THE COMMUNIZATION OF THE
KINGDOM OF LAOS
by S. THORANINTH
of the “Lao National Committee”, movement fighting for Democracy, Freedom and Human Rights
UNSTABLE PEACE – COMMUNIZATION OF LAOS
|Souphanouvong First President of the LAO PDR|
area entailed the irremediable downfall off the regime’s pro- Souphanouvong first President of the Lao PDR Americans which were there. It is the same that the American withdrawal from
away the tumble of the
pro-American regime. Vientiane
I. UNSTABLE PEACE.
The Accord of the 21st February on the re-establishment of peace and national concord in Laos, solemnly signed in Vientiane by the Delegation of the Vientiane Government and the Delegation of the Lao Patriotic Forces, this Accord constitutes on the whole a repetition on the one hand from the Zurich Accord of the 2nd June 1961, on the other hand, the accords between the Lao Patriotic Front and the Royal Lao Government in 1956-57, and the proposal in 5 points put forward on the 6 March 1970 by the Lao Patriotic Front. Worked out in 14 articles, it stipulated the essential following points:
|Ex-King SAVANG Vatthana|
Supreme Adviser of the President of the Lao PDR
2.The cessation of hostilities; preservation of 2 provisional zones; creation of a mixed commission in view of putting practice the cease-fire; interdiction of reprisals, the introduction of troops, the armament and war material in Laos; the withdrawal of all military personnel, the regular foreign troops and the dissolution of military and paramilitary as in the same way the foreign countries special forces; reciprocal release of the civil and military prisoners within 60 days following the formation of the provisional National Union’s government and the National Consultative Political council (article 2 to 5).
3.The free and democratic general elections in view of forming a definitive National Union’s government, the formation in 30 days, as from the date of the Accords’ signature, the provisional National Union government and the National Consultative Political council formed of an equal number of Representatives of both parties, invested buy the King and functioning according to the unanimity principle; neutralizations of the Royal Capital of Luang Prabang and the Administrative capital, Vientiane, temporary management of the 2 zones by each party and the progressive establishment of normal relations between the 2 zones (articles 6 to 10).
4. The creation and the role of the mixt commission.
For the accords : execution as well as the role of the International Commission for supervision and control composed of India, Poland, and Canada, with India as President (articles 11 to 12).
The Accord of 21st February is completed by a second accord called Protocole of Accord of the
21 February 1973.
THE PROTOCOLE OF 14 SEPTEMBER 1973
In the Accord of 21 February 1973 anticipated the formation within 30 days, the Provisional National Union government and the National Consultative Political Council, the Protocole of 14 September defined the mode of enforcement of the different clauses it contained.
1) The Provisional National
The provisional government consists of the ministries and 26 members, including the Prime Minister, Prince Souvanna Phouma, and 2 personalities working for peace, independence, neutrality, and democracy.
The Members of the Government delegation of Vientiane
On the other hand this governmental proportioning reflected, compared to that of
progression of the Loa left wing. For the latter passed from 4 ministerial
portfolios in June 1962 to 11 portfolios whose 6 vice ministers in April 1974,
with bipartisanism in governmental proportioning, it sanctioned the
disappearance “de facto” of the neutralists in spite of those that had been predominant
in 1962 for having been occupying 8 ministerial portfolios out of 16 (so be one
halt of it).
Moreover experiencing the repercussions of the irresistible pressure of the Vietnamese and Cambodian revolutionaries who had liberated all of South Vietnam and Cambodia in present April, the provisional government began to be out of breath and to meet with the signs of internal instability, for, following the forced resignation of the 16 June, the 8 and 9 July 1975, six members of the government, all belonging to the Vientiane Party, the had been 3 ministerial reshuffles. These had consecrated the definitive elimination of the right wing and the reinforcement of the left wing which benefited by a combination of circumstance, at least from the government’s point of view, of the six personalities favorable to peace and the policy of the Lao Patriotic front.
Finally, in accordance with the article 4 of the Protocole of Vientiane Accord, which stipulated the principle of unanimity of view between each incumbent of ministry and his deputy, the Protocole contained in itself a germ of paralysis. For if the former had not any power on the second, in fact, the administrative hierarchy was abolished, whereas the vice minister had become quite simply the political counter-balance of his hierarchical chief, the minister.
