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Invasion, Occupation, of the Kingdom of Laos by Vietnam Remembered At Lao Hmong Ceremonies


Washington, DC, May 22, 2015


Memorial ceremonies and events mourning the 40th anniversary of the refugee exodus from the Royal Kingdom of Laos, and mass killings of tens of thousands of Lao and Hmong people fleeing across the Mekong River from invading North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and communist Pathet Lao guerrillas, are continuing in Washington, D.C., and across the United States. Community ceremonies are being held to honor Lao- and Hmong-American veterans. and their refugee families, as well as their U.S. Special Forces, and clandestine military and CIA advisors, who served in defense of the Royal Kingdom of Laos, and U.S. national security interests, during the Vietnam War and its aftermath, according to Philip Smith, of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA).


Participants in the memorial ceremonies and events being held in Washington, Arlington National Cemetery, Bryant University, Rhode Island, California, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Alaska, include the CPPA, Special Forces Association, Lao Veterans of America, Inc. (LVA), Lao Veterans of America Institute, Hmong and Lao Special Guerrilla Unit (SGU) veterans, Seri Lao (Free Lao), Lao and Hmong Associations of Rhode Island, WatLao Buddhovath Buddhist temple, and others. Members of Congress speaking and participating include: U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), Al Franken (D-Minnesota), Dianne Feinstein (D-California), Barbara Boxer (D-California), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island), Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), Congressman David Cicillini (D-Rhode Island), Devin Nunes (R-California), Jim Costa (D-California), and others. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160517006339/en/Death-Mekong-Laos-Ceremonies-U.S.-Senate-Arlington

“We pray for those many thousands of souls who suffered terribly and died in the Mekong River, and in the brutal Marxist-Leninist reeducation camps, where so many were killed, during the invasion of the Royal Kingdom of Laos, by the North Vietnam Army and the Pathet Lao communists in 1975-76,” prayed The Most Venerable Bounthanh Phasavath, Buddhist Monk, former Lao veteran, who was imprisoned and tortured for nine years in a reeducation camp.

“Today, I am here to honor and thank the Lao and Hmong veterans and their refugee families who fought to defend freedom in Laos alongside the United States,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, at Bryant, whose father was U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Laos.

“Indeed, the sacrifices of the Lao and Hmong veterans during the Vietnam War were crucial,” proclaimed Senator Jack Reed.

“We are the freedom-loving Laotian people; the Lao and Hmong veterans, and people, were fighting to defend the independence of the Kingdom of Laos from a terrible invasion by Soviet-backed communist forces in Vietnam; the Lao and Hmong refugees were fleeing attacks to seek freedom,” declared KhamFeung Thoonsavath, President, Free Lao (Seri Lao), at Bryant, and special Lao New Year ceremonies, held on May 21-22, at WatLao Buddhovath.

“The Lao and Hmong veterans were soldiers, once, and young,” said Dr. Mailee Kue, PhD., Bryant University.

“I flew missions out of Vientiane and Long Tieng, to interdict and bomb NVA attacks, and troop and material convoys, sent by North Vietnam to invade Laos along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and resupply communist forces,” recalled Phonexay Volarat, Chairman, National Council, Free Lao (Seri Lao), and T-28 pilot, Royal Lao Air Force. “We still want freedom for our Lao people, and we want Vietnam's military out of Laos, now.”

“Today, we remember the special partnership between President Kennedy and the Royal Kingdom of Laos during the Vietnam War, and the Lao and Hmong veterans and their families who sacrificed, suffered and died fighting to defend their country and homeland, in partnership with the United States, during the Soviet-Communist-backed invasion of Laos by North Vietnam,” said Toua Kue, Chairman, Hmong and Lao SGU veterans, and LVA, Rhode Island, at National Lao-Hmong Recognition Day (May 14-15), ceremonies at Bryant.

“The murder of the King, Queen, and the Lao Royal Family, as well as thousands of Royal Lao officials and Hmong refugees, in communist reeducation camps following the end of the Vietnam War, and the invasion and military attacks by Soviet-backed NVA and communist Pathet Lao guerrillas in Laos, are also being remembered,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director, CPPA.

Other organizers and participants, include Xoua Kue, Ger Xiong, Vanmala Phongsavan, and Khamphoua Naovarangsay.

###

 


Contact:

Christy Her or Philip Smith

CPPA

(202)543-1444

http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Death in the Mekong, Laos: Ceremonies in U.S. Senate, Arlington, Vietnam Memorial, Mark Exodus of Hmong, Lao People

May 17, 2016, Washington, D.C.

Laotian- and Hmong-American veterans, who served during the Vietnam War in Laos, are conducting national memorial and policy events, including those at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC), the Vietnam War Memorial and Congress, according to Philip Smith of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA). They are mourning the 40th anniversary of the exodus and mass killings of tens of thousands of Lao and Hmong refugees fleeing across the Mekong River in 1975-76, following the fall of Laos to invading North Vietnamese Army (NVA) forces and communist Pathet Lao guerrillas.  The somber, week-long events and ceremonies to honor the veterans are being held in Washington, D.C., Bryant University, New England, Alaska, Wisconsin and California.

The CPPA, Special Forces Association (SFA), and ANC Deputy Superintendent, Brion Moore, are providing remarks and participating in the Arlington and Washington events, as are U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), Al Franken (D-Minnesota), Dianne Feinstein (D-California), Barbara Boxer (D-California), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) and Maria Cantwell (D-Washington). Congressmen Jim Costa (D-California), Devin Nunes (R-California), and David Cicillini (D-Rhode Island) are also participating.

“I am here to honor and thank the Lao and Hmong veterans and their refugee families,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, at Bryant, whose father was U.S. Ambassador to the Royal Kingdom of Laos.

“The sacrifices of the Lao and Hmong veterans during the Vietnam War were crucial,” proclaimed Senator Jack Reed.
“On May 11-12, Lao and Hmong veterans, and their refugee families from across America, arrived in Congress for meetings and special events,” said Philip Smith, Director of the CPPA.

“The Hmong 'Angels' troupe, from Minneapolis and St. Paul,  performed honorary traditional dances at the U.S. Senate, Arlington National Cemetery and Vietnam War Memorial.  Amy Vang, Miss Hmong America, 2016, spoke.

“These events help to educate U.S. Senators and Congress, and are generating additional support for the Lao 'Hmong Veterans' Service Recognition Act' (S. 1358/H.R. 2327), to honor the veterans, and somberly mark the tragic anniversary of the genocide and horrific exodus across the Mekong River, in 1975-76,  during the fall of the Royal Kingdom of Laos.

“On May 13th, a special memorial wreath-laying ceremony was held at the Lao Veterans of America monument, in Arlington National Cemetery and the Vietnam War Memorial, 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 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 Royal Kingdom of Laos to invading North Vietnamese Army forces, and the bloodbath and refugee exodus that followed across the Mekong River.

“The Arlington ceremony was conducted by the CPPA, Lao Veterans of America, Inc.(LVA), and the Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI), and was cosponsored by the U.S. Congress, Arlington National Cemetery, the DOD, Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps,” Smith concluded.

“On May 12-13, in a historic series of cultural dances performed at the U.S. Senate, Arlington National Cemetery and the Vietnam War Memorial, for the first time in the history of the Lao-Hmong people, the Hmong 'Angels' performed traditional dances at these important places in Washington to honor the veterans and remember those who died in Laos and the Mekong,” commented Pang Mang Thao, President, Minnesota LVA.  

“I was honored to serve alongside Lao and Hmong forces in combat in Xieng Khouang and elsewhere in Laos,” said General Victor J. Hugo, Jr., (USA-Ret.), SFA.

“The Hmong and Laotian involvement in the Vietnam conflict was to help contain the spread of Soviet- backed communism in Southeast Asia and the region, and to interdict and disrupt military activities conducted by the NVA on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, ” stated Richard Xiong, President, LVAI.

“We come here to pay our respect for our Lao, Hmong, Khmu and Mien soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect the Kingdom of Laos during the Vietnam War,” said Chong Vang, son of General Vang Pao.

“I witnessed seeing North Vietnamese rockets blowing up before my eyes; We were among the lucky people that survived through the many close calls during the U.S. 'Secret War',” recounted Peter Vang, Executive Director of the  Fresno, California-based LVA.

“These indigenous forces, fighting shoulder to shoulder with U.S. soldiers, conducted direct missions against the Communist forces and their North Vietnamese supporters; Hmong soldiers saved countless American lives,” stated Congressman Jim Costa.

“Serving at the U.S. Embassy in Laos I witnessed the Communist assaults on fleeing civilians which included automatic weapons fire as they desperately sought to swim across the Mekong. Subsequently, as an officer at the Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, I visited with and interviewed scores of these refugees about the horror they had faced in Laos. They told of aerial attacks on their mountain villages, including Communist use of chemical munitions...,” stated Edmund McWilliams, a U.S. Department of State officer.

“Thank you for your kind invitation to today's memorial service honoring Hmong Veterans at Arlington  National Cemetery... to honor the Hmong-American veterans of the Vietnam War and their families as they commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the crossing of the Mekong River by tens of thousands of refugees fleeing genocide,” stated Senator Al Franken.

Remarks at Arlington include those by: Congress, Richard Xiong, LVAI; Philip Smith, CPPA; Pang Mang Thao, Minnesota LVA;  Chong Vang; Peter Vang, LVAI; SFA Green Berets (U.S. Army-Ret.) General Victor J. Hugo, Jr., and  Frank Levesque; Matthew Schroeder, USAF;  Brion Moore, ANC; Mai Ka Thao, Hmong “Angels”; and, Amy Vang, Miss Hmong America 2016.

LVAI President Emeritus, Colonel Wangyee Vang, was honored.

Meetings in Congress continue.

###

Contacts:

CPPA
Christy Her or Philip Smith
202-543-1444
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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

 

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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.

Contact:
CPPA
Christy Her or Philip Smith
202-543-1444
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Laos, Hmong NGO Coalition Appeals to United Nations Human Rights Council to Sanction Lao Government Over Egregious Violations
 
January 20, 2015,
Washington, D.C., Geneva, Switzerland, and Vientiane, Laos
Center for Public Policy Analysis

The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and a coalition of non-governmental organizations, including prominent Lao and Hmong human rights groups, is appealing to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva to sanction and condemn the government of Laos during its pending Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the country’s human rights practices.  The NGOs have released a ten-point (10 point) appeal to the member nations of the United Nations Human Rights Council slated to convene in Geneva today to take up the review of Laos’ controversial human rights record.

“Because of the important Universal Periodic Review of Laos’ deplorable and egregious human rights violations by the United Nations in Geneva, a coalition of non-governmental organizations, and Lao and Hmong human rights groups, are appealing to the member nations of the UN’s Human Rights Council  to vigorously hold the government of Laos, and its military and communist leaders, fully accountable for a myriad of serious and systemic human rights abuses,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C. “Some of the leaders in Laos are clearly guilty of crimes against humanity, up and above their horrific human rights violations.”

“The one-party Marxist government in Laos, which is a de facto military junta run by the Lao People’s Army, continues to systematically engage in enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of political and religious dissidents as well as minority peoples, including the ethnic Hmong,” Smith stated. “The Lao government’s ongoing, and intimate, military and diplomatic relationship with North Korea is also deeply troubling and has resulted in the brutal forced repatriation by Laos of North Korean refugees back to the Stalinist regime in Pyongyang that the asylum seekers have fled.”

Smith continued: “We are calling upon the Lao government to immediately provide unfettered, international access to missing civic leader Sombath Somphone and well as prominent Laotian and Hmong political dissidents,  including the leaders of the Lao Students’ Movement for Democracy who have been imprisoned for over 15 years after leading peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations in Vientiane in 1999.   We are also very concerned about numerous Hmong refugee leaders, forcibly repatriated from Thailand to Laos in recent years, as well as notable opposition leaders, such as Moua Ter Thao, who have disappeared into the Lao prison and gulag system, and who also appear to have been subject to enforced disappearances at the hands of Lao military and security forces.”

“The continued persecution, and extrajudicial killing of Lao and Hmong refugees and asylum seekers in the jungles of Laos, as well as horrific religious freedom violations against Hmong Christian and animist believers, are serious human rights violations that the United Nations in Geneva should hold the Lao government accountable for, and call their leaders forward to address,” said Vaughn Vang, Executive Director of the Lao Human Rights Council, Inc. (LHRC). “The Lao military is still heavily engaged in ethnic cleansing and large-scale illegal logging operations, involving military attacks and starvation of Hmong civilians, driving more and more minority peoples from their ancestral lands, including the Hmong people, who are still being forced from the mountains and the jungles of Laos, where their only option is to flee to Thailand, and other third countries, to seek asylum from persecution and death.”

The following is the text of the ten-point appeal to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva:

We appeal to the member nations of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to vigorously press the Lao government and military on its repeated and deplorable human rights violations.  We request that the member nations of the UNHRC hold the authorities in Laos, and the Lao government and military, accountable for their egregious human rights violations, which must be condemned by the international community, and we further petition Laos to:

1.)   1.) Provide immediate and unconditional international access to arrested civic activist Sombath Somphone, and all information related to his arrest and imprisonment;

2.)   2.) Provide immediate and unconditional international access to arrested student activist leaders of the Lao Students’ Movement for Democracy who were arrested following peaceful, pro-democracy protests in Vientiane, Laos, in October of 1999;

3.)  3.) Provide immediate and unconditional international access to all Lao Hmong refugee camp leaders of the Ban Huay Nam Khao (Huai Nam Khao) refugee camp in Thailand who were forcibly repatriated from Thailand to various camps and sites in Laos, including secret locations, in 2009;

4.)   4.)  Stop the Lao military’s ongoing attacks against civilians, and illegal logging, especially in highland and minority populated areas; Provide immediate and unconditional access to international human rights monitors and independent journalists, to closed military zones, and military-controlled areas in Laos, where deforestation, illegal logging, military attacks, enforced starvation, and human rights violations continue against vulnerable minority peoples in Laos, including the ethnic Hmong people;

5.)  5.)   Cease religious persecution of Laotian and Hmong religious believers, including Animists, Christians, Catholics and other faiths, who seek to worship freely, and independent of Lao government monitoring and control;

6.)    6.) Cease the forced repatriation of North Korean refugees and asylum seekers who have fled political and religious persecution in North Korea to Laos and Southeast Asia;  
 
7.) Provide immediate and unconditional international access, especially to human rights monitors and attorneys, as well as independent journalists, to various high-profile Hmong-Americans imprisoned, or subject to enforced disappearance, in Laos, including Hakit Yang, of St. Paul, Minnesota, and his colleagues;

8.)    8.) Provide immediate and unconditional international access, especially to human rights monitors and attorneys, as well as independent journalists, to the high-profile Hmong opposition and resistance leader  Moua Toua Ter recently repatriated from Thailand to Laos in 2014;

9.)    9.) Provide immediate and unconditional international access, especially to human rights monitors and attorneys, as well as independent journalists, to the two imprisoned Hmong translators, and alleged Hmong opposition members, who allegedly accompanied European journalist Thierry Falise, French cameraman Vincent Reynaud, and their American translator and guide, Rev. Naw Karl Mua in 2003, during their investigation into the Lao military’s persecution and attacks against the Hmong people, as documented by the Committee to Protect Journalists;

10 10.) Provide information, the whereabouts, and the fate of the accused Ban Vang Tao ( Vang Tao /Chong Mek border crossing point) alleged resistance and opposition leaders, and their alleged accomplices,  reportedly involved in the July 2000 cross border attack on a Lao government customs post; International access should be granted to these individuals who were forcibly repatriated from Thailand to Laos prior to their trial, and court proceedings, in Thailand, as documented by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); We are concerned about credible reports that these Lao citizens have been subjected to enforced disappearance, torture and extrajudicial killing by the Lao government;  We request that the Lao government provide immediate and unconditional international access by human rights attorneys and international journalists to the accused Laotians who were unfairly denied a court trial in Thailand on the Ban Vang Tao case, since there is no independent judiciary or independent news media in Laos.
 
The ten-point appeal to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva was issued by the CPPA, LHRC, United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc., Lao Students’ Movement for Democracy, Laos Institute for Democracy, Lao Hmong Students Association, Hmong Advance, Inc., Hmong Advancement, Inc., Lao Veterans of America, Inc., and others.
###

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

 
 
 

Still No Christmas in Laos:

State-Sponsored Persecution Directed Against Lao Hmong Believers,

Political Dissidents, Increases


December 25, 2014, For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. & Vientiane, Laos


On Christmas Day, 2014, the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) is raising concern about the increased persecution of minority Christian, Animist and independent Buddhist believers in Laos at the hands of military and security forces of Laos and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Religious freedom and human rights violations have dramatically increased under the Hanoi-backed, one-party communist government in Laos, especially against various Laotian and Hmong minority groups, including religious believers and political dissidents.


“Intensified religious freedom violations directed against ethnic Laotian and Hmong Christian believers are increasingly violent and egregious, with independent religious ceremonies and Christmas celebrations prohibited, or under attack, by the Lao military and security forces,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C. “In the latest crackdown, Lao and Hmong Christians, and Animist, believers have been arrested, tortured, killed , or have simply disappeared, on a systematic and more frequent basis, as the Marxist government of Laos, working in coordination with the Vietnam People's Army and authorities in Hanoi, continues its policy of attacking independent religious believers who wish to worship freely outside of state-controlled, and state-monitored, religious institutions.”


“Clearly, under these dark and grim conditions, there is still no Christmas in Laos for those who seek to celebrate and worship outside of the watchful eye of the military, secret police and communist authorities in Vientiane and Hanoi,” Smith stated.


“It is also clear, and unfortunate, that the current Stalinist government in Laos is unwilling to cooperate on the many international appeals for the release of prominent political dissidents and prisoners, including Sombath Somphone, the Lao Students' Movement for Democracy protesters, and significant numbers of Hmong refugees,” Smith concluded.


Earlier this month, the CPPA and a coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) urged the United Nations to address ongoing serious human rights violations, as well as religious and press freedom violations, by the government of the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (LPDR). The NGOs also raised concern about the plight of a growing number of Lao and Hmong people who have disappeared at the hands of Lao military and security forces, including Sombath Somphone, Lao student protest leaders, Hmong refugees and others.http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org


###


Contact(s):

Maria Gomez or Philip Smith

Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA)

info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

Tele. (202)543-1444


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NGOs Call for United Nations to Pressure Laos on Sombath Somphone,
Human Rights, Press and Religious Freedom Violations

Geneva, Switzerland, Washington, D.C., and New York,
3 December 2014 For Immediate Release
Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA)
Tele. (202)543-1444

The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), the Lao Movement for Human Rights (LMHR), and a coalition of civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are calling for United Nations' (UN) members to urge the government of Laos to cease ongoing human rights violations, religious freedom violations, and to restore fundamental human freedoms, including press freedom. They are also calling for the release of Sombath Somphone and other imprisoned Lao and Hmong political and religious dissidents.
Joining the CPPA and LMHR, in coalition, are the: Lao Human Rights Council, Inc.; the United League for Democracy in Lao, Inc.; Lao Veterans of America, Inc.; Laos Institute for Democracy; Lao Students Movement for Democracy; Hmong Advance, Inc.; Hmong Advancement, Inc.; and, others.
We are calling for increased transparency and human rights reforms by the Lao government, military and communist party, as well as press and religious freedom,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C. “The NGOs and civil society organizations have also joined together to call for the immediate release of Sombath Somphone, and others who have disappeared at the hands of the Lao military and secret police, including the leaders of the Lao Students Movement for Democracy of 1999, ethnic Hmong refugee leaders, Lao and Hmong minority Christian believers, and many other political prisoners and religious and political dissidents.” http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
Smith continued: “Unfortunately, in Laos, the Lao People's Democratic Republic (LPRD or Lao PDR) is still a one-party Marxist government largely controlled by the military and communist party; It continues to be strongly allied with Stalinist North Korea.”
Mrs. Vanida Thephsouvanh of the Paris, France-based Lao Movement for Human Rights [(LMHR or Mouvement Lao pour les Droits de l’Homme (MLDH)] expressed: “deep concerns about violations of freedom of expression, enforced disappearances and religious freedom in Laos.” http://www.mldh-lao.org
Mrs. Thephsouvanh said the LMHR along with other civil society organizations are urging United Nations' members to press the Lao PDR government for urgent reforms at its upcoming Universal Periodic Review (UPR) schedule for the 20th of January, 2015 in Geneva.
In advance of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (LPDR)'s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) scheduled for 20 January 2015 in Geneva, the Geneva-based UPR-Info invited diplomats to hear the concerns of civil society organizations at a UPR pre-session   in Geneva today,” stated Thephsouvanh.
The UPR is a key mechanism for addressing the state of human rights in all 193 United Nations member states. The UPR is designed to treat all states equally with respect to their human rights records. The UPR process includes the opportunity for each state to declare what efforts they have undertaken to fulfill their obligations to respect human rights;
We have deep concerns about violations of freedom of expression, enforced disappearances and religious freedom in Laos. Regretting that Lao PDR has not implemented recommendations it accepted at its first UPR in 2010, she urged States to raise concerns on these human rights abuses and presented concrete recommendations for human rights progress in Laos,” continued Thephsouvanh, speaking on behalf of the LMHR, which is also a member of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).
Twenty one representatives from the Geneva-based missions   attended the pre-session.
The following is the full statement made today by Mrs. Thephsouvanh in Geneva, Switzerland, regarding concerns about the serious situation in Laos (full text below in English translation):
STATEMENT
ON THE SECOND UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW OF LAOS
at the Pre-session organized by UPR- Info
Geneva, 3 December 2014
 
I speak on behalf of the Lao Movement for Human Rights, a non- political human rights organisation based in France, a member of FIDH, the International Federation for Human Rights. We have been involved with the UPR process since the Lao PDR first review in 2010 and have closely monitored the Lao PDR’s pledges and implementation of recommendations it accepted.
 
The Lao PDR is a one-party State with no independent national human rights institution. No independent civil society organisations were involved in preparing the State report for the UPR. Only state-affiliated CSOs were consulted.
 
Therefore, it is most necessary that independent information be provided here and I thank UPR-info for making this pre-session possible.
At its first UPR in 2010, Lao PDR  made a voluntary pledge to ‘’fulfill the reporting obligations under human rights treaties, cooperate with the Special Procedures by extending invitation to Special Rapporteurs on thematic issues to visit the country [...]’’ (149). To this day, the Lao PDR has 3 overdue reports: ICCPR (due in 2011), ICESCR (due in 2009) and CRPD (due in 2011).
 
The Lao PDR has also pending requests for visits from three Special Procedures, namely the Special Rapporteur on Summary Executions (request made in 2006), the Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing (request made in 2009) and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association (requests made in 2011 and in 2013).
 
For the second (2nd) UPR on the Lao PDR government, scheduled  for 20 January 2015, the report we submitted jointly with FIDH highlighted the situation of land rights, which has become a key issue in the country.
Today, I will focus on the following 3 issues:
 
  1. Press freedom, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly.
  2. Enforced disappearances.
  3. Religious freedom.
     
     
 I - Press Freedom, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly
In 2010, Laos accepted recommendations by Australia (5), Canada (27), Italy (48), the Netherlands (66), New Zealand (99), and Slovakia (115) to guarantee freedom of expression and strengthen press freedom. Although a party to the ICCPR, the Lao PDR has failed to protect the rights to freedom of expression and assembly.In practice, the Penal Code severely limits freedom of expression under the pretext of protecting national security.
 
There is still no free press in the Lao PDR and no legal protection for Lao journalists who do not follow the party line. The Lao PDR government still controls all TV, radio, and press outlets in the country. Self-censorship is still widespread.
 
In January 2012, the Ministry of Information and Culture cancelled the only live call-in radio program after farmers called in to complain about government land grabs.
 
In December 2012, the government expelled within 48 hours the director of a Swiss NGO for sending a letter to some donor countries, criticising the authorities for creating a hostile environment for development and civil society groups by stifling freedom of expression and association.
 
In September 2014, the Lao PDR enacted an internet law that prohibits online criticism of government policies and the one-party State.
 
Peaceful assembly is still restricted under Article 72 of the Penal Code. Three people have been imprisoned since 1999 for having planned a peaceful protest. Laos refused the recommendation made by Belgium in 2010 to release them. Another 9 persons were arrested for the same reason in November 2009 and have since disappeared.
 
We invite States to urge the Lao PDR to:
 
  • Set a firm time frame for the reform of the Penal Code and ensure that all new laws conform with international human rights standards and ensure that they are implemented.
     
  • Repeal all provisions of the Constitution, the Penal Code, the law on media, and the new decree on internet that criminalise basic human rights and subordinate individual rights to the interests of the state.
     
  • Extend a standing invitation to the UN Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Opinion and Expression and on Human Rights Defenders to visit the Lao PDR.
     
  • Release all prisoners detained owing to their participation in peaceful demonstrations, and in particular the student leaders who were arrested in 1999.
     
    II- Enforced disappearances
     
    In 2010, the Lao PDR accepted recommendations by France (46) and Spain (122) to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. Furthermore, the Lao PDR made a voluntary pledge ratify this Convention. To this day, the Lao PDR has not yet ratified it. However, by signing this Convention in 2008, Laos has the obligation to adhere to the Convention and to prevent and suppress the practice of enforced disappearances.
     
    For two years now, the Lao PDR has been obstructing the investigation on the disappearance of prominent activist and civil society leader Sombath Somphone in December 2012. Closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage showed that police stopped Sombath’s car at a police checkpoint. Analysis of the video footage shows that Sombath was taken away in the presence of police officers. A few weeks before his disappearance, Sombath played a key role in organizing the Asia-Europe People’s Forum (AEPF), a civil society forum that preceded the official Asia-Europe Summit Meeting. At the forum, the topic of land issues was discussed openly for the first time in the Lao PDR. His disappearance is emblematic of the Lao PDR government’s lack of accountability for rights abuses.
     
    Over the years the Lao PDR government has used enforced disappearances as a means to intimidate and silence its citizens, including  the disappearance in 2007 of Somphone Khantisouk, an outspoken critic of large-scale rubber concessions that damaged the environment, and, in 2009, the enforced disappearance of 9 persons who planned peaceful demonstrations to call for social justice.
     
    We call on States to urge the Lao PDR to:
     
    - Ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Person from Enforced Disappearance without delay followed by a time-bound implementation.
     
    - Amend domestic laws to include specific provisions in line with the ICCPR, the CAT, and the ICPPED and implement them.
     
    - Accept 'foreign experts’ assistance in examining evidence in the case of Sombath Somphone, including the closed circuit video taken on the night he was taken away in front of police authorities.
     
    - Investigate all cases of enforced disappearances in a transparent manner.
     
    III- Religious freedom
     
    The Lao PDR accepted recommendations from Australia (7), Denmark (37), France (47), Italy (64), Netherland (90), New Zealand (98) and the United Kingdom (141) to adopt adequate measures to fulfill the right to practice religion freely.
     
    The Lao PDR government pledged to amend Decree 92 on Religious Practice in accordance with the ICCPR. However, to date, Decree 92 has remained unchanged. Decree 92 still contains numerous mechanisms for government control of, and interference in, religious activities. Decree 92 regulates up to the smallest detail of control that the government exercises over religious organizations.
    In the Lao PDR, Christian minorities in remote areas remain persecuted.
    Repression of Christians, mainly Protestants, has not diminished. Throughout 2014, in remote areas of every part of the Lao PDR, Christians have been victims of arbitrary arrest, intimidation, and forced eviction from their village by the authorities for practicing their faith. The central government denied responsibilities for the abuses by blaming local authorities. But Vientiane has never taken any action to hold local authorities accountable. Christians also face repression on the basis of ethnicity as many of them belong to ethnic minorities.
    We invite States to urge Laos to:
    -  Amend Decree 92 on Religious Practice to bring it in line with Article 18 of the ICCPR.
    - Implement measures through revised legislation to protect all citizens from discrimination due to their religion.
    - End all restrictions on the right to practice one's religion of choice without discrimination.
    - Prosecute all those involved in the persecution of religious groups.
(Ends)

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Contact: Maria Gomez or Philip Smith

Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA)
Tele. (202)543-1444

















 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Vietnam Veterans of U.S. Secret Army in Laos Urge Congress to Act

 

Washington, D.C., October 24, 2014
The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and Lao- and Hmong-American leaders are meeting with key members of the U.S. Congress, and Senate and House offices on Capitol Hill, urging the passage of legislation to grant burial honors, and benefits, to veterans who served in the U.S. Secret Army in Laos during the Vietnam War.
Meetings are being held with the offices of Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Carl Levin (D-Michigan), Bernard Sanders (I-Vermont), Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), Diane Feinstein (D-California), Barbara Boxer (D-California), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Al Franken (D-Minnesota), who support the bill, “The Hmong Veterans’ Service Recognition Act” (S. 200; S. 2337).  In the House, Lao and Hmong-American leaders are slated to meet with Congressmen Jim Costa (D), Devin Nunes (R), Paul Cook (R), and Jeff Denham (R) of California, the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and others.
“The Lao- and Hmong-American veterans and their families seek to educate policymakers and Congress about the unique and historic role of the veterans in covert support of the U.S. Special Forces, CIA, and clandestine U.S. Air Force units in Laos during the Vietnam War,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA.  “It is important to honor these extraordinary veterans with burial honors.”
Colonel Wangyee Vang, National President of the Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI) stated: “We are grateful for the support of over fifty members of Congress and appreciate their efforts to advance legislation to honor our veterans and their families with burial benefits.”
“The community in Anchorage, and across America, is requesting that the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, led by Chairman Sanders and Vice Chairman Burr, and Senators Begich and Murkowski, continue to work to pass our veterans bill,” said Pasert Lee, President of the Hmong Alaska Community, Inc.
“We are talking to our Senators, and Congress, about the sacrifices of Hmong veterans in assisting the United States to secretly combat the North Vietnamese Army’s invasion of the Kingdom of Laos during critical years of the Vietnam War,” commented Richard Xiong, Vice President of the LVAI.
“It is important that President Obama and the White House also remember and support our Lao Hmong veterans and this bill,” concluded Erik Xiong, Secretary of the LVAI.
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Contact:
Christy Her or Philip Smith
Center for Public Policy Analysis
Tele. (202)543-1444
 
 
 
 
 
 

Arlington National Cemetery, U.S. Congress, Officials Honor Lao, Hmong-American Veterans


WASHINGTON, DC

Lao- and Hmong-American veterans who served in Laos during the Vietnam War, and their American advisors, were honored at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) at a special veterans’ memorial ceremony held on Thursday by the Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI), Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), Members of the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Department of Defense, Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force. Keynote remarks were offered by the offices of Congressman Jim Costa (D-California), Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski (R) and Mark Begich (D), ANC Deputy Superintendent Jack Lechner and other officials.

 

“We are here to remember and honor our fellow Lao and Hmong soldiers and our U.S. Special Forces, CIA and Air America counterparts and advisors who served and died in Laos fighting invading communist forces from North Vietnam in defense of the Royal Kingdom of Laos and our American allies,” commented Colonel Wangyee Vang, President of the LVAI.

 

Senator Murkowski stated: “…the Lao Veterans of America Institute has put together a beautiful tribute to Lao and Hmong veterans on these most hallowed grounds…a very fitting location given our on-going efforts to authorize the interment in national cemeteries of Hmong veterans who served in support of U.S. forces during the Vietnam War…. I am pleased to announce that just yesterday I reintroduced the Hmong Veterans’ Service Recognition Act along with broad support from seven other Senators.”

 

“The U.S. Marine Corps provided an honor guard to post colors and open the ceremony at the Lao Veterans of America monument,” observed Philip Smith, Director of the CPPA. “A U.S. Army ‘Old Guard’ wreath-bearer assisted in the wreath laying; and, a U.S. Army Band bugler played ‘Taps’ to honor the sacrifices of the dead.”

 

“As a young soldier who served on the battlefields of Vietnam, I am here to help honor our veterans,” said Albert Santoli, Director of the Asia America Initiative.

 

“Until there is comprehensive recognition by the U.S. government and U.S. society of the service of all veterans in the struggle to overcome tyranny in Indochina, America can be said to have failed in its obligation to honor fully all those who fought and died there,” stated Edmund McWilliams, Vietnam veteran and U.S. Foreign Service Officer (USFSO-Ret.), Bangkok, Thailand.

 

Hugh Tovar, former CIA station chief in Laos stated: “I want to thank you for your kind invitation to participate in the memorial events at Arlington National Cemetery. It would be an honor to participate in the memorial events in Arlington National Cemetery. Those soldiers are my own heroes. Their war was my war, against a common enemy, and now they are my fellow American citizens.”

 

Keynote remarks were also given by: Colonel Wangyee Vang, LVAI; Philip Smith, CPPA; Grant McClure, Counterparts; Mike Benge, USFSO-Ret., and former Vietnam War POW; Jane Hamilton-Merritt and others.

 

The ceremonies marked, May 14-15, National Lao Hmong Recognition Day.

 

Contact:
 
Center for Public Policy Analysis
Juan Lopez or Philip Smith
202-543-1444 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Laotian, Hmong-Americans Join U.S. Senators, CPPA, in Renewed Offensive in Congress

May 14, 2014 

WASHINGTON, DC -The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and Lao- and Hmong-American veterans gathered together on Wednesday in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for the introduction of key legislation spearheaded by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mark Begich (D-AK), and a bipartisan coalition in the U.S. Congress, that seeks to provide burial benefits and honors to Laotian- and Hmong-American veterans of the Vietnam War. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Al Franken (D-MN), Carl Levin (D-MI), and Mark Pryor (D-AR) also joined in co-introducing the new bill, building further support for the House version of the legislation originally introduced by Congressmen Jim Costa (D-CA) and Paul Cook (R-CA).

“Lao- and Hmong-American veterans and their families from many communities across the United States are joining together and mobilizing in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Congress, seeking the advancement and passage of legislation to grant burial honors and benefits at U.S. national veterans cemeteries for those who served in the ‘U.S. Secret Army’ in Laos during the Vietnam War,” said Colonel Wangyee Vang, President of the Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI).

“Many more Senators and Congressmen are cosponsoring the legislation that continues to gain support for passage, including over 40 in the House and eight Senators,” stated Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA.

