Archive for ‘Lao Government Communist’

July 24, 2014

China’s EximBank Suspends Loans For Roads, Bridges in Laos

China’s EximBank Suspends Loans For Roads, Bridges in Laos

2014-07-22

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://www.rfa.org/english/news/laos/investment-07222014194926.html

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) greets Laotian Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong before talks in Beijing, April 11, 2014.

Export-Import Bank of China (EximBank), the official export credit agency of the Chinese government, has suspended loans for infrastructure and construction projects in Laos, saying it would prefer to only finance mining and hydro-power ventures, according to Lao sources.

The move is seen by some as an indication of Beijing’s concern over its neighboring communist ally’s ability to repay loans for such projects as roads and bridges in the absence of immediate guarantees.

In the mining sector, for example, natural resources act as ready collateral.

EximBank, a top financier of projects that have been awarded to Chinese companies, conveyed the decision on the suspension of loans to the Lao government recently, the sources said.

Last month, the Laos-China Cooperation Commission, an agency under the Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment which manages bilateral relations, explained in a note to the Lao Ministry of Public Works and Transport the reasons behind EximBank’s decision.

The bank said it would only support projects in the mining and hydro-power sectors “that give maximum economic results,” according to the notice by the commission, one source told RFA’s Lao Service.

Nine projects shelved

The notice resulted in the Ministry of Public Works and Transport suspending nine road and bridge projects in the country that were linked to Chinese firms with potential financing from EximBank.

A commission official confirmed with RFA that the Chinese bank had suspended the loans but refused to provide details.

But Santisouk Simmalavong, the head of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, sounded uncertain when asked to comment on the issue.

“It is not clear yet,” he said. “We have to wait and see. We do not know.”

He also said he was in the dark about the ministry’s order to halt the nine projects.

Lao news reports have said that the country has great potential for development of the hydro-power and mining sectors but faces a shortage of financial and engineering companies investing in such areas.

China is the top investor in Laos and most of its money has been pumped into the mining and hydro-power sectors. But it is not financing any of the two controversial dams in Laos— the Xayaburi and Don Sahong dams.

Rail project

It is not clear whether EximBank’s decision might also impact the planned U.S. $7.2-billion rail project linking the Lao capital Vientiane to southwestern China. Laos is banking on a Chinese loan for the ambitious project.

“If the bank is going to suspend loans to smaller projects such as road and bridge projects, the assumption is that it would also not finance the mammoth rail project,” one source said.

During Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong’s April visit to China, the two sides agreed that the railway project was crucial to boosting economic and trade cooperation and vowed to look for an “effective method of cooperation” on the project.

Reported by Ounkeo Souksavanh for RFA’s Lao Service. Translated by Ounkeo Souksavanh. Written in English by Parameswaran Ponnudurai.

July 11, 2014

Laos’s Facebook: Inappropriate Facebook use could be blocked

 

Inappropriate Facebook use could be blocked

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://www.vientianetimes.org.la/FreeContent/freeCont_Inappropriate.htm

Internet users who use social media such as Facebook to circulate false information or any use targeting to disrupt social order or undermine security could have their accounts blocked, a minister has said.

Minister of Post and Telecommunications Hiem Phommachanh told the ongoing ordinary session of the National Assembly (NA) on Thursday that technical officials are working on the matter.

The technical officials are working in an attempt to block false information and some accounts that target to tarnish the reputation of individuals, disrupt social order, and tarnish the image of the country and the government, the minister said.

But, Mr Hiem confirmed that Laos will not block the whole Facebook system, saying that social media is also useful for daily activities.

Among its positive aspects, social media can be used as a channel to exchange views, information and sharing lessons as well as advertisements among members of the public and businesses, the minister said.

He added that allowing people to access Facebook is also in line with Laos’s policy to switch from an agriculture-based economy to one with modernised industries and policy to integrate it with the outside world.

Facebook has rapidly beco me popular among users worldwide and in Laos. The number of Lao Facebook users has more than doubled from only about 200,000 users two years ago to 530,000 users as of May 2, 2014.

Officials said some users have signed up by not using their real names making it more difficult to find out their real identities.

