatives of the people, to urge the police to expedite the investigation.  But all these efforts have not yielded any concrete information related to the progress of the investigation, other than statements that “the police are still investigating”.There are still no answers to my queries regarding:
    1. What did the police manning the police post the evening of Sombath’s disappearance on 15 December 2012 said what happened that night, and what did they see?
    2. Whether the motorcyclist who drove away Sombath’s jeep has been identified?
    3. Has Sombath’s jeep (License plate No.: 2624) been found?
    4. Whether the white truck with flashing lights that stopped at the police post and took my husband away been identified?
    5. Has the driver of the white truck who drove away with my husband been questioned?
    6. If the footages were too blurry, as claimed by the police, has the Ministry of Public Security sought technical assistance from any other government or international security agencies? Are they too blurry for the entire Tha Deua Road CCTV cameras?
    7. Has the Lao police issued an Interpol Yellow Notification to inform colleagues in the region about Sombath’s disappearance and sought their assistance?
    To all these questions I have not had any satisfactory answers. I am certain that the Lao government and the security institutions have all the resources available to find Sombath. Hence, the lack of any concrete and credible information related to Sombath’s disappearance after 45 days of investigation is very difficult to understand. The agony of not knowing anything after 45 days is even more difficult to bear. Again, I stress, Sombath Somphone is a Lao citizen with rights under the Lao Constitution and the Lao laws.  He has the right to be protected by the State.  If Sombath has committed a crime, he should be charged under the Law and be protected under due processes of the Law. My husband is also in need of daily medication and regular medical checkup for his medical condition.  Without such medication and regular medical care, his condition may worsen and his health could be severely compromised.I therefore urge the Lao Government to quickly release information of the investigation, and of Sombath’s whereabouts and wellbeing. If for whatever reasons he is in the custody of the State, please grant me and my family our right of visitation.Respectfully yoursNg Shui Meng
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    RFA News
    third-letter-from-wife-of-sombath
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    World News 2013 - Well-known aid worker disappears in Laos
    http://www.youtube.com/WorldNews2013World News 2013The work of Sombath Somphone is well-known across southeast Asia, but his disappearance in Laos on December 15 is a mystery. It was Sombath's dev...
      
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    For Immediate Release
    Laos: End Silence on ‘Disappeared’ Activist
    ASEAN Should Intervene on Behalf of Sombath Somphone
     
    (Bangkok, February 20, 2013) – Lao authorities have failed to provide information on leading social activist Sombath Somphone since his apparent enforced disappearance in December 2012, Human Rights Watch said today.
    The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its human rights commission should intervene in the case with the Lao authorities, who have denied detaining Sombath, and who have not reported his fate or location, Human Rights Watch said.
    “The Lao government’s long silence about Sombath Somphone’s whereabouts increase our concerns for his safety,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The authorities seem more focused on deflecting international criticism than genuinely investigating Sombath’s disappearance.”
    There is strong evidence that Sombath, a prominent 60-year-old social activist who received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2005, was forcibly disappeared by Laotian authorities in Vientiane, the capital, more than two months ago, Human Rights Watch said. He was last seen by his wife, Ng Shui Meng, on December 15 as they were driving separately back from his office to their home for dinner. Shiu Meng lost sight of Sombath’s jeep at around 6 p.m. near the police post on Thadeua Road (KM 3) in Vientiane, and he never arrived home.
     
    Security camera footage from the Municipality Police Station, obtained by Shui  Meng, shows that Sombath’s jeep was stopped by police at the Thadeua police post at 6:03 p.m. Sombath was then taken into the police post. Later, a motorcyclist stopped at the police post and drove off with Sombath’s jeep, leaving his own motorcycle by the roadside. Another truck with flashing lights then came and stopped at the police post. Two people got out of the truck, took Sombath into the vehicle, and then drove off.
    On December 19, the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement confirming the incidents as recorded on the security camera, but claimed he was kidnapped for personal or business reasons. Lao authorities have told Sombath’s family, foreign diplomats, United Nations agencies, and civil society groups across Asia that they have been investigating the case. But to date, they have provided no information on Sombath’s whereabouts, his fate, or who was responsible for his enforced disappearance, Human Rights Watch said.
    “Lao authorities have not answered the simplest questions about this case, such as why, if Sombath was kidnapped, did the police at the scene do nothing to protect him,” Adams said. “The absence of any real investigation points to the government’s responsibility.” 
    Enforced disappearances are defined under international law as the arrest or detention of a person by state officials or their agents followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty, or to reveal the fate or whereabouts of the person.
    Enforced disappearances violate or threaten to violate a range of fundamental human rights protected under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Laos is a party, including prohibitions against arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and extrajudicial execution.
    Laos is one of the first countries in Southeast Asia to sign the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance in September 2008. As a signatory, Laos is obligated under international law to refrain from acts that would defeat the object and purpose of the treaty.
    Members of ASEAN, to which Laos belongs, should publicly raise their concerns about Sombath’s enforced disappearance, Human Rights Watch said. On February 19, Human Rights Watch sent a letter to the commissioners of the ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), calling for them to investigate the case. AICHR’s Terms of Reference provides the commission the right “to obtain information from ASEAN Member States on the promotion and protection of human rights.”
    “Sombath’s disappearance is a major test for ASEAN and its human rights commission,” Adams said. “ASEAN’s silence in Sombath’s case reflects a deeply rooted lack of credibility in protecting the basic rights of people in Southeast Asia.”
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    US presses Laos over missing activist
    A US rights envoy on Monday appealed to Laos for more information on a prominent activist missing for two months, saying the case was having a "chilling effect" on civil society groups.
    Sombath Somphone, the 62-year-old founder of a non-governmental organisation campaigning for sustainable development, disappeared in Vientiane while driving home on December 15.
    CCTV images showed him being taken away from a police post by two unidentified individuals.
    "It's been incredibly frustrating to not have more visibility into the progress of the investigation," Daniel Baer, deputy assistant secretary for the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, told AFP by telephone from Vientiane after talks with the Lao vice foreign minister.
    "I was assured that they are investigating -- that's what the vice minister told me -- but I made sure that he understood that not having more information is not helpful," Baer said, expressing disappointment that he was unable to meet any officials from the ministry of public security.
    The Lao authorities have previously suggested Sombath might have been abducted over a personal dispute but said they had no information about his whereabouts.
    The campaigner won the 2005 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership for his work in poverty reduction and sustainable development in a country that remains one of Southeast Asia's poorest nations.
    The secretive one-party communist state -- which exerts total control over the media and does not tolerate criticism -- has in recent years gradually given local civil society groups more room to operate.
    But Sombath's disappearance has sent jitters through the activist network.
    "There's no question that it's had a chilling effect," Baer said.
    "For as long as the case remains unresolved and Sombath doesn't come home to his wife, the international community as well as many people here who know and love him will continue to ask questions," he added.
    dr/klm/sm
    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130219/us-presses-laos-over-missing-activist
    RFA report
    Laotians lose their homeland
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    Senator Carr caught out on Sombath case: Rhiannon
    Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:59pm AEDT
    Australian Greens senator Lee Rhiannon tells Connect Asia's Liam Cochrane she was surprised that Foreign Minister Bob Carr had not heard of the case of missing civial rights activist Sombath Somphone, given that Senator Carr is traveling to Laos on Sunday.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-15/senator-carr-


