Archive for ‘Laos’

June 2, 2015

Press Release – Laos, Hmong-American, Veterans of Vietnam War are Concluding Washington D.C. Ceremonies

Press Release

Laos, Hmong-American, Veterans of Vietnam War are Concluding Washington D.C. Ceremonies

The Center for Public Policy Analysis, along with Lao- and Hmong-American veterans who served in Laos during the Vietnam War, are concluding memorial and policy events in Washington DC, including those at Arlington, the Vietnam Memorial and Congress.

WASHINGTON — Capitol Hill, Washington, DC.

June 1, 2015 – Lao- and Hmong-American veterans, who served in Laos during the Vietnam War, and their refugee families, are concluding memorial and policy events in Washington, D.C., including those at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC), the Vietnam War Memorial and the U.S. Congress. The somber events are being held in the nation’s capital to mourn the 40th anniversary of the fall of the Royal Kingdom of Laos (RLG) to invading North Vietnamese Army forces of the People’s Army of Vietnam, and communist Pathet Lao guerrillas, and the bloodbath and refugee exodus that followed.

The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), Special Forces Association (SFA) and ANC Chief of Staff, Colonel JoeSimonelli,U.S. Army, served as keynote speakers at the events , as did U.S. Senators LisaMurkowski (R-Alaska), AmyKlobochar (D-Minnesota), Al Franken (D-Minnesota), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin). Congressmen Jim Costa (D-California), Paul Cook (R-California), Don Young (R-Alaska), JamesLangevin (D-Rhode Island), Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin), and Devin Nunes (R-California) also participated.New legislation in Congress honoring the Lao- and Hmong-American veterans is being welcomed and advanced.

On May 14, Lao and Hmong veterans and their families from across the United States arrived on Capitol Hill for meetings with Congress. On that day, Members of Congress jointly introduced the “Hmong Veterans’ Service Recognition Act,” to honor the veterans, and somberly mark the anniversary of the fall of the RLG 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, to remember and honor all those who sacrificed, fought, and died defending the Royal Kingdom of Laos and U.S. national security interests during the Vietnam War, ” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA.

“A solemn 40th anniversary ceremony, and posting of the colors, was conducted in Arlington by a joint U.S. Armed Forces honor guard, the ‘Old Guard,’ and an Army wreath-bearer, and a bugler, who played ‘Taps,” in sad rememberance of the fall of the Kingdom of Laos, and Long Chieng, to invading North Vietnamese Army forces.

“The Arlington ceremonies were conducted by the CPPA and the Lao Veterans of America, Inc. (LVA), and were supported and hosted by ANC, the U.S. Department of Defense, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Members of Congress,” Smith concluded.

“It is an honor for me, as well as Mr. Patrick Hallinan, who serves as the Executive Director of the Army National Military Cemeteries, and Mr. Jack Lechner, Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery, as well as the entire staff of the Cemetery to host this commemorative event,” stated ANC Chief of Staff, Colonel Joe Simonelli.

“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,” Simonelli said.

Founder, and President Emeritus of the Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI), Colonel Wangyee Vang, PhD, was also cited and honored for his important leadership efforts over the years at the Arlington ceremonies.

“This Spring, we mark the 40th anniversary of fall of Indochina, that is, the collapse of local and US efforts to prevent seizure of control over Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam by the communist forces of North Vietnam and their puppets in Laos…, ” stated Edmund McWilliams, a Vietnam veteran and former U.S. Department of State officer.

“Cambodian forces which had been supported by the North Vietnamese would soon turn on their North Vietnamese mentors igniting a bloody war and inaugurating a particularly brutal regime under the Khmer Rouge.

“But the US commemoration of this historic Spring errs in the retelling of this tragic history. While there is an understandable focus on the terrible implications of Hanoi’s victory for our South Vietnamese allies, we find little, to no, mention in the U.S. media or in statements by U.S. officials regarding the plight of our other allies, the Lao, Hmong, Montagnard and Cambodian troops, and their families, for whom the Communist victory was also an extraordinary tragedy.

“This failure to recognize the sacrifice of our non-Vietnamese allies echoes the failure of the US government to make adequate provision for Lao, Hmong, Montagnard and Cambodian allies as they desperately sought to escape the revenge of the Communist invaders targeting these erstwhile US allies. There was little space in the massive US refugee program for Lao, Hmong, Montagnard and Cambodians.

“These courageous US 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 Thai shore. Cambodians who fled the merciless Khmer Rouge found at best a crude welcome across the Thailand-Cambodian border. Montagnard allies of the US and their families, the brave fighters who risked their lives to rescue US airmen, had literally no safe border across which to flee…,” observed McWilliams in his Arlington statement.