“We need the U.S. Congress, Senate and the American people to support this important new legislation introduced by Senators Lisa Murkowski, Mark Begich and others,” commented Pasert Lee, President of the Hmong Alaska Community, Inc. “The Lao-Hmong veterans lost 10-30 soldiers just to rescue and save one American pilot shot down .”

“This legislation is very important to the minority Laotian and Hmong veterans who fought for, and helped, America during the Vietnam War at the ‘U.S. Secret Army’ base at Long Tieng, Xieng Khouang Province and elsewhere in Laos,” said Bouakeo Chansombath of the LVAI in Oklahoma. “Over 1500 of my people died during the war to help the Americans, including many Laotian Khmu soldiers.”

The LVAI, CPPA, Lao Veterans of America, Inc., U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps, will hold a veterans’ memorial ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery on May 15 to honor the Lao and Hmong veterans, and their American advisors.

Contacts

Center for Public Policy Analysis
Jade Her or Philip Smith, 202-543-1444

 
 
 
 
 
 

Australia Announces Award to Laos, Hmong Human Rights Activist

 

Washington, D.C., and Canberra, Australia, January 30, 2014

Kay Danes is being honored with the prestigious Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her social justice and human rights work. Danes is an outspoken voice for the victims of extra-judicial abduction, forced disappearance and torture in Laos, where she suffered imprisonment by communist officials as a political prisoner.

“Kay Danes’ determination and courage to give voice to the voiceless has been invaluable in helping to understand the hidden reality surrounding the authoritarian regimes in Laos and Vietnam, especially in light of the abduction of civic activist and Magsaysay Award winner Sombath Somphone by Lao security forces, and the international outcry for his release,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA). http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“Kay Danes often travels to Washington to speak in the U.S. Congress about human rights violations in Laos and the plight of the Lao and Hmong people, including imprisoned political and religious dissidents.

“She has repeatedly testified about the status of ethnic Hmong refugees facing forced repatriation in Thailand, prisoners tortured in Laos, religious persecution, and Lao- and Hmong-American men from St. Paul, Minnesota, still imprisoned in Laos, including Hakit Yang. Congshineng Yang and Trillion Yunhaison.”

The OAM award is the principal and most prestigious means of recognizing outstanding citizens  in Australia. Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, established the OAM.

 

“Indeed, human rights are the foundation of civil societies and set the guidelines on how we ought to act towards one another,” stated Kay Danes.

 

"I am grateful to be a recipient of this award and hope that the human rights conversation continues to strengthen throughout the world. 

 

“My long-standing relationship with the Centre for Public Policy Analysis, and in particular, with Mr. Philip Smith, has very much played an important part in this award to which I am recognized today. Together, and with other humanitarians and U.S. Government officials, we hope to secure greater human rights’ freedoms for the thousands of those still oppressed by totalitarian regimes.”

 

Danes is the author of key books on Laos and foreign prisoners’ abuse.

 

Smith contributed the preface to Danes’ most recent book, authored with her husband Kerry, “Standing Ground” (New Holland Australia, 2009). 

 

 ###

 

Contact:

Jade Her/Philip Smith

(202)543-1444

Center for Public Policy Analysis

 


 
 
 
 
 
 

Australia OAM Honors Laos, Hmong Human Rights Advocate
 
Washington, D.C., January 28, 2014
Center for Public Policy Analysis
 
Kay Danes, who suffered imprisonment and torture in Laos at the hands of communist officials, is being honored in Australia with the prestigious Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her social justice and human rights work. 
 
Danes often travels to Washington, D.C., on invitation, to speak in the U.S. Congress about human rights violations in Laos and the plight of the Lao and Hmong people, including imprisoned political and religious dissidents.  She has testified about the status of Hmong refugees facing forced repatriation in Thailand, foreign prisoners tortured in Laos, religious persecution, and Lao- and Hmong-American men from St. Paul, Minnesota, still imprisoned in Laos, including Hakit Yang. Congshineng Yang, and Trillion Yunhaison.
 
The OAM is the principal and most prestigious means of recognizing outstanding members of the community in Australia. It was established by the Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth nations, Elizabeth II. 
 
"I am grateful to be a recipient of this award and hope that the human rights conversation continues to strengthen throughout the world,” said Kay Danes. 
 
“Human rights are the foundation of civil societies and set the guidelines on how we ought to act towards one another.
 
“My long-standing relationship with the Centre for Public Policy Analysis and in particular, with Mr. Philip Smith, has very much played an important part of this award to which I am recognized today. Together, and with other humanitarians and U.S. Government officials, we hope to secure greater human rights freedoms for the thousands of those still oppressed by totalitarian regimes.”
 
“Kay Danes had provided critical research, evidence and testimony to the U.S. Congress, government policymakers and the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), over the years, regarding ongoing human rights and religious freedom violations in Laos, Vietnam and elsewhere in Southeast Asia,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA.  http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“Kay Danes’ courage to give voice to the voiceless has been invaluable in helping to understand the hidden reality of the communist regimes in Laos and Vietnam, especially in light of the abduction of civic activist and Magsaysay Award winner Sombath Somphone by Lao security forces and the international outcry for his release.

“We congratulate Kay Danes for being honored with the Medal of the Order of Australia. We are happy for her, and her husband Kerry, especially after the horrific human rights abuses they both suffered and witnessed in Laos during their imprisonment by the Lao communist government as political prisoners.”

 “The Lao and Hmong community are grateful to Kay Danes for her important human rights efforts,” said Sheng Xiong, of St. Paul, Minnesota, whose husband was imprisoned and tortured in Laos with other Hmong-Americans.
 
“We thank Kay Danes for bringing awareness about terrible human rights violations in Laos and the suffering in the prisons, detention centers and refugee camps,” said Bounthanh Rathigna of the United League for Democracy in Laos (ULDL). 
 
Two Lao-American members of the ULDL from St. Paul, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, who participated in public policy events with Kay Danes in Washington, D.C., disappeared last year in Savannakhet Province, Laos, and are feared dead in an incident involving Lao security and military forces.  The three men traveling together during the incident were Souli Kongmalavong, Bounma Phannhotha and Bounthie Insixiengmai.
 
Kay Danes is an author of several books on Laos and the plight of foreign prisoners.
 
 
 
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Contact:
Jade Her or Philip Smith
Center for Public Policy Analysis
(202)543-1444
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Laos, Hmong Human Rights Advocate Honored With Medal of the Order of Australia
 
Washington, D.C., and Canberra, Australia, January 26, 2014,
Center for  Public Policy Analysis
 
Human rights and humanitarian advocate Kay Danes, who suffered imprisonment and torture in Laos at the hands of communist officials, is being honored today on Australia Day with the prestigious Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).  She is one of Australia's 2014 OAM recipients for service to the community through social justice and human rights. 
For over a decade, Mrs. Danes has repeatedly traveled to Washington, D.C., on official invitation, to speak in the U.S. Congress about human rights violations in Laos and the plight of the Lao and Hmong people, including imprisoned political and religious dissidents.  She has testified about the status of refugees facing forced repatriation, foreign prisoners tortured in Laos, religious persecution, and three Hmong-Americans from St. Paul, Minnesota, still imprisoned and missing in Laos, including Mr. Hakit Yang. Mr. Congshineng Yang, and Mr. Trillion Yunhaison,
“Kay Danes had provided critical and important research, evidence and testimony to the U.S. Congress, government policymakers and the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), over the years, regarding ongoing human rights and religious freedom violations in Laos, Vietnam and elsewhere in Southeast Asia,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA.  http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
“This vital information, and Mrs. Danes’ courage to give voice to the voiceless, has been invaluable in helping to understand the hidden reality of the situation under the communist regimes in Laos and Vietnam, especially in light of the recent abduction of civic activist and Magsaysay Award winner Sombath Somphone by Lao security forces in Vientiane, and the international outcry for his release,” Smith commented.
Smith continued:  “Joining with many U.S.-based non-governmental organizations, including Lao and Hmong-American human rights and refugee groups, and victims’ families, we wish to sincerely congratulate Mrs. Kay Danes for being honored today with the Medal of the Order of Australia by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the government and people of Australia. We are very happy for Kay Danes as well as her husband Kerry Danes and family, especially after the horrific human rights abuses they both suffered and witnessed in Laos during their terrible imprisonment and abuse by the Lao government.”
“Among other important humanitarian efforts, Kay Danes also provided crucial evidence and testimony about the Lao government’s recent and unfettered role in human rights abuses, torture, extra-judicial abductions and killings as well as its role in the forced repatriation of Hmong refugees and the brutal persecution of Lao student dissidents and religious believers, especially minority Christians,” Smith observed.
“The Medal of the Order of Australia is the principal and most prestigious means of recognizing outstanding members of the community at a national level and nominations are encouraged from all members of the Australian public,” states the Australian Honours Secretariat of the Australian government.
 
 
"I am grateful to be a recipient of this award and hope that the human rights conversation continues to strengthen throughout the world,” said Mrs. Danes.  “Human rights are the foundation of civil societies and set the guidelines on how we ought to act towards one another.”
 
Danes states further: “My long-standing relationship with the Centre for Public Policy Analysis and in particular, with Mr. Philip Smith, has very much played an important part of this award to which I am recognized today. Together, and with other humanitarians and U.S. Government officials, we hope to secure greater human rights freedoms for the thousands of those still oppressed by totalitarian regimes."
 
Queensland’s Bayside Bulletin and The Redland Times (Fairfax Regional Media – Australia) helped to announce the news of the award today and cited Danes’ “…passion for social justice.”
 
“The Lao and Hmong community are very pleased and also grateful to Kay Danes, and her husband Kerry Danes, for their important human rights and humanitarian work,” said Sheng Xiong, of St. Paul, Minnesota, whose husband was also imprisoned and tortured in Phonthong Prison along with other Hmong-Americans.
 
“We want to thank Kay Danes for helping to bring awareness about terrible human rights violations in Laos and the suffering in the prisons, detention centers and refugee camps of Laos, including Phonthong prison; We commend Australia’s government, and Queen Elizabeth II, for awarding the Medal of the Order of Australia to Mrs. Danes,” said Bounthanh Rathigna, President of the United League for Democracy in Laos (ULDL). 
 
Two Lao-American members of the ULDL from St. Paul, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, who participated in public policy events with Kay Danes in Washington, D.C., disappeared last year in Savannakhet Province, Laos and are feared dead in an incident involving Lao security and military forces.  Three Lao-Americans were traveling together during the incident including Souli Kongmalavong, Mr. Bounma Phannhotha and Mr. Bounthie Insixiengmai.
 
Kay Danes has authored several books on human rights violations in Laos and the plight of foreign prisoners unjustly abused, tortured and killed abroad including: Standing Ground and Families Behind Bars.  Philip Smith was asked to write the preface and Foreword to her most recent book, Standing Ground (2009, New Holland Publishers Australia). 

According to the Australian government, the Order of Australia also serves to define, encourage and reinforce community standards, national aspirations and ideals by acknowledging actions and achievement and thereby identifying role models.  The award was established by the Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth nations, Elizabeth II.  HM Queen Elizabeth II is the Sovereign Head of the Order.

###

Contact:

Maria Gomez, Jade Her or Philip Smith
Tele  (202)543-1444

Center for Public Policy Analysis
2020 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC   USA 20006  USA
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Vietnam, Laos: Officials Involved in Abduction, Trafficking, and Sex Slavery of Women, Children
November 02, 2013
 
 
WASHINGTON & HANOI, Vietnam-- Ethnic Hmong, Lao and Montagnard girls, including children, are being abducted and forced into marriage and prostitution at an alarming rate by corrupt government and military officials in Vietnam and Laos according to statements issued jointly today by non-governmental organizations.
 
The Lao Human Rights Council, Inc., (LHRC) and the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) are issuing a statement of concern about the increasing role of government and military officials in the abduction and violent trafficking of women and children in Vietnam, Laos and Southeast Asia.
 
“The growing problem of institutional violence, abduction, forced marriage, abuse, sexual exploitation and human trafficking directed against minority Hmong and Lao women and children by corrupt government and military officials is especially egregious in the border areas of Laos and Vietnam, including Vietnam’s province of Nge Anh bordering Laos’ Xiang Khouang province,” said Philip Smith of the CPPA in Washington, D.C., which focuses on human rights issues. http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
 
Smith continued: “In areas in Vietnam and Laos, ethnic Lao and minority Hmong and Montagnard girls, and children, are being abducted and forced into a life of violent abuse and sex slavery by government and military officials. Many girls and women suffer unspeakable cruelty, rape and domestic violence, or are trafficked internationally. Minority Christians are especially being targeted. The unfortunate victims are sometimes murdered or commit suicide as a result.”
 
According to Vaughn Vang, President of the LHRC: “We recently received tragic information about a 17 year old Vietnamese Hmong girl, Miss Pang Nhia Lor (Paaj Nyiag Lauj), who lives in the Ky Son District area of Nge Anh Province in Vietnam, bordering Laos. On October 16, two men who are local high-ranking communist and government provincial leaders from other Hmong villages forced the poor young girl into marriage and abducted her from the village area of Ban Nam Khyen Xa Nam. The men stated their names as Doua Yang (Nruas Yaaj) and his father Nhia Vws Yang (Nyiaj Vws Yaaj). They visited Miss Pang Nhia Lor’s parents’ residence and misused their authority by forcing Pang Nhia’s parents to sell her to them as Doua’s wife against the girl’s and parents’ will.”
 
Vang stated: “During their conversation with the government officials who demanded the girl for forced marriage, Pang Nhia’s alarmed parents put her in a small room in their house and told her to stay put. While in the room, Pang Nhia overheard Nhia Vws Yang stating that Doua demanded to buy Pang Nhia to be his wife. Pang Nhia managed to escape from the room and ran outside. Doua and his father heard Pang Nhia leave and ran after her. The two men chased her and wrestled her to the ground in the mud. They then forcefully took her, covered in mud, blood and tears, to their car and drove away.
 
“After the government officials drove away in their car, they arrived at Doua Yang’s house. Doua tied Pang Nhia’s hands with a rope and locked her in his bedroom. Pang Nhia is being continually abused by Doua Yang, both sexually and physically, on a daily basis. Doua has also threatened Pang Nhia that he will continue to abuse her until she consents to marry him.
 
“We are, therefore, urging an immediate investigation and international intervention to help save the life of this innocent Vietnamese Hmong girl, and other girls, and children, like her in Vietnam and Laos,” Vang concluded.
###

Contacts

Center for Public Policy Analysis
Maria Gomez or Philip Smith
202-543-1444
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Vietnam,  Laos: Officials Involved in Abduction, Trafficking, and Sex Slavery of Women, Children

Washington, D.C. and Hanoi, Vietnam, November 1, 2013

Ethnic Hmong and Lao girls, and children, are being abducted and forced into marriage and prostitution at an alarming rate by corrupt government and military officials in Vietnam and Laos according to statements issued jointly today by non-governmental organizations.

The Lao Human Rights Council and the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) are raising concerns about the increasing role of government and military officials in the abduction, abuse, forced marriage, sexually enslavement and violently trafficking of women and children in Vietnam, Laos and Southeast Asia.

“The problem of institutional violence, abduction, forced marriage, abuse, sexual exploitation and human trafficking directed against Hmong and Lao women and children by corrupt government and military officials is increasing and especially egregious in the border areas of Laos and Vietnam, including Vietnam’s province of Nge Anh bordering Laos’ Xiang Khouang province,” said Philip Smith of the CPPA in Washington, D.C., which focuses on human rights and public policy issues in Southeast Asia and other regions.

“In some areas in Vietnam and Laos, ethnic Lao and minority Hmong girls and children are being abducted and forced into a life of violent abuse and sex slavery by government and military officials,” Smith continued. “Many girls and women suffer unspeakable cruelty, rape  and domestic violence, or are trafficked internationally; the unfortunate victims, including many children, are sometimes murdered or commit suicide as a result.”

According to Vaughn Vang, President of the Lao Human Rights Council, Inc.:  We recently received tragic information about a 17 year old Vietnamese Hmong girl, Miss Pang Nhia Lor (Paaj Nyiag Lauj), who lives in the Ky Son District area of Nge Anh Province in Vietnam, bordering Laos.  On October 16, 2013, two men who are local high-ranking communist and government leaders from other Hmong villages in Nge Anh Province forced the poor young girl into marriage and abducted her from the village area of Ban Nam Khyen Xa Nam.  The men stated their names as Mr. Doua Yang (Nruas Yaaj) and his father Mr. Nhia Vws Yang (Nyiaj Vws Yaaj).  They visited Miss Pang Nhia Lor’s parents’ residence and misused their authority and power by forcing Pang Nhia’s parents to sell her to them as Doua’s wife against the girl’s and parents’ will.”

Vang stated further:  “During their conversation with the government officials who demanded the girl for forced marriage, Pang Nhia’s alarmed parents put her in a small room in their house and told her to stay put.  While in the room, Pang Nhia overheard Nhia Vws Yang stating that Doua demanded to buy Pang Nhia to be his wife.  Pang Nhia managed to escape from the room and ran outside. Doua and his father heard Pang Nhia leave and ran after her.  The two men chased her and wrestled her to the ground in the mud. They then forcefully took her, covered in mud, blood and tears, to their car and drove away.

“After the government officials drove away in their car, they arrived at Doua Yang’s house.  Doua tied Pang Nhia’s hands with a rope and locked her in his bedroom.  Pang Nhia is being continually abused by Doua Yang, both sexually and physically, on a daily basis. Doua has also threatened Pang Nhia that he will continue to physically and sexually abuse her until she consents to marry him.  If she is continually refuses to marry Doua, he will continue the violent abuse.

“Pang Nhia sends her last message and appeal to Vietnam leaders in Hanoi, and the international community, including the United Nations, about what is currently happening to her.  Pang has requested that Vietnamese authorities in Hanoi, and United Nation officials, as well as all concerned  people, including Hmong women around the world, to help save her life from Doua Yang, and other corrupt local and provincial government and communist  party officials in Vietnam  who are abusing their power and exploiting minority Hmong, Vietnamese and Lao women and children.

“Without your immediate intervention and assistance to rescue her from this dangerous government sex predator, Miss Pang Nhia will join the rest of her friends in her village who have killed themselves because they had been sexually and physical abused like animals by corrupt government officials in Vietnam and Laos such as Mr. Doua Yang.

“Pang Nhia Lor also wants the Vietnam leaders in Hanoi and the international community to know that she will likely be critically tortured or possibly killed before any possible rescue of her from her captors who have boasted that they are wealthy and powerful men capable of doing such deeds with impunity because they are members of the government, and communist party, and therefore above the law.

“We are, therefore, urging an immediate investigation and international intervention to help save the life of this innocent Vietnamese Hmong girl and other girls, and children, like her in Vietnam and Laos,” Vang concluded.

###

Contact:

Maria Gomez or Philip Smith

Center for Public Policy Analysis

Tele. (202) 543-1444


Cambodia, Buddhist Monks’ Rally at United Nations: Prelude to Upcoming Phnom Penh Demonstrations

WASHINGTON & PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, September 6, 2013 -- 

A major, but largely unnoticed, demonstration held in front of the United Nations (UN) in New York on August 19 by Cambodians and Buddhist monks was an important prelude to planned mass demonstrations in Phnom Penh tomorrow, September 7th, according to the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), a non-governmental research organization.

“This major demonstration of Cambodians and Buddhist monks in front of the UN headquarters, on August 19, as well as rallies in Long Beach, California, were an important prelude to the mass demonstrations in Phnom Penh tomorrow, September 7”

“As a result of the UN protest, it appears that Buddhist monks will help stand peacefully against the army tanks and soldiers to seek to protect the Cambodian people in the coming days at the planned mass protests in Phnom Penh on September 7th,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C. http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“There was little news coverage of the historic Cambodian and Buddhist monks’ demonstration at the United Nations on August 19, but the estimated 1500 peaceful protestors made an important statement in appealing to the UN and the United States, as well as the international community, to address the problematic and contested July election results in Cambodia as well as the current crisis in Phnom Penh,” Smith observed.

“The protestors have appealed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as well as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to help intercede in Cambodia so that Prime Minister Hun Sen’s security forces, along with the army and tanks, are withdrawn from Phnom Penh, and so that the July 28 election results are fully investigated by the UN and international observers,” Smith commented.

“This major demonstration of Cambodians and Buddhist monks in front of the UN headquarters, on August 19, as well as rallies in Long Beach, California, were an important prelude to the mass demonstrations in Phnom Penh tomorrow, September 7," Smith said. “Unfortunately, Hun Sen has deployed tanks, heavy weapons, army troops and security forces in an apparent attempt to intimidate opposition groups including Sam Rainsy’s Cambodia National Rescue Party.”

“We want the United Nations to get involved in the July election results in Cambodia because we feel the National Election Committee is not fair and because many Cambodian citizens were not allowed to vote,” said Ms. Reasmy Sou, a young, educated Cambodian-American who participated in the UN rally. “There was widespread voter fraud and intimidation in the Cambodian elections in July; the election results were not fair and are being challenged."

Ms. Sou explained: "The United Nations should get involved to help to make the election results fair and right. Prime Minister Hun Sen should not use the army against the people who are seeking fair election results and peaceful protests. Hun Sen should not be sending frontline army troops and tanks into the capital. We want the withdrawal of all army troops and security forces prior to the upcoming peaceful, mass demonstrations planned on September 7, 2013, to contest and protest the election results.”

Contacts

Center for Public Policy Analysis
Maria Gomez or Philip Smith
202-543-1444




Cambodia, Buddhist Monks’ Rally in America, United Nations, a Prelude to Upcoming Phnom Penh Rally


Washington, D.C., Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Bangkok, Thailand, September 5, 2013

A largely unreported major demonstration of Cambodians and Buddhist monks in front of the United Nations headquarters, in New York, on August 19, 2013, is a prelude to planned upcoming demonstrations in Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh on Saturday, according to the Washington, D.C.-based think tank, and non-governmental research organization, the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA).

 “Although, at the time, there was little independent news coverage of the historic Cambodian and Buddhist monks'  demonstrations at the United Nations (UN), in New York City,  on August 19, the  estimated 1500 peaceful protestors  made a major and important symbolic statement in appealing to the United Nations , the United States, and the  international community, to help address the  problematic and contested  July election  results in Cambodia as well as the current crisis in Phnom Penh facing the Cambodian people, ” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C.  http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“The protestors have appealed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as well as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to help intercede in Cambodia so that Hun Sen ’s police and security forces, and army tanks, are withdrawn from the streets of Phnom Pen and the July election results are investigated and are deemed fair by the UN and international observers.”

Many of the protestors have family members in Cambodia. They waved banners, protest placards and Cambodian, American and Canadian flags outside the UN.

“This largely unreported major demonstration of Cambodians and Buddhist monks  in front of the United Nations headquarters, in New York, on August 19, 2013, as well as similar rallies in Long Beach, California, on August 19,  is an important prelude to the planned upcoming demonstrations in Cambodia’s  capital of Phnom Penh  on Saturday, September 7, where Prime Minister Hun Sen has, unfortunately, deployed army tanks, armored personnel carriers, and army and security force troops, in an apparent attempt to intimidate supporters of opposition groups including Sam Rainsy’s political party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP),” Smith commented.

Smith continued:  “In New York City, Cambodian Buddhist monks in traditional saffron robes were joined by a diverse crowd of some 1500 Cambodia-Americans, and Cambodians from Canada,  of all ages, young and old, in front of the United Nations, to peacefully protest and challenge the results of the July 28 elections which appear to be severely unfair, and riddled with widespread irregularities, voter intimidation, and fraudulent results that again give Prime Minister Hun Sen, and his party, control of Cambodia.”

Similar peaceful demonstrations were also held the same day, on August 19, in Long Beach, California, by hundreds of Cambodian-Americans.

“Clearly, after well over two long decades of Hun Sen’s rule in Cambodia, many Cambodian people, including Cambodian-Americans, just want change, and new leaders in Phnom Penh, that are elected in free and fair elections, without interference from Hun Sen’s party or elements in the Cambodia’s army and security forces, ”  Smith observed.  “Hun Sen’s statement that he wishes to rule Cambodia for another 13 years, until he is 74 years of age, has many people and policymakers concerned and troubled for a variety of reasons, including economic and political.”

“We want the United Nations to get involved in the July election results in Cambodia because we feel the National Election Committee is not fair and because a lot of people with Cambodian citizenship were not allowed to vote because their names were missing from the voter registration rolls,” said Ms. Reasmy Sou, a 36 year old Cambodian-American woman, who participated in the UN demonstrations in New York City.

Ms. Sou was born and grew up in Cambodia and still has family and friends there who are concerned about the July 28 elections and the deployment of army tanks and troops  following the elections.  She further stated:  “There was widespread voter fraud, voter intimidation and voter fraud in the Cambodian elections in July; Prime Minister Hun Sen should not use the Army against the people who are seeking fair election results and peacefully protesting.”

Ms.  Sou explained:  “The election results were not fair and are being challenged.  The United Nations should get involved to help to make the election results fair and right.  We need everything to be free and fair. Prime Minister Hun Sen should not be sending frontline army troops, tanks and soldiers from the Cambodian armed services into the capital.  We are asking for a withdrawal of all of these army troops and security forces so that they can be removed prior to the upcoming peaceful demonstrations planned on September 7 to protest the contested election results.  Because Hun Sen has deployed the Army in the capital, many ordinary Cambodian people are scared, and fearful, and are hoarding rice, food, gasoline and other items they need in Phnom Penh to survive.  This is bad for the economy and ordinary Cambodian people, since prices are skyrocketing on many daily commodities.”

One demonstrators sign, carried by a young Cambodian college student at the UN in New York City simply stated: “Hun Sen must step down.” 

On yet another student’s protest sign outside the UN were painted the words:  “We need the United Nations to Help Cambodia:  We need to change the National Election Committee in Cambodia. 

Cambodian groups are planning a protest rally in Phnom Penh on July 7 led by Sam Rainsy’s political party, the CNRP.

###

The Center for Public Policy Analysis is a non-governmental public policy think tank and research organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.


Contact(s):

Maria Gomez or Philip Smith
Center for Public Policy Analysis
Tele. (202)543-1444


 
U.S. Senate Nears Passage of Veterans Bill Honoring Laos, Hmong Veterans

WASHINGTON, DC, July 29, 2013

The U.S. Senate is closer to taking up legislation to honor Lao- and Hmong-American veterans following passage last Wednesday in the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of a bill that includes language to recognize those who served in the U.S. ‘Secret Army’ in Laos during the Vietnam War. The bill would advance, and study, granting burial honors and benefits to the Lao-Hmong at national cemeteries administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“The Senate omnibus veterans bill, and the effort to further honor, and review, the Lao- and Hmong-American veterans’ service, is being spearheaded by Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Vice Chairman Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) and others,” said Philip Smith, Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington. “Congressman Jim Costa (D-California) previously introduced the bill in the House.”

Smith continued: “Shortly, we expect the full Senate to consider, and pass, in bipartisan fashion, this crucial and historic veterans legislation, in the form of an omnibus veterans bill, that includes important language to recognize and study the unique role of Lao and Hmong veterans who served in the U.S. ‘Secret Army’ in Laos during the Vietnam War.”

“This progress is the result of the passage last week, in the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, of key legislation, including S. 944, an omnibus veterans bill that incorporates language regarding Lao and Hmong-American veterans--especially as advanced in the ‘Lao Hmong Veterans Burial Honors Bill,’ S. 200, introduced by Senators Murkowski, Begich and Whitehouse,” stated Smith. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1307/S00429/us-senate-laos-hmong-veterans-burial-honor-effort.htm

“The anticipated passage of this legislation in the full Senate will be historic for the ethnic Laotian- and Hmong-American veterans who seek to be honored and buried at U.S. national veterans cemeteries administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs,” Smith concluded. http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“We are pleased that the U.S. Senate has advanced critical legislation that recognizes and honors our Laotian- and Hmong-American veterans who served, sacrificed and died during the Vietnam War in Laos,” said Colonel Wangyee Vang, President of the Lao Veterans of America Institute, in Fresno, California. “We welcome this important progress in the Senate as well as the continued advancement of the ‘Lao Hmong Veterans Burial Honors Bill’ in Congress.”


###

Contact: Maria Gomer or Philip Smith

Center for Public Policy Analysis

Tele. (202)543-1444

info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senate Slated to Address Laos, Hmong Veterans Burial Honors

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 16, 2013

The U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will conduct a markup hearing tomorrow to press forward veterans’ legislation, and further examine and study the unique service of ethnic Laotian and Hmong veterans who served in covert operations in Laos with American special forces during the Vietnam War. Chairman Bernie Sanders, Vice Chairman Richard Burr, along with Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich, and others, have worked to bring the bill, S. 200, before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee for hearings. The bill was introduced previously in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Jim Costa (D-California) and a bipartisan coalition of 32 Members of Congress.

“We are pleased that U.S. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Sanders, and Vice Chairman Burr, are hosting a markup hearing regarding pending veterans legislation and will address a bill to provide long overdue burial honors to Lao and Hmong veterans who served in covert operations in support of the U.S. clandestine forces in Laos during the Vietnam War,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director for the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA). http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“‘The Lao and Hmong Veterans Burial Honors Bill,’ S. 200, introduced by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R- Alaska) and Mark Begich (D-Alaska), if enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Obama, would permit some 9,700 Laotian- and Hmong-America veterans of the U.S. ‘Secret Army’ in Laos to be buried in national Department of Veterans Affairs’ cemeteries,” Smith stated.

“From 1961-1975, the Hmong and Lao ethnic soldiers of the U.S. ‘Secret Army’ lost about 40,000 men and women for the accomplishment of covert missions, including some impossible and hopelessly dangerous missions, where the Lao-Hmong soldiers had to pay in blood with many, many, countless Lao-Hmong lives lost…,” said Colonel Wangyee Vang, President of the Lao Veterans of America Institute, in Senate testimony.

Mr. Vang stated: “Now it is 38 years after the war ended in 1975. Unfortunately, our veterans still have not received any kind of burial honors benefit, or other veterans’ benefits, from the U.S. government especially for our Hmong, Khmu, Lao, Mien and other ethnic veterans of the ‘U.S. Secret Army.’ We are, therefore, strongly urging the U.S. Congress, as soon as possible, to pass S. 200 for those veterans still surviving from the Vietnam War.”

 ###

Contacts:

Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA)
Maria Gomez or Philip Smith
202-543-1444
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

 

Laos, Hmong Veterans of Vietnam War Honored At National Ceremonies

WASHINGTON, May 12, 2013 --(BUSINESS WIRE)--National memorial ceremonies and policy events are being held in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Congress, to recognize Laotian and Hmong veterans of the U.S. "Secret Army” who served in Laos during the Vietnam War. The events also honor the veterans’ American advisors.

“Today, a wreath of white lilies is being placed at the Vietnam War memorial to remember and honor the veterans and their families,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA).

“It is important to remember that Laotian and Hmong special forces who served in the ‘U.S. Secret Army’ during the Vietnam War were backed by the U.S. military and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who operated covertly in Laos during the conflict to combat invading, Soviet-backed, North Vietnamese Army forces and communist guerillas,” Smith observed.

On May 10, and today, Lao and Hmong memorial ceremonies were held in Arlington National Cemetery.

“A U.S. Joint Armed Services honor guard, wreath-bearer and Army bugler are officially participating in the Arlington ceremonies to help us honor the Laotian and Hmong veterans and their American advisors who served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War,” said Colonel Wangyee Vang, President of the Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI).

“Now, in the U.S. Congress, Representative Jim Costa (D-California), Senator Lisa Murkowski (D-Alaska), and a bipartisan coalition, are advancing legislation that, if enacted, will grant important burial honors, and benefits, to our veterans at national cemeteries,” Vang commented.
http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20130207006579/en/Laos-Hmong-Veterans-Burial-Honors-Bill-Introduced

 “Today, flowers and prayers are again being offered at the Lao Veterans of America (LVA) monument in Arlington to remember those who sacrificed and died in Laos, including thousands of Laotian and Hmong civilians killed by invading North Vietnamese and Lao communist forces during the war and its aftermath, as well as in recent years,” Smith continued.

http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

Cherzong Vang, former President of the Minnesota LVAI, is also being eulogized.

“We are here today because there is a place to which we can come to remember and to celebrate those who gave their lives for freedom, and their people, and for this country,” said John W. Barnum, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation and Vietnam War Memorial adviser. Barnum serves with McGuireWoods, LLP.

“...I would stress to those in the Congress and the Department of the Army, who will decide who may be buried here, that we, the survivors, owe it to those who did not survive a place where we can all celebrate their sacrifices...,” Barnum stated, reflecting on the Lao-Hmong veterans’ monument and his experiences as a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War.

“The tradition of these gatherings to salute Lao and Hmong veterans and their American advisors, is an important exercise, reminding the American people of that struggle...,” stated Edmund McWilliams, former U.S. Foreign Service Officer (US-FSO), Laos. “While the struggle is increasingly shadowed by time, the sacrifice of those who participated continues to illuminate their heroic efforts. This occasion thus affords an opportunity to remind the American people that, that now long ago struggle, was a joint effort that united soldiers of vastly different cultures in a common enterprise to protect freedom.”

“I wish to send my sincere congratulations to all Lao and Hmong veterans who are now gathering at Arlington National Cemetery to celebrate the memory of our service together in a common cause,” stated Hugh Tovar, former CIA Chief of Station, Laos. “They will always live in our thoughts and recollections of the days when we served together...”

The Arlington events are cosponsored by the LVAI, CPPA, LVA, Arlington National Cemetery, the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Army, Members of Congress, Counterparts, Hmong Advance, Inc., Hmong Advancement, and the United League for Democracy in Laos.

Speakers, participants, and those providing statements at Arlington include: Wangyee Vang, LVAI; Philip Smith, CPPA; Grant McClure, Counterparts; Michael Benge, former US-FSO and POW/MIA in Vietnam; Congressman Jim Costa; Senator Lisa Murkowski; Captain Christopher Bala, US Army; John Barnum, McGuireWoods, LLP; Hugh Tovar, CIA-Ret.; Edmund McWilliams, US-FSO; Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt; Captain D.L. Pappy Hicks, U.S. Special Forces Association; and, others.

Contacts

Center for Public Policy Analysis
Helen Cruz or Philip Smith, 202-543-1444

 




Laos:  Coalition Opposes U.S. Taxpayers’ Funding of Bomb Removal From Vietnam War

April 12, 2013, Washington, D.C., and Vientiane, Laos

The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and a coalition of Lao and Hmong non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are opposing a controversial multi-million dollar U.S. Department of State project to remove unexploded Vietnam War-era ordnance and bombs from Laos.