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    Laos under international spotlight in search for land rights activist
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2013/jan/24/laos-international-spotlight-missing-activist
    Sombath Somphone disappeared a month ago after stopping at a police checkpoint, yet officials deny knowing his whereabouts. Though it rarely makes international headlines, Laos has been in the spotlight for the past month. One of its most well-respected activists has gone missing after stopping at a police checkpoint. His disappearance has prompted the Laos government to suggest he was "kidnapped", but rights groups suspect he may have been abducted after campaigning against land grabs.Sombath Somphone, 60, disappeared on the night of 15 December in the capital, Vientiane, and was last seen by his wife, Ng Shui Meng, who was driving ahead of him as the couple returned home in separate cars. CCTV footage shows the activist stopping at a police post, leaving his vehicle, and his Jeep being driven away by someone else. Later, a pickup truck with its lights flashing arrives, Sombath gets in, and he and two other men drive off.Although Sombath has not been seen or heard from since the checkpoint stop, the government insists it has nothing to do with his disappearance.In an official statement carried by the state news agency KPL soon after Sombath went missing, a government spokesman said he may have been "kidnapped perhaps because of a personal conflict or a conflict in business", and that the pickup truck in question was driven by two men "not possible to identify". Their vehicle, the statement added, "went away to an unknown destination".Sombath's family and friends say he had no such conflicts and that no ransom has been demanded.As founder and former director of Laos's Participatory Development Training Centre, an NGO working with civil society and government in community development and poverty reduction, Sombath has campaigned for land rights for subsistence farmers at a time when land grabbing is becoming increasingly common. According to the Lao Movement for Human Rights, vast concessions have been granted to national and foreign companies. Most is for mining, and activists are warning that the concessions are leading to increasing levels of poverty and environmental degradation.One week before Sombath disappeared, fellow land rights campaigner Anne-Sophie Gindroz, the former country director of the Swiss agricultural development charity Helvetas, was expelled from the country. After organising the civil society Asia-Europe People's Forum in October with Sombath, Gindroz wrote a personal letter to international donors in which she criticised the Laos government for the "little space for meaningful democratic debate" and the "repercussions [that] follow" when debate is pursued. The government deemed her actions a "prejudicial anti-Laos government campaign" and gave her 48 hours to leave the country.Laos's neighbours, as well as the EU, UN and US, have all pressed the single-party communist government to investigate Sombath's whereabouts.The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, last week said Washington was "deeply concerned about [Sombath's] wellbeing" and appealed to the Laos government "to pursue a transparent investigation of this incident and to do everything in its power to bring about his immediate and safe return home".Her statement was preceded by a high-profile delegation of lawmakers from the Association of South-East Asian Nations visiting Vientiane to step up regional pressure on the government's efforts to find the activist. After three days of meetings with local officials, however, the delegation was left with "more questions than answers", according to one of its members."We noted discrepancies in our hosts' accounts of the circumstances of the abduction," said Philippines congressman Walden Bello. "Most of the officials we met said there was no evidence that Sombath got into the pickup truck that appeared in the CCTV footage after his Jeep was stopped. Yet Mr Sakayane Sisouvong, the permanent secretary of the ministry of foreign affairs, said Sombath voluntarily boarded that vehicle."The lawmakers noted "the possibility that Mr Sombath may have been abducted by elements, possibly rogue elements, within the government itself".Although Laos is on its way to joining the World Trade Organisation and was recorded last year as the fastest growing economy in south-east Asia, its neighbours have warned the country against playing by the "old rules". An editorial in Thailand's English-language daily the Nation recently described Sombath's disappearance as "a blatant display of political arrogance and central control", and called Laos's government "an authoritarian system [which] is no longer acceptable … in the new regional landscape".The international rights group Global Witness also condemned the government's seeming ignorance of Sombath's whereabouts. It said: "Sombath's disappearance marks a worrying rise in repression by the Laos government that has left civil society petrified and seriously undermines the country's recent progress as a global player"
     