2) The National Consultative Political Council
|The signing ceremony of the Vientiane Agreement|
1-Structure of National Consultative Political Council
|Communication media by Pheng Phongsavanh|
Concerning its internal arrangement the Council consisted of :
a. A permanent committee of 10 members formed of equal parity of the Representatives of 2
parties and capped by a President, under the circumstances the Prince Souphanouvong, Representative of the Patriotic Forces Party, 2 Vice Presidents representing each Party, the first one belonging to the Patriotic Party, assuming the function of General Secretary (article 5 of the Protocole).
b. 6 commissioners
c. An Administrative Officer
Like what had come into force in the government operation, the council functioned according to the principle of equality and unanimity of view between the 2 Parties. It held a meeting twice a year, each session lasted only one month.
For the remaining time it was the permanent committee which operated on its behalf.
By virtue of disposition of article 7 of the Protocole one can see that the Council was an Assembly having the same competence as government. Besides, according to the same article, it appears that it surpasses the government in legislative and political competence because the government must examine concurrently the laws and regulations concerning the general elections in the same way the recommendations are adopted by it.
3)-Other Measures of Peace and National Concord
The signing ceremony of the Vientiane Agreement 1973
1. The cease-fire and the prisoners release
It was intervened soon after the Accord signature of 21 February. In order to supervise and control the ceasefire, it was to be created a Central Mixte Committee formed for half the military representatives of the Patriotic Forces Party and for half the military representatives of the Vientiane Government Party. In cooperation with the International Commission for the supervision and the control of the cease-fire, this mixte committee was charged to put in practice the measures relating to the withdrawal of troops and the foreign military personnel.
2. The Neutralization of
and Luanprabang Vientiane
By accord of 12 October 1973 the 2 Parties had attained to the neutralization of the 2 cities. The troops of the Patriotic Front had been introduced in the 1st city at a rate of 1000 men and
the second. These troops had formed with those of Vientiane Party with
effective force equivalent to the Vientiane Party, the mixte security forces in
charge of maintaining order and security of the government and council.
a. Adoption, a governmental program in 18 points
Two weeks after entering upon its duty the National Consultative Political Council had adopted on 24 April
1974 a political program
in 18 points relating to peace restoration, independence, neutrality,
democracy, unity, and progress of Laos. Submitted to the government, it had
been adopted on 25 December. On the internal point of view, it puts emphasis on
the democratic rights, democratic elections in order to form the National
coalition government, the economic development, and social programs. On the external
point of view, accent was put on the neutrality and the 5 principles of
b. The provisional government of National Union, powerless to resolve the economic crisis. If the government had met with a political success among the Lao masses, during the period of 5 April 1974 at the end of November 1975, it had showed incompetent and powerlessness to resolve economic crises which assailed the country. On the contrary, one can witness the aggravation of this situation which was translated by inflation, monetary disorder, deficit of balance of payments and budget, social tensions, penury of consumption goods and equipment.
II. THE COMMUNIZATION OF THE KINGDOM OF LAOS
Following the example of the Soviet October Revolution of 1917, during the second half of the year 1975, the revolutionary process had been accelerated, the Lao Communist Party process had been accelerated, and the Lao Communist Party called Lao People’s Revolutionary Party came out from the shadow to lead the final of the power party. This one consists of 2 phase: on the one hand was the extension and consolidation of the revolutionary forces, on the other was the instauration of the popular democracy.
A. PHASE OF EXTENSION OF THE REVOLUTIONARY COMMUNISTS FORCES
1. The pursuit of national revolution
Without any doubt peace intervened after the Accord of 21 February 1973, which constituted for the revolutionaries a pause. In accordance to the famous Leninist tactic, this cause allowed the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, which had come out from the shadow to jump forward.
Otherwise, it allowed this latter to consolidate and enlarge its basis across the country, especially in the zone controlled by the Vientiane regime, and in view to pursue the National revolution. For doing it, the people’s revolutionary Party put in practice the well-known tactic of Mao Tse Tung called United front tactic aiming to chase the imperialists, to overthrow the bureaucrats, the reactionaries on the one hand and one the other hand, to establish a government and an administration guaranteeing independence and national sovereignty conforming to the people’s interest.
On the whole it was for the People’s Revolutionary Party to resolve the 2 contradictions which lie across the Lao society: on the one hand, there was contradiction between the Lao multinationals and the Americans; on the other, the contradiction between the multinational people and the bourgeois.