Recently, some users were found circulating false information with officials alleging the users targeted to disrupt social order and undermine security.

In light of such inappropriate use, relevant authorities are drafting particular legal documents to regulate the use of social media – the move stirred up public discussion on what degree social media will be regulated or restricted.

The legal documents being drafted include Cybercrime Law, Information and Technology L aw, and a Prime Ministerial Decree on the management of information through the internet.

The documents are expected to be complete this year, according to Acting Director General of the Lao National Internet Centre, under the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, Mr Keovisouk Solaphom.

He agreed that social media plays an important role in spreading useful and important information to keep members of the public updated with what is happening in society and across the globe.

Many have been using it for trading and advertising purposes. All these have contributed to socio-economic development, the director said.

Director General of the Media Department, under the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Pinpratthana Phanthamaly echoed the important role social media is playing including disseminating Party and government policies. He added that the government encourages appropriate use of social media.

By Times Reporters
(
Latest Update July 12, 2014)

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ไปดูพี่น้องมวลมหาประชาชนชาวเวียง แห่ช้อปปิ้งฝั่งไทยรถติดยาวเหยียด

“ເປັນຫຍັງ ຄົນລາວ ມັກໄປຊື້ສິ່ງຂອງຢູ່ປະເທດໄທຍ?” เป็นคำถามใหญ่ที่ตั้งขึ้นมาประกอบภาพที่เผยแพร่ในเว็บบล็อกลาวโฮมลาวซึ่ง ระบุว่าเป็นเหตุการณ์เมื่อวันศุกร์ 4 ก.ค.2557 และภาพเดียวกันนี้ถูกแชร์ต่อๆกันไปอย่างกว้างขวาง

ชาวเน็ตอีกจำนวนหนึ่งบอกว่า บรรดาผู้ที่ข้ามแดน “นำเงินออกนอก” นั้นส่วนใหญ่เป็นลูกหลานหรือสมาชิกครอบครัวของเหล่ารัฐกร (เจ้าหน้าที่รัฐ) ที่เงินเดือนไม่มากแต่มีรายได้หลักจากการฉ้อราษฎร์บังหลวง และใช้เงินมือเติบ เป็นผู้บั่นทอนเศรษฐกิจของชาติเสียเอง ในขณะที่ราษฎรทั่วไปไม่อาจทำเช่นนี้ได้.  More

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July 10, 2014

Laos Preparing Charges Against Deported Hmong Resistance Leader

Laos Preparing Charges Against Deported Hmong Resistance Leader

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/laos/hmong-07072014180422.html

Lao authorities said Monday that they are investigating longstanding charges against a former ethnic minority Hmong resistance leader facing prosecution after being deported from neighboring Thailand.

A Lao security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Moua Toua Ter was deported home on June 23 from Thailand and that he was “under investigation” for charges Lao authorities had leveled against him many years ago.

He did not provide further details, including the nature of the charges.

Moua was among Hmongs who had fought for the United States, alongside American troops, during the Vietnam War.

He had been on the run in the jungles of Laos for more than two decades before  sheltering in Thailand for eight years while seeking resettlement in a third country.

Officials from Thailand’s Immigration Police told The Associated Press last week that Moua was deported after being held in Bangkok since March last year.

Rights groups had raised concerns that he will face persecution in his homeland.

Conviction

AP said that Moua Toua Ter’s case was complicated by a manslaughter conviction in Thailand, after he shot dead a Laotian woman in what he claimed was self-defense.

His supporters said the woman was a Laotian government agent sent to lure him back to Laos, according to the report, which said that several opponents of the communist regime in Laos had been killed under mysterious circumstances in Thailand or disappeared on visits to their homeland.

Moua served his sentence in the northern Thai province of Tak until March last year, after which he was transferred to the immigration jail in Bangkok.

The Thai immigration officer who spoke to AP from Nong Khai said that Moua, like others who illegally enter Thailand, was “repatriated through the natural border,” meaning he was sent on a boat across the Mekong River marking the nations’ boundary.

