World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Lao Minister Warns Hmong Returnees of Subversion

Lao Defense Minister Warns Hmong Returnees of Subversive Elements

Last Saturday, the Lao Minister of Defense, Lieutenant General Douangchay Phichit, paid a special visit to a group of 3000 Hmong returnees resettled in Phonkham village, Borikhan district, Borikhamxay province.

On February 15, the Lao government’s state-controlled newspaper Vientiane Times reported that the Defense Minister had called on faster progress in developing the resettlement village. The paper further stated that the Defense Minister “gave advice on the structure of the village’s administrative body. He called for continuous education of the people on Party and government policy, and to make them aware of the tactics employed by subversive elements.”

The Hmong returnees well understand this type of ambiguous language used by the Lao government. The term “subversive elements” refers to “General Vang Pao Hmong” or those who sided with the United States during the Vietnam War and who the Lao military continues to hunt down in remote jungle areas.
Earlier this year, western journalists had again visited remaining jungle groups in military-controlled Saysomboun Special Zone claiming that survivors reported recent Lao government attacks, which included the killing of an unarmed 14-year old boy who was out foraging for food. The Lao foreign ministry spokesperson continues to deny that any such jungle groups exist or that any such attacks take place. Instead, the government refers to these subversive elements as bandits.

Rather than continue to hunt down the small remaining group of starving Hmong in the jungle and threaten former General Vang Pao with a government death sentence if he ever thinks about returning to Laos, his home country, maybe the Lao government should point its finger at someone else. Instead of secretly kicking around these helpless Hmong and blaming their General Vang Pao for the mass U.S. bombings in Laos, why don’t you target those who should really be held accountable. How about former U.S Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the one many believe should be held accountable for the mass bombardment of civilians in Laos. Maybe that wouldn’t be politically correct now for the Lao government to direct its anger at such an obvious target after the U.S. just opened up a new Defense Attache Office there.

The Hmong returnees, many believed to be political refugees with legitimate asylum claims, were forcibly repatriated from Thailand to Laos on December 28, 2009. According to the U.S. Ambassador in Thailand, the Thai government had identified about 800 of these returnees as having legitimate protection concerns. The UNHCR had also recognized a group of 158 as being political refugees. Despite assurances from the foreign diplomatic community that these UNHCR-recognized refugees would have access to the UNHCR immediately upon their return to Laos and be allowed to resettle in third countries, they have been isolated and denied access from the outside world.

The Lao government has quite boldly stated that these UNHCR-recognized refugees are just illegal migrants who have broken Lao law by fleeing to Thailand. The Lao government has also stated that these Hmong have now decided to stay in Laos rather than resettle in a third country. At the same time, the government continues to deny UNHCR access to the group.

The Lao government threatens those who do not tow the government line. If they speak out then they are guilty of being manipulated by subversive elements. A Hmong refugee can just not win against the Lao government, especially when they are the whipping dog for something the U.S. government should be responsible for.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Amnesty: Campaign Mass Hangings And Extermination At Syrian Prison

A chilling new report by Amnesty International exposes the Syrian government’s calculated campaign of extrajudicial executions by mass hangings at Saydnaya Prison. Between 2011 and 2015, every week and often twice a week, groups of up to 50 people ... More>>

Russian Hack Job?: White House - Actions In Response To Russian Malicious Cyber Activity & Harassment

President Obama authorized a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016. More>>


Israel/Palestine: Michael Field - Background To How Israel Nearly Went To War With New Zealand

New Zealand and Senegal managed to get the United Nations Security Council to pass resolution 2334 which said Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

US Indigenous Affairs: How President Obama Has Protected Our Sacred Land

I am very proud to be both Navajo and American. As the President of the Navajo Nation, I’ve dedicated my life to ensuring that, as a Navajo, my story -- and our stories -- are part of our collective American history. Today, I want to share one of those stories with you. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: The Berlin Truck Attack And The Refugee Question

The hard-nosed neo-cons were certainly showing little interest in linking arguments, examining evidence, or even considering elementary logic in the aftermath of the Berlin truck attack near the Gedächtniskirche. With the bodies fresh in the morgue, former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, peered into the mind of the everyday German, and found teeth chattering fear. More>>

Demonetisation: Gordon Campbell On India’s Huge Socio-Economic Experiment

Without much coverage at all in the West, India has just been engaged for the past few weeks in one of the world’s biggest socio-economic experiments since the Cultural Revolution in China. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news