To this regard the Accord of 21 February and its Protocole of the 14 September 1973 had permitted to resolve this 1st contradiction whose result was the withdrawal of the foreign forces (and no Vietnamese). Remaining then the 2nd contradiction to be resolved, it was for this party to “combat the oppression inside of the country, to achieve equality between ethnics, to provide the conscience of unity so that to increase the revolution forces”.
2. The revolutionary process and the seize of power
Concretely the Party applied to implant in the zone still controlled by Vientiane regime its political machinery composed of political and military cadres. Then once everything was in place and covered so much by the Accords in force, by the 18 points program, these cadres of the Party carried out their activities of sapping against Vientiane Party. Ever since then, with the example of inspiration of the Chinese revolution, for the first time in the history of Laos, a mass movement was born the day after the Accords of Peace of 1973. Unceasingly increased, it regrouped in 21 organizations or Ongkane (in reality 29 organizations) led by a coordination committee, one can observe that this movement had benefitted the discreet support from the People’s Revolutionary Party whose special representative at Vientiane.
So since the beginning of May 1975 set out the huge mass demonstrations with claiming slogan. At the start they called for the resignation of the principal politicians and military chief; then it besieged the ministries detained by the rightist, the premises belonging to the American missions: USIS, USAID, American Embassy, and demanding the American withdrawal. And each time the revolting masses called for protection of the Patriot Front Forces.
In short, the revolutionaries in connection with the urban masses tried to create in the principal towns of insurrection climate worthy of Leninist tactics. Their objective was therefore to terrorize the rightist leaders and to make their life insufferable. They had attained fully their goal when since 9 May all the civil and military leaders, the most directed by the demonstrators and all the Vientiane Party officials, has resigned from their posts successively fleeing to Thailand.
Their fall swept off that of all the rightist institutions. For the first time in the history of Laos the refugees formed a continuous wave and reached about 450,000 persons of all conditions of life out of a population of 3 million inhabitants.
had become their first
haven. Afterwards, they were welcomed at the four corners of the world thanks
to the generosity of the governments and people of the hospitable countries:
France, Australia, United States, Canada, etc…, in the same way thanks to the
kindness of the High commission of the United Nations for the refugees and the
stateless persons. The were 110 000 dead and missing, those who died in camps
of “re-education”, in the prisons, by repression ,in crossing the Mekong river,
by starvation, by torture …and leaving behind them thousands widows and orphans
B. INSTAURATION OF THE PEOPLE’S DEMOCRACY
1. Putting in place the people’s committees in Laos
The month of May 1975 is this one where “the crisis is mature”, where the proletariat conscience was already ready to struggle not for a displacement of the balance of forces but for the destruction of the bourgeois paliamentarism, for a Republic of the Soviets of deputies, workers, and soldiers, for the proletariat revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.
Strong with support provided by the presence of several elite divisions of North Vietnamese in the countryside close vicinity of the big cities, the Party proceeded to the progressive in place the people’s committees so that to seize the power.
The 23 August 1975, during a mass meeting at the That Luang Stadium was announced the formation of Revolutionary Administrative Committee for Vientiane Capital. In seizing the Administrative power of this city, it occupied, in fact, the central power of the country. The month of November had lived several important events which had changed the face of
In the countryside, the Party had completed the election organization in order to form the people’s Assemblies Bases. These had emerged at all local and provincial levels: villages, townships, districts. Even
possesses, besides its Revolutionary administrative committee, area committees.
It is the prefiguration of the revolutions triumph. Vientiane
The 26 November during the mass meeting at the National Stadium, the Revolutionary Administrative Committee celebrated putting in place the Lao Soviets on the whole country. On this occasion it openly demanded the overthrowing of the
regime. Two days after, it organized a colossal demonstration where the
demonstrators were clamouring for the dissolution of the provisional National
Union government, the National Consultative Political Council, and the
abolition of the Monarchy. Therefore, days were counted for these institutions. Vientiane
At the end of November, on the invitation of the Patriotic Front, the government and the Council had a meeting in “Congress” at Vieng Xay (North Laos) Headquarter of the Patriotic Front Central Committee. At the same moment asserting its authority, the Revolutionary Administrative Committee sent in the
of Samneua and elsewhere the first
round of 300 high ranking officials and military chief of in order to attend the courses of
political “reeducation”. In fact, it was well established that these persons
were quite simply detained as prisoners of war and treated as such. Vientiane
On 29 November, after deliberation, the government and the Council had decided to dissolve themselves thus in meeting with the demand of the masses. Armed with the common resolution of these two institutions, the Prime Minister, the President of Council and the Vice Prime Minister, the General Secretary of the Patriotic Front, were flying to Luanprabang where they had delivered to the king Savang Vattana the ultimatum from VIENGXAY requesting to abdicate, he who could not do otherwise unless to submit, so much the balance of forces was unequal. The same day by royal rescript, he signified his abdication, realizing that there was incompatibility between the monarchical regime which he incarnated and the people’s democratic regime which was going to be born.