    Laos : des députés de l’Asean sur la piste de Sombath Somphone
    http://asie-info.fr/2013/01/16/mission-asean-laos-sombath-somphone-516364.html
    Trois parlementaires de l’Association des nations de l’Asie du sud-est ont été à Vientiane réclamer des explications  sur la disparition de Sombath Somphone.
    Trois parlementaires de l’Asean qui se sont rendus du 13 au 15 janvier à Vientiane pour demander aux autorités laotiennes où en était l’enquête sur la disparition de Sombath Somphone, un travailleur social laotien enlevé le 15 décembre, avouent leur déception. «Nous sommes loin d’être satisfaits des explications  reçues», a indiqué lors d’une conférence de presse à Bangkok le 16 janvier Walden Bello, parlementaire des Philippines  et membre de la délégation. Les deux autres membres étaient Lily Wahid (députée, Indonésie) , et Charles Santiago (parlementaire, Malaisie). «Notre impression est que nos interlocuteurs au Laos lisaient un script qui leur avait été donné par quelqu’un d’autre», a ajouté Charles Santiago.
    Malgré cette déconvenue, les parlementaires ont récolté quelques éléments troublants sur les circonstances de la disparition du Laotien, récompensé en 1995 par le prestigieux prix Ramon Magsaysay, décerné pour le  développement social. Sombath Somphone faisait partie du Comité organisateur du Forum du Peuple de l’ASEM, une convention des organisations de la société civile dans le cadre du Sommet Asie-Europe qui s’est tenue à Vientiane les 5 et 6 novembre 2012. Lors de ce Forum, une paysanne laotienne avait publiquement dénoncé les confiscations de terre à Vientiane. « Elle a été intimidée devant tout le monde par les services de renseignements laotiens et a dû quitter la salle de conférence », explique Charles Santiago. Une fois rentrée dans son village, la femme a continué à recevoir des menaces. Par ailleurs, Sombath Somphone et plusieurs ONG laotiennes avaient présenté lors du forum un document intitulé « La vision laotienne », basée sur des enquêtes approfondies de terrain et qui proposait une stratégie pour l’éradication de la pauvreté et le développement du pays. « Il semble que cela a fortement irrité certaines personnes haut placées au sein du parti (le Parti révolutionnaire populaire laotien) », estime Charles Santiago.
    Pour sa part, Lily Wahid, députée indonésienne, a indiqué que le secrétaire permanent du ministère laotien des Affaires étrangères, Sakayane Sisouvong, leur avait dit savoir que Sombath était encore vivant et se trouvait dans un lieu « proche du fleuve Mékong ». « Ils savent très bien tout ce qui s’est passé », a-t-elle affirmé. Les parlementaires semblent pencher pour une implication des militaires laotiens en cheville avec certaines factions du parti au pouvoir.
    “We, 65 national, regional and international human rights organizations, express very grave concern over the lack of progress and information regarding investigations into the fate and whereabouts of Mr. Sombath Somphone.”
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    The ASEAN's Human Rights Framework and the Case of Sombath Somphone's Disappearance 1/8
    21 December 2012 at Foreign Correspondent's Club of Thailand (FCCT)
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    Sombath Somphone: Lao Development Visionary Speaks
    Sombath Somphone worked for 30 years to promote sustainable development through training and educating young people in Lao PDR. In 1996, he founded Participatory Development Training Center (PADETC), ...
    Amnesty international has issued a statement that calls for everybody who is concerned about Sombath to write immediately in Lao, English or your own language:
    • Calling on the Lao authorities to undertake prompt, transparent and thorough investigations into the abduction and disappearance of Sombath Somphone, in accordance with their obligations under international human rights law;
    • Demanding that they give full information about the progress of the investigations to his family and others with a legitimate interest;
    • Urging them to ensure that all steps are being taken to locate, rescue and return him safely to his family as soon as possible.
    The full statement from Amnesty International, with details of who to write to, can be downloaded by clicking this link.
    Asean MPs are concerned about Mr Sombath's disappearance.
    Asean parliamentarians have urged the Lao government to conduct a fast-track investigation into the disappearance of Lao activist Sombath Somphone.
    Sombath: Concern for welfare mounts Asean MPs are concerned about Mr Sombath's disappearance. They met senior Lao government officials and members of the Lao National Assembly in Vientiane from Sunday to Tuesday. The three spoke to the media at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand in Bangkok yesterday about their trip. Philippines MP Walden Bello said police have made little progress in their investigation. He said most Lao officials insisted there was no evidence Mr Sombath entered the pickup truck that appeared in the CCTV footage. "We were told that after a month of investigation the only thing that has been established is the police had nothing to do with it," Mr Bello said.He said Lao officials suspected Mr Sombath might have been kidnapped but the Asean MPs said that made no sense because no ransom had been demanded. The Asean MPs gave investigators a list of possible circumstances regarding the activist's disappearance to push the Lao government to speed up the probe. He said Mr Sombath might have been abducted by a rogue element in the Lao government. They had asked the permanent secretary of the Lao Foreign Affairs Ministry, Sakayane Sisouvong, to investigate. The Asean delegates suspected Mr Sombath's disappearance could be linked to the Asia Europe People's Forum (AEPF), which Mr Sombath helped organise with the Lao foreign ministry last October. He raised the issue of environmental degradation and illegal land acquisition. Mr Bello said Mr Sombath's disappearance might also be connected to the Lao government's decision to expel the head of the Swiss NGO Helvetas, Anne-Sophie Grindroz, for allegedly criticising the government. She was expelled a week before Mr Sombath disappeared. A senior Lao official, however, denied Mr Sombath's disappearance was connected to either the AEPF or to Ms Grindroz. Malaysian MP Charles Santiago said the probe had not progressed much. Mr Sombath's wife talked to police as part of the investigation but Mr Santiago said police asked her about their relationship and other seemingly inconsequential matters such as the date she met Mr Sombath, their wedding date, how many children they had, and her address. The investigation was conducted by low-ranking officers, he said. The Lao government should order high-ranking officers to fast-track the probe. Indonesian MP Lily Wahid said the group would collect the signatures of MPs in Asean countries and forward them to the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights in Jakarta, to pressure the Lao government to do better. The delegation members would chase up the investigation to make sure it was making progress, Ms Wahid said.
    All Efforts Should be Made to Locate Missing Laotian Activist 
    http://www.freedomhouse.org/article/all-efforts-should-be-made-locate-missing-laotian-activist
    Freedom House expresses deep concern about the disappearance of Laotian anti-poverty activist and former director of the Participatory Development Training Centre, Sombath Somphone, who has been missing since he was reportedly detained by authorities on Saturday, December 15. Security footage made available to his wife shows Somphone being driven away from the Vientiane police station by two plainclothes officers on Saturday evening. Somphone’s disappearance falls on the heels of the expulsion of the Swiss development organization Helvetas’s country director, Anne-Sophie Gindroz. Authorities told Gindroz to leave Laos after she sent a letter to her organization’s donors criticizing the government’s for its repression of civil society and for creating a difficult operating environment for Helvetas and other development NGOs.
    Freedom House calls for the immediate release of Somphone, and urges the US government to press for the same with its Laotian counterparts.
    Somphone’s work on poverty reduction and economic development has garnered international praise, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership award in 2005. While his work highlights the need for economic and political reform, it is not overtly critical of the government and questions remain about the government’s motive for his detention.
    Freedom House consistently places Laos - a one-party communist state - among the world’s most repressive societies
    , as the government stifles political dissent and the civil sphere is closely monitored.
    Learn more:
    Issues: Civil SocietyFreedom of ExpressionHuman Rights DefenseRule of LawRegions: Asia-PacificCountries: Laos
    Press release by the German government:
    RFA:Hillary-Clinton-demands-safety-of-missing-laos-activist
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    Laos Clarifies Activist Case to UN
     2013-01-04, 
     : Sombath Somphone in an undated photo from PADETC's website.
    Sombath Somphone in an undated photo from PADETC's website.
    The government says information the UN’s human rights office received about disappeared activist Sombath Somphone is incorrect.The Lao government told the United Nations Thursday that missing local social activist Sombath Somphone was not taken into police custody before his disappearance as widely reported and that he may have been kidnapped because of a “personal conflict.”Yong Chanthalangsy, Laos’s Ambassador to the U.N. office in Geneva, made the statement in a letter responding to queries about Sombath from U.N. rights officials, who have expressed concern that the activist may be the victim of an enforced disappearance by the authorities.Sombath, who has been honored for his work reducing poverty and promoting education in Laos through a training center he founded, was last seen by his wife driving home from his office in the Lao capital Vientiane on Dec. 15.Police closed-circuit television footage from that night, which relatives have posted online, shows him being stopped by traffic police, according to government statements about the case.Yong Chanthalangsy’s letter said that U.N. Special Procedures officials—independent investigators assigned by the U.N.’s Human Rights Council—had been misinformed about the case and that traffic police had not taken Sombath into custody during the stop.“Contrary to the information the U.N. Special Procedures received, Mr. Sombath was not taken by the police to the police post,” the letter said, according to a copy published in the state-owned Vientiane Times newspaper.Sombath had been stopped around 6:00 p.m. by police conducting “routine random checks” on vehicles at a police post on Thadeua Road, and had gotten out of his jeep to present his documents to the police, the letter said, citing the footage.It said that the video footage, which later shows two men entering a pickup truck near Sombath’s jeep and driving to an unknown location, may not show Sombath being driven away from the scene, as relatives had said police told them.“From the CCTV footage it cannot be confirmed that it was Mr. Sombath who entered the pickup truck."The letter also noted that the two men who got in the truck—one of whom relatives had said was Sombath—were not forced into it.“The two persons who got into the truck were not forced to do so. This fact is different from the information the U.N. Special Procedures received which alleged that Mr. Sombath was forced to get into the pickup truck.”'Personal conflict'The letter said investigating authorities view “that it may be possible Mr. Sombath has been kidnapped perhaps because of a personal conflict or a conflict in business or some other reasons.”Sombath’s relatives have said he did not have personal or business conflicts that would have led to him being kidnapped.Sombath, 60, is the former director of the Participatory Development Training Centre (PADETC), a nongovernmental organization he founded in 1996 to promote education, training, and sustainable development in Laos.The recipient of the 2005 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership for his work in the fields of education and development across Asia, he was last seen on the evening of Dec. 15 while driving home from the PADETC office in Vientiane.The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva, which oversees the Human Rights Council, expressed concern that he had been kidnapped because of his work.“We are highly concerned for his safety and believe that his abduction may be related to his human rights work,” spokesman Rupert Colville said.He said the organization was distressed by “what appeared to be” Sombath’s “enforced disappearance,” a term which under international law implicates officials or state agents.Yong Chanthalangsy’s letter stressed that Laos, as a signatory to the U.N.’s Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, is committed to human rights and that officials have put a high priority on investigating the case.“The Lao government is deeply concerned about the disappearance of Mr. Sombath Somphone and attaches importance to the investigations underway in order to find out the truth of this incident,” it said.Reported by RFA’s Lao Service. Written in English by Rachel Vandenbrink.