Other speakers and participants at Arlington (ANC) included: Richard Xiong, President, LVAI; Philip Smith, Executive Director, CPPA; Pang Mang Thao, President, Lao Veterans, Minnesota; Pasert Lee, Hmong Alaska Community; Toua Kue, President, Lao Hmong veterans, Rhode Island; Chi Neng Vang, California; Nhia Long Vang, Lao Hmong SGU Veterans, President, California; Colonel John H. “Scotty” Crerar (US Army, SF-Ret., Green Beret), Ray Oden, President SFA Chapter XI (US Army SF-Ret., Green Beret); Lt. Colonel James K. Bruton (US Army SF-Ret., Green Beret); Jim J.E. Hooker, (US Army SF-Ret., Green Beret); Major Matthew Altman, US Air Force; Major Taona Enriquez, Air Force; Jack Langer, Congressman Devin Nunes; Kristina Solberg, Congressman Jim Costa; Grant McClure, President, Counterparts; Jane Hamilton-Merritt, PhD; Christy Lee, Director, Hmong Advance, Inc.; and Shoua Her, Director, Hmong Advancement, Inc.

A second wreath-laying ceremony, and procession, was conducted at the Vietnam War Memorial following the Arlington event on May 15.

On Memorial Day, flowers were laid at the Air Force, Marine Corps and John F. Kennedy Memorials.

Meetings on Capitol Hill are being concluded in the coming days.

The Arlington, Vietnam War Memorial, and Capitol Hill events also commemorate, May 14-15, National Lao Hmong Recognition Day, and Hmong Appreciation Day.

Contact(s):
Ms. Jade Her or Mr. Philip Smith
Tele. (202)543-1444
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

— End —
May 27, 2015

Heirs of the ‘Secret War’ in Laos

Heirs of the ‘Secret War’ in Laos

May 23, 2015

Press Release: Lao, Hmong Veterans Arrive in U.S. Congress, Arlington, For 40th Anniversary Ceremonies, New Legislation

Press Release:

Lao, Hmong Veterans Arrive in U.S. Congress, Arlington, For 40th Anniversary Ceremonies, New Legislation

Washington, DC, and Arlington, Virginia, May 14, 2015

Lao- and Hmong-American veterans of the Vietnam War and their families have arrived on Capitol Hill and Washington, DC to somberly mourn the 40th anniversary of the fall of the Kingdom of Laos, and the joint CIA, Air America, and Hmong headquarters at Long Chieng (Long Tieng), to invading North Vietnamese Army forces on May 14-15, 1975. Lao- and Hmong-Americans will also join with the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and key members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for the introduction today of the “Hmong Veterans’ Service Recognition Act” in the new session of Congress.

The bill is being introduced today in the U.S. Congress by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Al Franken (D-MN), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and others. In the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressmen Jim Costa (D-CA) and Paul Cook (R-CA) are spearheading the introduction of the legislation along with Representatives Sean Duffy (R-WI), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU), Mike Honda (D-CA), Don Young (AK) and others. The bill, if enacted by Congress and signed by President Obama, would allow Lao- and Hmong-American veterans to be buried with honors at U.S. national veterans cemeteries administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Lao- and Hmong-American veterans of the Vietnam War and their families from across the United States have arrived on Capitol Hill and Washington, DC to somberly mourn the 40th anniversary of the fall of the Royal Kingdom of Laos, and the joint CIA, Air America, and Hmong headquarters at Long Chieng (Long Tieng), to invading North Vietnamese Army forces in May 14-15, 1975,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C.

Smith continued: “As part of the ‘Laos Freedom Ride’ commemoration, hundreds of Lao- and Hmong-American veterans of the Vietnam War and their families from Minnesota, California, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Alaska, and other states  have traveled many miles and are arriving on buses, planes and cars for events in the U.S. Congress and Capitol Hill as well as for a special veterans’ memorial and wreath-laying service on Friday, May 15, in Arlington National Cemetery with the U.S. Department of Defense.”

“Truly, I am honored to be here in our nation’s Capital, Washington, D.C., and Arlington National Cemetery, to be part of the 40th Anniversary Ceremony to honor and pay respect to the Lao- and Hmong veterans, and our U.S. military and clandestine advisors, and to help conduct a wreath-laying ceremony at the Lao Veterans of America monument,” said Richard Vang, President of the Fresno, California-based Lao Veterans of America Institute. “I want to also express my deepest thanks to the U.S. Congress for the introduction of the ‘Hmong Veterans’ Service Recognition Act’ today, when we arrive and meet with the Senators and Representatives.”

“In addition to the veterans’ memorial commemoration that we will be holding tomorrow in Arlington National Cemetery to mark the 40th Anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War in the Kingdom of Laos, I would like to stress that the legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski with Congressman Jim Costa, Congressman Don Young, Senator Dan Sullivan and others, ‘The Hmong Veterans’ Service Recognition Act’, is very important to our Lao and Hmong-American community and veterans. We appreciate them honoring our Lao and Hmong-American veterans and their families, and we are hopeful that the bill will be passed and signed into law by President Obama, so that our veterans can be buried with honor at U.S. national veterans’ cemeteries administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Pasert Lee, President of the Hmong Alaska Community, Inc. and a wounded combat veteran of the Vietnam War.