In opposition to the project, which the State Department is presently promoting with a U.S. tour, the NGOs are citing increased human rights abuses as well as religious and minority persecution in Laos.  The organizations are also raising concerns about the recent arrest and abduction of Laotian civic activist Sombath Somphone, widespread government corruption in Laos and illegal logging by Lao and Vietnamese military-owned companies.  

The Lao government’s support for North Korean (DPRK) is also being cited.

“We oppose U.S. funding for bomb removal in Laos, given the Lao regime’s ongoing persecution and killing of the Laotian and Hmong people,” said Vaughn Vang, Director of the Lao Human Rights Council (LHRC).

“Before any further funds are given for bomb removal efforts in Laos by U.S. taxpayers, the Lao regime must release Sombath Somphone, and jailed Lao Students for Democracy (LSFD) protest leaders, as well as information about the three Lao-Americans from Minnesota who disappearance in Laos at the hands of the Lao police and military in January,” stated Bounthanh Rathigna, President of the United League for Democracy in Laos (ULDL).

“Many Laotian and Hmong-Americans advocate cutting all U.S. foreign aid to Laos given the Lao government’s recent arrest of Sombath Somphone and its role in the disappearance of three Lao-Americans from Minnesota,” said Khampoua Naovarangsy, President of the Laos Institute for Democracy (LIFD).

The coalition of NGOs opposed to U.S. funding for the bomb removal program in Laos include the CPPA,  ULDL, LIFD, LSFD, United Lao for Human Rights and Democracy,  Hmong Advance, Inc., Hmong Advancement, Lao Veterans of America, Lao Veterans of America Institute and others.

“No U.S. taxpayers’ money should be used for the clean-up of bombs and unexploded ordnance in Laos from the Vietnam War-era, while corrupt Lao officials are engaged in brutal human rights violations, religious persecution, the abduction of civic activists, and ethnic cleansing waged against many of their own Lao and Hmong people,” said Philip Smith, Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C.

“The Lao military continues to drop bombs and launch horrific and bloody attacks against peaceful civilian minority communities, including the Hmong people, in the mountains and jungles of Laos,” Smith stated.  “The Lao Peoples Army (LPA) continues to attack and heavily shell and bomb its own freedom-loving people, with artillery and aircraft, and is engaged in widespread illegal logging in Laos in cooperation with Vietnam Peoples Army-owned companies.” 

“Currently,  the one-party communist regime in Laos is routinely engaged in machine-gunning, rocketing, bombing, and starving to death many innocent Laotian and Hmong civilians, and religious and dissident communities, in the mountains and jungles of Laos, including groups of Christian and Animist believers,” Smith observed. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20130304006755/en/Laos-Attacks-Intensify-Lao-Hmong-People

“Given the U.S. budget crisis, there is growing opposition to this misguided and highly questionable bomb-removal project in Laos,”   Smith commented.  “Clearly, Laos should meet basic conditions, including the release of Sombath Somphone, and imprisoned Lao student and dissident leaders, before any further U.S. foreign aid is provided.”

“Moreover, the Lao military and politburo are closely allied with North Korea,” Smith stated. “No U.S. taxpayers’ money should go toward bomb removal programs in Laos until the Lao regime ends its cooperation with Stalinist North Korea.”

###

Center for Public Policy Analysis

Contact:  Maria Gomez or Philip Smith

info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

 
No Easter in Laos, Vietnam, for Disappeared, Persecuted Christians

March 31, 2013, Washington, D.C., Vientiane, Laos, and Bangkok, Thailand

The Lao Human Rights Council (LHRC), Hmong Advance, Inc. (HAI), the United League for Democracy in Laos (ULDL), the Laos Institute for Democracy (LIFD), the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and a coalition of Lao and Hmong non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are issuing an international appeal for “disappeared” and persecuted Christian, and dissident religious believers, in Laos and Vietnam on Easter Sunday.

“There is no Easter in Laos and Vietnam for numerous Christians, and other minority and dissident religious believers, who have simply disappeared or have been persecuted, or killed, at the hands of the military, security forces and secret police, ” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C.  “We continue to be concerned about the disappearance of ordinary and innocent Lao and Hmong Christian believers, including Mr. Bountheong and his family, and many others.”

According to Smith:  “A broad spectrum of Christian organizations, including senior Catholic Church leaders, have also issued statements and appeals about the ‘disappeared’ and persecuted Christians, and dissident religious believers, in Laos and Vietnam.”

“As we mark Easter, the brutal torture and killing of a Hmong Christian pastor recently in Vietnam by police, who beat and electrocuted the victim during torture, is also very troubling,” Smith continued. “The ongoing pattern of systemic religious freedom violations in Vietnam and Laos by the Marxist regimes continues to intensify and deteriorate.” http://www.christiantoday.com/article/vietnam.church.leader.beaten.to.death/31989.htm

“Tragically, Communist officials  and security forces in the Dien Bien Phu area of North Vietnam, especially along the Lao border area, continue to unjustly imprison dozens of ordinary Viet-Hmong Christian believers, including those who peacefully gathered for Catholic and Protestant Christian religious ceremonies and to mark the beatification of Pope John Paul II some two years ago, in the spring of 2011,” Smith concluded. 

Catholic source Agenzia Fides states concerns about “Christian families who have suddenly ‘disappeared into thin air’ in Laos.” http://www.fides.org/en/news/33027?idnews=33027&lan=eng#.UVg_k1fNuE4

In May 2011, the Vietnamese People’s Army killed dozens of Hmong Christian and animist religious believers, many of them mainstream Catholic and orthodox Protestant Christians, who gathered peacefully in Dien Bien Province in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.  Many surviving believers fled to Laos.  http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/139559-1305659370-vietnam-forces-kill-72-hmong-hundreds-arrested-and-flee.html

“Lao and Hmong minority Christian and Animist believers continue to be persecuted in Laos and subjected to religious persecution, disappearance and often continue to be killed for their faith,” said Vaughn Vang of the Wisconsin and Minnesota-based LHRC.

“Independent Buddhist, Christian and Animist religious believers are often targeted for persecution and human rights violations in Laos, if they operate freely and are accused of organizing outside of state-control,” said Bounthanh Rathigna, President of the ULDL in Washington, D.C., who has organized peaceful human rights demonstrations in front of the Lao Embassy in Washington, D.C. in recent years.

Mr. Rathigna continued: “Vietnam’s security forces and army continue to be heavily involved in Laos; This includes Hanoi’s ruthless persecution of religious dissident believers, especially independent Christians, Catholics and Animists in Laos, who are often accused of the ‘crime’ of the free practice of their faith without strict-government monitoring and control, including the approval of clergy and religious leaders by often corrupt Communist officials.”

In January, Christian Solidary Worldwide (CSW) issued an international appeal for the release of a Lao Christian family, Mr. Bountheong, his wife and son.

According to CSW:  “CSW has written a letter to the president of Laos requesting information about the disappearance of a Christian man who has been missing for eight years.  Mr. Boontheong was last seen in the capital, Vientiane, on 3 July 2004.  He had been imprisoned by local police on two previous occasions and repeatedly harassed for his faith. He disappeared along with his wife and seven-year-old son.

CSW continues:  “In the letter, CSW Advocacy Director, Andrew Johnston, and the chairman of CSW Hong Kong, Charles Dickson, urged President Choummaly Sayasone to uphold ‘the Constitution of Laos, in particular Article 43 of the 2003 Amended Constitution (Article 30 in the 1991 Constitution) which respects the fundamental right of every citizen to believe or not to believe in religions.’” 

CSW continues to press for action on the cases of missing people, particularly those who may have disappeared in connection with their faith. http://dynamic.csw.org.uk/article.asp?t=news&id=1381

In voicing an appeal about the ongoing disappearance of Mr. Boontheong, his family and other persecuted Christians in Southeast Asia, International Christian Concern (ICC) states:   “Christians call on (the) President of Laos to investigate the disappearance of a Christian family… The Communist government of Laos has long tolerated and even condoned harassment and arrest of Christians throughout the country.”  http://www.persecution.org/2013/01/14/christians-call-on-president-of-laos-to-investigate-disappearance-of-christian-family/

According to Compass Direct News (CDN), World Watch Monitor, and other sources in Laos, the Lao government and military has falsely accused many ordinary and peaceful Lao and Hmong Christians fleeing persecution in Vietnam and summarily executing them extra-judicially, without trial.  http://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/english/country/laos/2007/newsarticle_4979.html/
“Selfless Laotian civic activists, of the Buddhist faith, including Magsaysay Award winner Sombath Somphone, who have tirelessly advocated for the poor in Laos, have also disappeared in Laos, at the hands of police and security forces, in recent months,” stated Khamphoua Naovarangsy (Khampoua Naovarangsy), a prominent advocate and leader in the Laotian-American community.

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Contact(s):

Maria Gomez or Philip Smith
CPPA- Center for Public Policy Analysis
Washington, D.C.
Tele. (202) 543-1444

CPPA Lauds Philippines, Australia for Release of Hostage

CPPA Lauds Philippines, Australia for Release of Hostage Warren Rodwell

March 22, 2013, Washington, D.C., Manila, Philippines, Canberra, Australia

The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) is lauding the governments of the Philippines and Australia for their tireless efforts in negotiating the successful release of Australian hostage Warren Rodwell held captive on Mindanao island by Islamic militants linked to the Abu Sayaf (Abu Sayyaf) organization.

Philippine Islamist militants believed to be with the Abu Sayaf organization released the former Australian army officer in Pagadian City, Philippines, today, after holding him captive for some 15 months.

“Today we congratulate and laud the governments of the Philippines and Australia for their tireless efforts in negotiating the successful release of Australian hostage Warren Rodwell in Mindanao from Islamic militants and kidnappers affiliated with the Abu Sayaf organization, a group linked to al Qaeda,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C. http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“It is encouraging and impressive that a special Australian government task force worked seriously, and relentlessly ,with their counterparts in the government of the Philippines, including the Philippine military and intelligence services, to locate the Abu Sayaf captors of Warren Rodwell and negotiate his safe release in Mindanao,” Smith continued. “This was apparently done without paying the major ransom demanded by the captors.”

“At this time, it is also important to note that much credit goes to the ordinary people of the Southern Philippines and Mindanao, including the suffering Islamic community and those people sympathetic to the Abul Sayaf organization, for their sincere cooperation and reasonable efforts to sustain and keep Warren Rodwell alive and ultimately to agree to his safe release, alive, to his family in Australia,” Smith stated. “The release of Warren Rodwell marks an important landmark and precedent for peaceful crisis resolution, counter-terrorism and successful hostage negotiations in the Philippines, Australia, and internationally.”

“Clearly, however, it is important to note that Warren Rodwell’s case demonstrates that it is critical for the government of the Philippines, Australia, and the international community, to more seriously address the fundamental crisis of poverty, economic despair, discrimination and human rights violations in Mindanao and the southern Philippines,” Smith concluded.

Mr Warren Rodwell was kidnapped by a group of Islamists, affiliated with the Abu Sayaf (Abu Sayyaf , AKA Abu Sayaff ) organizations, on December 5, 2011, in southern Zamboanga Sibugay province by armed men who are believed to have fled with Rodwell in speedboats. http://www.theage.com.au/national/kidnapped-australian-has-no-hope-of-release-20121227-2bwqo.html#ixzz2OK3KuAaK

The CPPA is a Washington, D.C.-based think-tank and non-governmental research organization (NGO).

Over the years, the CPPA has repeatedly raised concerns about human rights violations, civil society matters, economic development, and freedom of the press issues in the Southern Philippines and the island of Mindanao. http:/www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/02/11/11/us-think-tank-massacre-victims-kin-need-counseling%20

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Contact(s) Maria Gomez or Philip Smith
CPPA – Center for Public Policy Analysis
Tele. (202) 543-1444

 

 

 

 


 
 

Laos Officials Criticized for Obstructing Investigation Into 3 Missing Americans From Minnesota

Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Minnesota, Bangkok, Thailand, and Vientiane, Laos

March 17, 2013

The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), United Lao for Democracy and Human Rights (ULDHR), the Lao Human Rights Council (LHRC), the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc. (ULDL), the Laos Institute for Democracy (LIFD), and a coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are criticizing the government of Laos for its failure to cooperate with the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Embassy in Laos regarding an attempted American investigation into the disappearance in January of three Lao-American men from the Twin Cities of Minnesota.  Reports about the Lao government’s efforts to obstruct the U.S. investigation about the whereabouts and status of the three missing Americans from Minneapolis and St. Paul are being reported by Radio Free Asia (RFA), family members, and others today.

“The disappearance of the three Lao-Americans is troubling to all Laotian people and we are concerned that the Lao government is deeply involved in a major cover-up about this case by blocking, and not allowing, the U.S. Embassy and international community from finding the full truth of what has really happened to these missing Americans,” stated Boon Boualaphanh, President of the Minnesota-based ULDHR. “Now, we are very concerned about the ongoing disappearance of civic activist Sombath Somphone as well as the three Lao-Americans from Minnesota; Clearly, they should all be returned to their families, if alive or dead, immediately.” http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1303/S00009/three-lao-americans-from-minnesota-missing-in-laos.htm

“It is deplorable that the Lao government, including key communist party officials, are not cooperating with the U.S. Embassy in Laos as well as independent journalists, family members, and non-governmental organizations who are all seeking concrete answers into the recent disappearance in Southern Laos, of three Lao-American men from Minnesota’s Twin Cities,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C.

Smith continued:  “Mr. Souli Kongmalavong, Mr. Bounthie Insixiengmai and Mr. Bounma Phannhotha, of Minnesota, all disappeared in Southern Laos’ Savannakhet Province in January, and are feared dead, under suspicious circumstances involving corrupt Lao officials.”

Smith stated further:  “The three Lao-American from Minnesota were last seen in Laos on January 6th and appear to have gone missing under mysterious circumstance involving the Lao secret police and military who, we believe, extrajudically arrested the group without charges ;  We have received  credible reports that the three Americans may have been met with violence and deadly force by the Lao police and military when traveling in the Keng  Kok area of  Savannakhet Province, Laos.”

 “Brutal and corrupt elements of the Lao security services, including the secret police, military and communist party apparatus, appear to be seeking to cover-up what has happened to these three Americans who have gone missing in Savannakhet Province and are now feared dead in Laos,” Smith stated.  “We have new information that the three Lao-Americans from Minnesota were apparently subject to arrest, police brutality and extortion by corrupt elements of the Lao police and military who are seeking to hide their abuses of the American men .”

“A disturbing pattern of egregious human rights violations, ethnic and religious persecution, official corruption and state-sponsored extrajudicial killings, including targeted killings, has once again reemerged in Laos with full force under the current Marxist regime in Vientiane,” concluded Smith.

Three bodies were recently found in a burnt out van in Southern Laos, one of whom was reportedly identified as Souli Kongmalavong, of Minnesota, by a relative in Laos.
RFA is reporting the Lao government’s failure to cooperate, and obstructive efforts to block, the investigation of the missing three Americans in Laos by the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Department of State in Laos..  http://www.rfa.org/english/news/laos/missing-03172013142025.html

A coalition of non-governmental organizations is urging the United Nations and the international community to investigate the disappearance of prominent civic activist Sombath Somphone and the three missing Lao-Americans, as well as the killing by the Lao military of four (4) unarmed Hmong villagers in February.  Persecution and political violence are on the upswing in Laos.  http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20130304006755/en/Laos-Attacks-Intensify-Lao-Hmong-People

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Contact(s) Maria Gomez or Philip Smith
CPPA – Center for Public Policy Analysis
Tele. (202) 543-1444
 
Appeal for Justice in Laos Following Abductions, Killings, Disappearances

Vientiane, Laos, Bangkok, Thailand, and Washington, D.C.
March 17, 2013
The Lao Human Rights Council (LHRC), the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc. (ULDL), the Laos Institute for Democracy (LIFD), the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), and a coalition of non-governmental organizations are calling for an international investigation into a string of recent human rights violations, disappearances, and killings in Laos involving Lao security forces and government officials.
“In the wake of the Lao government’s extrajudicial abduction and detention of Sombath Somphone and other important activists in Laos, as well as the Lao military’s killing of four Hmong civilians in February, the United Nations, European Union and the international community should launch and immediate investigation into the upswing in political violence and human rights violations in Laos,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C.   
In February, the European Parliament passed a resolution regarding human rights violations in Laos, with a focus on Somphone Sombath’s, abduction by Lao secret police on December 15, 2012, in Vientiane.  http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1302/S00132/laos-should-abide-by-european-parliament-resolution.htm
“The UN and the European Union should also address, in an emergency human rights investigation, the disappearance of three Lao-American citizens from Minnesota in January,” Smith stated. “Souli Kongmalavong, Bounthie Insixiengmai and Bounma Phannhotha, of Minnesota, disappeared in Southern Laos in January, and are feared dead, under suspicious circumstances involving corrupt Lao officials.”  http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
According to Smith:  “Mr. Souli Kongmalavong, of the Twin Cities-area of Minnesota, was recently found dead in a burnt out van with at least two other bodies in Laos.  Corrupt Lao police and government officials are believed to be involved in the deaths and disappearances.  Mr. Kongmalavong reportedly owed property, and invested, in Laos, and disappeared at the hands of government officials and security forces while attending a funeral in Southern Laos.”  http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1303/S00009/three-lao-americans-from-minnesota-missing-in-laos.htm
According to international humanitarian and activist Kay Danes, corrupt Lao officials continue to target foreign investors, and Lao and Hmong-Americans, seeking to do business in Laos, including, most recently, hotel and casino-investor Sanum Investments.  http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20121015006847/en/Lao-PDR-Place-Business-Lao-Government-Arrest
In April of 2011, an international appeal was issued regarding the arrest and disappearance of Mr. Hakit Yang and two other Hmong-American citizens from St. Paul, Minnesota, who were arrested and have disappeared in Laos.  http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1104/S00536/laos-appeal-for-release-of-3-hmong-americans.htm
Many Laotians remain concerned about recent developments. 
“We are calling for a complete and thorough international investigation regarding the Lao police’s, and military’s, apparent direct role in the disappearance of three Lao-Americans from Minnesota who went missing in Laos in January,”  said Bounthanh Rathigna, President of the United League for Democracy in Laos (ULDL).  “We are also calling on the Lao regime to immediately release Sombath Somphone as well as the Lao students movement for democracy leaders, and other civic activists, that it has unjustly imprisoned in Laos.”
“Lao and Vietnamese military and security forces continue to arrest, persecute, imprison, and kill the Laotian and Lao-Hmong people,” Mr. Rathigna concluded.  “Laos is also targeting foreign business investors, both large and small, to confiscate and steal their money, property, business and investment profits; tourists are also being targeted, especially Lao and Hmong-Americans from Minnesota, Wisconsin, California, and elsewhere traveling to Laos.”
“The Laotian community around the world is calling on the Lao government to respect civil and human rights, stop human rights violations, and release Sombath Somphone and other Lao and Hmong people that it has wrongly arrested and imprisoned in recent years,” said Khamphoua Naovarangsy, of the LIFD.  http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20130304006755/en/Laos-Attacks-Intensify-Lao-Hmong-People
The LHRC, and its President Vaughn Vang, has also issued a statement and appeal today regarding human rights violations and the killing of four Lao-Hmong civilians last month:

“Sadly, Lao-Hmong villagers were arbitrarily attacked by Lao soldiers who killed four Hmong people and wounded one other in February,” said Vaughn Vang, President of the Wisconsin- and Minnesota-based LHRC.

“Lao Peoples Army (LPA) soldiers, armed with AK-47 machine guns, fired upon a group of ten Hmong men southwest of the Phou Bia mountain-area.

 “The Hmong men killed by the Lao military include: Hue Xiong, 32 years old; Cha Xiong, 30; Ze Xiong, 20; and Bee Vang, 30.

“Three of the deceased, murdered by the LPA soldiers, were ordinary teachers for a nearby school.

 “These unarmed Hmong people left their village to seek food when they were attacked and killed by Lao troops. Mr. Year Chang was also shot and wounded, but survived.

“The families of the dead are requesting that they be permitted to retrieve the bodies of their family members in order to perform traditional Hmong Animist and Christian religious ceremonies, and burial rituals, to rest the souls of those who were killed in the recent government attack. Unfortunately, however, the Lao authorities have refused their requests.

“We urge the United Nation Human Rights and the world communities to investigate these murders immediately and bring these killers to justice.
“The Laotian Government, in its official state propaganda,  has announce to the world that they have opened the doors for the world to conduct business within their country. They have also announced for all the Lao-Hmong living in other countries to return to Laos and assist the Laotian Government in developing a better government and country for them to live in. If this is their claim, then what is the reasoning behind the fact that Sombath Somphone was an intelligent individual who had a passion to help his own Laotian people, however, the Laotian Government arrested him,  and his whereabouts are unknown?    
“Furthermore, the Hmong people who live in Laos are being killed daily by the LPA and Lao military and security forces. With all these atrocities, how can the Laotian Government falsely claim that their country is at peace? How could the Lao-Hmong people and international community trust that they will not be at harm once they cross the borders into communist Laos ?
“Sadly, corrupt Laotian Government officials have sold to other countries their natural resources including forests, their gold and silver, and much of their farmland. With no free and secure land to live, where would the Hmong Lao from other countries live once they enter the country of Laos?
“The Laotian Government's propaganda and false announcement of peace is just another front to bring the Lao-Hmong people from other countries back to Laos for the government to abuse,  kidnap, arrest, rob, extort and slaughter them as they are doing with the current Lao-Hmong living in Laos. Their country is still not at peace and any Hmong Lao entering their borders is often guaranteed to be at harm's way and their lives at stake.
“We, the Lao  and Lao-Hmong communities all over the globe, strongly urge the United Nations, European Parliament, and international community to put an end to the Laotian Government's hate crimes, human rights violations, abductions and killings. We strongly urge the United to investigate the recent murders of these innocent Lao-Hmong men and strongly urge the investigation of the whereabouts of Sombath Somphone and the three Lao-Americans from Minnesota who disappeared recently in Laos. 
“We want the Lao government to also release Hakit Yang and the other three Lao- and Hmong-Americans from Minnesota currently jailed in Laos.
“There is no peace within the country of Laos and there will be no peace in the hearts of the families of the deceased, the families of the missing, and the families of all Lao and Hmong people all over the world until justice has been served, ” Vang concluded in his statement.
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Contact: 
Maria Gomez  or Philip Smith
CPPA - Center for Public Policy Analysis
(202) 543-1444

Laos:  Attacks Intensify Against Lao, Hmong People

Washington, D.C., Bangkok, Thailand, and St. Paul, Minnesota, March 4, 2013

The Lao Human Rights Council (LHRC), the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), and a coalition of non-governmental organizations are raising concerns about a surge in political violence and ethnic and religious persecution in Laos following the arrest of a prominent Laotian activist and the disappearance of three Lao-American men from Minnesota.

“There is a major surge in political violence and ethnic and religious persecution in Laos following the arrest of Lao civic activist Sombath Somphone and the disappearance of three Lao-American men from Minnesota who traveled recently to Laos,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Washington, D.C.-based CPPA.

"The abduction of Mr. Sombath Somphone, who disappeared at the hands of Laotian security forces in December, was discussed at the European Parliament on February 7th,” Smith stated. “Regrettably, the Lao regime has still not released Sombath as requested in a resolution passed by the European Union.”

Sombath Somphone is a Ramon Magsaysay Award-winner.

Souli Kongmalavong, Bounthie Insixiengmai and Bounma Phannhotha, of Minnesota, disappeared in Southern Laos in January, and are feared dead, under suspicious circumstances involving corrupt Lao officials.

“Instead of releasing Mr. Sombath, and others unjustly imprisoned in Laos, it is clear that Lao security forces, including the military and secret police, are once again violently cracking down on key elements of society in Laos to seek to maintain political power and economic control,” Smith said. 

“Many visiting Lao- and Hmong-Americans are also being targeted by the regime,” Smith commented.

“The Marxist regime in Laos is engaged in a new and intensified round of military attacks and brutal security force operations, including those on February 22nd that killed four innocent Hmong civilians,” Smith concluded.  http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“Lao-Hmong villagers were arbitrarily attacked by Lao soldiers who killed four Hmong people and wounded one other,” said Vaughn Vang, President of the Wisconsin and Minnesota-based LHRC.

“Lao Peoples Army (LPA) soldiers, armed with AK-47 machine guns, fired upon a group of ten Hmong men southwest of the Phou Bia mountain-area,” Vang stated.  “The Hmong men killed by the Lao military include:  Hue Xiong, 32 years old;  Cha Xiong, 30;  Ze Xiong, 20; and  Bee Vang, 30.”

“Three of the deceased, murdered by the LPA soldiers, were ordinary teachers for a nearby school,” Vang observed.

Mr. Vang continued:  “These unarmed Hmong people left their village to seek food when they were attacked and killed by Lao troops. Mr. Year Chang was also shot and wounded, but survived.’

Vang lamented:  “The families of the dead are requesting that they be permitted to retrieve the bodies of their family members in order to perform traditional Hmong Animist and Christian religious ceremonies, and burial rituals, to rest the souls of those who were killed in the recent government attack.  Unfortunately, however, the Lao authorities have refused their requests. ”

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Contact:

Maria Gomez or Philip Smith

Center for Public Policy Analysis

(202) 543-1444

info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org




Persecution, Political Violence, Surges in Laos
Washington, D.C., March 1, 2013
The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), the Lao Human Rights Council (LHRC), and a coalition of non-governmental organizations are raising concerns about a surge in political violence and ethnic and religious persecution in Laos following the arrest of an award-winning Laotian civic leader and the disappearance of three Lao-Americans from Minnesota.
“There is clearly  a major surge in political violence and ethnic and religious persecution in Laos following the arrest of  Lao civic activist Sombath Somphone and the disappearance of three Lao-American men from Minnesota’s Twin Cities who traveled recently to Laos.” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C.   http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
"The human rights case of Mr.  Sombath Somphone, who disappeared at the hands of Laotian security forces in December was discussed at a plenary session of the European Parliament on February 7th ,” Smith stated. “Regrettably, the Lao regime has still not released Sombath as requested in a resolution passed that day by the European nations.”
Sombath Somphone is a recipient of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award.
Souli Kongmalavong, Bounthie Insixiengmai and Bounma Phannhotha, of Minnesota, disappeared in Laos in January, and are feared dead, under suspicious circumstances involving corrupt Lao officials
“Instead of releasing Mr. Sombath, and others unjustly imprisoned in Laos, it is clear that Lao security forces, including the military and secret police, are once again violently cracking down on key elements of society in Laos to seek to preserve their monopoly on political power, and economic control,” Smith said. 
“The Lao government is engaged in a new and intensified round of military attacks and brutal security force operations, including those last week that killed four innocent Hmong civilians,” Smith concluded.
“Sadly, on February 22, Lao-Hmong villagers were arbitrarily attacked by Lao soldiers who killed four Hmong people and wounded one other,” said Vaughn Vang, President of the Wisconsin and Minnesota-based LHRC.
“Lao Peoples Army (LPA) soldiers, armed with AK-47 machine guns, fired upon a group of ten Hmong men southwest of the Phou Bia mountain-area,” Vang stated.  “Those killed by the Lao military include: Mr. Hue Xiong, 32 years old; Mr. Cha Xiong, 30; Mr. Ze Xiong, 20; and, Mr. Bee Vang, 30.”
Vang continued:  “These unarmed Hmong people left their village to seek food when they were attacked and killed by Lao troops. Mr. Year Chang, was also shot and wounded, but survived, along with five others.  Three of the deceased, murdered by the LPA soldiers, were ordinary teachers for a nearby school.”
Vang concluded:  “The families of the dead are requesting that they be permitted to retrieve the bodies of their family members in order to perform traditional Hmong Animist and Christian religious ceremonies, and burial rituals, to rest the souls of those who were killed in the recent government attack.  Unfortunately, however, the Lao authorities have refused their requests.”
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Contact:
Maria Gomez or Philip Smith
Center for Public Policy Analysis
(202) 543-1444
Three Lao-Americans From Minnesota  Missing in Laos


February 27, 2013, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Bangkok, Thailand
For Immediate Release

The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and the United Lao for Democracy and Human Rights, Inc. (ULDHR) have expressed concern about reports that three Laotian-Americans from Minnesota are missing in Laos.

Mr. Souli Kongmalavong, Mr. Bounma Phannhotha and Mr.  Bounthie Insixiengmai  of the Twin Cities-area of Minnesota have reportedly gone missing in Laos..

“The Lao and Hmong-American community in Minnesota and across the United States is very concerned about the reports that three Laotian-American citizens have disappeared in Laos,” said Boon Boualaphanh, President of the ULDHR in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “We are deeply worried that, based upon some reports, they may have been wrongly detained or arrested by the Lao military or secret police. 

“We are calling on the U.S. Embassy in Laos to find these missing Americans and return them to their families, if they are alive,"  Mr. Boualaphanh stated.  “We are appealing for a full investigation as to what is happening to Lao and Hmong Americans who continue to disappear in Laos.”

“We have received disturbing reports from  Laos, and the Laotian community in the United States that three more Lao-American citizens have disappeared in Laos under mysterious and troubling  circumstances  apparently involving the secret police and the Lao military,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C.  http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

Smith continued:  “The three Lao-American from Minnesota were last seen in Laos on January 6th and appear to have gone missing under mysterious circumstance involving the Lao secret police and military who, by some accounts, reportedly arrested the group ;  We have received  a number of preliminary and credible reports that the three Americans may have been met with violence and deadly force by the Lao police and military when traveling in the Keng  Kok area of  Savannakhet Province, Laos.”

“Unfortunately, the Lao military and security forces are systemically corrupt and are notorious  for their recent acts of political violence, religious persecution and brutal oppression of their own citizens,” Smith stated.  “In recent years, the Lao military and secret police have also been involved with the arrest and detention of Lao and Hmong-American citizens from Minnesota, Wisconsin and elsewhere,  including Hakit Yang, Pastor Naw  Karl Moua, Houa Le, Michael Vang and others.”

“In light of the recent abduction in Laos by the secret police of the high level Laotian civic activist Sombath Somphone in December of last year, and the failure of the Lao government to address this matter, we are very concerned about the disturbing reports that we continue to receive about the fate of the three Lao-Americans from Minnesota who are missing in Laos,” Smith said.  “We are calling upon U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the U.S. Ambassador to Laos to raise this matter with the highest levels of the Lao government and urge a full accounting regarding the three Lao-Americans, so that justice can be served, and they may be returned to their families in Minnesota.
Radio Free Asia (RFA) has issued a recent report regarding the disappearance of the three Americans. http://www.rfa.org/english/news/laos/disappearance-02272013181425.html

Note:  The spelling(s) of the names of  Souli Kongmalavong, Mr. Bounma Phannhotha and Mr.  Bounthie Insixiengmai are transliterated from the Lao language and, therefore, vary.
###

Contact:

Maria Gomez or Philip Smith
Center for Public Policy Analysis
Tele. (202) 543-1444


 
 


CPPA:  Laos Should Abide By New European Parliament Resolution, Release Sombath


Washington, D.C., Strasbourg and Paris, France, February 11, 2013
Center for Public Policy Analysis

The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), the Lao Movement for Human Rights (MLDH) the International Federation for Human Rights (IFHR), the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc. (ULDL), and a coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are hailing the passage  of a resolution by the European Parliament expressing its deep concerns regarding the recent disappearance of Laotian civic activist Sombath Somphone at the hands of Laotian authorities. The international NGOs, joined by scores of Lao and Hmong organizations, are urging Laos to abide by the resolution and immediately release Mr. Sombath.

"We are  encouraged that the terrible plight of Sombath Somphone, who was extra-judicially abducted and disappeared at the hands of Laotian security forces last December,  was discussed at the highest levels of a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on February 7th,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C.   

“The result has been the unanimous and historic passage by the European Parliament of a multi-point resolution expressing its deep concerns regarding the disappearance of Laotian activist Sombath Somphone at the hands of Laotian authorities and calling for the government of Laos to cooperate in the case,” Smith commented.  “We are calling on the Lao government to abide by the European Parliament’s resolution and to respect basic human rights and international law regarding Sombath Somphone’s case.”

“In recent years, significant numbers of Laotian and Hmong political and religious dissidents, as well as ordinary Laotians and U.S. citizens,  have been arrested and disappeared in Laos at the hands of Lao and Vietnamese security forces,” Smith stated. “Other ordinary freedom-loving Laotian people, as well as members of the ethnic Hmong minority, have been tortured, subjected to horrific and deplorable prison sentences, or summarily executed in Laos by the Lao government, often in coordination with the Vietnamese military and secret police sent by Hanoi.”

“It is important to highlight that  Sombath was a humble, yet high-level international figure, and was previously awarded the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership because he returned to his native Laos in 1979 to help farmers, young people and the poor,” Smith concluded.

As a signatory to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, the Lao government has the duty to take all possible means to guarantee the safe return of Sombath,” stated Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH President.

Sombath has merely been involved in education and capacity-building programs for the youth, initiating alternative development models to tackle rural poverty. His disappearance therefore sends a chilling message to the fragile civil society in Laos, said Vanida S. Thephsouvah, President of the MLDH.

The European Union, in its engagement with Lao authorities, should continue demanding for more freedom of expression in the country and the cultivation of a more enabling environment for human rights defenders working on economic, social and cultural rights, including development workers,  Ms. Thephsouvah stated further.

We are grateful for the recent resolution by the European Parliament expressing its deepest concerns about Sombath Somphone,” said Bounthanh Rathigna, President of the ULDL. “Sombath should be immediated released by the Lao authorities to rejoin his family.”

Sombath was a U.S.-educated agronomist. In 2005, he was awarded the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership.

The Center for Public Policy Analysis ( Centre for Public Policy Analysis ) is a non-profit, non-governmental, public policy research organization based in Washington, D.C.  http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
 ###

Laos, Hmong Veterans Burial Honors Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate

February 7, 2013, Washington, D.C.

For Immediate Release

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Representative Jim Costa (D-California), and a bipartisan coalition in the U.S. Congress, are advancing legislation that would grant burial honors to Lao and Hmong-American veterans of the Vietnam War in Laos, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and leading Lao and Hmong-American organizations.