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    Press Statement: Disappearance of Lao Civil Society Leader Sombath Somphone
    Hillary Rodham Clinton
    Secretary of State
    Washington, DC
    January 16, 2013
    We are deeply concerned about the well-being of Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone, who disappeared one month ago. Reports indicate that Mr. Sombath went missing on December 15, 2012 after being stopped at a police checkpoint in the capital city of Vientiane. We call upon the Lao government to pursue a transparent investigation of this incident and to do everything in its power to bring about an immediate and safe return home to his family.Since receiving his education in the United States, Mr. Sombath has worked tirelessly to promote sustainable development in Laos and he inspired a new generation of young leaders. He founded the Participatory Development Training Center, which trains Lao youth and local government leaders in community development and poverty reduction. His disappearance has generated a tremendous amount of concern from his family, friends and colleagues around the world. We urge his immediate return home and send our thoughts and to his family and loved ones. Posted in Statements of concern
    Clinton demands safety of missing Laos activist
    (AFP)–3 hours ago WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday urged Laos to ensure the safety of a prominent activist, whose mysterious disappearance a month ago has sent chills through civil society. Clinton, who in July became the first US secretary of state to visit the Southeast Asian nation since the communist victory in 1975, said the United States was deeply concerned for activist Sombath Somphone. "We call upon the Lao government to pursue a transparent investigation of this incident and to do everything in its power to bring about an immediate and safe return home to his family," Clinton said in a statement. "His disappearance has generated a tremendous amount of concern from his family, friends and colleagues around the world. We urge his immediate return home and send our thoughts and prayers to his family and loved ones," she said. The US-educated Sombath, who headed a non-governmental organization campaigning for sustainable development, went missing on December 15 while driving home in the capital Vientiane. Images from CCTV cameras, obtained by Sombath's family and published online, show him being taken away from a police post by two unidentified individuals. He has not been seen since. The Vientiane government had appeared to be opening up in recent years, but several weeks ago it expelled Anne-Sophie Gindroz of Swiss charity Helvetas after her outspoken criticism of authorities. Clinton visited in July as part of an effort by President Barack Obama's administration to build relations with Southeast Asia, an economically dynamic and largely US-friendly area where several nations are uneasy over a rising China. The Obama administration has put a high priority on encouraging changes in Myanmar, also known as Burma, which has undertaken democratic reforms in recent years after decades as a pariah to the West. Related:
    http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Clinton+calls+Laos+locate+missing+social+activist/7828842/story.html
     
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    Posted on January 16, 2013 by The DudeLaos under pressure to up probe Financial Times (London), 16 January 2013 The Lao government is coming under increased international pressure to step up its promised investigation into the disappearance of a prominent local civic leader, as concerns increase about state involvement in the case. MPs from other Asean member countries said on Wednesday that Laos’s ruling communist party “clearly had no desire and no political will” to resolve the mystery and urged the government to extend its investigation to the top levels of Laos’s military. This follows public expressions of concern from the US and other western governments and UN agencies over the case. The MPs spoke ahead of an expected statement by US secretary of state Hillary Clinton urging Laos to take more action on the case. The three MPs, from the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, visited Vientiane, the Lao capital, where Sombath Somphone went missing on December 15 while driving home one evening from his office. Continue reading → Posted in News coverage
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    กรณีสมบัด สมพอน กับอาเซียน
    ออกอากาศ ในรายการ ที่นี่ไทยพีบีเอส ช่วง อินไซด์อาเซียน 9 มกราคม 2556
     
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    Well-known aid worker disappears in Laos
    The work of Sombath Somphone is well-known across southeast Asia, but his disappearance in Laos on December 15 is a mystery. It was Sombath's development work and help to poor farmers that won him one...
     
    http://www.nationmultimedia.com/aec/Pressure-on-Vientiane-over-abduction-of-acclaimed--30197396.html
    Pressure on Vientiane over abduction of acclaimed activist
    Supalak Ganjanakhundee
    The Nation
    January 7, 2013 1:04 pm
    Authorities in Laos are under growing international pressure over the disappearance of prominent activist and Magsaysay award-winner Sombath Somphone, who went missing on December 15.
    Lao exiles living overseas say they believe the government abducted Sombath - and they called on Vientiane to free him.
    After concern was raised by the United Nations, Lao ambassador to Geneva Yong Chanthalangsay sent an official explanation and clarification to the UN Human Rights Council last Friday. He maintained the same old stance that Sombath was abducted by unknown men because of personal reasons or a business conflict.
    "The Lao government has grave concern over the incident and gives importance to the investigation to find out the truth," Yong said in a letter to the UN.
    However, the official letter to the UN did not provide any new information about Sombath. It mostly repeated the previous statement issued by the Lao foreign ministry on December 20.
    In the letter, Laos expressed its "strong commitment" to adhere to at least seven international agreements on human rights that Vientiane has signed over the years.
    Laos is a party to the convention on forced disappearance but has not yet ratified it. The country was preparing to comply with all international instruments on human rights, Yong said in the letter and noted that Laos has a constitution and internal law compatible with international treaties on human rights.
    Sombath went missing on the evening of December 15 while driving home from his office in the capital, Vientiane. A video clip from a closed-circuit television show that he was stopped by police before being taken by a group of unknown men to an unknown destination.
    The official letter to the UN said the video clip did not prove that Sombath was forced by anybody into a pickup truck seen in the clip taking two men away. "This is different from the UN report which says earlier he was forced into the truck," it said.
    Three weeks after Sombath's disappearance, the international community has ramped up its campaign to pile pressure on the authorities in Vientiane to search for him and take responsibility for his alleged disappearance.
    Overseas Laotians under the umbrella of the Germany-based Alliance for Democracy in Laos (ADL) believe that state agencies were involved in the abduction of Sombath.
    Judging from the video clip from the closed circuit television, the ADL said: "This modus operandi is nothing new, just like the way this has happened previously to hundreds of other patriotic democracy activists."
    In a statement signed by ADL President Bounthone Chantalavaong-Wiese, the group called for President Choummaly Sayasone and Premier Thongsing Thammavong, who wield ultimate power, to assume responsibility and set Sombath free immediately and unconditionally.
    "We appeal to international community to pressure upon the Lao government to urgently create the conditions which are conducive to democratisation," Bounthone said in the statement