Facing persecution

Lao authorities have long been wary of opposition among the Hmong, many of whom say they face persecution from the government because of their Vietnam War-era ties with the United States.

Thousands of Hmong fought under CIA advisers during a so-called “secret war” against communists in Laos.

General Vang Pao, who spearheaded the 15-year CIA-sponsored war, died in the United States in 2011 at the age of 81.

The outspoken opponent of the Lao government immigrated to the United States after the communists seized power in his country in 1975.

Reported by RFA’s Lao Service. Written in English by Di Hoa Le.

July 8, 2014

สมาชิกครอบครัวของเหล่ารัฐกร ที่มีรายได้หลักจากการฉ้อราษฎร์บังหลวง และเป็นผู้บั่นทอนเศรษฐกิจของชาติเสียเอง

ไปดูพี่น้องมวลมหาประชาชนชาวเวียง แห่ช้อปปิ้งฝั่งไทยรถติดยาวเหยียด

โดย ASTVผู้จัดการออนไลน์ 9 กรกฎาคม 2557 02:09 น.

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source: http://www.manager.co.th/IndoChina/ViewNews.aspx?NewsID=9570000077214

ไปดูพี่น้องมวลมหาประชาชนชาวเวียง แห่ช้อปปิ้งฝั่งไทยรถติดยาวเหยียด

ประชาคมออนไลน์ในนครเวียงจันทน์วิพากษ์วิจารณ์ภาพ เหตุการณ์นี้กันหนาหู หลายคนเรียกร้องให้ทางการมีมาตรการสกัดกั้น “พวกหัวนอก” ใช้จ่ายฟุ่มเฟือย บั่นทอนเศรษฐกิจของชาติ แต่หลายคนบอกว่าไม่เฉพาะชาวลาวเท่านั้นที่ข้ามแดนไปจับจ่ายซื้อข้าวของใน ประเทศไทย แต่ละปีก็มีชาวไทยนับล้านข้ามไปลาวเช่นกันและใช้จ่ายเงินมหาศาลในรูปของการ ท่องเที่ยว.

ASTVผู้จัดการออนไลน์ — ภาพๆหนึ่งที่เผยแพร่ในประชาคมออนไลน์ของชาวลาวถูกวิพากาษ์วิจารณ์อย่างหนัก ในช่วงสัปดาห์ที่ผ่านมาจนถึงขณะนี้ ผู้นำออกเผยแพร่บรรยายว่าเป็นเหตุการณ์ที่ชาวนครเวียงจันทน์จำนวนมาก มายมหาศาลแห่ข้ามแดนที่ด่านสะพานมิตรภาพ 1 มุ่งหน้าสู่เมืองหนองคาย เพื่อไปจับจ่ายซื้อหาข้าวของทางฝั่งไทยจนรถติดยาวเหยียด

 “ເປັນຫຍັງ ຄົນລາວ ມັກໄປຊື້ສິ່ງຂອງຢູ່ປະເທດໄທຍ?” เป็นคำถามใหญ่ที่ตั้งขึ้นมาประกอบภาพที่เผยแพร่ในเว็บบล็อกลาวโฮมลาวซึ่ง ระบุว่าเป็นเหตุการณ์เมื่อวันศุกร์ 4 ก.ค.2557 และภาพเดียวกันนี้ถูกแชร์ต่อๆกันไปอย่างกว้างขวาง

เป็นที่ทราบกันดีว่าในช่วงสุดสัปดาห์บางช่วงจะมีชาวนครเวียงจันทน์ นับพันๆหรือหมื่นคน เดินทางข้ามแดนที่ด่านสะพานมิตรภาพแห่งนี้ไปซื้อของกินของใช้และเสื้อผ้า หลายคนไปไกลถึงเมืองอุดรธานี อีกจำนวนมากนิยมข้ามแดนเพื่อไป “เปิดหูเปิดตา” หรือพักผ่อน ในขณะที่ชาวเน็ตจำนวนหนึ่งประณามว่าเป็นพฤติกรรมของพวก “คนหัวนอก-นิยมของนอก” ทำให้เงินรั่วไหลออกนอกประเทศ