“Americans who served and fought and put their lives on the line receive a resting place in our national cemeteries; the men who saved American lives deserve the same honor,” Senator Murkowski stated.

“We are grateful that U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski has introduced new legislation in the U.S. Senate to grant burial honors, and burial benefits, to the Laotian and Hmong veterans who heroically served in the ‘U.S. Secret Army’ in Laos during the Vietnam War,” said Colonel Wangyee Vang, National President of the Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI), headquartered in Fresno, California.

“We continue to work, and make progress, on this important effort in Washington, D.C., to honor our fellow Lao and Hmong veterans, their families and the entire Lao and Hmong-American community,” Colonel Vang stated further. “Senator Murkowski’s bill is crucial companion legislation to a counterpart bill in the U.S. House of Representatives authored by U.S. Congressman Jim Costa.”

“We seek to provide our veterans burial benefits at U.S. national veterans’ cemeteries so they can rest with honor and dignity,” Vang commented.

The LVAI has spearhead efforts in Washington, D.C., and across the United States, in support of the initiative to grant burial honors to Lao and Hmong veterans. 

“Senator Murkowski’s and Congressman Costa’s historic legislation, if passed in Congress and signed by President Obama, would authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to permit Laotian and Hmong veterans of the Vietnam War in Laos to be buried, or cremated, at U.S. national veterans cemeteries,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA.

http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“Clearly, it is long overdue and important for the U.S. government to proactively recognize and honor the sacrifices of the Lao and Hmong veterans of the ‘U.S. Secret Army,’ especially their critical and unique contribution to U.S. national security interests during the Vietnam War,” Smith stated. “America should grant the surviving Lao and Hmong veterans historic burial rights, and honors, at U.S. national veterans’ cemeteries.”

According to Smith, “In the previous session of Congress, which ended in December, a bipartisan coalition of 32 Members of Congress in the House cosponsored the ‘Lao Hmong Veterans’ Burial Honors Act’, H.R. 3192.”

“The Laotian and Hmong veterans’ extraordinary efforts, over the year, to host honorary national recognition ceremonies, in partnership with the U.S. Congress, Arlington National Cemetery, the Department of Veterans of Affairs, and others, remains unique and important,” Smith concluded. “The ‘Lao Hmong Veterans Burial Honors Act’ symbolizes the need to address the debt of honor still owed by America to the veterans and their families.”

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100608007501/en/Laos-Hmong-Community-Concludes-National-Memorial-Ceremonies

,###

Contact:

Maria Gomez

Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA)

Tele. (202)543-1444

info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

 

 

______


U.S.-Laos, Hmong Policy Events Held in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, DC  May 25, 2012

National ceremonies and public policy events are being held in Washington, D.C., regarding Laos and Vietnam.

The U.S. Congressional Forum on Laos and Vietnam continues on Capitol Hill following earlier veterans’ memorial services.

Topics of discussion in the U.S. Congress include: economics; trade; hydroelectric dam projects, human rights; religious persecution; refugees; and, veterans’ issues.

“Our people, who were left behind in the jungles of Laos, are still suffering from the causes of the Vietnam War,” said Colonel Wangyee Vang, President of the Lao Veterans of America Institute.

“We have come from across the United States to pay tribute and remember our fallen soldiers who have died to secure the freedom that we all enjoy today,” Vang stated.

“The plight of Lao, Hmong and Vietnamese political and religious dissidents remains of concern to policymakers,” said Philip Smith, Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C. “This includes the status of allied veterans who served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, and their refugee families still suffering in Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam.” http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“It is also important to note that an official wreath-laying and memorial service, was conducted at the Lao Veterans of America (LVA) monument in Arlington National Cemetery, on May 11, to honor the Lao and Hmong veterans, their families, as well as the American clandestine advisors, who served in defense of the Kingdom of Laos, and U.S. national security interests, during the Vietnam War,” Smith continued.

“A U.S. Department of Defense Joint Armed Forces Honor Guard, U.S. Army wreath-bearer, and bugler, helped lead the ceremony,” stated Smith.

“Following the wreath-laying ceremony at the LVA memorial in Arlington, the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) honor guard also posted colors, and a bugler played ‘Taps’, in memory of the Lao and Hmong veterans and their American military and clandestine advisors…,” Smith commented.

“I am very honored, and pleased, that we are once again gathered here…,” said historian Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt.

Flowers were laid at a memorial ceremony held at the Vietnam War Memorial on May 12.

Participants discussed H.R. 3192, legislation introduced by U.S. Congressmen Jim Costa (D-CA) and Frank Wolf (R-VA), to grant burial benefits to Lao and Hmong-American veterans at U.S. national cemeteries.

Arlington memorial service cosponsors include: LVAI; CPPA; LVA; the U.S. DOD; Army; Air Force; Arlington National Cemetery; Counterparts; Hmong Advance, Inc.; Hmong Advancement, Inc.; and, Members of the U.S. Congress.

Speakers, and those providing statements, at the Arlington ceremonies include: Wangyee Vang, LVAI; Philip Smith, CPPA; Mike Benge, former POW; Hugh Tovar, Former CIA Station Chief, Laos; Toua Kue, LVA; Jane Hamilton-Merritt; D. L. Hicks, U.S. Special Forces Association; Christy Lee, Hmong Advance, Inc.; U.S. Congressman Jim Costa; and, other Members of the U.S. Congress.

The events also commemorate National Lao and Hmong Recognition Day, and Vietnam Human Rights Day, marked annually in May.

Contact:
Center for Public Policy Analysis - CPPA
Maria Gomez or Philip Smith
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
202-543-1444
 

Laos, Hmong Veterans Honored At National Ceremonies


May 14, 2012, Washington, D.C., Arlington, Virginia, and Fresno, California
Center for Public Policy Analysis
National memorial and wreath-laying ceremonies are being held in Washington, D.C., Arlington National Cemetery, and the U.S. Congress, to honor Lao and Hmong veterans of the “U.S. Secret Army” in Laos, their American clandestine advisors, and their refugee families in the United States and Southeast Asia.
“Today, we have come from across the United States to pay tribute and remember our fallen soldiers who have died to secure the freedom that we all enjoy today,” said Colonel Wangyee Vang, National President of the Lao Veterans of America Institute, headquartered in Fresno, California. 
“It is also important to remember that our people, who were left behind in the jungles of Laos, are still suffering from the causes of the Vietnam War,” Colonel Vang commented further.

National veterans and commemorative events are continuing on Capitol Hill and Washington, D.C., today.
On Friday, May 11, a special wreath-laying ceremony and memorial service was conducted at the Lao Veterans of America monument at Arlington National Cemetery.
“I am very honored and pleased that we are once again gathered here today at Arlington National Cemetery, as we first did in 1997, at this monument and tree that are dedicated to the Lao and Hmong veterans and their American advisors,” said Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt, Laos and Hmong scholar.  
“This is a sacred and solemn place where we are gathered to help honor the Lao and Hmong veterans and their families at Arlington National Cemetery,” stated Dr. Hamilton-Merritt who is a historian, journalist and author of the book “Tragic Mountains: The Hmong, the Americans and the Secret Wars for Laos.”
“As part of the annual commemoration of the Lao and Hmong Veterans National Recognition Day Ceremonies, we are gathered to place flowers at the apex of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.,” Dr. Hamilton-Merritt concluded.

Flowers were laid at the Vietnam War Memorial on Saturday, May 12, 2012, at 11:30 A.M., to honor and remember the Lao and Hmong veterans and their refugee families who served in Laos during the Vietnam War and its aftermath.
“A U.S. Department of Defense Joint Armed Forces Honor Guard, U.S. Army wreath-bearer, and bugler, participated in the ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery to assist in honoring the Lao and Hmong veterans,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Washington, D.C. –based Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA).  http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
Smith continued: “Following the official wreath-laying ceremony at the Lao Veterans of America memorial in Arlington National Cemetery, the U.S. Department of Defense’s honor guard also posted colors, and the bugler played ‘Taps', in memory of the Lao and Hmong veterans and their American military and clandestine advisors, who served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.”
“Lao and Hmong special forces who served in combat in Laos during the Vietnam War were backed by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Army Special Forces, operating in a largely covert fashion in defense of the Kingdom of Laos during the conflict,” Smith stated.
“We are grateful to Arlington National Cemetery, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Army and Members of Congress, for their efforts in support of the national memorial ceremonies to honor Lao and Hmong veterans and their American advisors,” Smith commented.
Participants and speakers at the ceremonies are highlighting the importance of pending legislation introduced by U.S. Congressmen Jim Costa (D-CA), and Frank Wolf (R-VA), to grant burial benefits at U.S. national veterans’ cemeteries to Lao and Hmong veterans.  Meetings and policy events are also being held in the U.S. Congress regarding issues of concern, including H.R. 3192, the Lao Hmong Veterans Burial Benefits Act.
Cosponsors of the events include the Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI), the Lao Veterans of America, Inc., the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), the U.S. Department of Defense, Arlington National Cemetery, U.S. Army Military District of Washington, Hmong Advance, Inc., Hmong Advancement, Inc., and Members of the U.S. Congress.
Keynote speakers, and those providing statements at the veterans memorial events, include: Colonel Wangyee Vang, LVAI; Philip Smith, Executive Director, CPPA; Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt, Southeast Asian scholar; Mike Benge, former POW/MIA and Counterparts Veterans’ Association member; Hugh Tovar, Former CIA Station Chief, Laos; Toua Kue, Former Royal Lao Army officer, Lao Veterans of America, Inc.; D. L. Hicks, U.S. Special Forces Association, Texas; Christy Lee, Hmong Advance, Inc.; Members of the U.S. Congress: and, Congressional staff.
Laotian and Hmong veterans and their families from Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland, California, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Texas, Oklahoma,  North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Alabama, and other states, are participating in the national veterans’ memorial and policy events.
The events also mark Lao and Hmong Veterans National Recognition Day ceremonies held in May of each year by the Laotian and Hmong community across the United States and in Washington, D.C.
###
Contact: 
Ms. Maria Gomez or Mr. Philip Smith, CPPA

Center for Public Policy Analysis
2020 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 220
Washington, DC 20006
Tele. (202) 543-1444
 

Congress Presses Laos, Hmong Veterans Bill Forward

Twenty-six Members of the U.S. Congress are moving forward with legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to grant burial honors to Lao and Hmong veterans of the U.S. 'Secret War' in Laos. The historic legislation is gathering more momentum, and bipartisan support , on Capitol Hill and Washington, D.C.

April 21, 2012 – For Immediate Release
Washington, D.C. and Fresno, California

Additional Members of the U.S. Congress are rallying in bipartisan support of historic legislation that seeks to grant burial honors to Lao and Hmong-American veterans of the Vietnam War in Laos, according to the Washington, DC-based Center for Public Policy Analysis and Laotian and Hmong veterans’ groups.


“U.S. Congressmen Jim Costa, Frank Wolf, and twenty-six Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, are moving forward to advance H.R. 3192 in Congress to seek to authorize the U.S. Secretary of Veterans of Affairs to allow Lao and Hmong veterans to be buried, or cremated, with honor, at national veterans’ cemeteries,” said Colonel Wangyee Vang, National President and founder of the Fresno, California-based Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI).


“In the last several weeks, three additional Members of Congress have signed on to the bill to help the Lao and Hmong veterans, and we continue to work, and make progress, on this important effort in Washington, D.C., and on Capitol Hill,” Wangyee Vang stated.


“Now, at this important time, more and more Members of the U.S. Congress are signing on as cosponsors and supporters of this bill to help honor our Lao and Hmong veterans and their families,” Colonel Vang observed.


“Currently, a total of 26 Members of Congress from both political parties are officially signed on to the H.R. 3192 and more are likely to support it as it moves forward in the U.S. Congress over the coming months,” Colonel Wangyee Vang commented. “With the further help of our colleagues and friends in the Laotian and Hmong-American community across the United States, we expect more Members of Congress to support and sign on to this historic legislation that helps to honor our community and our people.”


“At present, H.R. 3192, if passed in the U.S. Congress and signed by President Obama, would amend title 38 of U.S. law, and authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to allow Laotian and Hmong veterans of the Vietnam war in Laos, to be buried or cremated in U.S. veterans’ cemeteries across the United States,” commented Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA). http://www.cppa-dc.org


“Clearly, it is important for the U.S. government to proactively recognize the legacy of the Lao and Hmong veterans, especially their critical contribution to U.S. national security during the Vietnam War, and grant them this special burial honor at U.S. national veterans’ cemeteries as well as Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.,” Smith stated.


“The Lao and Hmong veterans’ extraordinary partnership with Arlington National Cemetery, the U.S. Congress, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, to host veterans’ ceremonies and seek burial honors continues to be a unique and important effort that has rightly gained recognition and further support on Capitol Hill,” Smith commented.


“It is hoped that the pending Lao and Hmong veterans’ legislation will become law in a timely fashion, before more of these Vietnam War veterans pass away as they grow older,” concluded Smith.


The LVAI and the CPPA have worked to spearhead efforts in Washington, D.C., and across the United States, in support of the initiative to grant burial benefits to Lao and Hmong veterans. Delegations from the LVAI traveled to Washington, D.C., in October of 2011, to host special events and meetings in the U.S. Congress, and Capitol Hill, in partnership with the CPPA, to help educate Members of Congress about the importance of granting veterans’ burial benefits to the former Lao and Hmong soldiers.

###

 
U.S. Congressional Support for Laos, Hmong Veterans’ Burial Benefits Grows
April 3, 2012, Washington, D.C. and Fresno, CA
The U.S. Congress is advancing legislation in the House of Representatives that seeks to grant burial honors to Lao and Hmong-American veterans of the Vietnam War in Laos, according to the Washington, DC-based Center for Public Policy Analysis and Lao and Hmong veterans organizations.
“U.S. Congressmen Jim Costa, Devin Nunes and a bipartisan group of twenty-two Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, continue to advance H.R. 3192 in Congress to seek to authorize the U.S. Secretary of Veterans of Affairs to allow Lao and Hmong veterans to be buried, or cremated, with honor at national veterans cemeteries,” said Colonel Wangyee Vang, National President of the Lao Veterans of America Institute, headquartered in Fresno, California.
“We continue to work, and make progress, on this important effort in Washington, D.C., and on Capitol Hill,” Wangyee Vang stated further.  “Additional Members of Congress are signing on as cosponsors and supporters of this bill to help honor our Lao and Hmong veterans and their families.”
The Lao Veterans of America Institute has helped to spearhead efforts in Washington, D.C., and across the United States, in support of the initiative to grant burial benefits to Lao and Hmong veterans.  Delegations from the Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI) traveled to Washington, D.C., in October of 2011, to host special events and meetings in the U.S. Congress, and Capitol Hill, to help educate Members of Congress about the importance of granting veterans’ burial benefits to the former Lao and Hmong soldiers. 
“Currently, a total of 23 Members of Congress from both political parties are officially signed on to the H.R. 3192 and more are likely to support in as it moves forward in the U.S. Congress over the coming months,”  Colonel Wangyee Vang commented.  “With the further help of our colleagues and friends in the Laotian and Hmong-American community across the United States, we expect more Members of Congress to support and sign on to this historic legislation that helps to honor our community and our people.”
“H.R. 3192, if passed in the U.S. Congress and signed by President Obama, would amend title 38 of U.S. law, and authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to allow Laotian and Hmong veterans of the Vietnam war in Laos, to be buried or cremated in U.S. veterans cemeteries across the United States,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C. 
“It is important for the U.S. government to proactively recognize the legacy of the Lao and Hmong veterans, especially their critical contribution to U.S. national security during the Vietnam War, and grant them this special burial honor at U.S. national veterans’ cemeteries as well as Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.,” Smith stated.  http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100608007501/en/Laos-Hmong-Community-Concludes-National-Memorial-Ceremonies
“The Lao and Hmong veterans’ initiative with Arlington National Cemetery, the U.S. Congress, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, to host veterans’ ceremonies and seek burial honors continues to be a unique and important effort that has rightly gained further recognition and support on Capitol Hill,” Smith commented.  “It is hoped that the pending legislation will become law in a timely fashion, before more of the Lao and Hmong veterans pass away as they grow older.” 
###
Contact:   Lilly Her, Yer Vang, or Philip Smith
Center for Public Policy Analysis ( CPPA )
2020 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, D.C.  20006


 

International Communique: No Christmas in Laos For Persecuted Christians





Washington, D.C., Paris, France and Vientiane, Laos, December 25, 2011

Center for Public Policy Analysis

info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org



The Lao Movement for Human Rights, the Center for Public Policy Analysis,  and a coalition of Laotian and Hmong non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have issued a statement and international communique, on Christmas Day, to raise awareness about ongoing religious persecution in Laos directed against Christian believers in the Southeast Asian nation.  



“Sadly, Laotian and Hmong Christians continue to be arrested, imprisoned and tortured in Laos by security forces and the army,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis.  “Again this year, many Protestant Christians and Roman Catholic believers in Laos are prohibited from celebrating Christmas, or are being arrested and imprisoned for seeking to practice their religious faith independent of government monitoring and control.”

http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org



The Paris, France – based Lao Movement for Human Rights (LMHR), in cooperation with the CPPA and other NGOs issued the following international communique on Christmas Day in English and French:



“ LAOS : MERRY CHRISTMAS TO CHRISTIANS  WHO ARE THE VICTIMS OF THREATS, INTIMIDATION AND ARREST,” the LMHR proclaimed.



“On this day of joy, love and hope for Christians in the whole world, the Lao Movement for Human Rights  wishes a Merry Christmas to the Christian community of Laos, particularly to those Christians arrested in the year 2011 and still detained to this day in the prisons of the Lao People’s Demcratic Republic (LPDR). The Lao Movement for Human Rights expresses its deep concerns on the plight of the Christians  in LPDR, victims  of threats and arrests in different provinces in the course of 2011, until these last days which were marked  by an intimidation campaign aiming to prevent them from celebrating Christmas.



“On 21 December 2011, authorities of Natoo village, Phalansay district, Savannakhet province (South) threatened four leaders of a community of forty seven Christians and ‘’chasing them from the village unless they renounce their faith’’. This intimidation happened less than a week after authorities of Boukham village (3 km from Natou), Adsaphanthong district, Savannakhet province, arrested eight leaders of a community of 200 Christians ---- Mr. Phouphet, Mr Oun, Mr Somphong, Mr Ma, Mr Kai, Mr Wanta, Mr Kingmanosorn and Mrs Kaithong --- for having organized Christmas celebrations although a formal authorization has already been obtained. If Mr kingmanosone was freed after a caution paid by the ‘’Lao Evangelical Church’’, the only Anglican Church recognised by the LPDR, the other persons are still in prison, their hand and legs blocked by wooden stocks.



“ Just like the other past years, the LPDR government has not given a rest to the Christians who have continued to suffer in 2011. The list is long. The Lao Movement for Human Rights recalls some cases :



“ On January 4th, 2011, the police of Nakoon village, Hinboun district, Khammouane province (Centre) arrested nine Christians for ‘’having celebrated Christmas without authorization’’. To this day, pastor Vanna and Pastor Yohan are still continually imprisoned.



“ On March28th, 2011, four Christians of Phoukong village, Viengkham district, Luang Prabang province (North) were arrested for ‘’spreading foreign religion  and evading Lao traditional religion’’. In the same village, on July 11th, 2011, another Christian, Mr Vong Veu, was arrested for having chosen the Christian religion and is imprisoned until this day.



“ In Luang Namtha province (North), Namtha district, village  of Sounya, four Christians ---  Mr Seng Aroun, Mr Souchiad, Mr Naikouang and Mr Kofa -- were arrested on July 10th, 2011 , for ‘’ having practiced Christianism’.



“On July 16th, 2011, ten Christians were forced by the authorities to leave their village Nonsavang, Thapangthong district, Savannakhet province (South),  after they refused to renounce their religion. These persons, including women and children, took refuge in their rice fields, 3 km from the village, by building a  temporary bamboo shelter, but then, were again chased from their rice fields at the end of August 2011, with the promises that they could return to the village the day they renounce their religion.



“ The Lao Movement for Human Rights firmly condemns these basic human rights violations against the Lao people, that are contrary to the International Conventions ratified by the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and contrary to the LPDR Constitution’s  provisions on 'religious freedom.’

“The Lao Movement for Human Rights asks the LPDR government to  implement its international engagements and agreements related to the United Nations on Human Rights with the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners detained for their faith or their opinion and in ending all forms of religious repression,” the LMHR statement concluded.



The international coalition of Laotian and Hmong non-governmental organizations (NGOs) joining in support of the statement and international communique include the LMHR, the CPPA, Hmong Advancement, Inc., Hmong Advance, Inc., the United League for Democracy in Laos, United Lao for Human Rights and Democracy , the Laos Institute for Democracy, Inc., Laos Students for Democracy, the Lao Veterans of America and others.

In French:



Communiqué                                                                                                                                                                                                        



LAOS :  JOYEUX NOËL AUX CHRETIENS VICTIMES DE MENACES , D ’INTIMIDATIONS ET D’ARRESTATIONS



En ce jour de joie, d'amour et d'espérance pour la chrétienté du monde entier, le Mouvement Lao pour les Droits de l’Homme ( MLDH), présente ses vœux de Joyeux Noël à la communauté chrétienne du Laos, et plus particulièrement aux chrétiens laotiens arrêtés au cours de l'année 2011 et encore détenus à cette date dans les prisons de la République Démocratique Populaire Lao (RDPL).



Le MLDH exprime ses profondes inquiétudes sur le sort des chrétiens en RDPL, victimes de menaces et d’arrestations dans divers provinces au cours de cette année 2001, jusqu’à ces derniers jours marqués par une campagne d’intimidations visant à les empêcher de célébrer Noël.



Ainsi, le 21 décembre 2011, les autorités du village de Natou, district de Phalansay, province de Savannakhet (Sud), ont convoqué quatre responsables d’une communauté de quarante sept chrétiens du village, menaçant de les ’chasser du village à moins qu’ils ne renoncent à la pratique de leur foi’’.



Cet événement intervient moins d’une semaine après que les autorités du village Boukham ( localisé à cinq kilomètres de Natou), district Adsaphangthong, province de Savannakhet, ont arrêté huit responsables d’une communauté de 200 chrétiens --- MM. Phouphet, Oun, Somphong, Ma, Kai, Wanta, Kingmanosorn et Mme Kaithong --- pour avoir organisé les célébrations de Noël, malgré une autorisation déjà obtenue en bonne et due forme. Si Mr Kingmanosone a été libéré sous caution payée par le ‘’Lao Evangelical Church’’, seule église protestante reconnue par la RDPL, les sept autres sont toujours en détention, leurs mains et pieds bloqués dans des carcans en bois.



Comme les autres années, le gouvernement de la RDPL n’a pas donné de répit aux chrétiens qui n’ont pas fini de souffrir en 2011. La liste est longue. Le MLDH en rappelle quelques cas :



* Le 4 janvier 2011, la police du village de Nakoun, district de Hinboun, province de Khammouane (Centre), a arrêté manu militari neuf chrétiens pour avoir ‘’célébré Noël sans autorisation’’. A ce jour, le pasteur Vanna et le pasteur Yohan sont toujours emprisonnés.



* Le 28 mars 2011, quatre chrétiens du village de Phoukong, district de Viengkham, province de LuangPrabang (Nord) ont été détenus pour avoir ‘’propagé la religion chrétienne’’. Dans le même village, le 11 juillet 2011, un autre chrétien, Mr Vong Veu a été arrêté pour avoir choisi la religion chrétienne, et reste à ce jour en prison pour avoir refusé de renoncer à sa foi.



*Dans la province de Luang Namtha, district Namtha, le village de Sounya, quatre chrétiens, MM. Seng Aroun, Souchiad, Naikouang et Kofa sont arrêtés le 10 juillet 2011 pour ‘’avoir pratiqué de la chrétienté’’.



*Le 16 juillet 2011, dix chrétiens ont été chassés du village Nonsavang, district de Thapangthonh, province de Savannakhet (Sud) par les autorités après qu’ils aient refusé de renoncer à la pratique de leur religion. Ces personnes, incluant femmes et enfants, se sont réfugiés dans leurs rizières ( à 3 kms du village) en construisant des abris en bambous. Fin août 2011, ils furent également chassés de leurs rizières, avec la promesses qu’ils pourraient retourner au village lorsqu’ils auront quitté leur religion.



 Le Mouvement Lao pour les Droits de l'Homme condamne fermement ces violations des droits fondamentaux de la population laotienne, contraires aux Conventions Internationales ratifiées par la République Démocratique Populaire Lao, et contraires à la Constitution de la RDPL traitant de "la liberté religieuse".



Le MLDH exige au gouvernement de respecter ses engagements internationaux liés à la déclaration des Nations Unies sur les Droits de l’Homme en procédant à la libération immédiate et inconditionnelle de tous les prisonniers détenus en raison de leur opinion ou de leur croyance et en mettant fin à toute répression religieuse.



(end French language translation)



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Contact:



Kristy Lee or Philip Smith

(202) 543-1444

info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org



Tele. (202) 543-1444
------
 

Laos, Vietnam Human Rights Defender Mourned At Arlington Cemetery

December 23, 2011, Arlington, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Fresno, California

Center for Pubic Policy Analysis

info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

Flowers, notes and candles were placed today at the Lao and Hmong veterans’ monument in Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C., by mourners wishing to honor and memorialize the life and tragic death of former French Colonel Robert Jambon.  Mr. Jambon, a decorated Indochina war veteran previously honored by French President Nicholas Sarkozy,  recently took his life in Dinan, France, in protest to ongoing human rights violations directed against the Laotian and Hmong people in Laos and Vietnam.

The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), the Lao Veterans of America, Inc., the Lao Veterans of America Institute, the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc., and a coalition of Lao and Hmong non-governmental organizations (NGOs), cosponsored memorial events in Arlington National Cemetery.  They issued statements honoring the life and legacy of retired French Colonel Robert Jambon and his valiant fight for human rights and freedom for the Laotian, Hmong and Vietnamese people of Indochina. http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

The NGOs expressed their condolences to Jambon’s family and friends. According to Robert Jambon’s final statements, as reported recently by an investigation concluded by French police, he killed himself in Dinan, France, on the steps of an Indochina war monument, seeking to bring international attention to the ongoing persecution and killing of the Lao Hmong people.  The Hmong people in particular have faced forced repatriation, human rights violations and persecution  in Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.  http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1112/S00467/robert-jambon-a-bold-life-death-for-laos-and-hmong.htm

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Doctors Without Borders (MSF - Medecins Sans Frontieres), the CPPA and others have documented recent human rights violations against the Laotian and Hmong people, including the forced repatriation of thousands of Lao Hmong refugees and asylum seekers from Thailand to Laos in 2007-2009. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0912/S00655.htm

Colonel Wangyee Vang, National President and Founder of the Lao Veterans of America Institute, offered condolences to Colonel Jambon’s family and friends.

“On behalf of the Lao and Hmong people and Hmong veterans, I wish to convey our deepest sympathy to you upon the death of your love one, Colonel Robert Jambon,” stated Colonel Wangyee Vang.

“Colonel Jambon is a real friend and supporter of the Hmong people… You will be remembered forever,” Vang said.

“I extend my condolences to you and your family. I hope the memories will help lessen the burden of your sorrow, and that you may draw some measure of comfort knowing that Hmong people care and share in your loss,” Wangyee Vang’s statement concluded.

“Many are deeply shocked and saddened by the death of Colonel Robert Jambon whose heart-felt love for the suffering Laotian, Vietnamese and Hmong people in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam caused him to take his own life in protest to egregious ongoing human rights violations in Southeast Asia,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C. 

“The indifference of the international community to the forced repatriation and persecution of the Lao and Hmong people by the military authorities in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam is indeed troubling to many who have closely followed these issues and tragic developments over the years,” Smith said.

“The Laotian and Hmong people will never forget Colonel Robert Jambon for his sacrifices in defense of the Royal Kingdom of Laos during the Indochina war and his efforts to bring awareness about the plight of Laotians and Hmong people who are the victims of human rights violations,” said Bounthanh Rathigna, President of the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc. (ULDL).

Colonel Robert Jambon received numerous French and Royal Lao military honors and awards during his career, including official national recognition by French President Nicholas Sarkozy in recent years. He was a Commander of the Legion of Honor and received the Military Cross of Valor, the Order of National Merit and other medals.

The Lao and Hmong veterans monument in Arlington National Cemetery, established in 1997, is dedicated to the Lao and Hmong veterans and their advisors who served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.  http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/laos-hmong-veterans-memorial-ceremony-at-arlington-national-cemetery-58047832.html

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The Life and Death of Robert Jambon:  An Act of Love and War For A Forgotten People
December 13, 2011, Washington, D.C., Paris, France, Bangkok, Thailand and Vientiane, Laos
For Immediate Release
The Center for Public Policy Analysis, and a coalition of Lao and Hmong non-governmental organizations (NGOs), have issued a statement today honoring the life and legacy of retired French Colonel Robert Jambon and his valiant fight for human rights and freedom for the Laotian, Hmong and Vietnamese people.  The NGOs also expressed their condolences to the Jambon family.  According to his final statements as reported recently by an investigation concluded by French police, Colonel Jambon sacrificed himself in Dinan, France, as a veteran of the Indochina war, where he took his own life in seeking to bring international attention to the ongoing persecution and killing of the Lao Hmong people in Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.
“The Lao and Hmong veterans salute the supreme sacrifice of Colonel Robert Jambon in seeking to offer up his life to help bring international attention to the ongoing military attacks, and human rights violations in Laos and Vietnam, directed against freedom-loving people, including the Hmong,” said Colonel Wangyee Vang, National President of the Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI), the largest Laotian and Hmong non-profit veterans' organization in the United States , with chapters and members in France and internationally.
“Colonel Jambon wanted to help to save our Lao and Hmong people and the refugees, and ordinary people, who are being persecuted now in Laos by the military and communist regime,” Colonel Wangyee Vang stated.
“Colonel Jambon is a hero to our Laotian and Hmong people;  He recently killed himself in France as an dramatic and important international statement of protest to try to help our people and to try to save those in the jungles and refugee camps in Laos and Thailand who have fled terrible religious and political persecution, genocide and bloody military attacks,” Wangyee Vang said.
“The Laotian and Hmong people will never forget Colonel Robert Jambon for his sacrifices in defense of the Royal Kingdom of Laos during the Indochina war and his efforts to bring awareness about the plight of Laotians and Hmong people who are the victims of human rights violations,” said Bounthanh Rathigna, President of the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc. (ULDL).
“Colonel Robert Jambon’s life, and recent suicide in France, is an important and symbolic act of selfless love, and of calculated moral war, against systemic injustice and oppression that continues to be directed against thousands of innocent people in Laos, including the Hmong minority,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C. 
“Robert Jambon’s final tragic act of love, and war, for the forgotten nation of Laos, and the persecuted Lao Hmong minority people there, has been heard in Washington, D.C. and has resonated with many in the Laotian community around the world,” Smith observed.
The CPPA continues to document human rights violations in Laos and Southeast Asia regard the Hmong and other peoples.  Thousands of Hmong from Vietnam were arrested, or killed, earlier this year by the Vietnam Peoples' Army (VPA) in Dien Bien province after staging peaceful gatherings and protests.   Hmong Christians in Laos have suffered increased persecution, atrocities and attacks by the Lao military and VPA forces.  http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“Despite the indifference of the international community, the war in Laos is, unfortunately, not over for the Lao Hmong people,” Smith continued.  “The Lao People’s Army, and the secret police of the Stalinist regime in Laos, backed by military leaders in Hanoi, continue to kill and persecute the Laotian and Hmong people in the most brutal and egregious manner resulting in many refugees fleeing to neighboring Thailand and the ongoing deaths and casualties of thousands of innocent civilians as well as political and religious dissidents.”
“Colonel Jambon’s bold death, like the self-immolation of Tibetan and Vietnamese monks, is a fiery monument to heroism and self-sacrifice on behalf of the Hmong people of Laos and Vietnam whom he loved and knew, and served with in combat on behalf of France during the first Indochina war,” Smith commented.
“The violent forced repatriation of tens of thousands of Lao Hmong refugees from Ban Huay Nam Khao in Thailand, back to the communist regime in Laos, where they fled mass starvation and genocide in recent years, remains as a stain upon the international community as well as the hearts and minds of those concerned about human rights in Southeast Asia,” Smith stated.
“Colonel Robert Jambon rightly understood the horrific crimes, and incomprehensible abuses, that are still being violently inflicted upon thousands of innocent Hmong and Laotian civilians and religious and political dissident groups in Laos,”  Smith continued. 
“Colonel Jambon’s passionate and Gauguin-like suicide at the Indochina monument in Dinan, France, is a powerful symbol of devotion and understanding regarding the suffering plight of the Lao and Hmong people,” Smith concluded. “Robert Jambon’s courage in speaking truth to power to a world that  has largely forgotten thousands of Lao Hmong people who have been abandoned by France and the United States in the mountains and jungles of Laos, and the refugee camps in Thailand, speaks volumes; The themes of love, war, betrayal, and the need to address the ongoing social injustice in Laos and Vietnam, resonate in the final gunshot that ended Robert Jambon’s amazing and important life”
Joining the CPPA, LVAI and ULDL in issuing a statement on behalf of Colonel Robert Jambon’s life and legacy include the United Lao for Human Rights and Democracy (ULHRD), Laos Institute for Democracy, Hmong Advance, Inc., Hmong Advancement, Inc., Lao Students for Democracy, Hmong Students Association and others.

Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders (MSF - Medecins Sans Frontieres), the CPPA and independent NGO and journalists have reported about the forced repatriation, persectution and human rights violations directed against the Lao Hmong people in Thailand and Laos.


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Tele. (202) 543-1444
 

Laos Reeducation Camp Survivor Dies

Washington, D.C. , and Vientiane, Laos, November 25, 2011

For Immediate Release

info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

Contact:  Jade Her or Philip Smith

Center for Public Policy Analysis

Tele. (202) 543-1444

Khampet Moukdarath, a human rights  advocate for the people of Laos, and a survivor of the Lao gulag and reeducation system, died on November 6, 2011, in the Washington, D.C.-metropolitan area.  He was honored at recent events in Washington, D.C., by the Laotian-American community, the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc. (ULDL), United Lao for Human Rights and Democracy (ULHRD), Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and others.