      Druck auf Vientiane über Entführung von renommierten Aktivisten
    Supalak Ganjanakhundee
    Die Nation
    7. Januar 2013 13.04 Uhr
    Behörden in Laos sind unter wachsendem internationalen Druck über das Verschwinden von prominenten Aktivisten und Magsaysay Preisträger Sombath Somphone, die fehlen am 15. Dezember ging.
    Lao Exil im Ausland leben sagen, sie glauben, die Regierung entführten Sombath - und sie rief Vientiane, ihn zu befreien.
    Nach Anliegen der Vereinten Nationen ausgelöst wurde, schickte Lao-Botschafter in Genf Yong Chanthalangsay eine offizielle Erklärung und Aufklärung der Menschenrechtsrat der Vereinten Nationen am vergangenen Freitag.
    Er behauptete, die gleiche alte Haltung, dass Sombath von unbekannten Männern aus persönlichen Gründen oder eine Geschäftsreise Konflikts entführt wurde.
    "Die laotische Regierung hat große Besorgnis über den Vorfall und gibt Wert auf die Untersuchung, die Wahrheit herauszufinden," Yong sagte in einem Brief an den UN.
    Allerdings hat die offiziellen Brief an die UN keine neuen Informationen über Sombath.
    Es meistens wiederholt die vorherige Aussage des Lao Außenministerium am 20. Dezember ausgestellt.
    In dem Brief äußerte Laos sein "starkes Engagement", um mindestens sieben internationalen Abkommen über Menschenrechte, Vientiane über die Jahre unterzeichnet hat haften.
    Laos ist ein Vertragsstaat des Abkommens über gewaltsames Verschwinden, aber noch nicht ratifiziert.
    Das Land bereitete sich mit allen internationalen Übereinkünften über Menschenrechte einzuhalten, sagte Yong in dem Brief und bemerkte, dass Laos eine Verfassung und internen Recht mit internationalen Verträge über die Menschenrechte hat.
    Sombath vermisst am Abend des 15. Dezember während der Fahrt nach Hause von seinem Büro in der Hauptstadt Vientiane.
    Ein Video-Clip von einer Closed-Circuit-TV-Show, dass er von der Polizei, bevor sie von einer Gruppe von unbekannten Männern zu einem unbekannten Ort gebracht gestoppt.
    Die offiziellen Brief an die UN, sagte der Videoclip nicht beweisen, dass Sombath von niemandem wurde in einem Pickup-Truck in den Clip unter zwei Männer weg gesehen gezwungen.
    "Dies unterscheidet sich von dem UN-Bericht, die früher wurde er in den Wagen gezwungen sagt,", sagte sie.
    Drei Wochen nach Sombath Verschwinden hat die internationale Gemeinschaft ihre Kampagne hochgefahren, um Druck auf die Behörden in Vientiane stapeln, um ihn zu suchen und die Verantwortung für seine angebliche Verschwinden.
    Overseas Laoten unter dem Dach der in Deutschland ansässigen Alliance for Democracy in Laos (ADL) glauben, dass staatliche Stellen in die Entführung von Sombath beteiligt waren.
    Ausgehend von den Videoclip aus dem Closed Circuit Television, sagte der ADL: "Dieser modus operandi ist nichts Neues, nur die Art, wie diese zuvor zu Hunderten von anderen patriotischen demokratischen Aktivisten passiert ist."
    In einer Erklärung von ADL Präsident Bounthone Chantalavaong-Wiese, die Gruppe für Präsident Choummaly Sayasone und Premier Thongsing Thammavong, die schwingen ultimative Macht genannt, unterzeichnet, um Verantwortung und Satz Sombath frei ab sofort und bedingungslos anzunehmen.
    "Wir appellieren an internationale Gemeinschaft auf, auf der laotischen Regierung unter Druck zu setzen dringend die Voraussetzungen schaffen, die förderlich für die Demokratisierung sind", Bounthone sagte in der Erklärung.
    Laos must tell the truth about Sombath's fate
    The Nation
    January 15, 2013 1:00 am
    The disappearance of a noted social activist is tainted with the suspicion that the authorities have silenced him due to his opposition to dam construction and other projects
    It is almost clear that the disappearance last month of Sombath Somphone, a respected Lao civil society leader, after he was stopped at a police station, was not an accident. The manner in which the authorities in Vientiane have responded to enquiries into the matter has also raised the possibility of the complicity of local officials in his alleged kidnapping.
    Laos must come clean on the whereabouts of Sombath. Otherwise the country's reputation and standing in the international community will suffer, especially after the successful hosting of the high-profile Asia-Europe Summit last year. Sombath's supporters throughout Southeast Asia and other regions have demanded that the Lao government provide more information. Even former Thai prime minister Anand Panyarachun, who seldom makes any comment on a personal level, has appealed to Vientiane to investigate Sombath's case.
    Sombath's friends have set up social media networks to monitor the situation. Some of his supporters believe he is still alive, but with no information forthcoming more than a month since he was last seen, many others believe his life is in jeopardy.
    So far, the Lao government has said little about Sombath, apart from asserting that he may have been involved in a personal dispute. That is its standard official rebuttal to any question about dubious action. As a Magsaysay Award laureate, Sombath has been given recognition for his work in training Lao people on issues related to agriculture and development.
    With the kind of economic development that the Communist Party of Laos has chosen to focus on, rapid growth in extractive industries such as timber and minerals has been given top priority. Ongoing dam construction has caused repeated concern about the relocation of villagers and long-term destruction of the environment and traditional ways of life.
    Laos is still an oppressive society. It is more open than before, but still closed in comparison with neighbouring Thailand, Cambodia and even Myanmar. So far, its authoritarian government has escaped criticism because it has successfully hidden under the cloak of Asean since it joined the grouping in 1997. Laos has also been lucky due to its landlocked geographical location, allowing the regime to continue with its archaic style of governance.
    After the Cold War, Laos was quite isolated for a long period. Two years ago, with the full cooperation of the Thai government, against the demands of the international community, Lao Hmong refugees were sent back to Laos unwillingly. This only helped Laos and Thailand to improve their "national security". Since then, Laos has trained its officials to track internal players from non-government, or rather non-party, sectors. Anybody who does not follow the party line is punished or reprimanded for "anti-social Behaviour".
    At this time, pending further investigation, Sombath's colleagues and friends believe that his disappearance and alleged kidnapping by the authorities could be linked to his opposition to the Sayaboury Dam's construction and other environmental issues.
    Sombath's whereabouts will remain a big issue and the Lao government has to be held accountable. Asean must take up this matter, especially the Asean Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights, which recently issued its much-heralded Declaration of Asean Human Rights. His disappearance looks more and more like a blatant display of political arrogance and central control inside Laos. Increasingly in the new regional landscape, such an authoritarian system is no longer acceptable
     