“We are very grateful to U.S. Congressmen Jim Costa, Paul Cook, Don Young, Sean Duffy, Devin Nunes, Collin Peterson and many others for their leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives for introducing and supporting the ‘Hmong Veterans Service Recognition Act’ and the events here today in Washington, D.C. Here in the U.S. Senate, we want to especially thank Senators Lisa Murkowski, Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar, Tammy Baldwin, Sheldon Whitehouse, and many others for their efforts on Capitol Hill in introducing the bill today in the U.S. Congress on this important day, May 14, just prior to our memorial service and wreath laying-ceremony tomorrow at Arlington National Cemetery at the Lao Veterans of America monument,” said Pang Mang Thao, the President of the Lao Veterans of America of Minnesota.

Pang Mang Thao is leading a delegation of some 60 Laotian and Hmong veterans, widows, and elders, from St. Paul, Minneapolis, and the Twin Cities area to Washington, DC and Arlington for the events today and Friday (May 14-15). Lao and Hmong-American veterans of the Vietnam War and their families from Minnesota, California, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Alaska, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, Texas, Virginia and other states are participating in the events in the U.S. Congress, Washington, DC and the Lao Veterans of America monument (“Laos Monument”) in Arlington National Cemetery.

In addition to military uniforms, many of the Laotian and Hmong participants will be dressed in traditional, ethnic Laotian and Hmong tribal clothing and outfits for the events.

May 14-15 also commemorates National Lao Hmong Recognition Day, Hmong- Appreciation Day, and Lao Hmong Veterans Memorial Day, and is a day of commemoration for the Lao and Hmong people who lost their lives and country during the Vietnam War when the Kingdom of Laos fell to invading Soviet-backed North Vietnamese Army troops and communist Pathet Lao guerrillas.

###
Contact:
Jade Her or Philip Smith
Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA)
Tele. (202)543-1444
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

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April 13, 2015

Lao New Year

 Lao New Year.

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
April 10, 2015

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2015/04/240572.htm#

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States of America, I am honored to wish the people of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic peace and prosperity on the occasion of the Lao New Year.

The start of a new year is a time to celebrate all we have accomplished and look ahead with hope for the future. I was delighted that the United States had the opportunity to join the Government of Laos in co-hosting the Extraordinary Meeting of the Friends of the Lower Mekong in Pakse this past February. The coming year will be an important one for Laos, and I hope it brings joy to Lao people around the world.

The United States values its important friendship with Laos. May the New Year bring us closer together.

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March 19, 2015

Tiger meat, bear paws openly available in Laos: NGO

Tiger meat, bear paws openly available in Laos: NGO

March 19th, 2015 in Biology / Ecology

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source: http://phys.org/news/2015-03-tiger-meat-paws-openly-laos.html

A resort complex in northwest Laos targeting Chinese visitors has become a "lawless playground" for the trade in illeg
A resort complex in northwest Laos targeting Chinese visitors has become a “lawless playground” for the trade in illegal wildlife ranging from tiger meat to bear paws, an advocacy group says

A resort complex in northwest Laos targeting Chinese visitors has become a “lawless playground” for the trade in illegal wildlife ranging from tiger meat to bear paws, an advocacy group says

A resort complex in northwest Laos targeting Chinese visitors has become a “lawless playground” for the trade in illegal wildlife ranging from tiger meat to bear paws, an advocacy group said Thursday.

Customers “can openly buy endangered species products” in the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone on the border between Laos, Myanmar and Thailand in Laos’ Bokeo province, according to a report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).

The London-based group, together with the non-governmental group Education for Nature Vietnam, also documented restaurants offering “sauté tiger meat”, bear paws and pangolins on their menus.

Laos is becoming a growing hub for the trade in with foreign tourists, particularly from neighbouring China, driving the demand for illegal products, according to environmental groups.

Many Chinese believe rare animal meat and body parts contain aphrodisiac or medicinal qualities.

The EIA report called on Laos to immediately set up a task force to tackle the trade and seize all illegal products in the Special Economic Zone.

“China also needs to understand and accept that its legal domestic trade in the skins of captive-bred tigers is doing nothing but driving consumer demand,” said Debbie Banks of the EIA in a statement.

According to the report the Laos zone “appears more like an extension of China”—running on Beijing time, employing mostly Chinese workers and displaying signs in Chinese characters.

Tiger under pressure
Graphic on the world’s remaining wild tigers

Similar temples of excess have sprung up in Myanmar where some border towns—often outside of central government control—have become open markets renowned for selling rare animals, sex and gambling trips to Chinese visitors.

China’s seemingly insatiable appetite for rare animal meat and parts has also led to a thriving smuggling scene across much of Southeast Asia.

Authorities in Vietnam and Thailand routinely uncover large hauls of endangered animals heading north in what conservationists say is likely just a fraction of the species smuggled into China.

© 2015 AFP

“Tiger meat, bear paws openly available in Laos: NGO.” March 19th, 2015. http://phys.org/news/2015-03-tiger-meat-paws-openly-laos.html

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