“Because of his devotion to his Buddhist faith and his love of the nation of Laos, Colonel Khampet Moukdarath suffered from torture and abuse in reeducation camps in Laos for over 13 long years following the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) invasion of the Royal Kingdom of Laos and the Pathet Lao communist guerilla takeover,” said Bounthanh Rathigna, President of the  United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc.

“We remember the Lao veterans and Lao people who suffered unbelievable torture and pain  for their beloved nation and people following the brutal communist military takeover by Vietnam, and for those Laotian people who were persecuted, tortured and killed in the reeducation camps,” said Colonel Khamthene Chinvayong, of the Lao Veterans Association.

“We will never forget Khampet Moukdarath’s deep and compassionate love for the suffering Laotian people, and his devotion to their future as well as the historical legacy of the sovereign nation of Laos, the Royal Kingdom of Laos,” said  Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C.  “On many occasions Khampet Moukdarath  courageously testified at the U.S. Congressional Forum on Laos and at other policy events in Washington, D.C., about the plight of Laos and the Laotian people and about human rights violations in Southeast Asia.”   http://www.centerforpublicpollcyanalysis.org

“Colonel Khampet Moukdarath’s life, and unique kindness, in the face of overwhelming difficulty, and suffering, has been a great inspiration to the freedom-loving people of Laos and to so many in Washington, D.C., and internationally,” Smith continued. 

Smith concluded:  “We are grateful for Khampet Moukdarath’s important  life and his compassionate efforts over the years;  we are especially mindful of the incomprehensible and prolonged suffering he endured for 13 years as a reeducation camp victim and survivor—as well as his vision and hope for a brighter future for the freedom-loving Laotian and Hmong people.”

“We remember all those who suffered and died for their country, as veterans of the conflict in Laos, in defense of the Royal Kingdom of Laos,” said Colonel Wangyee Vang, National President of the Lao Veterans of American Institute.

Khampet Moukdarath rose to the rank of Colonel in the Royal Lao Army during the Vietnam War.

Following Moukdarath’s release from reeducation camps in Sam Neua and Xieng Khouang provinces in Laos, he fled Laos as a political refugee and lived in Thailand before being granted asylum in the United States.  He frequently participated in pro-democracy and human rights events on Capitol Hill and in front of the Lao Embassy in Washington, D.C.  On numerous occasions, from 1998-2010, Moukdarath  served as a keynote speaker at the U.S. Congressional Forum on Laos held in the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate and Library of Congress.

Colonel Moukdarath was affectionate and fond of the Laotian people, as well as the minority peoples of Laos, including the minority Hmong ethnic group, whom he often worked with on key human rights issues.  He advocated for the release of the Lao Students Movement for Democracy demonstrators, who were arrested in October of 1999 in Vientiane, Laos, and who continue to be subjected to harsh imprisonment in Laos.

In 2009, Moukdarath spoke out at international policy events held on Capitol Hill, and at the National Press club in Washington, D.C., in support of Kay Danes  and other  political prisoners, who were imprisoned in Laos’ notorious Phonthong and Sam Khe prisons.  Three Lao Hmong-American citizens from St Paul, Minnesota, including Mr. Hakit Yang,  who were also arrested and imprisoned  in recent years in Laos, were also the subject of Moukdarath’s concerns and testimony at the U.S. Congressional Forum on Laos held at that time.  Moukdarath boldly called for their immediate release by the Lao government.

Colonel Moukdarath  was honored by the CPPA and many others at funeral ceremonies held in Alexandria, Virginia, that were attended by hundreds from the Laotian community across the United States on November 14-15.

Organizations honoring the life and legacy of Colonel Khampet  Moukdarath include the ULDL, CPPA, United Lao for Human Rights and Democracy, Inc. (ULHRD), Lao Veterans Association, Lao Veterans of America, Inc., Lao Veterans of America Institute, Laos Institute for Democracy, Laos Students Association, Hmong Advancement, Inc., Hmong Advance, Inc. and others.

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http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

 

Laos, Vietnam Human Rights Appeal Issued in Washington


November 15, 2011, Washington, D.C., Vientiane, Laos and Bangkok, Thailand
For Immediate Release

The United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc., (ULDL) has released the text of a seven-point international appeal and statement following events it hosted last week in Washington, D.C., which included representatives of the Laotian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Hmong and Asian-American community The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and other non-governmental organizations (NGO) and policymakers were invited to speak and participate in policy events, Capitol Hill meetings and a human rights rally held in front of the Lao Embassy in Washington, D.C. www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

The following is the text of the statement issued by Bounthanh Rathigna, President of the ULDL:


Statement of Bounthanh Rathigna, President
United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc.
Washington, D.C.
November 5-8, 2011
Laos International Policy Conference &
Demonstration and Protest Rally In Front of the
Lao Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Honored Guests, American policymakers, Members of the U.S. Congress and staff, Fellow Laotian leaders, Lao and Hmong students, fellow NGO and non-profit organization leaders, representatives of the Free Vietnamese Community and other freedom loving people of Asia and America, Ladies and Gentleman, I am Bounthanh Rathigna, President of the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc. (ULDL) and I welcome you here today at our international policy conference and protest rally and demonstration in front of the Lao Embassy in Washington, D.C.

It is good to see so many friends and supporters from across the country and from Laos gathered here in Washington to discuss the problems of the one-party, corrupt authoritarian regimes in Laos and Vietnam that continue to persecute their own citizens. I deeply appreciate your efforts to discuss and to protest human rights violations in Laos and the dictatorship of the Hanoi-backed Stalinist regime in Laos that continues to imprison and persecute the freedom-loving Laotian people.

We have gathered here in Washington, D.C., to memorialize and remember all of the Laotian, Vietnamese, Hmong and Asian people who continue to suffer human rights violations, religious persecution, torture and harsh imprisonment, without due process, and the rule of law. We remember, and are here, to demonstrate against the oppressive corruption and ongoing attacks by the secret police and military forces of the Lao regime in Vientiane, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, against ordinary Lao and Hmong people who seek political, religious and economic freedom for Laos. We especially remember the Lao Student Movement for Democracy protesters of October 26, 1999, who peacefully demonstrated in Vientiane for democracy, human rights and political and economic reform but were arrested and continue to suffer in jail. After 12 years they are still suffering in prison in Laos for their beliefs and for their efforts to bring about reform and change in Laos.

We are here to bring attention to and remember the Laotian and Hmong hiding in the jungles and mountains of Laos who continue to suffer military attacks by Vietnam People’s Army Forces and the Lao Army because they wish to live in peace and freedom apart from the Communist regime in Laos’s persecution and religious freedom violations and human rights violations.

We, therefore, are calling for:

1.) An end to the dictatorships in Laos and Vietnam. In Laos, we are calling for the hosting of truly free and fair multi-party elections in Laos monitored by the international community and an end to one-party Communist rule in Laos by the Lao People’s Army, and its military junta, that controls the Politburo in Vientiane;

2.) The immediate withdrawal of all Hanoi-backed army units and secret police of the Vietnam People’s Army that remain on the territory of Laos in support of the Lao communist regime’s (the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party) efforts to oppress and persecute the Laotian and Hmong people and exploit the economic resources of Laos and destroy its environment; We want the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to immediately withdrawal alls its troops, soldiers and police from Laos—as well as its covert security advisors;


3.) An immediate end to illegal logging by Vietnam People’s Army owned companies in Xieng Khouang, Sam Neua, Khammoune, Luang Prabang and other provinces in Laos that is destroying the environment, killing minority peoples such as the Lao Hmong people, and exploiting the natural resources of Laos without just compensation to ordinary Laotians;

4.) Stop the persecution, imprisonment, torture and killing of religious believers in Laos, including dissident Buddhists, minority Catholics, Protestant Christians and independent Animist believers; We, the Laotian people, want true freedom of religion for all Laotians of all religious faiths;

5.) Allow international humanitarian access to, and release, all political prisoners, prisoners of conscience, and foreign prisoners, including the Lao Students for Democracy Movement leaders, Hakit Yang and other two other Lao-Hmong American citizens from St. Paul Minnesota;

6.)Allow international humanitarian access to, and release, the over 8,500 Lao Hmong refugees and asylum seekers who fled persecution in Laos and who were tragically and brutally forced from Huay Nam Khao, Thailand, back to the regime in Laos in 2009 and 2010;

7.) Release the Ban Vang Tao patriots, the Laotian citizens, who were forced back to Laos from Thailand after their courageous efforts to raise the Royal Flag of Laos, the true and traditional flag of Laos, in opposition to the arrest and imprisonment of the Lao Student leaders and in support of freedom for their beloved country of Laos.

At these events in Washington, D.C. and the demonstration and protest in front of the Lao Embassy, we are here to give voice to the millions of suffering people of Laos and Vietnam who continue to live under the brutal Stalinist regimes in Vientiane and Hanoi. We are here to call for freedom and human rights for Laos, Vietnam and all of the people of Asia.

Thank you.
(End Statement by Bounthanh Rathigna, President, the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc.)

Invited participants and cosponsors included the ULDL, CPPA, United Lao for Human Rights and Democracy (ULHRD), Laos Institute for Democracy, Inc., Lao Students for Democracy, Lao Veterans of America, Inc., Free Vietnam Community, Hmong Advance, Inc., Hmong Advancement, Inc., and other NGOs and Asian-American organizations.

Laotian-American, and Asian-American, delegations from Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, California, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Rhode Island and other states, also attended and participated.

Thank you.

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CPPA -- Center for Public Policy Analysis

Contact: Jade Her or Philip Smith
Tele. (202) 543-1444
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Laos Policy Events, Protest Rally in Washington, DC

For Immediate Release, November 8, 2011, Washington, D.C.
Center for Public Policy Analysis
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

Laotian and Hmong non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have concluded an international policy conference in Washington, D.C. and protest demonstration in front of the Lao Embassy. The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and U.S. policymakers participated in the events held from November 5-8, 2011.

Lao, Hmong, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Asia-American NGOs from across the United States and internationally participated in the events.

NGO participants expresses concerns about ongoing environmental and refugee issues in Laos, Thailand and Southeast Asia as well as human rights violations linked to the influx of VPA-backed logging and mining companies in Laos.

“We don't need the Vietnamese military cutting down and stealing our trees in Laos,” said Boon Boualaphanh, President of the United for Lao Human Rights and Democracy, Inc. These trees and forests belong to Laos and the Laotian people who should be allowed to benefit it by themselves, our country needs freedom and human rights, not economic and military exploitation by Vietnam People’s Army-owned companies and soldiers.”

“The role of Laotian and Hmong-American NGOs in raising concerns about ongoing human rights and environmental abuses in Laos, Vietnam and Southeast Asia is significant,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director for the Center for Public Policy Analysis. “We were pleased to be invited to speak at these events and to discuss the plight of Laotian and Hmong refugees and political and religious dissidents that continue to be persecuted and imprisoned in Laos.” www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“We are especially concerned about the plight of imprisoned Lao student leaders, the detention of thousands of Lao Hmong political refugees, and the horrific ongoing persecution of independent Lao Hmong Christian and Animist believers in Laos,” Smith stated. www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1110/S00785/laos-rights-groups-urge-re ..

The CPPA and non-profit humanitarian, human rights, research and policy organizations also participated in the Washington, D.C., international policy conference held on current issues in Laos and Southeast Asia.

The policy conference was followed by meetings with U.S. policymakers in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Congress, regarding Laos and Southeast Asia.

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Laos, Hmong Human Rights Activist Nominated For Australian of the Year Award


Washington, D.C., Brisbane and Canberra, Australia, November 3, 2011

Author, human rights advocate and humanitarian activist Kay Danes has been nominated for the Queensland category of the Australian of the Year Award. The nomination was hailed by the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and a coalition of Laotian and Hmong non-governmental and human rights organizations including: the United League for

Democracy in Laos, Inc.; the Lao Students Movement for Democracy; United Lao for Human Rights and Democracy, Inc.; Lao Institute for Democracy; Hmong Advance, Inc.; Hmong Advancement, Inc.; the Lao Veterans of America, Inc.; and, others.

Danes, who was arrested in 2000, was brutally interrogated and tortured in the notorious Phonthong prison in Vientiane, Laos, along with Laotian, Hmong and foreign prisoners. She is now an author and human rights activist.


“Her critical testimony about her interrogation and torture in Laos, and that of other victims, helped to develop deeper understanding and awareness about the terrible fate of those languishing in foreign prisons who are often imprisoned unjustly in horrific and inhumane conditions in violation of international law,” Smith stated.
http://centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“Kay Danes has been a tireless and effective international advocate for human rights, womens' rights, the suffering of torture victims, and the plight of refugees and those imprisoned in horrific conditions in Laos, Afghanistan, and other nations around the world,” Smith said.


“Kay Danes distinguished work, especially as it relates to the Laotian and Hmong people, refugees and foreign prisoners, has been crucial in helping to bring international attention to the suffering and voiceless people of Laos and other countries,” Smith continued. "Danes has researched and spoken about the fate of imprisoned and missing Lao student pro-democracy demonstrators as well as three Hmong-Americans from St. Paul, Minnesota, including Mr. Hakit Yang, who have been jailed in harsh conditions for years under the Communist regime in Laos."


The awards will be announced in Brisbane on November 17, 2011. Winners will join recipients from other states and territories in Australia as finalists for the national awards that will presented in Canberra, Australia, in January 2012.


Kay Danes has authored important books about human rights violations and torture in Laos including “Standing Ground” (New Holland Publishers, Australia), released in 2009. In the same year, she was invited to speak in the United States about her experiences in Laos, and as an advocate for the Foreign Prisoners Support Service, at the World Affairs Council, National Press Club and U.S. Congressional Forum on Laos.

presszoom.com/story_148273.html

www.media-newswire.com/release_1089564.html

www.newholland.com.au/product.php?isbn=9781741107579


Dane's book "Standing Ground" was cited and acclaimed by the American Authors' Association and others.

www.americanauthorsassociation.com/ images/ Standing%20Ground%20Press%20Release%20March%2009.pdf

Contact: Maria Gomez or Philip Smith

info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

Tele. (202) 543-1444

CPPA - Center for Public Policy Analysis

2020 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Suite 220
Washington, D.C. 20006 USA
www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org


Contact Information:
CPPA - Center for Public Policy Analysis

2020 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Suite 220
Washington, D.C. 20006 USA

Contact Person:
Maria Gomez or Philip Smith
Communications / Public Affairs Department
Phone: 202-543-1444

Laos: Rights Groups Urge Release of Student Protestors


October 26, 2011, Vientiane, Laos, Bangkok, Thailand, Washington, D.C. and Paris, France
Center for Public Policy Analysis
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

In solemn memory of the 12th anniversary of peaceful student demonstrations in Vientiane, Laos, a coalition of non-governmental organizations is calling for the immediate release of Lao student leaders who continue to be imprisoned in harsh conditions, without charge, for over a decade. The . Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) was joined by the Lao Movement for Human Rights [(Mouvement Lao pour les Droits de l’Homme (MLDH)], United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc., Lao Students Movement for Democracy, Lao Veterans of America Institute, Lao Veterans of America, Hmong Advance, Inc., Hmong Advancement, Inc . and other non-governmental organizations in calling on the one-party authoritarian government in Laos to release the Lao student leaders and other Laotian and Hmong political prisoners, prisoners of conscience and refugees. Events and statements issued to mark the occasion were held in Washington, D.C., Paris, France and Bangkok, Thailand.

The Lao student demonstrations held 12 years ago on October 26, 1999, sparked major calls for political, economic and institutional reform in Vientiane, the capital, and throughout the nation of Laos. Ten years later, follow-on demonstrations were held in Laos in October 2009 that also resulted in the arrest and imprisonment of many Laotian protestors demonstrating against the one-party governemnt.

“The Stalinist regime in Laos should immediately release all of the Lao student protestors as well as ethnic Hmong refugees and religious and political dissidents it continues to brutally imprison and persecute,” stated Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) at events held in the U.S. Congress today to mark the occasion of the 12th anniversary of the Lao military crackdown. http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“We want the military regime in Laos and the communist officials to release all of the peaceful Lao student demonstrators and other innocent religious believers and political prisoners it has placed in jail without charges or trial,” said Bouthanh Rathigna, President of the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc.

“The Lao people need freedom and democracy and want Vietnam’s military troops and secret police out of Laos,” said Bounleuam Boualaphanh, President of United Lao for Human Rights and Democracy, Inc. of Minnesota. “We want the Lao government to change and reform and to release the Lao student leaders who peacefully protested in support of human rights and democracy for Laos.”

“It is time for the military and communist party leaders of the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (LPDR) to release the Lao students because the peaceful demonstrations sought to help the nation and because the Lao student leaders arrested and young people are the future of the country,” said Colonel Wangyee Vang, National President of the Lao Veterans of America Institute.

The Paris-based Lao Movement for Human Rights [(Mouvement Lao pour les Droits de l’Homme (MLDH)] said in a statement read at the Capitol Hill anniversary events in Washington today: “4380 days after their arrest, the four human rights defenders of the Student Movement of 26 October 1999 remain in detention. The Lao Movement for Human Rights expresses its extreme concern about the prolonged arbitrary detention of four members of the Student Movement of 26 October 1999, a group that tried to organize a peaceful march in Vientiane to claim for social justice, human rights respect and democratic reforms.”

“Twelve years after their arrest, MM. Thongpaseuth Keuakoun, Seng-Aloun Phengphanh, and Bouavanh Chanmanivong Keochay are still jailed in the prison of Samkhe, in the province of Vientiane, whereas Mr. Sisa-At Khamphouvieng died in prison from torture in 2001,” the MLDH, Lao Movement for Human Rights organization stated.

The MLDH continued: “ (we are) highly worried by their plight …as during the final adoption of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Laos at the UN in September 2010, the LPDR had totally ignored the recommendation 'to release those detained for participating in peaceful demonstrations, including the leaders of the Movement of 26 October 1999, and rejected the primary recommendation for the creation of an independent national commission on human rights in accordance with the Paris Principles.’”

The MLDH stated further: “In accordance with Article 5 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) ratified by the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in September 2009, the prisoners must be treated in compliance with international human rights standards The arrest of peaceful protesters, and the death of one of them in detention show the failure of the Lao government in the implementation of the international human rights instruments it has ratified.”

The MLDH statement concluded: “The Lao Movement for Human Rights urges to the international community - including the European Union and its Member States, the United Nations, the United States, Japan, Australia and ASEAN - to take urgent, concrete and concerted actions so that the Lao government applies the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), as well as other international agreements related to the United Nations declaration of 1988 on human rights defenders and proceed to the immediate and unconditional release of MM. Thongpaseuth Keuakoun, Seng-Aloun Phengphanh, Bouavanh Chanmanivong and Keochay and also those arrested on 2 November 2009 - Ms. Kingkèo (39), MM. Soubinh (35), Souane (50), Sinpasong (43) and Khamsone (36) arrested in Phon Hong, M. Nou (54) arrested in Pakkading, Miss Somchit (29), MM. Somkhit (28 years) and Sourigna (26), arrested in Vientiane - while they were heading to Vientiane to claim for social justice and basic human
rights.”

###

Laos, Hmong Veterans of Vietnam War Fight For Burial Honors

 


Laos, Hmong Veterans of Vietnam War Fight For Burial Honors

Washington, D.C. and Fresno, California, October 21, 2011
Center for Public Policy Analysis

The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), the Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI), the Lao Veterans of America, Inc. (LVA), and a coalition of Laotian and Hmong-American organizations, joined today to express gratitude and support for the re-introduction of a bill in Congress that would honor Laotian and Hmong veterans by permitting their burial in national veterans cemeteries across the United States. The non-governmental organizations hailed the leadership of U.S. Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA), and a bipartisan group of Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., for helping to spearhead the legislation on Capitol Hill that bestows further respect and overdue honor to the Laotian and Hmong-American community for their efforts during the Vietnam War.

“We again sincerely thank U.S. Congressman Jim Costa and seven key Members of Congress for reintroducing critical legislation that honors the Laotian and Hmong veterans of the Vietnam War in Laos,” said Colonel Wangyee Vang, National President of the Lao Veterans of America Institute, who helped to educate Congress about the plight of Lao Hmong veterans in the United States and Southeast Asia.

“Our Laotian and Hmong veterans courageously served in combat alongside U.S. forces in the secret theatre of operations in Laos alongside U.S. special forces and American intelligence community members, and they should be rightly honored with burial in U.S. national veterans cemeteries alongside their American counterparts,” Colonel Vang stated.

“Hmong veterans served side-by-side with American forces in Vietnam, and these veterans deserve the honor of a final resting place next to their brothers in arms,” stated U.S. Congressman Jim Costa said.

“These veterans defended our American ideals long before any of them called our country home. Extending burial benefits to our Hmong veterans recognizes their sacrifice and honors their patriotic service,” U.S. Representative Costa further stated.

“This important legislation, if passed by the U.S. Congress and enacted, would permit several thousand Laotian and Hmong-American veterans who served in the Kingdom of Laos during the Vietnam War to be buried, or their ashes interred, in veterans cemeteries across the United States,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director for the Washington, D.C.-based CPPA. http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“Commendably, Laotian and Hmong veterans and their family members across America are continuing the fight for burial honors in Washington, D.C. and are educating Members of the U.S. Congress and policymakers about their sacrifices during the Vietnam War in Laos and Southeast Asia,” Smith commented.

In Washington, D.C., over the years, the LVAI, LVA and CPPA have helped to conduct and lead national ceremonies in the U.S. Congress, Arlington National Cemetery and the Vietnam War Memorial to honor Laotian and Hmong veterans and their refugee families. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100608007501/en/Laos-Hmong-Community-Concludes-National-Memorial-Ceremonies

The new legislation, H.R.3192 would authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to inter in national cemeteries individuals who supported the United States in Laos during the Vietnam War era in combating invading communist forces from North Vietnam as well as Marxist Pathet Lao guerrillas.

Support for the initiative in Congress have received the support of various historians, scholars and advocates, including prominent Southeast Asia scholar Dr Jane Hamilton-Merritt. http://www.tragicmountains.org

Organizations today hailing the new effort in Congress on behalf of burial honors for Lao Hmong veterans include the LVAI, LVA, CPPA, the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc., Hmong Advance, Inc., Hmong Advancement, Inc. and others.

 

 


Will Thai Army Eventually Halt Yingluck Victory?

 

Bangkok, Thailand and Washington, D.C.

For Immediate Release:  July 3, 2011

info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org 

Contact:  Maria Gomez Tele. (202) 543-1444

 

With polls closing in Thailand today, concerns have been raised by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Policy Analysis that elements of the Royal Thai Army may militarily intervene, in the post-election aftermath of Thailand’s recent election, where the Pheu Thai Party is predicted to sweep control of a majority of seats in Parliament and potentially usher in Thailand’s first female Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra.

“There are concerns that elements of the Royal Thai Army may intervene militarily, at some point down the road, in the post-election aftermath of today’s elections, in opposition to a majority victory by Pheu Thai Party candidates in Parliament, or the potential that Yingluck Shinawatra will become Thailand’s first female prime minister,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C., a public policy research organization.

The CPPA is a Washington, D.C.-based, think-tank and non-governmental organization focused on public policy research--especially in the areas of international security, economics, trade, human rights, religious freedom, humanitarian and refugee issues. http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“Will Thailand’s Army intervene, overtly or covertly, to halt Yingluck Shinawatra, or a Red-Shirt Victory, that will likely occur if Pheu Thai Party candidates sweep control of Parliament in a supermajority ?” Smith questioned. “If so, how will Washington and the Obama Administration respond to a new round of political violence in Thailand, down the road, in the aftermath of the election results ?”

“Ongoing political violence in Thailand, while less likely if the elections results are overwhelmingly in favor of Pheu Thai Party candidates, and the ushering in of Thailand’s first female Prime Minister is still significant, especially given the Thai Army’s crackdown of Red Shirt demonstrators in Bangkok last year,” Smith stated.

Smith questioned: “Will there be a peaceful transfer of political power in Thailand, some policymakers wonder in Washington ?”

“In addition to other issues, some elements of the Thai Royal family’s circle and the Royal Thai Army have concerns about the Shinawatra family’s previous business and political ties, as well as corruption allegations, and this may lead to ongoing post-election political turmoil in Bangkok,” Smith observed.

“Clearly, Washington policymakers, including the Obama Administration and Secretary of State Clinton, are hopeful for greater stability in Thailand, and an enhanced partnership, as well as election results that reflect the will of the Thai people,” Smith explained.

“Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s Administration, and some elements of the Democratic Party and Royal Thai Army, were criticized domestically, and internationally, for a number of key issues, including the violent crackdown on demonstrators in Thailand as well as the unnecessary forced repatriation of Hmong refugees from Thailand to Laos,” Smith stated.

“It is hoped that today’s elections in Thailand will help to usher in a new era of stability, unity and prosperity for the people of Thailand, and the Royal Family, with whom the United States shares a special affection and relationship; The election of Thailand’s first female Prime Minister would indeed be historic, if the polls confirm this prediction, and apparent unfolding new political reality, ” Smith concluded.

 

###

 

 

 
Vietnam, Laos:  MI-24 Helicopter Gunships Bring Death to Hmong in Dien Bien

 
May 21, 2011, Dien Bien Province, Vietnam, Phongsali, Laos, and Washington, D.C.
Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA)
Contact:  Ms. Helen Cruz, Tele. (202) 543-1444

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) has unleashed attack helicopters on unarmed Vietnamese civilians and those suspected of participating in mass rallies involving an estimated 8,500 Viet-Hmong protesters, including thousands of Catholic, Protestant Christian and  animist religious believers seeking human rights and land reforms.  Today, newly deployed squadrons of MI-24 “Hind” helicopter gunships flew bloody combat  sorties against ethnic Hmong villagers and protesters fleeing into the rugged interior of Dien Bien province and across the border into Laos, according to the Center for Public Policy Analysis and Hmong and Vietnamese sources in Vietnam and Laos. 

 
An estimated thirty-four (34) Soviet-era “HIND” MI-24 assault helicopters remain in the SRV’s current arsenal.  Older MI-8 helicopters have also been deployed. Special units of the Vietnam People’s Army, including “Dac Cong” special forces units with Viet-Hmong translators, have been mobilized to assist heliborne troops in tracking, arresting, interogating and summarily executing suspected Hmong demonstrators who have fled into the rugged interior.

“Our Hmong people are being attacked without mercy and killed and wounded by the helicopters sent from Hanoi to machine gun and bomb their villages and pursue them into the mountains and jungles of Dien Bien province in Vietnam and Laos,” said Christy Lee, Executive Director for Hmong Advance, Inc.
Ms. Lee stated further: "Some Vietnamese clerics with ties to the Vietnamese Ministry of Interior, and secret police, have join Vietnamese government officials in declaring that all of the Hmong protestors are cult members and irredentists, a theme often repeated by Hanoi’s state-run media, and parroted by the official propaganda apparatus, to justify the use of armed force against ethnic Hmong-Vietnamese and Vietnamese Christians  who have previously joined peaceful Catholic and mainstream Protestant demonstrations, including demonstrations in Hanoi in previous years for religious freedom and government reforms. "

“What have the Viet-Hmong people done wrong that would allow them to be slaughtered and attacked by the Vietnamese military and police, and why has the government in Hanoi escalated the attacks with these new helicopters being deployed against many innocent Catholic, mainstream Protestant Christians and Animist believers who participated in recent protests,” Ms. Lee said.

“Many of the Hmong Catholics and other Christian believers, gathered, in part, on May 1st in honor of Pope John Paul’s beatification and in support of land reforms and religious freedom,”  Ms. Lee said. http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/139559-1305659370-vietnam-forces-kill-72-hmong-hundreds-arrested-and-flee.html

“Do they deserve to be attacked by armed force by the Army for their non-violent appeals for civil rights, human rights and reform?” Ms. Lee questioned.

"On the Laos side of the border, next to Dien Bien province, Vietnam People's Army troops, and special advisors and police, are active and working with the Lao People's Army, along the Vietnam-Laos border area in the Laotian provinces of Luang Prabang and Phongsali, to help with military operations to seal the border area off from independent journalists and newsmedia and to arrest or attack the Hmong who have attempted to flee," said Bounthanh Rathigna of the United League for Democracy in Laos (ULDL). http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/136891-1304943947-vietnam-army-kills-14-more-hmong-prostesters-hundreds-more-missing.html


“The General Staff of Vietnam's armed forces and the Ministry of Defense in Hanoi, including General Phung Quang Thanh,  appear to be alarmed and have apparently ordered the deployment of significant numbers of the very lethal MI-24 attack  helicopters to fly additional strafing and bombing sorties against the Hmong people fleeing Vietnam's military crackdown in the Dien Bien province area,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C. http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“M-24 ‘Hind” attack helicopters are now being deployed by Hanoi to fire their machine guns and launch deadly rockets at the Hmong who are fleeing into the rugged mountain interior of Dien Province and across the border into Laos,” Smith said. 

“Today, two Hmong mountain villages, and several enclaves, in Vietnam were attacked by helicopter gunships  and we are awaiting final casualty figures since there were more killed and many wounded in the havoc and the aftermath of the aerial bombardment.” “Viet-Hmong casualties and those arrested by Vietnam People's Army soldiers continue to mount with each passing day as the military continues its bloody crackdown and security operations in Dien Bien province have intensified,” Smith stated.

“Vietnam's Minister of Defense, General Phung Quang Thanh, and others in the military and politburo, are concerned about mass demonstrations spreading to the general population who may also appeal for reforms, greater freedom and regime change in Vietnam and Laos,” Smith commented.

Smith explained:  “By pursuing a policy of using overwhelming, violent, armed force against the peaceful Hmong demonstrators, Communist party officials and the military elite in Vietnam are hoping to bring things to a rapid conclusion in the Dien Bien area, but they cannot control the crisis situation because of the mountainous terrain and determination of many of the Vietnamese and Hmong demonstrators who have dispersed.  What if the demonstrations in Dien Bien, and their demands for reform, spread to other parts of Vietnam and Laos ?  Cozy Communist party officials in Hanoi fear that the ethnic Hmong and other minority populations in the Hanoi and Red River Delta area, and other parts of Vietnam, will join together with other ordinary Vietnamese citizens in calling for greater religious freedom, human rights, political reforms and in opposition to corrupt and draconian government policies, including the recent violence directed against the Viet-Hmong Christians and other citizens in Dien Bien.”  

“We are also concerned that the Lao People's Army, lead by Vietnamese troops and advisors, has mobilized in Luang Prabang Province and the Phongsali area in Laos, in support of the efforts to seal off Dien Bien province to journalists and assist in interdicting and capturing Hmong demonstrators fleeing Vietnam,” Smith concluded.

Vietnam has sealed key areas of Dien Bien province off to independent journalists as it continues military operations against targeting the Viet-Hmong citizens who engaged in peaceful, non-violent protests that began earlier this month.  Protesters were demanding greater religious freedom, land reform, human rights and an end to illegal logging and the exploitation of their lands and resources by Vietnam People's Army-owned companies.
The SRV government in Hanoi has also denounced and attacked Human Rights Watch's (HRW) recent report and statement on Dien Bien province and the plight of the Viet-Hmong demonstrators.

###

Online PR News (press release)
(Photo Courtesy: Center For Public Policy Analysis,License CC.2.0) The Vietnamese People's Army has killed at least 72 Hmong Christian and animist ...
Vietnam Forces Kill 72 Hmong, Hundreds Arrested and Flee
Online PR News (press release), May 17, 2011

The Vietnamese People’s Army has killed at least 72 Hmong Christian and animist religious believers, many of them mainstream Catholic and orthodox Protestant Christians, according to the Center for Public Policy Analysis and Hmong and Laotian non-governmental organizations with sources inside the region that borders on Laos. The beatification of Pope John Paul II, in Rome on May 1st was a factor in sparking the mass gatherings and peaceful, non-violent demonstrations by thousands of Viet-Hmong Catholics, Protestant and Animist believers according to Philip Smith of the CPPA and other sources inside the northern province of Vietnam.

At least nine more Vietnamese-Hmong Catholic believers, who were part of a mass demonstration for religious freedom, land reform and an end to illegal logging by Vietnam People’s Army owned military companies, were confirmed killed by army soldiers, and police, as of Tuesday, May 17, for taking part in the peaceful rallies that occurred earlier in the month. Many Hmong Catholics had helped form the core of demonstrations in Dien Bien to mark ceremonies in honor of Pope John Paul II in Rome on May 1st.