    Laos muss die Wahrheit über Sombath Schicksal
    sagen
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljQHq1CLc90
    The Nation 15. Januar 2013 01.00 Uhr
    Das Verschwinden eines bekannten sozialer Aktivist mit dem Verdacht, dass die Behörden haben ihm zum Schweigen wegen seiner Opposition gegen den Dammbau und andere Projekte verdorben
    Es ist fast klar dass das Verschwinden letzten Monat Sombath Somphone, ein angesehener Lao Zivilgesellschaft Führer, nachdem er auf einer Polizeistation gestoppt wurde, war kein Zufall.
    Die Art und Weise, in der die Behörden in Vientiane auf Anfragen in dieser Angelegenheit reagiert haben, hat auch die Möglichkeit, die Komplizenschaft der lokalen Beamten in seiner angeblichen Entführung angehoben.
    Laos kommen müssen über den Verbleib des Sombath sauber. 
    Andernfalls den Ruf des Landes und stehen in der internationalen Gemeinschaft zu leiden, vor allem nach der erfolgreichen Austragung der hochkarätigen Asien-Europa-Gipfel im vergangenen Jahr.
    Sombath Unterstützer in ganz Südostasien und anderen Regionen haben gefordert, dass die laotische Regierung mehr Informationen liefern.
    Selbst ehemalige thailändische Premierminister Anand Panyarachun, die selten macht keinen Kommentar auf einer persönlichen Ebene, hat Vientiane appellierte an Sombath den Fall zu untersuchen.
    Sombath Freunde haben Social Media Netzwerke gesetzt, um die Situation zu überwachen.
    Einige seiner Anhänger glauben, dass er noch am Leben ist, aber ohne Informationen bevorstehende mehr als ein Monat seit er das letzte Mal gesehen wurde, glauben viele andere sein Leben ist in Gefahr.
    Bisher hat die laotische Regierung wenig über Sombath sagte, abgesehen von behaupten, dass er in einem persönlichen Streit beteiligt gewesen sein.
    Das ist der Standard offizielle Gegendarstellung auf jede Frage zu zweifelhaften Aktion.
    Als Magsaysay Preisträgerin hat Sombath eine Anerkennung für seine Arbeit in der Ausbildung Lao Menschen auf Fragen im Zusammenhang mit Landwirtschaft und Entwicklung gegeben.
    Mit der Art der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, dass die Kommunistische Partei von Laos hat sich entschieden, konzentrieren sich auf das rasche Wachstum in der Rohstoffindustrie wie Holz und Mineralien höchste Priorität.
    Laufende Dammbau hat wiederholt Besorgnis über die Verlagerung der Dorfbewohner und langfristige Zerstörung der Umwelt und der traditionellen Lebensweise verursacht.
    Laos ist noch eine bedrückende Gesellschaft.
    Es ist offener als zuvor, aber immer noch geschlossen im Vergleich mit den Nachbarländern Thailand, Kambodscha und sogar Myanmar.
    Bisher hat seine autoritäre Regierung Kritik entkommen, weil sie erfolgreich unter dem Deckmantel der Asean versteckt hat, da es die Gruppierung kam 1997.
    Laos hat auch Glück gehabt wegen seiner Binnenstaat geographischen Lage, so dass das Regime mit seinen archaischen Stil des Regierens fortzusetzen.
    Nach dem Kalten Krieg war Laos ziemlich isoliert über einen langen Zeitraum.
    Vor zwei Jahren, mit der vollen Unterstützung der thailändischen Regierung, gegen die Forderungen der internationalen Gemeinschaft wurden Lao Hmong-Flüchtlinge nach Laos geschickt widerwillig.
    Dies half nur Laos und Thailand, um ihre "nationale Sicherheit" zu verbessern.
    Seitdem hat Laos ihre Beamten geschult internen Spielern aus Nicht-Regierungsorganisationen zu verfolgen, oder vielmehr überparteilich, Sektoren.
    Wer nicht folgt die Linie der Partei wird bestraft oder getadelt für "anti-social Behaviour".
    Zu diesem Zeitpunkt bis zur weiteren Untersuchung, glauben Sombath Kollegen und Freunde, dass sein Verschwinden und angeblichen Entführung durch die Behörden auf, seinen Widerstand gegen die Sayaboury Dam Bau-und anderen Umweltproblemen verknüpft werden konnten.
    Sombath Aufenthaltsort wird ein großes Thema bleiben und die laotische Regierung muss zur Rechenschaft gezogen werden.
    Asean muss sich dieser Angelegenheit, insbesondere die Asean Inter-Regierungs-Commission on Human Rights, die vor kurzem veröffentlichte seine viel gepriesene Erklärung der Asean Menschenrechte.
    Sein Verschwinden sieht mehr und mehr wie ein eklatanter Anzeige von politischer Arroganz und zentrale Steuerung im Inneren Laos.
    Zunehmend in den neuen regionalen Landschaft ist wie ein autoritäres System nicht mehr akzeptabel
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    With Laos Disappearance, Signs of a Liberalization in Backslide Gilles Sabrie for the International Herald Tribune
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/11/world/asia/with-laos-disappearance-signs-of-a-liberalization-in-backslide.html?pagewanted=all&_r=2&
     : Ng Shui Meng in Vientiane with a flyer of her missing husband, Sombath Somphone, who is known for his humanitarian work.
    Ng Shui Meng in Vientiane with a flyer of her missing husband, Sombath Somphone, who is known for his humanitarian work.
    By THOMAS FULLER Published: January 10, 2013
    VIENTIANE, Laos — He was last seen driving home in his old, rusty jeep. And then he vanished.
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    The disappearance nearly one month ago of Sombath Somphone, a United States-trained agriculture specialist who led one of the most successful nonprofit organizations in Laos, has baffled his family and friends and raised alarms that a nascent liberalization of the Communist-ruled country could be sliding backward.
    Mr. Sombath, 60, who won many awards for his public service, was known to be nonconfrontational and adept at forging compromises with the authoritarian government of Laos.
    “We have no malice against the government,” said Ng Shui Meng, Mr. Sombath’s wife, who is from Singapore and met Mr. Sombath while they both studied in the United States. “We want to live our lives quietly.”
    The disappearance has set off an enormous campaign by Mr. Sombath’s large network of friends and aid workers across Southeast Asia who know him from his development work. The campaign has put Laos, an obscure country run by an opaque Communist party, under increasing pressure to provide answers.
    The country has taken halting steps to modernize its one-party system in recent years but has also cracked down on dissent, and its security services have been linked to a series of politically motivated assassinations in neighboring Thailand.
    Paradoxically for the Lao government, it is a network of cameras that the municipal police installed over the past three years to monitor “anti-social behavior” that have pointed to signs of the government’s involvement in Mr. Sombath’s disappearance.
    Helpful workers at a local police station initially showed the family images of Mr. Sombath’s jeep stopped at a police checkpoint on the evening of Dec. 15. Mr. Sombath then appeared to be driven off in a white vehicle.
    Family members had the presence of mind to record the footage with their own digital devices — crucial because the government now refuses to let them view the video again despite pleas by diplomats who would like to analyze it for clues like license plates. (The video is now circulating on YouTube and is also available at sombath.org, a site put up by Mr. Sombath’s friends and dedicated to tracing his whereabouts).
    Since the search for Mr. Sombath began, the Lao government has issued only short statements that suggest, without offering details, that he may have been involved in a personal dispute. But those following the case closely remain unconvinced.
    “The bottom line is that we haven’t heard anything beyond a brief statement that doesn’t clarify anything,” Karen B. Stewart, the U.S. ambassador to Laos, said in an interview. “There’s been no full report about the status of the investigation or whatever is going on.”
    A mountainous and landlocked country of six million, Laos is often portrayed in guidebooks and tourist brochures as a gentle land of stilt houses along the Mekong River, smiling and easygoing rice farmers, Buddhist monks and village silk weavers.
    But the contrast to these placid images is a Communist party, formally called the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, that crushes anything deemed to be a threat to its monopoly on power.
    “There’s a nostalgic picture of women in their wraparound skirts, a beautiful country with tourist attractions,” said Adisorn Semyaem, an expert on Laos at the Mekong Studies Center at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. “That’s not the total picture. There’s also another side of the coin.”
    A precise accounting of repression in Laos is difficult to obtain because the news media are controlled by the government and communication is poor across the impoverished countryside. But one measure of politically related violence can be found when it spills over into the country’s freewheeling neighbor, Thailand, where it is recorded by the police and reported in the news media.
    Mr. Adisorn, who has researched Lao politics for the past two decades, has compiled a list of more than 20 Lao citizens assassinated in Thailand over what appear to be political reasons, including a Buddhist monk who opposed the government and a member of the former Lao royal family. The crimes all remain unresolved.
    Inside Laos, the government periodically arrests members of Protestant Christian religious groups, farmers who complain that their land had been taken away and anyone else whom they judge to “have political agendas,” Mr. Adisorn said.
    Mr. Adisorn has an extensive network of contacts inside the Lao government and has been asking about Mr. Sombath’s case. “I assume that he is still alive but that the government is finding it very difficult to find a way out of the situation,” he said.
    An official who answered the telephone at the Lao Foreign Ministry advised a reporter to monitor the Lao press for updates on the case and said a spokesperson was not available.
    There is a troubling precedent for a politically linked disappearance. In 2007, Sompawn Khantisouk, the manager of an ecotourism guesthouse who was outspoken in his criticism of Chinese-owned plantations in the north of the country, disappeared and has not been seen since.
    If Laos has avoided the same level of scrutiny of other authoritarian countries in the region, it is partly because the political oppression is hardly visible to outsiders when they visit. The center of Vientiane has lively, outdoor restaurants and countless small hotels and tourist shops.
    The country received a record 3.1 million foreign visitors last year — equivalent to half the population — according to the government, which promoted 2012 as Visit Laos Year under the slogan “Simply Beautiful.”
    Tourists come for the mountain scenery, spicy Lao food, the charms of towns like Luang Prabang and the cultural legacies of the French colonial years — ocher buildings and nearly tax-free French wine.
    But as the country opens up and embraces capitalism more vigorously, there are tensions between the old and new Laos, between a more transparent government and the more cloistered system that fought off U.S.-backed militias during what is known as the Secret War of the 1960s and 1970s.
    “There’s not total, 100 percent agreement or understanding about how to manage a market economy, a more globally oriented rule-of-law state and yet maintain the kind of political system they have,” said Ms. Stewart, the U.S. ambassador.
    The country’s National Assembly has taken a more assertive role in debating government policies that were previously dictated by the top leaders. Last year, Laos completed negotiations to join the World Trade Organization and was the host of a major meeting between the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the grouping of 10 countries in which Laos is seeking a more active role.
    At the same time, the Lao government cracked down on budding signs of free expression. In January 2012, the authorities shut down a radio program that discussed the issue of land seizures — a hot topic with the increasing number of projects in rural areas led by Chinese and Vietnamese companies.
    The host of that radio program, Ounkeo Souksavanh, said that farmers who appeared on the program were arrested several months later.
    In December, the government expelled Anne-Sophie Gindroz, the head of the Lao chapter of the Swiss charity Helvetas, citing her “explicit rejection” of the Lao political system.
    As for Mr. Sombath’s case, the possible motives for his disappearance remain unclear. He retired last year from his organization, the Participatory Development Training Center, but continued to be engaged with nonprofit organizations in Laos.
    Some speculate that going after such a high-profile personality was a warning to other private groups.
    “To this day I am baffled,” Mr. Sombath’s wife said.
    She rejects the term “activist” that many news organizations have used in describing him. “We have lived here for a long time, during periods when Laos was less open than now, when people were afraid to talk openly. We survived that period without something like this happening.”
    Mr. Sombath’s U.S. connections may have made some old-guard officials suspicious, friends and old acquaintances say. He was an exchange student in Wisconsin in high school and went to college in Hawaii.
    But his farming roots — both his parents were rice farmers in Laos — and his three decades of carrying out programs to help the poor won over many people. In 2005, he was awarded the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award, which honors public service in Asia.
    Ms. Ng frets for her husband’s health and safety at the couple’s home overlooking the Mekong River. Mr. Sombath has a prostate condition and had been prescribed daily medication.
    “I don’t know where he is,” she said. “I hope he is safe.”
    Poypiti Amatatham contributed reporting from Vientiane and Bangkok.