2. PROCLAMATION OF THE "LAO PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC"
Having attained their objective, these three persons returned to Vientiane where preparations for calling together the so-called National Congress of the people’s Representatives which was held in secret, and what was bound to happen, then happened. For during two days the 1st and 2nd of December 1975 was held in the outskirts of Vientiane the said Congress in which 270 “elected” of the people participated, among them a great number of cadres of the People’s Revolutionary Party were present. The Congress had been developed according to the scenario pre-established. The congressists were restricted to adopt by acclamation and raised hand all the resolutions read at the platform.
Therefore, after having heard the reading of the Royal rescript of abdication by the Crown Prince Vongsavang, the speech of resignation of the Prime Minister, the Congressists had, they acclaimed, the abolition of the Monarchy and the foundation of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Then, they had elected unanimously Prince Souphanouvong as President of the Republic and President of the Supreme people’s Assembly which had just come to be created. They had designated moreover the ex-king Savang Vatthana as Supreme Councilor of the President of the Republic. We can note down that this post is purely honorary.
Beside, on the proposal of the President of the Republic they had approved the formation of the government of the Republic presided by Kaysone Phomvihane; next to the Prime Minister Prince Souvanna Phouma was designated as Advisor.
Finally the resolution adopted by Congress flag of the Patriotic Front as the National Flag, the national anthem, the one used previously, but the words are those of SISANA SISANE and the Lao language as an official national language.
The day after the seize of power, in applying its action program and the Maxist-Leninist principles relating to people’s democracy, the People’s Revolutionary Party strived to reinforce its hold over the state’s institutions and to practice the proletarian dictatorship called dicdatorship of the proletariat. The question was therefore for it to purge the State and the People. In other words it is the question to consolidate the revolution victory. But it is also to re-educate millions of peasants, small patrons, hundreds of thousands of employees, civil-servants, intellectuals, to subordinate all of them to the proletarian state.
3-Purgation and purification of the State and the people
Concretely the Sate was purged of its elements less trustworthy for the revolution. The high ranking civil servants, the military chief were arrested and sent into the reeducation camps for an undetermined duration. There they were forced to be under an internment where political and civic instruction incorporated to a productive manual labor. The whole was crown of critique and self-critique by which everyone must make a full apology for his pas crimes.
It was so obvious that these: “lodgers” were closely watched over and all attempts to evade was severely punished. Besides, the purgation and purification reached also the people. From now on this one was covered under control; each area, each urban block, each village had its own organization of base and its own seminary center in which all inhabitants attended the courses of political “consciencisation” and learned to live a new life and a new revolutionary ethic. By contrast, the people were called to protect and defend the order and the security of the new regime; it follows the one part of the population opposed and exiled themselves every day to foreign countries.
The Government had debated with many difficulties. After the serious hemorrhage of the technicians and the capital due to the exodus of the major part of the population, the new
bloodless and needed capital, competent personnel, and equipment. To this added
the grave mistakes committed in the management of the country. The exaction and
arbitrary arrests committed by the cadre of the Party incited the people’s
malcontent and economic paralysis. Laos
Since the instauration of the dictatorial regime in Laos in 1975, the Lao people had become a people “deaf-mute, without rights, without voice, and without hope” where corruption judges honesty, the culprit condemns the innocent, and where the Laotian was not owner of his property.
At the moment in time where the international situation has met with the profound political transformation, Laos fundamentally remains a Stalinist dictatorship where the single Party (People’s Revolutionary Party) ruled undividedly the country under an authoritarian Marxist-Leninist regime and that human rights were violated, the prisoners of opinion remained always incarcerated without trial and inhumanely treated, and its inhabitants had sunk into misery and the democratic expressions were encountered with many hindrances.