Vietnam security forces, including over 15,000 soldiers from various Vietnam People’s Army units, backed by allied armed forces from Laos, have sealed off much of Dien Bien province in Vietnam and arrested over 2,400 ethnic Hmong citizens from Vietnam.
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1105/S00366/nine-hmong-catholics-killed-during-mass-arrests-in-vietnam.htm

 

Online PR News (press release)
Nine Hmong Catholics Killed During Mass Arrests in Vietnam
Dien Bien Phu, Phongsali, Laos, and Washington, D,C. May 16, 2011,  2:15 PM EST.
Contact: Maria Gomez,  CPPA- Center for Public Policy Analysis
Tele. (202) 543-1444
Vietnam security forces, including over 15,000 soldiers from various Vietnam People’s Army units, backed by allied armed forces from Laos, have sealed off much of Dien Bien province in Vietnam and arrested over 2,400 ethnic Hmong citizens of Vietnam, according to the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and Hmong and Laotian non-governmental organizations with sources inside the region that borders on Laos and Northern Vietnam.   Nine (9) more Vietnamese-Hmong Catholic believers, who were part of a mass demonstration for religious freedom, land reform and an end to illegal logging by Vietnam People’s Army owned military companies, were known killed by army soldiers, and police, as of Monday, May 16, for taking part in the peaceful rallies that occurred earlier in the month.
The beatification of Pope John Paul II, in Rome on May 1 helped to spark the mass gatherings and peaceful, non-violent demonstrations by thousands of Viet-Hmong Catholics, Protestant and Animist believers according to Philip Smith of the CPPA and other sources inside the northern province of Vietnam.
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) government in Hanoi has called in army troops to attack Hmong protestors in Northern Vietnam. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1105/S00181/vietnam-14-die-as-troops-converge-on-hmong.htm
“The Hmong Catholic and Protestant Christian believers in Vietnam’s Dien Bein province continue to be wrongly targeted and defamed by the Vietnam People’s Army soldiers and secret police who are arresting, beating and persecuting them by the hundreds,” said Christy Lee of Hmong Advance, Inc.
 “ Ordinary Vietnamese Catholic, Christian and Animist believers, and Vietnamese citizens, engaged in peaceful mass protests against the government for reform are being arrested, tied up and blindfolded, by the hundreds and forcibly loaded onto military trucks where they being taken away and out of the sealed off province,” Ms. Lee said. 
“We fear that many Viet-Hmong will be summarily executed after interrogation like the nine Catholic believers who were killed last week by the soldiers and police because of their faith and peaceful appeals for an end to religious persecution  and injustice,”  Lee stated. “Now, over 2400 innocent Hmong have been arrested on baseless and false charges as many people had gathered initially in Dien Bien to honor Pope John Paul II, and his message of hope to the suffering people and Christians worldwide who are being persecuted.”
“Multiple sources in Vietnam have confirmed that nine more Vietnamese-Hmong Catholic believers, who were part of a demonstration for religious freedom, land reform and an end to illegal logging by Vietnam People’s Army owned military companies, have been killed by security forces,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C.  http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
“Many of our Hmong and Vietnamese sources in Dien Bien province and in the bordering areas of Laos have reported that the beatification of Pope John Paul II, in Rome on May 1st played  a significant factor in sparking the mass gatherings and peaceful, non-violent demonstrations by thousands of Viet-Hmong Catholics, Protestant and Animist believers,” said Mr. Smith.
“The Hmong people of the Catholic diocese in Dien Bien were brutally beaten and killed by army soldiers, and police for allegedly taking part in the peaceful rallies that occurred earlier in the month calling for an end to religious persecution, the lifting of oppressive government restrictions on Christian and Animist believers and  the celebration of the beatification of Pope John Paul II in Rome on May 1st, of this year and the former Pope’s important message to fearlessly confront government injustice and Stalinist authoritarianism,” Smith commented.
“The Polish Pope, who had opposed Nazi forces during World II, and the spread of Communist totalitarianism and its attacks on the Catholic and Protestant Church , has been a source of inspiration to many Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian and Hmong Christian believers by the courageous moral conduct of his life and his profound  words to ‘be not afraid’ in challenging social injustice and Stalinist regimes around the world,”  Smith stated.
“Now, in Vietnam’s Dien Bien Province, the Vietnamese People’s Army has killed at least 72 Christian believers, many of them mainstream Catholic and orthodox Protestant Christians believers,” said Smith.
“Senior generals and defense ministry officials in Hanoi responsible for these terrible bloody acts against peaceful demonstrators in Dien Bien province have sealed the area off to independent journalists and the news media so the truth and facts cannot be easily learned,” Smith observed. 
Smith continued:  “Communist officials in Hanoi, and senior Vietnamese army generals have enlisted the support of Lao People’s Army troops, lead by Vietnamese military advisors, to help seal the border area off and persecute and arrest Hmong and Vietnamese citizens and church members suspected of being involved with the mass protests.”
“Vietnam and Lao People’s Army troops have also mobilized along the Laos and Vietnamese border to cut-off and attack the freedom-loving Lao and Hmong people around Dien Bien province, including many ordinary Christians and Catholics, who are only seeking human rights, religious freedom and an end to the exploitation by certain corrupt communist generals in Hanoi who have engaged in illegal logging and the destruction of churches, temples and religious shrines as well as the sacred mountain forests of the Hmong indigenous people,” Smith concluded.
“We want the Vietnam People’s Army troops out of Laos and to stop killing the Laotian and Hmong people, including many Christian, Catholic , Animist and independent Buddhist believers,” said Bounthanh Rathigna, President of the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc. (ULDL).  “Persecuted Vietnamese citizens, including many Hmong Catholic and Protestant believers from Dien Bien, are trying to flee from Vietnam to Laos but are being arrested and killed in Laos as well by the Lao and Vietnamese army units and police in recent days.”
“The horrific illegal logging, religious persecution and environmental destruction by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Lao People’s Army, in cooperation with the Vietnam People’s Army, in Laos, and on the Laos -Vietnam border areas of Dien Bien province, must be stopped by the international community before more people are driven off their homeland and are killed by corrupt communist officials,” Rathigna concluded in a statement by the ULDL today.
###
Contact: Maria Gomez
CPPA- Center for Public Policy Analysis
(202) 543-1444

Vietnam Army Kills 14 More Hmong Protesters, Hundreds More Missing


Online PR News (press release) - May 9, 2011
At least sixty-three Hmong have been killed by the Vietnam People's Army to date. ... Fourteen (14) more Viet-Hmong people were confirmed dead in overnight ...

Today, new combat regiments of Vietnam Peoples Army's soldiers are converging, in a key province of Northern Vietnam, to attack and arrest thousands of Hmong Catholic, Protestant and independent Animist religious believers demonstrating for human rights, religious freedom, land reform and an end to illegal logging and deforestation.

Fourteen (14) more Viet-Hmong people were confirmed dead in overnight clashes between Vietnam's army and ethnic Hmong demonstrators who are Vietnamese citizens. At least 63 protesters have been killed since the outbreak of the peaceful, mass demonstrations, according to the Center for Public Policy Analysis, Hmong non-governmental organizations, and Hmong, Vietnamese and Laotian sources in Dien Bien province, and along the Vietnam- Laos border, where the demonstrations began over a week ago.

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) has announced that it has sealed off the area of the demonstrations to independent journalists and news media, baring journalists from covering the events involving thousands of protesters, and has deployed army troops to end the public rallies and appeals. Thousands of Vietnam People's Army troops have been deployed to the area in recent days.

Online PR News (press release)

 

Vietnam: Army Convoys, Troops Converge On Hmong Protests, 14 Killed

 

May 9, 2011, Washington, D.C., Dien Bein Phu, Vietnam, and Phongsali, Laos


Fresh combat regiments of Vietnam Peoples Army's soldiers are now converging in a key province of Northern Vietnam to attack and arrest thousands of Hmong Catholic, Protestant and independent Animist religious believers demonstrating for human rights, religious freedom, land reform and an end to illegal logging and deforestation. Fourteen (14) more Viet-Hmong people were confirmed dead in overnight clashes between Vietnam's army and ethnic Hmong demonstrators who are Vietnamese citizens. At least 63 protesters have been killed since the outbreak of the peaceful, mass demonstrations, according to the Center for Public Policy Analysis, Hmong non-governmental organizations, and Hmong, Vietnamese and Laotian sources in Dien Bien province, and along the Vietnam- Laos border, where the demonstrations began over a week ago..


The Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) has announced that it has sealed off the area of the demonstrations to independent journalists and news media, baring journalists from covering the events involving thousands of protesters, and has deployed army troops to end the public rallies and appeals.


“On completely false pretext, and wrong information, the military generals in Hanoi have sent more army troops to attack and arrest our freedom-loving Hmong people which it continues to falsely accuse with wild distortions and misinformation, while at the same time not allowing independent news media and journalists to visit the ordinary Hmong people in Vietnam who have protested against the current injustices, suffering, and religious persecution,” said Christy Lee, Executive Director of Hmong Advance, Inc. in Washington, D.C. “Why are Vietnam's Party leaders afraid of the truth as to why the people are demonstrating in Dien Bien for meaningful and real change and reform in Vietnam ?”


“The mass demonstration for reform in Vietnam's Dien Bien province included nearly 5,000 peaceful Hmong Protestant Christians and 2,000 Hmong Catholics with the rest being peace-loving Hmong Animists.” Ms. Lee said. “The Vietnam People's Army has now killed at least 63 people who were unarmed and peace-loving citizens of Vietnam, many hundreds have been injured or have now disappeared at the hands of the Army which has loaded the Hmong people onto trucks with the soldiers beating them”


Ms. Lee stated further: “The Vietnamese and Viet- Hmong people in Dien Bien province and along the Vietnam – Laos border area in Northern Vietnam have told us that are poor people simply calling on the government in Hanoi, and Communist politburo officials, to restore basic human rights and justice to the Vietnamese common people, and minority citizens, in the province of Dien Bien.”


“The Vietnamese Hmong want Hanoi to institute land reform policies and grant them greater freedom of religion and basic human rights, including an end to oppressive religious persecution as well as halting illegal logging in the province whereby the government is driving the Hmong people from their sacred forest and mountain homelands in Vietnam and Laos,” Lee concluded.


“Today, local sources have reported that fresh regiments of Vietnam People's Army troops in military trucks and vehicles are converging in greater force strength at the sites of the Hmong demonstrations in Dien Bien province from key highways leading to the area including the strategic Route 6 and Route 42,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C.


“We are concerned that many hundreds of Hmong protesters, who are Vietnamese citizens, are being arrested, beaten and forced onto Army trucks by soldiers where they are disappearing after being transported out of the area to unknown locations in Vietnam or Laos,” Smith said.


“The new Vietnam People's Army (VPA) army units deployed against the protesters include regimental-strength convoys of military trucks and armored personnel carriers targeting the Hmong demonstrators for arrest and transport,, by force, to unknown locations,” Smith said.


“At least eight more Hmong Christian demonstrators, five men and three women, were killed overnight in clashes with the Army and Vietnamese security forces in Dien Bien province,” Smith said citing Hmong, Vietnamese and non-governmental sources on location in Dien Bien province and the Laos and Vietnamese border area of Northern Vietnam.


“Fresh regiments of Vietnam People's Army soldiers are being deployed to Dien Bien province and are continuing to attack and pursuing many of the peaceful Hmong Catholic and Protestant demonstrators pursuing them into their villages and the mountains,” Smith stated. “ Heliborne combat troops have been deployed as well as M-8 helicopter gunships to attack and pursue the Hmong in the highland areas.”


“Additionally, early this morning, five Hmong demonstrators, 3 men and 2 women, were machined gunned to death by an armored personnel carrier when the were caught fleeing the protest region, on Route 42, and had the misfortune of running into a mechanized regiment of Vietnam People's Army troops that were being newly deployed to the area,” Smith commented.


“Unfortunately, the group of five Hmong who were machine-gunned to death this morning by the Army were ordinary and poor people— mountain-dwelling, Animist believers who had joined the demonstrations only to seek land reform, human rights and greater religious freedom for their suffering people in this neglected area of Northern Vietnam,” Smith said.

###

Contact:  Helen Cruz

CPPA - Center for Public Policy Analysis

(202) 543-1444

info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org


 

Vietnam: Army Convoys, Troops Converge On Hmong Protests, 14 Killed

 

May 9, 2011, Washington, D.C., Dien Bein Phu, Vietnam, and Phongsali, Laos


Fresh combat regiments of Vietnam Peoples Army's soldiers are now converging in a key province of Northern Vietnam to attack and arrest thousands of Hmong Catholic, Protestant and independent Animist religious believers demonstrating for human rights, religious freedom, land reform and an end to illegal logging and deforestation. Fourteen (14) more Viet-Hmong people were confirmed dead in overnight clashes between Vietnam's army and ethnic Hmong demonstrators who are Vietnamese citizens. At least 63 protesters have been killed since the outbreak of the peaceful, mass demonstrations, according to the Center for Public Policy Analysis, Hmong non-governmental organizations, and Hmong, Vietnamese and Laotian sources in Dien Bien province, and along the Vietnam- Laos border, where the demonstrations began over a week ago..


The Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) has announced that it has sealed off the area of the demonstrations to independent journalists and news media, baring journalists from covering the events involving thousands of protesters, and has deployed army troops to end the public rallies and appeals.


“On completely false pretext, and wrong information, the military generals in Hanoi have sent more army troops to attack and arrest our freedom-loving Hmong people which it continues to falsely accuse with wild distortions and misinformation, while at the same time not allowing independent news media and journalists to visit the ordinary Hmong people in Vietnam who have protested against the current injustices, suffering, and religious persecution,” said Christy Lee, Executive Director of Hmong Advance, Inc. in Washington, D.C. “Why are Vietnam's Party leaders afraid of the truth as to why the people are demonstrating in Dien Bien for meaningful and real change and reform in Vietnam ?”


“The mass demonstration for reform in Vietnam's Dien Bien province included nearly 5,000 peaceful Hmong Protestant Christians and 2,000 Hmong Catholics with the rest being peace-loving Hmong Animists.” Ms. Lee said. “The Vietnam People's Army has now killed at least 63 people who were unarmed and peace-loving citizens of Vietnam, many hundreds have been injured or have now disappeared at the hands of the Army which has loaded the Hmong people onto trucks with the soldiers beating them”


Ms. Lee stated further: “The Vietnamese and Viet- Hmong people in Dien Bien province and along the Vietnam – Laos border area in Northern Vietnam have told us that are poor people simply calling on the government in Hanoi, and Communist politburo officials, to restore basic human rights and justice to the Vietnamese common people, and minority citizens, in the province of Dien Bien.”


“The Vietnamese Hmong want Hanoi to institute land reform policies and grant them greater freedom of religion and basic human rights, including an end to oppressive religious persecution as well as halting illegal logging in the province whereby the government is driving the Hmong people from their sacred forest and mountain homelands in Vietnam and Laos,” Lee concluded.


“Today, local sources have reported that fresh regiments of Vietnam People's Army troops in military trucks and vehicles are converging in greater force strength at the sites of the Hmong demonstrations in Dien Bien province from key highways leading to the area including the strategic Route 6 and Route 42,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C.


“We are concerned that many hundreds of Hmong protesters, who are Vietnamese citizens, are being arrested, beaten and forced onto Army trucks by soldiers where they are disappearing after being transported out of the area to unknown locations in Vietnam or Laos,” Smith said.


“The new Vietnam People's Army (VPA) army units deployed against the protesters include regimental-strength convoys of military trucks and armored personnel carriers targeting the Hmong demonstrators for arrest and transport,, by force, to unknown locations,” Smith said.


“At least eight more Hmong Christian demonstrators, five men and three women, were killed overnight in clashes with the Army and Vietnamese security forces in Dien Bien province,” Smith said citing Hmong, Vietnamese and non-governmental sources on location in Dien Bien province and the Laos and Vietnamese border area of Northern Vietnam.


“Fresh regiments of Vietnam People's Army soldiers are being deployed to Dien Bien province and are continuing to attack and pursuing many of the peaceful Hmong Catholic and Protestant demonstrators pursuing them into their villages and the mountains,” Smith stated. “ Heliborne combat troops have been deployed as well as M-8 helicopter gunships to attack and pursue the Hmong in the highland areas.”


“Additionally, early this morning, five Hmong demonstrators, 3 men and 2 women, were machined gunned to death by an armored personnel carrier when the were caught fleeing the protest region, on Route 42, and had the misfortune of running into a mechanized regiment of Vietnam People's Army troops that were being newly deployed to the area,” Smith commented.


“Unfortunately, the group of five Hmong who were machine-gunned to death this morning by the Army were ordinary and poor people— mountain-dwelling, Animist believers who had joined the demonstrations only to seek land reform, human rights and greater religious freedom for their suffering people in this neglected area of Northern Vietnam,” Smith said.

###

Contact:  Helen Cruz

CPPA - Center for Public Policy Analysis

(202) 543-1444

info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

 

 

Vietnam Crackdown: More Hmong Killed As Army Deploys


May 7, 2011, Washington, D.C., Vientiane, Laos and Bangkok Thailand

More Hmong protesters have been killed or arrested in Dien Bien province today as Vietnam deployed additional army units and thousands of soldiers and police to seek to contain mass demonstrations and the spread of discontent with the policies of the government in Hanoi, and local communist party officials. Hundreds of additional ethnic Hmong are missing or have disappeared, many have been arrested and loaded onto military trucks where they are being sent to unknown locations in Vietnam or Laos..

Vietnam People's Army troops and security forces have killed at least 21 more ethnic Hmong protesters on May 6-7, in the Dien Bien province area of Northern Vietnam and seriously wounded 132 more according to the Center for Public Policy Analysis, non-governmental organizations and Hmong, Vietnamese and Lao sources in the province and border area. Casualties continue to mount with a total of 49 now know dead since the crackdown by Vietnam's army More Hmong demonstrators have also disappeared at the hands of Vietnamese security forces as Hanoi seeks to seal the remote, mountainous border area, with Laos off from independent journalists.

“Innocent Hmong protesters seeking basic reforms, and to address fundamental injustices, are now being attacked by Vietnam People's Army troops and propaganda and false allegations from Hanoi; ” said Christy Lee, Executive Director of Hmong Advance, Inc. in Washington, D.C.

“The soldiers have killed another 21 more people and have wounded and arrested hundreds more according to what our Hmong people are reporting and from our sources in the Dien Bien province area of Vietnam and the border area with Laos,” Ms. Lee stated. “Another Hmong person is on the verge of death from her wounds inflicted by any AK-47 army rifle-butt and bayonet”

“We know that the Army has falsely accused the Vietnamese and Hmong people engaged in the recent protests and rallies and has moved in many armored vehicles and trucks to take the Hmong people away to unknown locations in Vietnam, or Laos, where they may be tortured or killed, or simply disappear,” Lee concluded.

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam's (SRV) information ministry, and military officials charged with suppressing the open uprising against the government in Northern Vietnam, have accused the protesters of being irredentists, which the Hmong in Dien Bein province have denied and deemed propaganda. http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/136155-1304626071-vietnam-peoples-army-attacks-peaceful-hmong-demonstrators.html
“The situation is in flux in Northern Vietnam, but presently, we know that 21 more Hmong have been killed by Vietnam People's Army soldiers and police in Dien Bien Province in the last 24 hours,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy (CPPA) in Washington, D.C.

“Currently, a total of at least 49 Hmong people are known to have been killed by Vietnam People's Army troops and special police since Hanoi's crackdown was launched by the military against peaceful Hmong demonstrators,” Smith commented.

“At the height of the rallies, the Hmong demonstrations for land reform and religious freedom involved more that 8,500 people in Dien Bien province and the Dien Bien Phu area along the border of Vietnam and Laos,” Smith said. “The Hmong were peacefully calling for basic human rights and government reform.”

“We have received credible reports that 1263 Hmong have been arrested and loaded onto military trucks where they are being sent to unknown locations by Vietnam People's Army soldiers and special paramilitary police,” Smith stated.

“Most of the Hmong killed and wounded in recent days by the Vietnamese troops suffered gunshot wounds from automatic weapons, or were apparently beaten and bayoneted to death,” Smith said.

“Unfortunately, thousands of Vietnamese soldiers and police began attacking the Hmong demonstrators to try to disperse the crowds voicing calls for land reform, human rights and religious freedom,” Smith commented. “We are urging the government of Vietnam and the Army to immediately cease these senseless and blood attacks against the Hmong protesters and their families.

“Casualties continue to mount and more Hmong demonstrators have disappeared at the hands of Vietnamese security forces as Hanoi seeks to seal the area off and pursue the people into the mountains and jungles,:” Smith observed.

“We have reports that over 1263 Hmong demonstrators are missing at the hands of Vietnamese People's Army soldiers and secret police who have brought in military trucks to force Hmong protesters arrested, ” Smith concluded.
The ongoing religious persecution of minority Christians and independent Animist, and Buddhist believers, by the state security apparatus and military in Vietnam, and Laos, remains problemati and is a serious problem for the Hmong and other ethnic groups..
According to the CPPA and other sources, at least seventeen Viet-Hmong Christians were killed and 33 wounded on May 3rd in the Dien Bien Province, and Dien Bein Phu, areas of Vietnam bordering Laos n attacks by VPA military forces. All of these people were independent Catholic and Protestant Christian believers. Additionally, eleven independent Viet-Hmong animist believers were also known, and confirmed, to have been killed on the same day by Vietnam People's Army forces.

###
Contact:  Maria Gomez
Tele. (202) 543-1444
CPPA - Center for Public Policy Analysis
2020 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Suite 220
Washington, DC 20006

Vietnam People's Army Attacks Peaceful Hmong Demonstrators

Online PR News (press release) - - ‎May 5, 2011‎
Deputy National Defense Minister, Senior Lieutenant-General Nguyen Huy Hieu, was reportedly consulted, along with other officials in Hanoi, prior to the bloody crackdown against the unarmed Hmong. Vietnam People's Army Chief of the General Staff, ..

Online PR News – 05-May-2011 –Vientiane, Laos, Bangkok, Thailand, and Washington, D.C. - Thousands of peaceful, unarmed Viet-Hmong minority political and religious dissidents along the Laos-Vietnam border, who are staging mass protests demanding religious freedom and land reforms from the communist regime in Hanoi, have been attacked by Vietnam People's Army (VPA) troops and security forces in the remote Dien Bien province of Vietnam. At least, twenty-eight ethnic Hmong people, engaged in staging protests against government policies, are confirmed dead in recent days, with hundreds more missing, along the Laos -Vietnam border area of Vietnam, according to Lao Hmong non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the Center for Public Policy Analysis in Washington, D.C. http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam's (SRV)information ministry, and military officials charged with suppressing the open uprising against the government in Northern Vietnam, have accused the protesters of being irredentists, which the Hmong in Dien Bein province have denied and deemed propaganda.

Significant numbers of Vietnam People's Army infantry, as well as hundreds of mechanized troops, in cooperation with Lao People's Army (LPA) soldiers, were rushed to the Dien Bein border area at the direction of the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the SRV on May 3-6, 2011.
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1105/S00090/vietnam-laos-uprising-28-hmong-protesters-killed.htm

Ground attack helicopters were also reportedly dispatched from bases in Laos and Vietnam by the VPA, at the direction of the armed forces Chief of Staff of Vietnam. Lt. General Tran Quang Khue, and other VPA generals, who dominate the military and politburo in Vietnam, have reportedly played a major role in the crack-down, and deployment of the armed forces, against the peaceful Hmong protesters.

.
 
 
Vietnam, Laos Uprising: 28 Hmong Protesters Killed

Washington, D.C., Bangkok, Thailand, and Vientiane, Laos, May 5, 2011
Center for Public Policy Analysis

Thousands of Viet-Hmong minority political and religious dissidents along the Laos - Vietnam border, who are staging mass protests demanding religious freedom and land reforms from the communist regime in Hanoi, have been attacked by Vietnam People's Army (VPA) troops and security forces in the remote Dien Bien province of Vietnam. Twenty-eight (28) ethnic Hmong people, protesting against government policies, are confirmed dead in recent days, with hundreds more missing, along the Laos -Vietnam border area of the the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV), according to Lao Hmong non-governmental organizations, and the Center for Public Policy Analysis in Washington, D.C.

Large numbers of Vietnam People's Army infantry and mechanized troops, as well as Lao People's Army (LPA) soldiers, were rushed to the Dien Bein border area at the direction of the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the SRV on May 3-5, 2011. Ground attack helicopters were also reportedly dispatched from bases in Laos and Vietnam by the VPA, at the direction of the armed forces Chef of Staff of Vietnam. General Tran Quang Khue, and other VPA generals, who dominate the politburo in Vietnam, have reportedly played a major role in the crack-down, and deployment of the armed forces, against the peaceful Hmong protesters.

“We are concerned about credible reports that many poor and ordinary Hmong people in the Dien Bein area, as well as other people along the Vietnam and Laos border, have been arrested or killed by Vietnamese Army, and Lao Army, soldiers and police because of their protests for land reform to Communist officials in Hanoi, their opposition to illegal logging, or because of their independent Christian and Animist religious beliefs ,” said Christy Lee, Executive Director of Hmong Advance, Inc.(HAI) in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Lee continued: “Ordinary Hmong people, and other highland and forest-dwelling minority peoples in Laos and Vietnam, have also been subjected to a new and increasing injustice by the authorities and Vietnam People's Army-owned companies, which continue their oppressive methods, religious persecution, and to engage in illegal logging in Vietnam and Laos, including the Dien Bien area in Vietnam, as well as the Laotian provinces of Xieng Khouang, Khammoune, Luang Prabang and elsewhere.”

“The Hmong, and other minority Christian and Animist religious believers, are being driven of their lands and killed and persecuted by corrupt Communist party officials and the military elite in Vietnam and Laos,” Ms. Lee stated.

“At least twenty-eight Viet-Hmong are known to have been killed, and 33 wounded, in recent attacks by Vietnam People's Army troops in the Dien Bien area of Vietnam,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C.

The non-governmental organizations, including the CPPA, HAI, Hmong Advancement, Inc. and others, cite Hmong, Vietnamese and Lao sources inside the area of Dien Bien provice where the Hmong are currently staging mass protests against Vietnam's communist and military authorities.

“The Viet-Hmong people fleeing to Laos from Dien Bien province, during the recent anti-government protests and crackdown in Vietnam, have also been arrested by Lao security forces and VPA troops who are working closely together to jointly seek to arrest, persecute and kill them,.” Smith stated.

“In recent days, significant numbers of Vietnam People's Army troops from Hanoi, and security forces from Laos, have been deployed for special military operations directed against the Hmong minority people, and independent religious believers and political dissidents, along the Vietnam – Laos border and the Dien Bein province area of Vietnam,” Smith observed.

Smith continued: “At least seventeen Viet-Hmong Christians were killed and 33 wounded on May 3rd in the Dien Bien Province, and Dien Bein Phu, areas of Vietnam bordering Laos n attacks by VPA military forces. All of these people were independent Catholic and Protestant Christian believers. Additionally, eleven independent Viet-Hmong animist believers were also known, and confirmed, to have been killed on the same day by Vietnam People's Army forces. .”

“Hundreds of Viet and Lao-Hmong minority peoples are also missing after the attacks directed against the peaceful protesters by the Vietnamese government forces in the Dien Bein area,” Smith stated.

“In addition to the seventeen Hmong Christians, an additional eleven independent Viet-Hmong animist believers were also confirmed killed on the same day by VPA forces because they also were accused of worshiping outside of the communist government's control in Hanoi and because they were standing up for land reform and the religious freedom of the Viet-Hmong and Lao-Hmong people,” Smith continued.

“Lao-Hmong forest and highland-dwelling people who have fled horrific religious persecution as well as illegal logging by Vietnam People's Army-owned companies in Laos continue to flee to Vietnam and Thailand as political refugees by the hundreds each year,” Smith concluded.

In December of 2009, Thailand forced some eight thousand Lao Hmong political refugees back to Laos, despited international protests. They were put under the direction of the Deputy Chief of the Lao Armed Forces who was previously accused by human rights and international humanitarian organizations of taking a leadership role in perpetuating atrocities and egregious human rights violations against Lao Hmong civilians, including the rape, murder and mutilation of Lao Hmong women and children.

Lately, the VPA and SRV have played a significantly increased role in Laos, with hundreds of additional troops and security forces from Vietnam being deployed in Laos in recent years.

###
Contact:  Ms. Helen Cruz
Center for Public Policy Analysis
Tele. (202) 543-1444
2020 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Suite No.#212
Washington, DC 20006 USA

Online PR News – 30-April-2011 –Washington, DC and St. Paul, Minnesota, April 30, 2011
CPPA - Center for Public Policy Analysis

Minnesota Twin Cities' Hmong-American families have renewed an international plea for amnesty for their wrongly-jailed family members in
Laos. St. Paul, and Minneapolis, Laotian and Hmong-American families, community members and human rights organizations, continue to speak out requesting the release of three Hmong-American citizens who were arrested in Laos by Lao People's Army soldiers and secret police in August of 2007. The families, joined by Laotian and Hmong non-governmental and non-profit organizations, have appealed to U.S. President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Lao President and communist party leader, Lt. General Choummaly Sayasone,

General Choummaly Sayasone heads the one-party military junta in Vientiane and also serves as the President.

“Our families in Minnesota, and many in the Laotian and Hmong-American community, are appealing to President Barack Obama, the White House and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to press the Lao government to immediately release the three Hmong men who were arrested and wrongly imprisoned in Laos for over three and a half years, without charges being filed,” said Sheng Xiong of Minnesota, a spokeswoman for the families of the men.

The three American citizens of ethnic Lao Hmong descent, Congshineng Yang, Trillion Yunhaison and Hakit Yang, traveled from Minnesota in July of 2007 to Laos as tourists, and to seek potential business investment opportunities in Laos.

Mrs. Sheng Xiong recently voiced a renewed international appeal for the families, and many in the Lao Hmong-American community, to Scoop News in New Zealand, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) in Minneapolis, Businesswire in Washington, D.C., the Washington Times and other newspapers and radio stations..
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1104/S00536/laos-appeal-for-release-of-3-hmong-americans.htm
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/04/21/hmong-americans-held-in-laos/

"We want answers from the Lao government about Hakit Yang, and the other Hmong-Americans, that were arrested while traveling with him in Laos," Mrs. Xiong stated.
http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110423005016/en/Laos-Obama-Urged-Rights-Groups-Hmong-Free
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/apr/26/embassy-row-852424642/

The Australia-based Foreign Prisoners Support Service (FPSS), and author and human rights activist Kay Danes, has repeatedly raised the case of the three jailed Hmong men in Laos. Danes was a keynote speaker at the World Affairs Council and public policy events in Washington, DC in 2009, held in the U.S. Congress and National Press Club, to discuss the plight of the three men jailed in Laos and other human rights and refugee issues regarding Laos, Thailand and Southeast Asia. Mrs. Danes, Sheng Xiong, and others, spoke about the three American's arrest in Laos, imprisonment in Phonthong Prison in Vientiane, and later forced move to a secret Lao People's Army (LPA) military prison in Sam Neua province in the Northeastern part of the Southeast Asian nation. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1001/S00247.htm

Mrs. Danes is also the author of “Standing Ground” ( New Holland Publishers, Australia ) a book about her ordeal as a political prisoner suffering, and witnessing torture, in Vientiane's Phonthong Prison in Laos. Kay and Kerry Danes were jailed by corrupt Lao communist party officials, who sought to seize the assets for foreign investors in Laos. The Danes were released after the high-level intervention of human rights activists, the Australian Embassy in Laos, Australian Foreign Ministry and others. http://www.newholland.com.au/product.php?isbn=9781741107579

The Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and its Executive Director, Philip Smith, as well as others concerned about human rights and foreign policy issues in Laos, and Southeast Asia, continue to raise concerns about this humanitarian case and other issues.
http:www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“We are concerned that the White House, and President Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton, appear to be unaware of the serious human rights violations being committed by the Lao People's Army, and senior communist party officials, against American citizens traveling to Laos as well as independent Laotian and Hmong religious believers, student leaders, political refugees, dissidents and peaceful opposition groups,” Smith said.

“We are requesting that the White House, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, vigorously and repeatedly address this terrible injustice; We want the Obama Administration and U.S. Embassy in Laos to raise the issue of the ongoing imprisonment of the three Hmong-American citizens from Minnesota, at the highest diplomatic levels with the Lao government, and urge that the three American men be immediately released from Laos' notorious and secret gulag system,” Smith stated.

“The continued imprisonment of American citizens in Laos-- and other critical human rights, religious freedom, refugee and other issues -- should be raised with the Lao President Lt. General Choummaly Sayasone , and other senior LPA military generals and communist politburo members at meetings with Obama Administration and State Department officials,” Smith said.

“Unfortunately, corruption and human rights violations in Laos, by Lao communist party and military officials is rampant, and we are concerned that the White House, President Obama and Secretary Clinton, not be perceived as appeasing the Lao military junta while it continues to wrongly jail and abuse American citizens and many of its own Laotian people, including the Hmong and Lao student pro-democracy leaders; Currently, the one-party regime in Laos is a close ally of authoritarian regimes in Burma and North Korea, which is another serious concern,” Smith concluded.

###

Contact: Maria Gomez
Center for Public Policy Analysis
2020 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Suite 220
Washington, D.C. 20006

Tele. (202) 543-1444
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

 

Amnesty Urged for Laos, Hmong Prisoners from Minnesota

Washington, DC and St. Paul, Minnesota, April 28, 2011
Center for Public Policy Analysis
Minnesota Twin Cities' Hmong-American families have renewed an international plea for amnesty for their wrongly-jailed family members in Laos. St. Paul, and Minneapolis, Laotian and Hmong-American families, community members and human rights organizations, continue to speak out requesting the release of three Hmong-American citizens who were arrested in Laos by Lao People's Army soldiers and secret police in August of 2007. The families, joined by Laotian and Hmong non-governmental and non-profit organizations, have appealed to U.S. President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Lao President and communist party leader, Lt. General Choummaly Sayasone,
General Choummaly Sayasone heads the one-party military junta in Vientiane and also serves as the President.

“Our families in Minnesota, and many in the Laotian and Hmong-American community, are appealing to President Barack Obama, the White House and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to press the Lao government to immediately release the three Hmong men who were arrested and wrongly imprisoned in Laos for over three and a half years, without charges being filed,” said Sheng Xiong of Minnesota., a spokeswoman for the families of the men.

The three American citizens of ethnic Lao Hmong descent, Congshineng Yang, Trillion Yunhaison and Hakit Yang, traveled from Minnesota in July of 2007 to Laos as tourists, and to seek potential business investment opportunities in Laos.

Mrs. Sheng Xiong recently voiced a renewed international appeal for the families, and many in the Lao Hmong-American community, to Scoop News in New Zealand, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) in Minneapolis, Businesswire in Washington, D.C., the Washington Times and other newspapers and radio stations..
"We want answers from the Lao government about Hakit Yang, and the other Hmong-Americans, that were arrested while traveling with him in Laos," Mrs. Xiong stated. 

The Australia-based Foreign Prisoners Support Service (FPSS), and author and human rights activist Kay Danes, has repeatedly raised the case of the three jailed Hmong men in Laos. Danes was a keynote speaker at the World Affairs Council and public policy events in Washington, DC in 2009, held in the U.S. Congress and National Press Club, to discuss the plight of the three men jailed in Laos and other human rights and refugee issues regarding Laos, Thailand and Southeast Asia. Mrs. Danes, Sheng Xiong, and others, spoke about the three American's arrest in Laos, imprisonment in Phonthong Prison in Vientiane, and later forced move to a secret Lao People's Army (LPA) military prison in Sam Neua province in the Northeastern part of the Southeast Asian nation. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1001/S00247.htm

Mrs. Danes is also the author of “Standing Ground” ( New Holland Publishers, Australia ) a book about her ordeal as a political prisoner suffering, and witnessing torture, in Vientiane's Phonthong Prison in Laos. Kay and Kerry Danes were jailed by corrupt Lao communist party officials, who sought to seize the assets for foreign investors in Laos. The Danes were released after the high-level intervention of human rights activists, the Australian Embassy in Laos, Australian Foreign Ministry and others. http://www.newholland.com.au/product.php?isbn=9781741107579

The Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and its Executive Director, Philip Smith, as well as others concerned about human rights and foreign policy issues in Laos, and Southeast Asia, continue to raise concerns about this humanitarian case and other issues.