ชาวเน็ตอีกจำนวนหนึ่งบอกว่า บรรดาผู้ที่ข้ามแดน “นำเงินออกนอก” นั้นส่วนใหญ่เป็นลูกหลานหรือสมาชิกครอบครัวของเหล่ารัฐกร (เจ้าหน้าที่รัฐ) ที่เงินเดือนไม่มากแต่มีรายได้หลักจากการฉ้อราษฎร์บังหลวง และใช้เงินมือเติบ เป็นผู้บั่นทอนเศรษฐกิจของชาติเสียเอง ในขณะที่ราษฎรทั่วไปไม่อาจทำเช่นนี้ได้

อย่างไรก็ตามหลายคนได้อธิบายว่า ความสัมพันธ์ระหว่างไทยกับลาวนั้นมีในหลายมิติ ไม่ใช่เฉพาะระหว่างรัฐบาลกับรัฐบาล หากยังรวมถึงประชาชนกับประชาชนด้วย ไม่เฉพาะชาวลาวเท่านั้นที่เดินทางข้ามแดนมาจับจ่ายในประเทศไทย แต่ละปีก็มีชาวไทยนับล้านคนเดินทางเข้าลาวเพื่อการท่องเที่ยวและใช้จ่ายใน ดินแดนลาวเป็นเงินมหาศาล

ตามตัวเลขอย่างเป็นทางการเมื่อปีที่แล้วมีนักท่องเที่ยวต่างชาติเดิน ทางเข้าลาวจำนวนทั้งหมด 3,779,490 คน ในนั้นเป็นชาวไทยกว่า 2 ล้านคน นักท่องเที่ยวไทยเป็นคนกลุ่มใหญ่ที่สุดที่เดินทางไปเที่ยวลาวประจำทุกปีใน ช่วงกว่า 10 ปีมานี้

ยังไม่สามารถตรวจสอบได้ว่าภาพที่เป็นเรื่องเป็นราวนี้เป็นเหตุการณ์ เมื่อไรกันแน่ ขณะที่เว็บบล็อกลาวโฮมลาวกล่าวว่าถ่ายเมื่อวันที่ 4 ก.ค. พร้อมระบุแหล่งที่มา แต่ภาพเดียวกันนี้เผยแพร่ในเว็บบล็อกสมาคมลาวตั้งแต่วันที่ 1 และภาพก็ยังเผยแพร่ออกไปอย่าวกว้างขวางผ่านสื่อประชาสังคม พร้อมกับเสียงวิพากษ์วิจารณ์อย่างเซ็งแซ่.

 

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Where is a money to pays our poor Laotian Teacher?

Australia pledges AU$86 million education aid for Laos

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://www.vientianetimes.org.la/FreeContent/freeCont_Australia.htm

The government of Australia has announced it will provide AU$86 million (more than 648.5 billion kip) in aid to finance basic education programmes in Laos over the next four years, the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said.

The announcement was made during the official visit to Laos by Australian foreign minister Ms Julie Bishop, the ministry said in a press release.  More

 

July 6, 2014

Laos hydropower plant threatens Vietnam’s Mekong

Laos hydropower plant threatens Vietnam’s Mekong

VietNamNet Bridge – Experts in Vietnam continue to voice their worries about the Lao government’s determination to build the Don Sahong hydropower dam on the Mekong River.

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:   http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/environment/106305/laos-hydropower-plant-threatens-vietnam-s-mekong.html

Laos hydropower plant, mekong river

VIETNAM RIVERS NETWORK (VRN) -Rivers and water resources are among the most valuable assets to humanity that need to be protected.

“It will be a major threat to Vietnam’s Mekong River delta,” said Dr. Pham Bich San, Deputy Secretary General of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA), adding that the dams on the Mekong mainstream will have negative impacts on the ecological environment, especially the lower course.

San cited recent research which found that the Mekong is one of the five biggest river basins in the world which has seen its current reduced the most sharply. The average annual flow in the lower course has declined by 10 percent over the last 30 years.

The Mekong section which runs across Vientiane in Laos has been so depleted in the last 10 years that people can wade across the river in the dry season.

