Archive for ‘History’

June 4, 2015

News Release– Laos, Hmong, Vietnam Veterans, CPPA, June 3, 2015 Fall of Kingdom of Laos Ceremonies

News Release

Laos, Hmong, Vietnam Veterans, CPPA, Hold National Ceremonies

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 3, 2015
Lao- and Hmong-American veterans, who served during the Vietnam War, are concluding national memorial and policy events including those at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC), the Vietnam War Memorial and the U.S. Congress, according to Philip Smith of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA). The somber events are being held in Washington to mourn the 40th anniversary of the fall of Laos to invading North Vietnamese Army forces of the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN), and communist Pathet Lao guerrillas.
The CPPA, Special Forces Association (SFA), and ANC Chief of Staff, Colonel Joseph Simonelli (U.S. Army), provided remarks, as did U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), Al Franken (D-Minnesota), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), and Dan Sullivan (R-AK). Congressmen Jim Costa (D-California), Paul Cook (R-California), Don Young (R-Alaska), Devin Nunes (R-California), James Langevin (D-Rhode Island), and Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin) also participated.
“On May 14, Lao and Hmong veterans, and their refugee families from across the United States, arrived in Congress for meetings,” said Philip Smith, Director of the CPPA.
“Thereafter, Congress reintroduced the ‘Hmong Veterans’ Service Recognition Act’ (S. 1358/H.R. 2327), to honor the veterans, and somberly mark the anniversary of the fall of Laos, and the joint Air America, CIA, and Hmong base at Long Chieng.
“On May 15th, a special veterans’ memorial wreath-laying ceremony was held at the Lao Veterans of America monument, in Arlington National Cemetery, with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), to remember and honor all those who sacrificed, fought, and died defending the Kingdom of Laos and U.S. national security interests during the Vietnam War.
“A solemn 40th anniversary ceremony, and posting of the colors, was conducted in Arlington by a U.S. Armed Forces Joint Honor Guard, the ‘Old Guard,’ and an Army wreath-bearer, and bugler, who played ‘Taps,’ in sad remembrance of the fall of the Kingdom of Laos, and Long Chieng, to invading North Vietnamese Army and PAVN forces, and the bloodbath and refugee exodus that followed.
“The ceremony was conducted by the CPPA and Lao Veterans of America, Inc. (LVA), and was cosponsored by Arlington National Cemetery, the U.S. DOD, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Congress,” Smith concluded.
“This is a powerful reminder of the actions of the Hmong, Lao and American service members who fought together as allies during the Vietnam War,” said Colonel Joseph Simonelli, ANC.
“These courageous U.S. allies were left largely on their own as they fled the prospect of execution or deadly re-education camps that the Communists immediately began establishing, or the ethnic cleansing perpetrated against the Hmong and Montagnard. Hmong, who struggled across the Mekong, fleeing aerial bombardment, including chemical warfare, were left to bare survival in rough camps on the Thailand shore…” stated Edmund McWilliams, a U.S. Department of State officer.
Keynote speakers at Arlington include: Richard Xiong, President, Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI); Philip Smith, CPPA; Pang Mang Thao, Lao Veterans, Minnesota; Pasert Lee, Hmong Alaska Community; Toua Kue, LVAI, Rhode Island; Chi Neng Vang, California; SFA Green Berets (U.S. Army-Ret.) Colonel John H. “Scotty” Crerar, LTC. James K. Bruton, LTC. Ray Oden, and SGT. Jim J.E. Hooker; U.S. Air Force Majors Matthew Altman and Taona Enriquez; Grant McClure, Counterparts; and Jane Hamilton-Merritt.
President Emeritus of the LVAI, Colonel Wangyee Vang, received honors.
On May 15, a Vietnam War Memorial wreath-laying ceremony was conducted.
On Memorial Day, flowers were laid at the Air Force, Marine Corps and Kennedy monuments.
Meetings in Congress will conclude in the coming days.
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Contact:
CPPA
May 27, 2015

Heirs of the ‘Secret War’ in Laos

Heirs of the ‘Secret War’ in Laos

May 27, 2015

May 28, Forty Years Ago: Solution in Laos

May 28, Forty Years Ago: Solution in Laos

Laos was signed by the US charge d’affaires, Christian Chapman, Laos’s economy minister, Soth Phetrasy, and three demonstrators.