“We are concerned that the White House, and President Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton, appear to be unaware of the serious human rights violations being committed by the Lao People's Army, and senior communist party officials, against American citizens traveling to Laos as well as independent Laotian and Hmong religious believers, student leaders, political refugees, dissidents and peaceful opposition groups,” Smith said.

“We are requesting that the White House, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, vigorously and repeatedly address this terrible injustice; We want the Obama Administration and U.S. Embassy in Laos to raise the issue of the ongoing imprisonment of the three Hmong-American citizens from Minnesota, at the highest diplomatic levels with the Lao government, and urge that the three American men be immediately released from Laos' notorious and secret gulag system,” Smith stated.

“The continued imprisonment of American citizens in Laos-- and other critical human rights, religious freedom, refugee and other issues -- should be raised with the Lao President Lt. General Choummaly Sayasone , and other senior LPA military generals and communist politburo members at meetings with Obama Administration and State Department officials,” Smith said.

“Unfortunately, corruption and human rights violations in Laos, by Lao communist party and military officials is rampant, and we are concerned that the White House, President Obama and Secretary Clinton, are not be perceived as appeasing the Lao military junta while it continues to wrongly jail and abuse American citizens and many of its own Laotian people, including the Hmong and Lao student pro-democracy leaders; the one-party regime in Laos is a close ally of authoritarian regimes in Burma and North Korea which is another serious concern,” Smith concluded.

###

Contact:  Maria Gomez
Center for Public Policy Analysis
2020 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20006
Tele. (202) 543-1444

Laos, Obama Urged By Rights Groups, Hmong, to Free 3 Americans

WASHINGTON & MINNEAPOLIS & ST. PAUL, Minn. April 23, 2011 --(BUSINESS WIRE)--A coalition of Laotian and Hmong non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), have joined the families of three Hmong-Americans from Minnesota in issuing an international appeal for the release of their relatives who have been imprisoned in Laos for over three years. The appeal requests that the Lao government, and U.S. President Barack Obama, work at a higher diplomatic level, with urgent priority, to release the three Hmong-American citizens.

In August 2007, for unknown reasons, Lao People's Army (LPA) troops and secret police arrested the three Americans: Mr. Hakit Yang, 24; Mr. Congshineng Yang, 34; and Mr. Trillion Yunhaison, 44.

The Hmong-Americans remain imprisoned in Laos' Sam Neua province by LPA troops and secret police. The three are being held without charges being filed, or due process, according to the Foreign Prisoners Support Service (FPSS), the CPPA, human rights organizations, family members and others.

Mrs. Sheng Xiong, a spokeswoman for the families, and Philip Smith of the CPPA, spoke to Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) about the case.

“I just wish the Lao government would be upfront ...,” Xiong told MPR.
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/04/21/hmong-americans-held-in-laos/

 

“We want answers now from the Lao government about the arrest and continued imprisonment of my husband, Hakit Yang, and the other two Hmong-Americans...,” Xiong, stated further.

“We would like to ask the President, Barack Obama, and the U.S. Government, to please seriously help to press the Lao military and government to cooperate in telling the truth about the arrest and imprisonment of our families in Laos so that they can be released and come home to their loved ones, including their wives and children,” Mrs. Xiong said.

“Our Lao Hmong families, and the community in St. Paul and Minneapolis, are appealing to the Lao government... to release my husband, Hakit Yang, and his colleagues...,” Xiong commented.

“We are grateful to Kay Danes and the FPSS in Australia for helping to bring new and updated information, and evidence, about the arrest and continued jailing of my husband in Laos-- and we appreciate her book 'Standing Ground' regarding... the plight of prisoners at Phonthong Prison, in Vientiane, where my husband was jailed...,” Xiong concluded.

“The LPA, and secret police, later moved the three Americans, including Sheng Xiong's husband Hakit Yang, from Xieng Khouang province, where they were arrested, to Laos' notorious Phonthong Prison, in the capital of Vientiane, where the men were interrogated, beaten and tortured, according to eyewitness and multiple sources...,” said Philip Smith, Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C.
http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“In 2009, the three Hmong-American men were again moved... and are now being held in a secret LPA military-operated prison camp in Sam Neua Province, Laos,” Smith stated. “We are urging President Obama to press the Lao military and government, at a higher diplomatic level, to release the three Americans...”

“Additionally, we are also appealing to President Obama, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to assist with the release of other Lao and Hmong political prisoners and religious dissidents in Laos...,” Smith concluded.

“We condemn, in the strongest terms, the continued imprisonment by the Lao military and communist officials in Laos of Mr. Hakit Yang, Mr. Conghineng Yang and Trillion Yunhaison, who are U.S. citizens still being held without charge in horrific conditions in Laos by the LPA and secret police,” said Christy Lee, Director of Hmong Advance, Inc. (HAI) in Washington, D.C.
http://www.hmongadvance.org

The NGOs joining the Hmong-American families in urging Laos, and the White House, to help release the Americans include the CPPA, HAI, Hmong Advancement, United Lao for Human Rights and Democracy, Lao Human Rights Council, Hmong Students Association, Lao Students for Democracy, United League for Democracy in Laos, Laos Institute for Democracy and Lao Veterans of America.

On March 16, the CPPA issued an appeal regarding the imprisoned Hmong-Americans and human rights violations in Laos.
http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110316007171/en/Laos-Hmong-Crisis-Rights-Groups-International-Appeal

CPPA - Center for Public Policy Analysis
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

 

Contacts

Center for Public Policy Analysis
Helen Cruz, 202-543-1444
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

 

 

 

 
 
Laos: Appeal for Release of 3 Hmong-Americans

Washington, D.C., Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, April 21, 2011
Center for Public Policy Analysis

The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and a coalition of Laotian and Hmong non-governmental organizations have joined the Minnesota families of three Hmong-Americans in issuing an appeal for the release of their relatives being held in Laos for over three years by military and communist party officials. The appeal was issued from Washington, D.C., and the Twin Cities of Minnesota, to the Lao government and U.S. President Barack Obama to request that they work at a higher diplomatic level, with urgent priority, to release three Hmong-American citizens arrested and currently imprisoned in Laos.

The three jailed Americans, of ethnic Hmong descent from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, have been imprisoned in Laos for over three years-- according to eye-witness sources, human rights groups, prisoner support organizations, and humanitarian activists, including Australian author and humanitarian advocate Kay Danes. . http://www.presszoom.com/print_story_140676.htm

According to the Foreign Prisoners Support Service in Australia, CPPA, family members and other sources, the three Minnesota men were arrested in Laos by Lao military and security forces while they were visiting Laos in the summer of 2007 as tourists and potential investors.. The three Hmong-Americans remained imprisoned in Laos' Sam Neua Province by Lao military and ministry of interior police.. They are currently being held without charges being filed, or due process.

“We want answers now from the Lao government about the arrest and continued imprisonment of my husband, Hakit Yang, and the other two Hmong-Americans traveling with him from Minnesota,” said Sheng Xiong, a spokeswoman for the families of the three Hmong-Americans arrested in the summer of 2007 in Xieng Khouang Province. http://www.media-newswire.com/release_1089564.html

“Our Lao Hmong families, and the community in St. Paul and Minneapolis, are appealing to the Lao government once again to release my husband Hakit Yang and his colleagues immediately, and unconditionally,” Mrs. Xiong further stated.

“We would like to ask the President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the U.S. government to please seriously help to press the Lao military and government to cooperate in telling the truth about the arrest and imprisonment of our families in Laos so that they can be released and come home to their loved ones, including their wives and children,” Xiong said.

“We are grateful to Kay Danes and the Foreign Prisoners Support Service in Australia for helping to bring new and updated information and evidence about the arrest and continued jailing of my husband in Laos and we appreciate her book 'Standing Ground' regarding her experience and first-hand knowledge about the the plight of prisoners at Phonthong Prison in Vientiane were my husband was jailed by the Lao authorities,” Xiong concluded.

Lao People's Army (LPA) troops and secret police arrested the three Americans: Mr. Hakit Yang, 24; Mr. Conghineng Yang,, 34; and Trillion Yunhaison, 44. The three were U.S. citizens from St. Paul, Minnesota and the Twin Cities area of Minnesota where their immediate families remain. A fourth Hmong individual Mr. Pao Vang, of unknown nationality and age, was reportedly acting as tour guide for the group, and was also reportedly arrested and jailed with them according to sources inside Laos.

“The LPA and secret police later moved the three Americans, including Sheng Xiong's husband Hakit Yang, to Laos' notorious Phonthong Prison, in the capital of Vientiane, where the men were interrogated, beaten and tortured according to eyewitnesses as well as numerous and redundant Hmong, Laotian, Australian, and other sources,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director for the CPPA in Washington, D.C. http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“In 2009, the three Hmong-American men were again moved a second time in army trucks and vehicles, and are now being held in a secret LPA military-operated prison camp in Sam Neua Province, Laos, “ Smith stated.

“Australian human rights activist and author Kay Danes as well as the Foreign Prisoners Support Service have also uncovered more details of the Lao government's continued imprisonment and mistreatment of the three American's from Minnesota.,” Smith continued.

“We are urging President Barack Obama to press the Lao military and government, at a higher diplomatic level, to release the three Americans from the Twin Cities of Minnesota,” Smith said.

“We are also appealing to President Obama, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to assist with the release of Lao and Hmong political prisoners and religious dissidents in Laos, including jailed Lao student pro-democracy leaders and the Hmong translator for Pastor Naw Karl Mua, of St. Paul, and two European journalists who were also previously arrested and imprisoned in Laos,” Smith concluded.

“We condemn, in the strongest terms, the continued imprisonment by the Lao military and communist officials in Laos of Mr. Hakit Yang, Mr. Conghineng Yang and Trillion Yunhaison, who are U.S. citizens still being held without charge in horrific conditions in Laos by the Lao Peoples Army and secret police,” said Christy Lee, the Executive Director of Hmong Advance, Inc. (HAI) in Washington, D.C.

“Laotian and Hmong-Americans are concerned that this is yet another brutal example of the Lao government's, and LPA military's, institutional violence and endemic racism directed against the Hmong people in Laos who continue to suffer mistreatment, gross human rights violations, extra-judicial killings, religious persecution, the confiscation of their land, and many other terrible abuses from the Lao military and corrupt communist party officials,” Ms. Lee stated from HAI offices in Washington..

On March 16, 2011, the CPPA and others issued and international appeal regarding the plight of the three Hmong-Americans from Minnesota as well as political prisoners and religious dissidents being jailed in Laos.

The United Nations' Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in Geneva has repeated cited the government of Laos, and Lao People's Army soldiers and commanders, for egregious human rights violations and institutional racism, including the rape and killing of unarmed Lao Hmong civilians.

In 2003, the United Nations' CERD passed a resolution in Geneva condemning the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (LPDR) for atrocities against the Hmong including the rape and murder of Hmong children by LPA forces. Thereafter, it again raised concerns about attacks against Hmong civilians and opposition groups in Laos. http://www.universalhumanrightsindex.org/documents/824/1223/document/en/pdf/text.pdf

“We want the one-party communist regime in Laos to abide by international law and release the three Lao Hmong-American citizens from St. Paul who have been jailed in Laos for over three years, ” said Boon Boualaphanh , of the Minneapolis -based United Lao for Human Rights and Democracy (ULHRD). “These America citizens and other prisoners , including prisoners of conscience and political prisoners, should also be released by the Lao military and communist party authorities including the Lao student leaders of the October 1999 Movement for Democracy in Vientiane.”
..
The Hmong-Americans currently being jailed in Laos, have no known political or family ties to opposition or dissident factions and had departed the United States for travel to Laos on July 10, 2007, from the Twin Cities of Minnesota as tourists and to potentially seek business and investment opportunities in Laos, prior to their arrest and imprisonment.

Australian Kay Danes, a former political prisoner in Laos, spoke in the U.S. Congress and the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in April 2009, with Sheng Xiong about the current imprisonment and plight of the three Americans in Laos. Danes is the author of “Standing Ground” a book about her ordeal in Phonthong Prison in Vientiane, Laos, where the three Americans were also imprisoned and tortured before being moved to secret military prison in Sam Neua Province by Lao military and security forces.

Laos is governed by a one-party communist regime whose leadership has repeatedly been deemed as “Press Predators” by the Paris, France-based Journalists Without Borders ( JSF ). Amnesty International and other independent human rights organizations have also raise serous concerns http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=ENGASA260022006


For nearly a decade, a Hmong translator with links to the Twin Cities, who assisted Minnesota Hmong-American Pastor Naw Karl Mua (Naw Karl Moua) and two European journalists, Thierry Falise and Vincent Reynaud, is still imprisoned in Laos on allegations regarding their efforts to document human rights violations. The group documented horrific attacks and atrocities committed by the LPA on Laotian and Hmong civilians, independent Animist and Christians communities, and dissident groups.

Over 8,000 Lao Hmong refugees were forced back to Laos in 2009, and were placed in charge of a LPA General, General Bouasieng Champaphanh, who has repeatedly involved with answering serious human rights and religious freedom violations, and atrocity, charges by the United Nations and independent human rights and religious freedom organizations. http://media-newswire.com/release_1108993.html

The non-profit and non-governmental organizations joining the three Hmong-American families in urging Laos to release the three Americans from Minnesota include the CPPA, HAI, Hmong Advancement, Inc., ULHRD, Lao Human Rights Council, Inc., Hmong Students Association, Lao Hmong Students For Democracy, United League for Democracy in Laos, Laos Institute for Democracy, Lao Veterans of America, Inc., and others.

##

Contact: Jade Lee
CPPA - Center for Public Policy Analysis
Tele. (202) 543-1444

2020 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Suite No. 220
Washington, D.C. 20006 USA

  

  

Laos, Vietnam Troops Execute 4 Hmong Christians



Laos, Vietnam Troops Execute 4 Hmong Christians

Center for Public Policy Analysis
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org


April 15, 2011, Washington, D.C. and Vientiane, Laos

Christian persecution and religious freedom violations have continued to expand and spread to key provinces in Laos, according to the Center for Public Policy Analysis and other rights organizations tracking the issue. Yesterday, four Lao Hmong Christian women were executed for their Christian faith in Xieng Khouang Province, after their Bible was confiscated, by government soldiers and police from Laos and Vietnam.

Vietnam People's Army troops and secret police from Hanoi have been deployed in increasing numbers in key provinces in Laos to boost the Lao People's Army, and communist party efforts, to hunt, persecute and eliminate independent Christian, Animist and Buddhist congregations and religious believers who seek to worship outside of strict state monitoring and control. Laotian and Hmong minority Christian and Animist believers continue to be hunted , brutally tortured, and killed by the Lao military in significant numbers in key provinces in Laos.

“There has been a tragic and major upswing in religious persecution in Laos by Lao and Vietnamese military and communist party officials in the latter part of last year, 2010 as well as within recent months, this year,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C.
http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

Smith continued: “An unarmed group of four Lao Hmong Christian women were summarily executed yesterday, on April 14, 2011, in Xieng Khouang Province, Laos, by government troops for their Christian faith.”

A special unit totally some 150 Lao Peoples Army soldiers, led by Vietnam secret police and military advisors from Hanoi and Vinh, confiscated the group's only Bible and brutally and repeatedly raped at least two of the younger Lao-Hmong women prior to shooting them at point blank range in the head and torso with automatic weapons; their husbands and 26 children, who were forced to witness the atrocity, were beaten, tied up, later blindfolded, and have now disappeared.”

“The upswing in religious persecution in Laos is in part the result of the increased intervention by Vietnam military-civilian authorities in Laos, and Lao Peoples Army (LPA) communist leaders, who are aggressively cracking down on independent Christian, Buddhist and Animist believers with secret police, army and militia units,” Smith said.

“Clearly, there has been a very dramatic increase in the persecution, imprisonment, torture and killing of Lao and Hmong Christians and independent Buddhist and Animist believers in the provinces of Vientiane, Khammoune, Saravan, Xieng Khouang, Luang Prabang and elsewhere in Laos in 2010 and 2011 by the secret police and Lao Peoples Army backed by supporting armed forces and special task units from Hanoi,” Smith observed.

“In a coordinated and expanded fashion, the Vietnam Peoples Army and LPA troops, and security forces, are especially determined to hunt down and kill independent Christian and Animist believers in the highlands of Vietnam and Laos,” Smith stated.

Last Christmas (2010), and in recent years, Lao Christians have often been repeatedly persecuted, jailed or killed for celebrating Christmas or worshiping independently, as documented by the CPPA and other rights and humanitarian organizations.

“We are deeply concerned about the increased persecution, starvation and killing of Laotian and Hmong Christians, and independent Buddhist and Animist believers, by Lao and Vietnam People's Army troops in the provinces of Xieng Khouang, Khammoune, Saravan, Luang Prabang and Vientiane Provinces,” said Boon Boualaphanh , of United Lao for Human Rights and Democracy (ULHRD).

“We want the Socialist Republic of Vietnam ( SRV ), and the Vietnam Peoples Army, to remove all of its security forces and troops from Laos, and we want the Lao military and communist regime to respect the human rights and religious freedom of the Laotian and Lao Hmong people,” said Bounthanh Rathigna of the United League for Democracy in Laos (ULDL).

In February of this year, in Saravan Province, Lao officials reportedly destroyed crops to prevent food from reaching a some 60 impoverished Laotian Christians in rural Saravan province. One man from the group has already died during this time, according to the United Kingdom-based advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and other reliable sources.

Food and water was also cut off the the Laotians in an effort to have them renounce their Christian faith which follows the pattern of the LPA's efforts to starve and kill other Laotian and Hmong Christian groups hiding in the jungles and mountains of Laos.

"The wells are drying up as they are going into the dry season, and their food supplies are exhausted after villagers thwarted their attempts to plant new crops," stated Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom (HRWLRF), a non-governmental organization monitoring the plight of Laotian Christians. “The authorities have successfully gotten them into a situation where they feel defeated.”

Laotian Christians were marched by gunpoint in February of this year from villages in Saravan Province according to reliable and redundant reports, and sources, from both inside and outside Laos. Many terrified Laotian villagers faced starvation in the jungles of Laos on Sunday, February 27, 2011, after they were driven from their village at gunpoint by Lao officials for refusing to give up their Christian faith according to reliable reports from International Christian Concern (ICC) and other sources with contacts inside Saravan Province, Laos.
http://www.persecution.org/ 2011/ 02/ 28/ news-alert-laos-christians-facing-starvation-officials-cutting-off-fo od-water/

Compass Direct News, Cross Walk, and others have reported on similar incidents of egregious religious persecution in Laos in recent months and years.
http://www.crosswalk.com/news/religion-today/christianity-banned-in-lao-village-officials-announce-11606152.html

Last year, in February of 2010, the Christian Post documented similar reports regarding the pattern of religious persecution, and religious freedom violations, in communist Laos.
http://www.christianpost.com/news/lao-officials-force-christians-from-worship-at-gunpoint-43671/

 
 

Concerns Raised As Burma Targets Refugees in Thailand, ASEAN Parliament


April 11, 2011, Washington, D.C. & Bangkok, Thailand

Center for Public Policy Analysis

info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org


The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) has issued a statement today welcoming the retirement of Burma’s General Than Shwe and calling on the new Burmese hybrid government, in its road map to “disciplined democracy”, to adopt true political, social and economic reforms. Burma is expected to seek to join the Association of South East Asia Nations’ (ASEAN) Inter-Parliamentary Assembly as a long-term member by sending representatives to upcoming meeting in Cambodia in September.


The CPPA also expressed concerns today about the recent announcement by elements of Thailand’s government, and powerful military, to deport tens of thousands of Burmese refugees back to Burma in the wake of the transfer of military-civilian power in Burma, and after the retirement of Gen. Than Shwe.


“General Than Shwe's historic retirement as head of the military junta in Burma is an important first step and we welcome it with skeptical optimism and a variety of very deep concerns,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director for the CPPA in Washington, D.C.

http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org/


“We urge the newly elected Burmese Union Parliament, and military-civilian government under President Thein Sein and Army General Min Aung Hlaing, to adopt true political, social and economic reforms, which are badly needed by the people of Burma and widely hoped for by the international community,” Smith stated.


Gen. Than Shwe headed Burma's military junta for nearly two decades, out of the Burmese military’s five decade rule. He has ruled Burma, in an authoritarian fashion, since 1992.


Burma’s Union Parliament reported announced on March 28th its intention to seek formal, long-term membership in ASEAN’s AIPA. The eight present members of AIPA include Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.


“Clearly, more substantive reforms should be undertaken by the new Burmese hybrid, military-civilian government prior to Burma being admitted to ASEAN’s Inter-Parliamentary Assembly,” Smith said.


“Burmese political refugees and asylum seekers should not be deported by Thailand, or forced back to Burma by the Thai military, until concrete reforms and changes have taken place in Burma under the new government, including serious human rights reforms,” Smith said.


“The Burmese military has long targeted many of the refugees who have fled to Thailand from persecution or worse, ” Smith observed.


President Thein Sein is a former Army office and Prime Minister under the General Than Shwe’s State Peace and Development Council, previous know as the State Law and Order Council (SLORC). SLORC engaged in widespread human rights violations against pro-democracy advocates, human rights defenders, minority peoples (including the Karen and Kareni) as well as independent Buddhist monks and Christian and Animist believers.


Gen. Than Shwe and SLORC were staunch allies of brutal authoritarian and communist regimes in Laos, North Korea and elsewhere.


“The new hybrid, military-civilian government in Burma, which has replaced the old military junta under General Than Shwe, is already being criticized in many quarters for being a sham and charade because it combines senior, and extensive, elements of the previous military junta with a nominal number of new civilian elements,” Smith continued.


“The recent end of the old junta in Burma should not merely usher in a new military-run Burma under the guise of ‘disciplined democracy’”, Smith stated.


“Perhaps most importantly, we remain deeply concerned about the exclusion of the Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party in Burma’s new Union Parliament and the overwhelming predominance of the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in the recent elections,” Smith concluded.


The CPPA is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank and research organization focused on foreign and national security policy issues as well as economic development, humanitarian, human rights and refugee matters.


##

Contact:


Maria Gomez

info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

(202) 543-1444

Center for Public Policy Analysis

 

 

Aquino, Philippines Urged to Halt Epidemic of Attacks on Journalists

 

Washington, D.C., and Manila, Philippines, March 28, 2011

Center for Public Policy Analysis

info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org


The Center for Public Policy Analysis in Washington, D.C., has issued an international appeal today calling upon President Benigno Aquino and the Philippine government to make it a higher national priority to address political violence directed against journalists and press freedom in the Philippines. The statement condemns the apparent assassination of radio talk show host and journalist Maria Len Flores Somera who was murdered last Thursday near her home in Malabon city, in metropolitan Manila.


In the wake of the radio journalist “Len” Somera's murder, the international appeal also urges support for Bishop Felixberto Calang's request that the United Nations monitor the ongoing Maguindanao (Mindanao) massacre trial.


“We urge President Benigno Aquino, and the Philippine government, to make it a higher national priority to address the recent murder of journalist Maria Len Flores Somera as well as the epidemic of violent attacks on press freedom, and individual journalists, in the Philippines,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA).


The statement regarding the murder of journalists in the Philippines was issued in Washington, D.C. and Manila by Philip Smith, Director of the CPPA.


The CPPA is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank and research organization focused on foreign policy, human rights, humanitarian affairs, economic development and other public policy issues. http://centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org


“We condemn, in the strongest terms, the unconscionable murder of radio talk show journalist Maria Len Flores Somera which appears to many in the international community as yet another example of political violence and efforts to silence freedom-loving journalists and people in the Philippines seeking reform,” Smith stated.


Somera, 44, was a broadcaster for DZME radio in Manila, prior to being killed on March 24. According to Philippine National Police (PNP) sources, she was shot with a pistol, execution-style, point blank, by a male assailant.


“Mrs. Somera was popular to radio listeners in Manila, in part, for her tireless dedication to freedom of expression and investigative reporting on issues of concern to the public and ordinary people, including matters of government inefficiency, incompetence and corruption among some officials in the Philippines,” Smith said in the CPPA's statement.


Excerpts of the CPPA's international appeal and statement continued:


“Tragically, this appears to be another act of political violence, and horrific human rights violations, directed against journalists in the Philippines who seek to freely and fairly inform the public about current events and developments, including issues of governance, public service and corruption;”


“We urge President Benigno Aquino, and the Philippine government, to make it their highest priority to apprehend and bring to justice those responsible for this terrible crime against Maria Len Flores Somera, and her family, as well as the Philippine people, civil society, and the Philippine nation;”


“The international community and Filipinos around the world have expressed shock, outrage and sadness regarding the murder of Mrs. Somera and the ongoing pattern of systemic violence directed against journalists in the Philippines, which urgently needs to be addressed by President Aquino and the Philippine government;


“We urge President Benigno Aquino, and the Philippine government, including the judiciary and courts, to do significantly more to seriously provide full justice, and comprehensive psycho-social assistance, to the suffering family members of the 57 people, including 32 journalists, murdered in the political violence and attack in Mindanao, Maguindanao province ( Magindanaw ), on November 23, 2009...;

'We appeal to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to monitor the Maguindanao massacre trial as requested by Bishop Felixberto Calang of the Philippine Independent Church, and others, especially given troubling reports of ongoing delays, the resignation of state prosecutors, and the disappearance and intimidation of witnesses;

“Seriously address the concerns and complaint filed earlier this month before the UNHRC by the families of journalists Maricel Vigo, Juan Pala, Dennis Cuesta, Fernando Lintuan, and William Yap Yu who reportedly assert that the Philippine government has egregiously violated the rights of their loved ones, who were killed between 2000-2007, in apparent disregard of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)...;

“We are concerned that press freedom, and key institutions of civil society, are increasingly under attack in the Philippines as sadly symbolized by the murder of Maria Len Flores Somera and other journalists,” Smith concluded in the CPPA's international appeal and statement.


The CPPA has issued previous statements and appeals regarding the world's largest known single massacre of journalists which occurred in Mindanao, Philippines on November 23, 2009. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1102/S00381/philippines-urged-to-assist-families-of-slain-journalists.htm


The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines ( NUJP), and others, have also called on authorities in the Philippines to promptly investigate the murder of Mrs. Somera.


According to reports by DZME Radio, GMA News, and others, the National Press Club of the Philippines and the Alyansang ng Filipinong Mamamahayag, two media groups in the Philippines, have said they have raised thousands in monetary funds, some 50,000 Philippine Pesos (PHP), for anybody who can provide information leading to the arrest of the gunman and plotters in Mrs. Sumera's bloody killing


In New York, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement earlier this month expressing concern that an accused Maguindanao province mastermind, allegedly involved in the mass killing of 32 journalists in Ampatuan, Mindanao, on November 23, 2009, may go free. http://www.cpj.org/2011/03/accused-maguindanao-mastermind-may-go-free.php


##

Contact: Maria Gomez

Center for Public Policy Analysis

2020 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. Suite 220 Washington, DC 20006

info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

Tele. (202) 543-1444

 

Laos, Hmong Crisis: Rights Groups Make International Appeal

VIENTIANE, Laos & WASHINGTON--March 16, 2011 --A coalition of Laotian and Hmong organizations have issued a joint statement with the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) urging Laos to release political and religious dissidents, and jailed American citizens, prior to an upcoming communist party congress.

The international appeal also urges Laos to halt illegal logging by Vietnam People's Army-owned companies and release thousands of Lao Hmong refugees forcibly repatriated from Thailand.

The communist party congress of the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (LPDR) is being held from March 17-21.

“There needs to be transparency by the Lao communist government and a voice for the voiceless, suffering people of Laos,” said Khampoua Naovarangsy an internet blogger for the Laos Institute for Democracy (LIFD)...

“Clearly, we are concerned about egregious human rights violations in Laos and the continued imprisonment of Lao political and religious dissidents as well as Hmong refugees and American citizens,” said Philip Smith, Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C.
http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“The Lao communist party is losing more credibility with the Laotian people, in part, because it continues to take a closed-door, monopolistic approach to governing,” Smith said. “It has repeatedly failed to provide international access to, or release, prisoners of conscience as well as Lao Hmong political refugees.”

(See full release at Businesswire.com ) http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110316007171/en/Laos-Hmong-Crisis-Rights-Groups-International-Appeal

 

 
Philippines Urged To Assist Families of Slain Journalists During Trial 

 

Washington, D.C., and Manila, Philippines, February 11, 2011

 

Citing the unprecedented murder of journalists in the Philippines, the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Policy Analysis issued an appeal to the government of the Philippines and a Quezon City Court to grant assistance to the family members of slain journalists and victims of the November 23, 2009, killings that left 57 people dead in Mindanao (Maguindanao).

 

“The brutal murder of 57 people, including 32 journalists, in Mindanao, in November of 2009, is an act of political violence and factional rivalry, that continues to shock the world community and societies around the globe that value press freedom,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis in Washington, D.C. 

 

The Center for Public Policy Analysis is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank and public policy research organization focused on international relations, human rights, refugee and security issues.

 

“As the trial goes forward, we urge the Philippine government and Quezon City Court to act responsibly toward the surviving family members that have been severely traumatized as a result of the massacre and gross human rights violations,” Smith continued. 
 

“Clearly the massacre victims’ families should be granted psychosocial help during the judicial process and its aftermath since the mass killings of the journalists and their colleagues in 2009 was a unique and terrible violation of human rights and international law,” Smith said. 

 

“The magnitude of the atrocity on that horrific day, November 29, 2009, warrants the full assistance of the Philippine government to help the survivors of the many slain journalists and victims,” Smith stated further.

 

The CPPA has raised repeated concerns about the infamous “Mindanao Massacre” involving the horrific mass murder of journalists in the town of Ampatuan in the Philippines in 2009 as well as the overall crisis situation in Mindanao.

http://www.media-newswire.com/release_1108506.html

 

“The recent courtroom collapse of Myrna Reblando, wife of the murdered Manila Bulletin journalist Bong Reblando, is but one example of why the surviving family members need the Philippine government’s emergency help in providing psychosocial help, especially during this important trial that is being watched by the international community,” Smith concluded.

 

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)  has documented recent attacks on the press in the Philippines, and the Mindanao Massacre, and has assisted family members of the victims.

http://www.cpj.org/2010/02/attacks-on-the-press-2009-philippines.php

 

The Brussel, Belgium-based International Crisis Group has also issued repeated statements and reports about the killing of the journalists and has shed light on the national and political context.

__________

###

Contact:  Helen Cruz

info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

http://www.cppa-dc.org

Tele. (202) 543-1444

---------------

Egypt Crisis:  Mubarak Urged to Halt Attacks on Internet, Journalists, Protesters

Mubarak Urged to Halt Attacks on Journalists, Internet

  1. The Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Policy Analysis is calling on Egyptian President Mubarak, and his public security and military forces, to immediately and unconditionally restore unfettered internet use to the people of Egypt and allow independent journalists access to the developing crisis in the country.

 For Immediate Release,

Washington, D.C., Friday, January 28 2011

Center for Public Policy Analysis

The Washington,  D.C.-based Center for Public Policy Analysis is calling on Egyptian President Mubarak, and his public security and military forces, to immediately and unconditionally restore unfettered internet use to the people of Egypt and allow independent journalists access to the developing crisis in the country.

Thousands of largely peaceful protestors have clashed with police and army units in recent hours, including at Ramsis Square, Tahrir Square and the October 6th Bridge in Cairo  Police and Egyptian Army units are firing rubber bullets and tear gas at the demonstrators, who have also been bludgeoned with batons.  Many are calling on the President Mubarak to step down as President.

“During this crisis, we are calling on President Hosni Mubarak to embrace transparency and restore full internet access to the people of Egypt as well as cease the censorship of independent news sources, and internet communications, which are important to a free and open society in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washingiton, D.C. 

Internet usage and traffic by providers, including Telecom Egypt, Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya and Etisalat Mist has reportedly been blocked today in Cairo and much of Egypt.

Mr. Smith further commented:  “We are very concerned that, in the aftermath of the ongoing internet censoring and blockage, large numbers of Egyptian military and security forces have been mobilized as a result of demonstrations in Cairo and elsewhere in the Nile Delta and across the country.”

“There is growing concern in Washington, D.C., and in the U.S. Congress, that given the billions of dollars in American taxpayers’ money given to Egypt over the years, that Egyptian Army units, including those with armored vehicles, have been to deployed in Cairo in an apparent effort to head off peaceful protestors as well as silence journalists and news reporters seeking to cover these recent events,” Smith said.

“Based upon credible reports about the recent harassment and beating by Egyptian police of journalists from Al Jazeera, CNN, and the Arabic service of the BBC, we are also urging President Mubarak to intervene to stop the attacks on journalists and permit press freedom and accurate news reporting of breaking developments in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt,” Smith further stated.

“We are strongly urging Mubarak to halt attacks on journalists and cease the internet censorship,” Smith concluded. “Military and security force attacks against peaceful protestors should also cease.” http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

Internet instant messaging, social network sites and other forms of internet and mobile telephone communications have been blocked by the Mubarak government in an apparent effort to stifle protestors, anti-government opposition groups and political dissidents in Egypt.

President Mubarak has ruled Egypt for three decades..

The United States provides some $1.3 billion dollars in annual military assistance to the Mubarak government in Egypt--with tens of billions in U.S. taxpayers’ assisting being provided to the Egyptian military over the last three decades of President Mubarak’s rule.

State-run television has announced a curfew in Egypt.

Egypt is besieged with rampant unemployment, rising food prices and other problems.

The Egyptian crisis follows earlier protests in Tunisia that resulted in the ousting of its former President Ben Ali Zine El Abidine who was given asylum in the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia earlier this month. 

Protests in Jordan are calling for the resignation of its Prime Minister.

###

Contact:  Maria Gomez

mgomez@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

or info@centerorpublicpolicyanalysis.org

Tele. (202) 543-1444

CPPA - Center for Public Policy Analysis

2020 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

Washington, D.C. 20006  USA

http://www.cppa-dc.org

 

 

 

Events kicking off the new thriller “Deep Driller” by Henry F. Merritt were launched in the New York-city hinterland of Connecticut in recent days.

