Lao News35 Videos

Disappearance Casts a Pall Over Laos as ASEAN Conference Looms

Sombath Somphone’s shadow continues to hang over Laos, with the rural development expert’s disappearance in 2012 still haunting the country as it prepares to host the annual meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Sombath’s abduction remains unsolved even though there is video footage of Sombath’s Jeep being stopped at a police checkpoint that […]

Rena Bitter – US. Ambassador to Laos

Rena Bitter, a career member of the Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, is Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, a position she has held since 2013. Previously, Ms. Bitter served in the Department of State’s Operations Center as Director from 2010 to 2012 and Deputy Director from 2009 […]

Lao Woman Says Shots Were Fired in Land Dispute

A Lao police officer and three men associated with country’s military, who are accused of squatting on a three-hectare parcel of land in Luang Prabang province, recently fired their weapons in an attempt to fend off a local woman who claims title to the land, the woman told RFA’s Lao service. “I went to clear […]

Three government critics arbitrarily arrested, detained incommunicado

(Paris) Lao authorities must immediately and unconditionally release three individuals who have been arbitrarily arrested and detained incommunicado for criticizing the government, FIDH and its member organization Lao Movement for Human Rights (LMHR) said today. “The government’s systematic repression of all forms of peaceful dissent underscores the immense gap between Vientiane’s promises to the international […]

Lao Government Appoints Committee to Enforce Timber Export Ban

Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith this week appointed an ad hoc committee to enforce a nationwide ban on illegal logging within 60 days and block and prevent timber from leaving the country after some provinces were found to have violated a logging ban. The committee consists of high-ranking officials from government inspection agencies and anti-corruption […]

Laos Deploys Patrols to Deter Shootings And Prevent Unrest

Lao authorities have deployed fast-moving, special armed units to patrol villages and towns to prevent unrest and crime in the provinces in the wake of a string of shootings of individuals and passenger vehicles by unknown assailants. “The special forces have been established to work on an emergency basis throughout the country so they can […]

Three Lao Nationals Are Latest Victims of Forced Disappearances

Two Lao nationals have been arrested upon returning home from Thailand where they were working, while a third has vanished, because they criticized the Lao government while abroad, their friends and relatives said. Somphone Phimmasone, 29, his girlfriend Lod Thammasong, 30, and Soukane Chaithad, 32, returned to Laos in March to renew their passports, the […]

Lao E-Waste Plant Raises Pollution Concerns

An industrial plant that mines cast-off electronics for their valuable metals appears to be pumping polluted waste water into the neighborhood surrounding Vientiane’s Special Economic Zone causing contamination levels to jump dramatically, local residents told RFA’s Lao Service. The Hokeng Metal Processing Co. plant located in Nonthong village in Vientiane’s Saythany district reclaims copper, lead […]

He promised a new Hmong homeland; now he’s being extradited to Minnesota

A Hmong pitchman who promised his people a new homeland in Southeast Asia has been arrested by federal authorities at Los Angeles International Airport and will be extradited to Minnesota. Seng Xiong, 48, has been charged with wire fraud by U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Andy Luger. A criminal complaint alleges Xiong stole $1.3 million from […]

One Killed, Six Wounded in Shooting Attack on Vehicles in Laos

Unidentified gunmen killed a truck driver and wounded six Chinese nationals on a bus along a road in central Laos on Wednesday, a driver who witnessed the scene after the incident occurred said. The shootings occurred around 10 p.m. between Tham and Houasan villages in the Kasy district of Vientiane province about 175 kilometers (105 […]

Illegal Gambling Dens Busted in Northern Laos

Local police seized more than 100 slot machines in a raid this month as authorities cracked down on illegal gambling operations in the northern Luang Namtha province, local residents and law enforcement officials told RFA. On March 4, police and other government officials inspected restaurants and hotels located in the Long and Sing districts as […]