In Thailand, the Chao Praya River, as it’s known by locals, which has traditionally been mild, unexpectedly caused major floods which lasted many months in 2011.

In the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam, salt water has encroached on the Tan Chau area in An Giang Province. This never happened in the past.

The Mekong River has always played a very important role in Vietnamese socio-economic development and regional food security. The Mekong River delta is home to 20 million people who are responsible for 27 percent of Vietnam’s GDP, 90 percent of rice exports and 60 percent of Vietnam’s seafood exports.

“VUSTA has many times in the past voiced its concern about the negative impacts of hydropower dams on Vietnam. Nevertheless, Laos went ahead and built its Xayabury hydropower plant. Now Vietnam needs to have a stronger voice over the Lao Dong Sahong project,” San said.

Professor Dr. Ho Uy Liem, a renowned scientist, some years ago warned that if Xayabury dam was built, it would create a very dangerous precedent for another 11 dams to be set up on the Mekong main stream.

“If so, this will be the destruction of the river,” Liem said. “This will deprive the livelihood of the 60 million people living along the riverside, especially the Vietnamese in the Mekong River Delta,” he said.

And Liem’s warning seems to turn into reality.

Le Bo Linh, Deputy Chair of the National Assembly’s Science & Technology Committee, has also expressed his deep concerns about the Lao decision to build Don Sahong dam, affirming that the work will affect the river’s hydrological regime, causing depletion in the dry season and bringing salinity to Vietnam’s Mekong River delta.

According to Linh, at the international meeting of the Mekong River Commission in April in HCM City, the involved parties approved a declaration which says that countries need to consult with others in the region if they plan to execute construction works on the Mekong main stream.

The Lao government, which promised at the meeting that it would consult with other countries, still has decided to set up its hydropower dams.

Linh said the government of Vietnam needs to express its official viewpoint on Laos building dams on the Mekong River, because it seems that concerns voiced by scientists and environmentalists, institutions and individuals are not enough for the Lao government to rethink the project.

Dat Viet

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VIETNAM RIVERS NETWORK (VRN) -Rivers and water resources are among the most valuable assets to humanity that need to be protected.

 

News and Events

    Mekong Matters: Workshop and Network for Development Journalists

    The rapid pace of development leading up to the the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is creating opportunities for journalists to find innovative and important environmental, business, investment, health and culture stories. Are you a Mekong-area journalist who reports on social and environmental impacts of development projects such as dams, mines, roads, ports or economic land concessions? Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE) may have workshop, fellowship, resource and networking opportunities for you.

    STOP DON SAHONG DAM, ELEVATE MEKONG COOPERATION

    Hanoi, VietNam -  A recent press release by International Rivers on 18/06/2014 has confirmed that the construction towards the controversial Don Sahong Dam in Southern Laos has continued despite growing opposition from neighboring governments and ongoing calls for regional consultation. The Don Sahong Dam, which is located on the Mekong mainstream, must undergo the Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement (PNPCA) as required by the 1995 Mekong Agreement. Nevertheless, the Lao government argues that Don Sahong Dam would not have to go through the PNPCA since it is not located on the mainstream. Laos continues to move forward unilaterally with this project despite opposition from regional communities and the governments of Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

    2nd VRN’s letter to Kasikorn Bank, Siam Commercial Bank and Bangkok Bank: Careful consideration and suspension of the loan to the Xayaburi hydropower dam project.

    The Xayaburi project is the first dam under construction, among 11 dams proposed on the lower Mekong mainstream. Many studies have already highlighted that the dams will cause severe impacts to the fish migration in Mekong River. Moreover, the dam will block sediment flow along the Mekong mainstream. The sediment prevents the Mekong Delta sinking and shrinking, and is the main source for the fertile delta land of Vietnam, which is known as the world’s rice basket. By unilaterally pushing forward with the project, Lao PDR has violated the 1995 Mekong Agreement signed by Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam. Thus the project has been designed, and constructed started, without complying with the Mekong River Commission’s Procedure of Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement (PNPCA), which is mandatory for all mainstream projects on the lower Mekong River.

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