Press Release - 2009-10-21 23:15:55 -( Washington, D.C., Center for Public Policy Analyss, October 21, 2009 via
PR-Inside.com (Pressemitteilung) - ‎Oct 21, 2009‎2009-10-21 23:15:55 - Events kicking off the new thriller “Deep Driller” by Henry F. Merritt were launched in

“Contemporary issues of national identity, security, counter-terrorism operations and the struggle for energy resources come to vivid life in the book’s colorful international cast of characters who engage in a timeless struggle against the rugged sea and conflicting personal, corporate and national interests,” observed Philip Smith of the CPPA in Washington, D.C.


Milford, CT, Washington, D.C., New York, NY and Edinburgh, Scotland, October 21, 2009

Events kicking off the new thriller “Deep Driller” ( Xlibris ) by Henry F. Merritt were launched in the New York-city hinterland of Connecticut in recent days.
www.amazon.com/Deep-Driller-Henry-F-Merritt/dp/143638656X

On Saturday, October 17, 2009, Henry F. Merritt spoke at a special book signing event and party in the Milford area of Connecticut attended by a seemingly endless number of enthusiasts and interested people.

Guests, colleagues and friends of the author from New England and across the United States enjoyed readings from “Deep Driller” as well as reflections by Mr. Merritt on his new suspense novel and 40 years experience in world-wide petroleum exploration.

A gifted and insightful writer, “Deep Driller” is Merritt’s first novel.
search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?WRD=deep+drille ..

Henry F. Merritt has spent the better part of a lifetime in petroleum exploration in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Africa, South America and the North Sea, where he worked on a drilling rig off Scotland.

“ ‘Deep Driller’ is a page- turner thriller about political plotting and terrorist violence on a North Sea oil rig. Henry Merritt, 50 years in the business, shows that he knows what he writes about in his detailed description of the rig and its equipment, life on board and the diverse mix of men involved in this specialized and sometimes dangerous work. The political intrigue is realistically based on the sentiments of many in Scotland today. The suspense keeps building up in Merritt's story to a smashing climax. ‘Deep Driller’ is a very good read, and you'll learn a lot about a fascinating business. You will wish there was a sequel, as I do,” stated Camille Lamont and Ted Lamont, from Oyster Bay, NY, in a recent review of the book.

B. Jenkins Middleton, of the Washington, D.C.-area explained: “Deep Driller rhymes with ‘thriller,’ which is what this fast-paced tale is, in spades. But it's much more than that: A detailed education in the culture and intricacies of the oil exploration business in general and offshore drilling platforms in particular - in this case, a 250-foot tall behemoth in the midst of a raging storm in the North Sea. The author, who spent his career in financing exploration for oil and gas around the globe, obviously knows whereof he writes, weaving a story of industrial spying and potential terrorist sabotage linked to the Scottish nationalism of the 1970's. His characters come alive through well-crafted dialogue, whether straight Yankee English or tinged with the Scottish, Norwegian or Cajun accents of the polyglot crew of the rig. You won't be tempted to read this one to put you to sleep!”

According to Howard E. Douglas, of Austin, Texas, in a recent review: “Once upon a time in the history of Western Civilization, there were men and women who pursued their professions or calling yet still found time to keep diaries or create literature and art for the sheer joy of the undertaking and as affirmation of the human genius. Alas, that element of our culture would seem in decline. Henry (Buzz) Merritt's new book, ‘Deep Driller’, gives us hope that modern pop culture has not leveled everyone into a homogeneous blob of inarticulate matter.

Howard Douglas further observed: “Mr. Merritt has created a whopping good story infused with his love of the sea, a practitioner's grasp of the oil industry and a natural storyteller's eye for the richness of human nature. Despite the very contemporary setting, there is a kind of 19th century flair for wild places, for character and suspense. He knows his subject and geography and describes places and events with the sureness of having ‘been there and done that’. At the last page, the reader can feel that he has been told a compelling story by a character in the book itself. And perhaps that is so. Who knows?”

“ ‘Deep Driller’ is a penetrating and captivating novel about the pioneering, wild-West days of North Sea oil exploration, corporate and international espionage and the rise of Scottish Nationalism,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C. “Contemporary issues of national identity, security, counter-terrorism operations and the struggle for energy resources come to vivid life in the book’s colorful international cast of characters who engage in a timeless struggle against the rugged sea and conflicting personal, corporate and national interests.”
www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

Mr. Smith attended the opening kick-off event in Connecticut, along with other invited participants from across the United States and internationally. He was delighted to receive an autographed and personalized copy of the book from the author along with many of the guests.

The book signing event and reception with Mr. Merritt was attended by a diverse and eclectic crowd of community leaders, businessmen, professionals, writers, artists, veterans, policy analysts as well as colleagues and friends of the author, and others.

--
Contact: Ms. Maria Lopez
2020 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Suite No. #212
Washington, D.C. 20006 USA

 

 

Laos, Obama Urged By Rights Groups, Hmong, to Free 3 Americans from Minnesota

Investors Business Daily, April 24, 2011

WASHINGTON & MINNEAPOLIS & ST. PAUL, Minn., Apr 23, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- A coalition of Laotian and Hmong non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), have joined the families of three …Investors Business Daily · 1 day ago

 

LAOS, U.S. President Barack Obama Urged by Human Rights Groups to Release Lao Hmong Americans from St. Paul -  OBAMA URGED BY RIGHTS GROUPS HMONG TO FREE 3 AMERICANS :: AD ...

AD HOC NEWS, Berlin , Germany , April 23. Apr. 2011 ... A coalition of Laotian and Hmong non governmental organizations NGOs and the Center for Public Policy Analysis CPPA have joined the families ...
www.ad-hoc-news.de/ laos-obama-urged-by-rights-groups-hmong-to-free-3--/ de/ News/ 22091849

 

 

Laos Communist Regime, Barack Obama Urged By Rights Groups, Hmong, to Free 3 Americans ...
Bradenton News, Florida, Apr 23, 2011 ...

A coalition of Laotian and Hmong non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), have joined the ...
www.bradenton.com/ 2011/ 04/ 23/ 3137479/ laos-obama-urged-by-rights-groups.html

 

 

Laos, Obama Urged By Rights Groups, Hmong, to Free 3 Americans - CNBC
CNBC News, April 23, 2011,

Apr 23, 2011 ... Laos (LPDR), President Barack Obama Urged By Rights Groups, Hmong, to Free 3 Americans from Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, including Mr. Hakit Yang

www.cnbc.com/id/42732762

 

 

Laos, President Barack Obama Urged By Rights Groups, Hmong, to

Reuters News, April 23, 2011,

Laos, Obama Urged By Rights Groups, Hmong, to Free 3 Americans. A coalition of Laotian and Hmong non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the Center ...
mobile.reuters.com/ article/ companyNewsAndPR/ idUS41523+23-Apr-2011+BW20110423?feedType=RSS &feedName=companyNewsAndPR

 


Laos Military, U.S. President Obama Urged to Release St. Paul, Minneapolis, American Citizens

Apr 23, 2011 ... Laos, Obama Urged By Rights Groups, Hmong, to Free 3 Americans 5:10PM UTC. Reuters News, April 23, 2011,
www.reuters.com/resources/archive/us/20110423.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/23/idUS41523+23-Apr-2011+BW20110423


 

Boston Globe, April 23, 2011,  U.S. Laotian and Hmong organizations have appealed to the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (LPDR) and U.S. President Barack Obama to release Hakit Yang and Hmong-American citizens being imprisoned in Laos.
Find the latest stock activity of the day with our stock market summary on Boston.com
finance.boston.com/boston/news/read?GUID=18251120
A coalition of Laotian and Hmong non-governmental organizations , and the Center for Public Policy Analysis , have joined the families of three Hmong-Americans
www.newsblaze.com/story/2011042314102700001.bw/topstory.html
 CBS News,April 23, 2011
In August 2007, for unknown reasons, Lao People's Army (LPA) troops and secret police arrested the three Americans: Mr. Hakit Yang, 24; Mr. Congshineng Yang, 34; and Mr. Trillion Yunhaison, 44. 

The Hmong-Americans remain imprisoned in Laos' Sam Neua province by LPA troops and secret police. The three are being held without charges being filed, or due process, according to the Foreign Prisoners Support Service (FPSS), the CPPA, human rights organizations, family members and others.

Mrs. Sheng Xiong, a spokeswoman for the families, and Philip Smith of the CPPA, spoke to Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) about the case.

“I just wish the Lao government would be upfront ...,” Xiong told MPR.

 

 

Laos: Appeal for Release of 3 Hmong-Americans

Scoop News, New Zealand, April 21, 2011,
Washington, D.C., Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, April 21, 2011
Center for Public Policy Analysis info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
Scoop.co.nz - Apr 21 03:18pm
The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and a coalition of Laotian and Hmong non-governmental organizations have joined the Minnesota families of three Hmong-Americans in issuing an appeal for the release of their relatives being held in Laos for over three years by military and communist party officials. The appeal was issued from Washington, D.C., and the Twin Cities of Minnesota, to the Lao government and U.S. President Barack Obama to request that they work at a higher diplomatic level, with urgent priority, to release three Hmong-American citizens arrested and currently imprisoned in Laos. 
The three jailed Americans, of ethnic Hmong descent from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, have been imprisoned in Laos for over three years-- according to eye-witness sources, human rights groups, prisoner support organizations, and humanitarian activists, including Australian author and humanitarian advocate Kay Danes. .
Apr 16, 2011 ... Christian persecution and religious freedom violations have continued to expand and spread to key provinces in Laos, according to the Center ...
www.scoop.co.nz/ stories/ WO1104/ S00423/ laos-vietnam-troops-execute-4-hmong-christians.htm


Scoop News, New Zealand, Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Scoop News, New Zealand, Wednesday, 13 April 2011, 12:50 pm Press Release: Center for Public Policy Analysis. Concerns Raised As Burma Targets Refugees in Thailand, ASEAN Parliament. April 11, 2011, Washington, DC & Bangkok, Thailand Center for Public Policy Analysis. The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) has issued
www.scoop.co.nz/ stories/ WO1104/ S00362/ concerns-raised-as-burma-targets-refugees-in-thailand.htm
Center for Public Policy Analysis - CNBC
CNBC News,  Mar 25, 2011 ... The Center for Public Policy Analysis has been repeatedly recognized for its groundbreaking work on key domestic and foreign policy issues ...
classic.cnbc.com/id/42268503
... Laos, Hmong Crisis: Rights Groups Make International Appeal. ... rights and religious freedom violations against the Lao Hmong refugees and ...
www.nationalpost.com/Laos+Hmong+Crisis+Rights+Groups+Make+International+Appeal/.../story.html - Canada

Laos, Hmong Crisis: Rights Groups Make International Appeal ...

Investors Business Daily, March 16, 2011,
Laos, Hmong Crisis: Rights Groups Make International Appeal. Posted 11:54 PM ET. VIENTIANE, Laos & WASHINGTON, Mar 16, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- A coalition ...
www.investors.com/.../Laos-Hmong-Crisis-Rights-Groups-Make-International-Appeal.aspx
 
Laotian, Hmong Crisis: Rights Groups Make Appeal Prior to Party Congress 
American Banking & Markets News, March 16, 2011, New York, New York ,
The Laos, Hmong Crisis: Pro-Democracy, Human Rights and Religious Freedom Groups Make International Appeal Prior to Communist Party Congress in Laos.
Mar. 16, 2011 -- A coalition of Laotian and Hmong organizations have issued a joint.
www.americanbankingnews.com/ 2011/ 03/ 16/ laos-hmong-crisis-rights-groups-make-international-appeal/
 Laos, Hmong Human Rights Crisis: Groups Make 
Boston Globe , Boston , Mass . , March 16 , 2011,
A coalition of Laotian and Hmong organizations have issued a joint statement with the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) urging Laos to release political and religious dissidents, and jailed American citizens, prior to an upcoming communist party congress.

The international appeal also urges Laos to halt illegal logging by Vietnam People's Army-owned companies and release thousands of Lao Hmong refugees forcibly repatriated from Thailand.  The communist party congress of the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (LPDR) is being held from March 17-21.

“There needs to be transparency by the Lao communist government and a voice for the voiceless, suffering people of Laos,” said Khampoua Naovarangsy an internet blogger for the Laos Institute for Democracy (LIFD).

 

Ad Hoc News, Berlin, Germany, March 17, 2011
A coalition of Laotian and Hmong organizations have issued a joint statement with the Center for Public Policy Analysis CPPA urging Laos to release ...www.ad-hoc-news.de 

 


Star Tribune, Minneapolis , Minnesota, Mar 7, 2011 ... Vang Pao in California symbolizes why Lao Hmong veterans who served alongside U.S. military and clandestine forces in the "U.S. Secret Army" ...
www.startribune.com/opinion/commentary/117551498.html
Scoop News, New Zealaind, February 17, 2011
The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) marked events and ceremonies in Fresno, California, that were recently concluded honoring Major General Vang Pao. General ...
www.scoop.co.nz/ stories/ WO1102/ S00609/ vietnam-laos-nationalist-fighter-honored-by-lao-hmong.htm

ABS-CBN, Manila , Philippines , Feb 11, 2011 ... MANILA, Philippines - A United States-based think tank believes the Philippine ... including 32 journalists, in Mindanao, in November 2009 "is an act of ... The Center for Public Policy Analysis is a Washington, ...
www.abs-cbnnews.com/ nation/ 02/ 11/ 11/ us-think-tank-massacre-victims-kin-need-counseling 
 
 
Scoop News, New Zealaind, February 11, 2011
Friday, 11 February 2011, Center for Public Policy Analysis. Philippines Urged To Assist Families of Slain Journalists During Trial. Washington, DC, and Manila, Philippines, February 11, 2011 CPPA. Center for Public Policy Analysis. Citing the unprecedented murder of journali
www.scoop.co.nz/ stories/ WO1102/ S00381/ philippines-urged-to-assist-families-of-slain-journalists.htm
January 28, 2011, Scoop News, New Zealand
e Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Policy Analysis is calling on Egyptian President Mubarak, and his public security and military forces, to immediately and unconditionally restore unfettered internet use to the people of Egypt and allow independent journalists access to the developing crisis in the country.

Once a foe of Saddam, Iraqi cab driver now branded a terrorist

 


Salt Lake Tribune, Utah, Feb 3, 2011 12:50PM

The ground war was about to begin.

It was Feb. 15, 1991, and U.S. troops were poised at Iraq’s southern border. Offering “another way for the bloodshed to stop,” then-President George H.W. Bush took to the Voice of America airwaves, calling on Iraqis to “take matters into their own hands …

 

 

A Tree Falls in Laos - Asia Times Online :: Southeast Asia news and business from...

Asia Times Online - Oct 5, 2010
The state of Laos forests is increasingly relevant to discussions on global ... Philip Smith executive director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis in ... 

MEDIA NEWSWIRE , webnewswire.com , August 7, 2010,   "Clearly, US Congressman Jim Costa's bipartisan leadership, along with his colleagues in the US Congress, in support of the Lao and Hmong veterans and their families across America, gives hope and dignity to the plight of the Lao and Hmong community and the veterans who seek to be buried wi
www.medianews-wire.com/

Laos Communiqué Urges Release of Jailed Americans, Dissident...

Reuters - Jul 19, 2010
BANGKOK & WASHINGTON Business Wire The Center for Public Policy AnalysisCPPA the ... other HmongAmericans from St Paul Minnesota stated Philip Smith Director ...

 Laos Visit Sparks Talk Of Release Of Dissidents | Scoop News

‎Scoop News, New Zealand Scoop.co.nz - Jul 17, 2010
The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), the United League for Democracy in ... said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy ...
Bostob Globe, July 19, 2010
The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), the United League for Democracy in Laos (ULDL) and a coalition of Lao and Hmong non-governmental organizations have released a twelve-point joint communiqué today in Bangkok, Thailand. The joint statement outlines opposition to the visit of Lao Foreign Minister Thongloun Sisoulith to the United States as well as recent military actions by the Lao government. The communiqué was also released on Friday in Washington, D.C. and New York.

Thongloun Sisoulith also serves as deputy prime minister for the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (LPDR), a one-party, authoritarian regime closely allied with the military junta in Burma and Stalinist North Korea. The senior-level Lao Communist party official recently met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. An Open Skies Agreement was concluded to promote tourism.

 

 

Scoop News, New Zealand, May 11, 2010
Laos continues to be dominated by corrupt military generals from the Lao Peoples Army and Hanoi who have impoverished the nation and destroyed much of its potential and many of its people.
Scoop News, New Zealand, May 2010,
Philip Smith, Director, CPPA; Dr. Grant McClure, Counterparts Veterans Association.; The Honorable John Barnum, Esquire; ... 6. 3News video: Megi makes landfall in the Philippines
www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1005/S00298.htm
CBS News,, Business Network, February 1, 2010
"Chairman Berman's letter regarding the plight of the Lao Hmong refugees, is important. Unfortunately, however, after two years, the Lao military junta continues to deny the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and human rights organizations, access to the over 8,000 Lao H
www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_20100201/ai_n48780232/
Media- Newswire, Febuary 10, 2010
Laos, Vietnam Peoples Army Unleashes Helicopter Gunship Attacks on Laotian and Hmong Civilians, Christian Believers ... including those independent Lao and Hmong Christian ...
SCOOP NEWS, New Zealand,  scoop.co.nz - Feb 2, 2010
The Washington DC-based Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and ... They are urging the LPDR regime in Laos to allow the United Nations High ...
 Thursday, January 21, 2010, Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA,
Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, R-New Orleans, launched a new congressional foreign policy caucus Thursday, even as he fended off criticism from advocates for Lao- and Hmong-Americans ...
Area Hmong worried for relatives overseas | Green Bay Press ...
Green Bay Press Gazette, Dec 30, 2009 ... To learn about the Center for Public Policy Analysis, visit www.cppa-dc.org. The calls keep coming to Vaughn Vang of the Lao Hmong Human ...
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20091230/ GPG0101/102120013/Area-Hmong-worried-relatives-overseas

http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20091230/ GPG0101/102120013/Area-Hmong-worried-relatives-overseas
Laos' Secret Prison Camps - Hmong Appeal - Scoop
Hmong families from St. Paul, Minnesota and across the United States are appealing for the release of their relatives held in a secret nextwork of prisons and camps in Laos by the Lao Peoples Army (LPA).
www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1001/S00247.htm

 
Channel NewsAsia - Special Reports - Special Report -...
Channel News Asia - Jan 14, 2010
Philip Smith, executive director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis, which focuses on Laos, said some repatriated Hmong have disappeared. ... 
Green Bay Press Gazette, Green Bay, Wisconsin - Jan 24, 2010
Philip Smith director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis which has been ... Vaughn Vang director of the Lao Human Rights Council in Green Bay said ... 
News Blaze , January 31, 2010, Newsblaze.com , Jan 31, 2010 ... The Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Congressman Howard Berman , and 11 Members of Congress, have sent a letter to ...
newsblaze.com/story/2010013116361800001.bw/topstory.html
Laos, Hmong Religious Minorities, Including Christians, Animists, are Targeted By Lao Security Forces, Military
independent of government control,” said Philip Smith, ExecutiveDirector of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA
Area Hmong worried for relatives overseas | Green Bay Press ...
Green Bay Press Gazette, Dec 30, 2009 ... To learn about the Center for Public Policy Analysis, visit www.cppa-dc.org. The calls keep coming to Vaughn Vang of the Lao Hmong Human ...
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20091230/ GPG0101/102120013/Area-Hmong-worried-relatives-overseas
 

Senate Questions U.S.-Thailand Military Funding as Anupong

ALL BUSINESS NEWS, December 28, 2009, 12-28-2009
Statements by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA ... month in opposition to the return of the Hmong to Laos," said Philip Smith
http://www.allbusiness.com/ government/ government-bodies-offices-government/ 13659027-1.html

 

 

News Blaze, December 8, 2009, Newsblaze.com, Dec 8, 2009 ... As the Southeast Asia Games open in Laos, The Honorable Howard Eugene Douglas, the former Ambassador at Large and U.S. Refugee Affairs ...
newsblaze.com/story/2009120812153900001.bw/topstory.html

Laos, Hmong Wife pleads for missing Hmong - Americans in Laos

Straits News - Straits News, Singapore, Apr 18, 2009
Mr Hakit Yang's wife Sheng Xiong 26 said that she prayed each night that he ... Philip Smith executive director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis ...

US removes Laos, Cambodia from trade blacklist

AsiaOne - Jun 13, 2009
... "is completely shocking and outrageous," said Philip Smith, executive director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis, which promotes Hmong rights. ... 

Lao soldiers decapitated a two-month-old girl, Christians suffer 
Christian Telegraph, August 22, 2009, A human rights organization has just learned that Lao soldiers captured, mutilated and decapitated a two-month-old girl during recent military attacks against Hmong and Laotian ...
www.christiantelegraph.com/issue6612.html
World Net Daily, August 20, 2009
"Philip Smith, the Executive Director of CPPA, told ICC of video footage smuggled out of Laos in 2004 that documents the aftermath of the killing and brutalization of five Hmong children, four of them girls, on May 19th of that year. That footage was used in an extremely graphic documentary, &q
www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=107523
ANS News, Thursday, August 20, 2009
Infant used as target practice during military attacks that leave 26 civilians dead
Laos: Military Attacks Lao Hmong Civilians | Scoop News 
 Scoop News, New Zealand, July 26-27, 2009, the green jungle foliage in the Phou Da Phao mountain area where many Lao Hmong women, children and other civilians were hiding was ripped apart by bursts of ...
www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0908/S00029.htm
RushPR News, July 25, 2009
Clinton in opposition to the repatriation of Lao Hmong refugees from Thailand to Laos. ... Philip Smith of the CPPA concluded: “Tragically, following the White House
www.rushprnews.com/ 2009/ 07/ 25/ south-east-asian-nations-laos-praises-north-korea/
Los Angeles Times, Sept. 19, 2009
News of the dropped charges is celebrated in Hmong enclaves in the United States. ... "He's viewed as a quasi-martyr," said Phillip Smith, executive director at the ...

 
The New York Sun, New York, New York, September 21, 2009,
He’s viewed as a quasi-martyr,” one of Vang Pao’s friends, Philip Smith, ... makes us rue the fact that more is not known about the struggle of the Hmong ... government would have been putting itself on trial for betraying the Hmong ... Search in Category: News: Newspapers: Regional: United S
www.nysun.com/editorials/vang-pao-escapes/86878/

Thailand to Force 500 Hmong Refugees to Laos | Scoop News

Scoop News, New Zealand, scoop.co.nz - Sep 15, 2009
... Magazine the BBC Al Jazeera Ambassador H Eugene DouglasUSRet Dr Jane HamiltonMerritt Edmund McWilliamsUS Department of State Ret B Jenkins Middleton Joe ...

SCOOP NEWS - New Zealand , December 24, 2009
Scoop.co.nz - Dec 24, 2009
The Lao Human Rights Council, the Center for Public Policy Analysis and Lao ... said Philip Smith, Executive Director for the Center for Public Policy ... 

Channel News Asia - May 22, 2009
Philip Smith, executive director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis, which promotes Hmong rights, called on Congress to act or for President Barack ... 

Intellasia News Services -- Hmong refugees in Thailand sparks ...

May 4, 2009 ... Washington, D.C. USA 20006. Tele. ( 202 ) 543-1444 www.cppa-dc.org www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis. ...
www.intellasia.net/news/articles/society/111263946_printer.shtm
stated Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA in Washington,D.C. ... Smith continued: "On April 25, four Lao Hmong political refugees in Huay Nam ...
www.intellasia.net/news/articles/society/111263946.shtml
Asia Times Online - Jan 21, 2009
The Center for Public Policy Analysis, an American group advocating for Hmong rights, and the Hmong Human Rights Council Inc, both claimed the Lao army ... 
Green Bay Press Gazette - Green Bay Wisconsin, Dec 30, 2009
The calls keep coming to Vaughn Vang of the Lao Hmong Human Rights ... The Center for Public Policy Analysis in Washington, DC, backs Vang's assessment. ... 

- Fresno Bee - Feb 8, 2009, Fresno, California
A longtime soldier, currently head of the Lao Veterans of America Institute, ... executive director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis, which works on ...

Radio France International- Obama rút tên Cam Bốt và Lào ra khỏi danh sách đen về...

Radio France International, RFI - Jun 13, 2009
Theo AFP Hoa Kỳ đã thắt chắt thêm quan hệ vói Cambốt và Lào vào lúc Trung Quốc ... Theo ông Philip Smith giám đốc trung tâmLào vẫn còn là chế độ độc đảng là ... 

Laotians and Hmong Civilians Suffer Attacks, Atrocities in Laos | Scoop...

Scoop News, New Zealand, scoop.co.nz - Jan 15, 2009
The Hmong Lao Human Rights Council the United League for Democracy in Laos Inc ... one party communist regime stated Philip Smith Executive Director of the ... 


Hmong Refugees in Thailand Sparks Suicide Attempts | Scoop...

scoop.co.nz - May 2, 2009
... human suffering of the Lao and Hmong people," stated Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, ... 

Scoop News, New Zealand, scoop.co.nz - Dec 9, 2009
As the Southeast Asia (SEA) Games open in Laos, The Honorable Howard Eugene Douglas, ... Douglas and the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) are urging ...

Seven Hmong Families Forced to Laos Amid Tear Gas 

World News, Scoop News, New Zealand ,August 13, 2009

<!--[endif]-->Doctorswithoutborders.org/press/release.cfm?id=3627&cat=press-release "Unfortunately, now, with adapted and cruel tactics and strategies, elements of the Royal Thai Third Army and Ministry of Interior troops have launched a new bloody and brutal campaign to force Hmong refugees from Thailand to
www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0908/S00250.htm

 

 

Congress Appeals to Obama Administration, Thailand: Stop...

SYS-COM    sys-con.com - Jun 17, 2009
MSF is historical," said Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt , author of "Tragic Mountains : The Hmong, The Americans, and the Secret Wars for Laos " and Nobel Peace ... 
Seven Hmong Families Forced to Laos Amid Tear Gas | Scoop News 
Smith concluded: "Following MSF's, Doctors Without Borders,' protest withdrawal from the Hmong camp in May, ... Thursday, 13 August 2009, 5:52 pm; Press Release: Center for Public Policy Analysis
www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0908/S00250.htm

Hmong Refugees in Thailand Sparks Suicide Attempts | Scoop...

Scoop News, New Zealand, scoop.co.nz - May 2, 2009
... Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, DC "Ironically, many of these 5500 Lao Hmong ... The Stalinist regime in Laos remains a close ally of the military ...

US removes Laos, Cambodia from trade blacklist

AsiaOne - Jun 13, 2009
... "is completely shocking and outrageous," said Philip Smith, executive director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis, which promotes Hmong rights. ... 

Forced Repatriation of Lao Hmong Refugees Worrying | Scoop...

Scoop News, New Zealand, scoop.co.nz - Feb 7, 2009
... Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis in Washington, ... author and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt, ... 

Hmong Crisis: Thailand's PM Abhisit, Gen. Anupong Mobilize...

News Blaze  newsblaze.com - Dec 31, 2008
questioned Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt , a human rights and refugee expert. Dr. Hamilton-Merritt's acclaimed book 'Tragic Mountains: The Hmong, the Americans ... 
News Blaze, newsblaze.com, December 27, 2008
will honor author and human rights activist Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt and commemorate the 15th anniversary of the publication of her book Tragic Mountains: The Hmong, the
www.newsblaze.com/story/2008122713530300001.pnw/topstory.html 

NERAKHOON Film Offers Hope to Those Betrayed in Laos,...

 News Blaze, November 22, 2008,  newsblaze.com - Nov 22, 2008

The Lao Hmong Students Organization the Lao Veterans of America United League for Democracy in Laos the Center for Public Policy AnalysisCPPA and a coalition ... 

 

Laos, Hmong Crisis: Thailand's Samak Uses Troops, Tear Gas

Boston Globe, Saturday May 24, 2008

Thailand's Samak Uses Troops and Tear Gas Against Lao Hmong Refugees during Laotian, Hmong refugee crisis.

www.finance.boston.com/boston/news/read?GUID=5561769

 

 

Laos Crisis :  Thailand's Samak Uses Tear Gas and Troops Against Hmong Refugees

China Weekly News, June 9, 2008

Thailand's Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej ordered Thai Third Army troops to use tear gas and pepper spray today to seek to force hundreds of Lao Hmong refugees onto eleven buses to repatriate them back to the communist regime in Laos that they fled. On May 16, eight members of the U.S. Senate wrote a letter appealing to Prime Minister Samak and U.S. Secretary of State Rice to grant asylum to some 8,000 Hmong refugees and not force them back to Laos.

The letter was sent to U.S. Secretary of State Rice by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI), Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Senator Dianne..
 

 

 U.S. AMBASSADOR TO LAOS RAVIC HUSO SAYS HE'S SEEKING...
St. Paul Pioneer Press -  St. Paul, Minnesota, Mar 20, 2008

As many as 60000 Hmong, many of whom fled Laos in the aftermath of the ... Philip Smith, executive director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis, ...

 

… Ravic Huso Confronted Over Hmong Crisis : RushPRNews -...

RushPRnews.com - Mar 19, 2008
Washington, DC (RushPNews)March 10, 2008-The Center for Public Policy Analysis and the families of three Hmong-American citizens from St. Paul, Minnesota, ...
News Blaze, Newsblaze.com, ( December 31, 2008 ) Dec 31, 2008 ... Thailand's new Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, and Army Chief Anupong Paochinda, in apparent preparation for the Prime Minister's upcoming ...
newsblaze.com/story/2008123121030200002.pnw/topstory.html

US probes claims that Hmong people facing persecution in Laos ...

Channel News Asia, Feb. 6, 2008, Feb 6, 2008 ...

 "We feel very strongly that this is a major effort to force these Lao Hmong refugees and asylum seekers back to Laos," , ...
www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/.../.html - Singapore

 

Bitter days for a fabled old ally

Los Angeles Times, January 17, 2008, Los Angeles, California,

Hmong refugees seethe as a venerated warrior, under house arrest in California, faces U.S. charges of plotting a coup against Laos.

 

 

U.S. and Lao officials will meet about missing St. Paul men

Star Tribune , Minneapolis, MN, September 4, 2007

Today's meeting in the Lao capital of Vientiane will give U.S. State Department officials a chance to find out if the three men were detained by Lao authorities.

 http://www.startribune.com/local/11588896.html

Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 9, 2007 

Wives, children and a mother -- about 20 relatives in all -- lingered at the airport on Sunday on the slim chance that they would see three St. Paul men thought to be imprisoned in Laos.

 

Supporters say Hmong refugees...

AP Archive - Jul 18, 2007

AP Archive Supporters of the Hmong community said Tuesday that indictments ... executive director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis, a Washington, ..

Hmong supporters criticize indictments - USATODAY.com

USA TODAY NEWS, July 17, 2007
Jul 17, 2007 ... But activists led by Philip Smith, a longtime advocate for Hmong causes who ... executive director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis, ...
www.usatoday.com/news/topstories/2007-07-17-1201509033_x.htm
 

Saint Paul Pioneer Press:  SECRETARY OF STATE POWELL, UN TO CONFER ON LAOS

- St. Paul Pioneer Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota - Mar 26, 2004
US Rep Betty McCollum DSt Paul continues to call on the Lao government to ... over there there are Hmong surrendering said Philip Smith executive director ...  

Laos Dissidents Secretly Repatriated from Thailand | Scoop...

Scoopn News, New Zealand, scoop.co.nz - Jul 7, 2004
Jointly issued by the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), ... the Hmong Emergency Crisis Task Force (HECTF), the United Lao Action Center (ULAC), ... 

Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities : Hmong oppose trade with Laos regime

Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Minneapolis, Minnesota  - Apr 15, 2004
An increasingly polarizing issue in the local Hmong community - opening trade between the ... Smith, director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis, ... 

Hmong refugee policy seems to be softening

Wausau Daily Herald , Wausau, Wisconsin - May 1, 2004
The Hmong refugees at a Buddhist temple in Thailand might not be the last allowed to ... the executive director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis, ...
Asia Times - Furor over arrest of journalists, pastor in...

Asia Times Online - Jun 26, 2003
Philip Smith executive director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis in ... Christians to renounce their faith Minnesota's Pioneer Press reported ... 

Saint Paul Pioneer Press: LAOS ALLOWS ARRESTED PASTOR TO SEE US AMBASSADOR …

St. Paul Pioneer Press - Jun 17, 2003
Naw-Karl Mua, a naturalized US citizen born in Laos, left Minnesota in May to do ... group affiliated with his trip, the Center for Public Policy Analysis. ...aa

ABUSES  IN LAOS - JOURNALISTS, PASTOR ARRESTED WHILE IN LAOS, HE SAW DUTY TO...

- St. Paul Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Ninnesota,  - Jun 13, 2003
A St. Paul pastor detained last week in Laos wanted to investigate and draw world ... director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis in Washington. ..

Laotian trade war.(WORLD)(EMBASSY ROW)

- Washington Times , Washington, D.C., - May 1, 2003
The executive director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis, ... to the communist government of Laos until it respects the human rights of its citizens, ... 
An American And Two Europeans Arrested In Laos | Scoop News
Jun 18, 2003 ... BANGKOK, Thailand -- Two European journalists said they were arrested in Laos with an American pastor after Lao troops killed an ethnic ...
www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0306/S00125.htm

St. Paul family worries, awaits word on pastor jailed in Laos,  Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities : St. Paul...

Minneaoplis Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minnesota - Minneapolis Star-Tribune - Jun 24, 2003
Hmong veterans plan to join the growing chorus of anti-trade voices at a state ... director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis in Washington, DC, ... 

Fort Worth Star-Telegram : Area Laotian marches at United Nations to Urge Democracy & Human Rights in Laos

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas - Sep 13, 2000
Vixay Keona Khone's hope for a freer Laos prompted him to travel Tuesday from his ... Philip Smith executive director of Center for Public Policy Analysis a ... 

St. Paul Pioneer Press - St. Paul, Minnesota, May 22, 1995
... forcing refugees to repatriate to Laos, said Philip Smith, director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis:

 



 
 
 
 
 
 
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