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:   http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/may-28-forty-years-ago-solution-in-laos/

By: Express News Service | Updated: May 28, 2015 12:41 am

An agreement to end the siege of the American Aid compound in Vientiane, Laos, was signed by the US charge d’affaires, Christian Chapman, Laos’s economy minister, Soth Phetrasy, and three demonstrators. According to the agreement, the US would wind up aid programmes in Laos and withdraw all personnel before June 30.The demonstrators agreed to relinquish their occupation of the compound and allow Laotian and US AID employees to return to prepare for shutting down the offices. Student demonstrators and Pathet Lao soldiers had been occupying the compound, demanding an end to the aid programme that had drawn in $750 million since 1955.

First Published on: May 28, 2015 12:32 am

– See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/may-28-forty-years-ago-solution-in-laos/

May 25, 2015

The holiday’s origins can be traced back 150 years

Time - Logo

Holidays

Who Invented Memorial Day?

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December 11, 2013

Japan: Raise Concerns About Abducted Lao Activist

One Year On, Sombath Somphone Remains Forcibly Disappeared

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/12/11/japan-raise-concerns-about-abducted-lao-activist

December 11, 2013

(Tokyo) – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan should raise concerns about the enforced disappearance of a prominent civil society leader in the prime minister’s meeting  with Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong at the Japan-Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International Japan, Mekong Watch, Empowerment For All Japan, and two other Japanese nongovernmental organizations said today in a joint letter to Prime Minister Abe.

The Japan-ASEAN Summit, scheduled from December 13-15, 2013, falls during the one-year anniversary of the abduction and forcible disappearance of Sombath Somphone, a recipient of the 2005 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership. Sombath was taken into custody by authorities at a checkpoint outside a police station in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, on December 15, 2012.

“On the one-year anniversary of Sombath Somphone’s abduction, Prime Minister Abe should break Japan’s public silence and call upon the Lao government to reveal the truth about Sombath’s fate,” said Kanae Doi, Japan director. “Japan’s words carry weight since it is the largest donor to Laos. Prime Minister Abe should use this leverage to send a strong message to the Lao leadership that it needs to stop ignoring the pleas to reveal what happened to Sombath.”

Since Sombath’s enforced disappearance, the Lao government has failed to conduct a serious investigation, despite widespread regional and international calls for accountability. Japan’s public silence on the Sombath case sends precisely the wrong signal to the Lao government, suggesting that its inaction is acceptable to Japan, the organizations said.

Consistent with its stated commitment to diplomacy based on the fundamental values of freedom, democracy, basic human rights, and the rule of law, the groups said, the Japanese government should take leadership in sending the message to the Lao government and other ASEAN member states that the protection against enforced disappearances is a concern not only of the government involved but of the broader international community.

“Japan should work with other international donors to make clear that they will not let this rest until the Lao government provides full information regarding Sombath’s case,” said Hideki Wakabayashi, secretary general of Amnesty International Japan. “The Lao government also needs to bring all those responsible for his enforced disappearance to justice.”

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“On the one-year anniversary of Sombath Somphone’s abduction, Prime Minister Abe should break Japan’s public silence and call upon the Lao government to reveal the truth about Sombath’s fate. Japan’s words carry weight since it is the largest donor to Laos. Prime Minister Abe should use this leverage to send a strong message to the Lao leadership that it needs to stop ignoring the pleas to reveal what happened to Sombath.”
Kanae Doi, Japan director
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