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    Statement about missing Mr Sombath SOMPHONE
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    RFA report
    The EU, UN and NGO's protests for Mr. Sombath Somphone
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    RFA intervew
    RFA with the family of Mr.Sombath Somphone
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    UN urges Government to ensure safe return of missing human rights defender  
    21 December 2012 – The United Nations today urged the Government of Laos to do everything possible to ensure that a prominent human rights defender who went missing a week ago is found safe and unharmed. “We are concerned by what appears to be the enforced disappearance of Mr. Sombath Somphone,” the spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Rupert Colville, told reporters in Geneva. “We are highly concerned for his safety and believe that his abduction may be related to his human rights work,” he added. Mr. Somphone is the former director of the Participatory Development Training Centre, a non-governmental organization he founded in 1996 to promote education, training . He was last seen on the evening of 15 December on his way home, according to OHCHR. footage reportedly shows that he was stopped at the police post in Vientiane, the capital, and was driven away in a car by men in civilian clothes. His family has been unable to locate him since then, despite repeated calls to the authorities and searches in the local area. “We welcome the Government’s recent statement that a serious investigation is underway, and urge the authorities to do everything possible to ensure that Mr. Somphone is found safe and unharmed,” said Mr. Colville.
    Press briefing notes on Laos by the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville We are concerned by what appears to be the enforced disappearance of Mr. Sombath Somphone, a prominent human rights defender in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. We are highly concerned for his safety and believe that his abduction may be related to his human rights work. Mr Somphone was last seen at about 6pm on 15 December 2012 on his way home. Security camera footage reportedly shows that he was stopped at the police post on Thadeua Road in Vientiane, the capital, and was then driven away in a car by men in civilian clothes. His family has been unable to locate him since then, despite repeated calls to the authorities and searches in the local area. Mr. Somphone is the former director of the Participatory Development Training Centre, an NGO he founded in 1996 to promote education, training and sustainable development. In 2005, he won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership, which is one of Asia’s top civil awards, for his work in poverty reduction and sustainable development. We welcome the Government’s recent statement that a serious investigation is underway, and urge the authorities to do everything possible to ensure that Mr. Somphone is found safe and unharmed. 
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    Lao Oversea TV 12 21 12 1
    ວິເຄາະຂ່າວ ການຫາຍສາຍສູນ ຂອງ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ເຈົ້າຂອງ ຣາງວັນ ແມກ ໄຊໄຊ ຊຶ່ງຫລາຄົນເຂົ້າໃຈວ່າເປັນ ຝີມືຂອງຕຳຣວດ ກໍຄືຂອງຣັຖບານ!
     
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    The ASEAN's Human Rights Framework and the Case of Sombath Somphone's Disappearance 1/8
    21 December 2012 at Foreign Correspondent's Club of Thailand (FCCT)
     
    27.12.2012 / Ausland /
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    Wo ist Sombath Somphone?
    Laos: Bekannter Aktivist seit mehr als einer Woche vermißt. Regierung leugnet Verantwortung Seit inzwischen mehr als einer Woche wird in Laos Sombath Somphone vermißt. Der 60jähriger ist als Gründer des Participatory Development Training Center (PADETC), einer der ersten laotischen Nichtregierungsorganisationen sowie als Initiator vieler Selbsthilfeeinrichtungen der Armen und Benachteiligten in der Volksrepublik asienweit bekannt. 2005 wurde er mit dem Ramon-Magsaysay-Preis ausgezeichnet, der als »asiatischer Friedensnobelpreis« angesehen wird. Ein Überwachungsvideo zeigt den weißhaarigen Mann, wie er an einer Polizeistation aus seinem Jeep steigt, wohl um sich einer der unzähligen Kontrollen der Fahrzeugpapiere zu unterziehen. Vor dem Hintergrund der hier in der vergangenen Woche veranstalteten ASEAN-Universiade waren die Sicherheitsvorkehrungen in der laotischen Hauptstadt Vientiane zuletzt verschärft worden. Weiter ist auf dem Video zu sehen, wie ein Mann mit einem Motorrad vorfährt. Nach kurzem Aufenthalt bei dem Polizeiposten steigt er in Sombaths Jeep und fährt davon. Es vergehen wenige Minuten, bis ein Pick-up mit eingeschalteten Warnblinkern vorfährt. Drei Männer, darunter offenbar auch Sombath, besteigen das Fahrzeug, das daraufhin davonfährt. Seitdem fehlt von ihm jede Spur. Sombaths Frau Ng Shui Meng hat die laotische Regierung um Aufklärung gebeten, bislang jedoch keinerlei Auskunft erhalten. Inzwischen zieht das Verschwinden des engagierten Mannes Kreise. In einem Schreiben an den laotischen Sicherheitsminister bitten 132 namhafte Intellektuelle aus Asien um größtmögliche Anstrengungen zur Aufklärung des Schicksals ihres laotischen Freundes und Kollegen. In einer am vergangenen Donnerstag veröffentlichten Mitteilung wies der Sprecher des laotischen Außenministeriums hingegen jede Verantwortung für das Verschwinden des Aktivisten zurück. Trocken teilte er mit, daß Sombaths Frau den Ermittlungsbehörden das Überwachungsvideo der Polizei übergeben habe. Die Polizisten an der Station hätten jedoch nach ordnungsgemäßer Kontrolle der Dokumente von Sombath ihre Verkehrskontrolle fortgesetzt. Sombath könne aufgrund eines persönlichen oder geschäftlichen Konflikts entführt worden sein, so die von offizieller Stelle geäußerte Vermutung.
    2012-12-17 
    NGO Director Reported Missing
    The Lao director of a civil society group in Vientiane has disappeared, friends say. Updated at 9:30 a.m. EST on 2012-12-18The director of a Lao civil society group and recipient of a prestigious international award has gone missing at the same time as a friend and business associate, sources said Monday.

    Sombath Somphone, executive director of the Participatory Development Training Centre (PADETC) in Vientiane, has been missing since he left the group’s office in Vientiane on the evening of Dec. 15, according to a friend.
    Somphone, 60, is the recipient of the 2005 Ramon Magsaysay Award for community leadership for the group’s efforts to promote sustainable development through the training of young people.The NGO head left the group’s office in Vientiane around 5:00 p.m. at the same time as his wife, Shui Meng Ng, but in a separate car, planning to meet her for dinner an hour later, according to the friend.But the two were separated when she stopped at a gas station and he drove on ahead, according to the friend.After he did not return home, Ng, who is a citizen of Singapore, searched for her husband in hospitals across the city and later reported his disappearance to the police, the friend said.Another friend of Somphone’s, speaking on condition of anonymity from Vientiane, confirmed that the NGO head was missing and that his family was looking for him.Somphone’s colleagues and fellow development workers have met with government officials to discuss the case and urge an immediate and thorough investigation, according to the first source.They have also reported the case to the Singaporean and other embassies in Vientiane and to U.N. agency offices there, the source said.Somphone, who had studied in the U.S. before returning to Laos to found PADETC’s precursor in 1980, in October represented local civil society groups as a member of Laos’s national committee at the Asia-Europe People’s Forum in Vientiane on the sidelines of an international summit.PADETC, which receives funding from the Dutch-based Novib/Oxfam and the EU, among other agencies, works on poverty prevention and sustainability projects such as fuel-efficient stoves, fish farming promotion, recycling, media, school volunteers, and teacher training.Missing friendWhen asking acquaintances about Somphone’s whereabouts, friends and colleagues found that a friend of his visiting from the U.S. had also disappeared, according to the first source.A representative at the U.S. State Department’s press office in Washington said Monday the office had no information about a U.S. citizen missing in Laos.Somphone’s disappearance follows the expulsion from Laos earlier this month of a foreign NGO director who had spoken critically of the government.Swiss development group Helvetas’s country director Anne-Sophie Gindroz was kicked out after receiving a 48-hour notice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Dec. 7 saying she was no longer welcome in the country due to her “unconstructive attitude” toward the Lao government.Reported by RFA’s Lao Service. Written in English by Rachel Vandenbrink.
    An earlier version of this story stated that Somphone went missing Dec. 16 instead of Dec. 15 and that the missing friend was staying at Somphone's relative's house.
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    Appeal by the UN:
    Statement by the spokesperson of High Representative Catherine
    Ashton on the disappearance of Sombath Somphone in Laos
     ADL Appeal to the Government - Sombath Somphone
    Protest for Sombath Somphone
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