Before the alarming situation, as well as on the political, economic, and social point of view, characterized by :
1. Absence of fundamental liberties, violations of human rights and ethnics, and religious conflicts have been in effervescence as well the insecurity and the fear growing;
2. Presence more and more numerous and uncontrolled the Vietnamese colonist and communist soldiers on the National territory by virtue of the special Treaty of Vassalage signed on 18 July 1977 at Vientiane by the Comrades Kaysone Phomvihane and Pham Van Dong, Prime Minister Lao and Vietnamese, which made official the dependence the LAO PDR (Laos) in the aid of “Brother Vietnam” owing to the debts of blood contracted by Lao Communist leaders to the Vietnamese Communist Party which had helped them to seize the powers that they are at present detaining.
3.The widespread misery from North of South of the country and the appearance of shantytowns around the conglomerations with a development which arouses in arrow brothels, night clubs, and prostitution. An unprecedented corruption in the history of Laos nurtured and kept by the regime in place which still believe in the delusion of Marxism-Leninism.
From 1986, the timid opening attempted by the communists seems to have responded in priority to the necessity of restoring an economy of some type social-communist in bankrupt rather than considering a real democratization of the political institutions in Laos.
In 1988, about 14 years after transformation of the Kingdom into Republic, a legislative Assembly had been elected with the sole candidates designated by the People’s Revolutionary Communist Party. The 16 August 1991, this chamber voted by a show of hand a Constitution which reaffirms the pre-eminence of the Lao Communist Party.
We must take note that although there is openness in the country to the market economy, in spite of the benevolence of the donor countries and the plentiful bilateral and multilateral assistances as well as in economic, technical, and financial aspects, the economic and social development of Laos could not succeed to take shape, it is inundated by the loans not paid out, numerous projects and programs of development are doomed for failure and become ineffective due to a lack of qualified personnel as well as the political regime of the country. Laos at present, is very dependent of the direct external aid, it continues to live at the expense of the donations and the aid of the international organizations and the Great Powers as well as money sent by the overseas Laotians to their families living in Laos in precarious situation; and the devastating exploitations of its natural resources.
We deplore that the Laotians expatriates after the events of 1975 who remain attached to their country and a great number constitute a resource of competence, anxious to be able to serve their native country, have not been taken into account in order to mitigate the lack of human resources. We fear that in these conditions,
achieve either democratization, or economic development, putting in jeopardy
even its existence, as viable nation and consequently threatening peace and
security of this region of the world. Laos
The evolution of the international situation has been improved, in particular in East Europe where the communist regime has become disaggregated and in Asia where the countries ruled by the dictatorial regime have found its way again or have attempted to re-establish the reconciliation and national understanding after several years of conflicts. It is thanks to the clear-sightedness of the Great Power, the international organizations, the women and men of good willingness smittened of justice and peace that such results have been obtained.
With force of conviction, the LAO NATIONAL COMMITTEE composed of the democratic forces and the representatives of the Opposition to all forms of dictatorship, struggling for liberty, democracy, reconciliation, reform and human rights, demand vigorously :
1.the cessation of all exactions and arbitrary arrests committed against the patriots who claim for
liberty , reconciliation, reform and the multi-party system.
2.the organizing a constructive dialogue in the form of a “round table” between the present leaders of Vientiane and the representative of the democratic movement inside and outside of Laos, anxious to participate in the reconstruction of their native country in a state of law.
3. that Laos remains the fatherland of the Laotians of all edges, including those who have adopted the nationality of their host country ; whoever must have expatriated themselves to flee the dictatorial regime must be able to return freely to the country and to keep their Lao origin nationality .
4. the denunciation of all treaties which were not been concluded from equal terms with foreign countries, in particular with the neighbouring countries, and which undermine the sovereignty of Laos.
5. the release without conditions the prisoners of opinion incarcerated without trial and inhumanely treated and this, without any reprisals.
6. the total withdrawal and without conditions foreign forces from Laos under the control of the
U N .
7. the free general elections at universal suffrage with the participation of all political formations inside and outside the country under international supervision.
8.the edification of a political regime truly democratic, free and neutral, reflecting the most ardent
aspirations of the Lao people by a Referendum.
Such are the basics and the conditions which will enable us to hope, on both sides, engaging a frank and sincere dialogue in view of fraternal understanding, erasing the hates of yesterday and thus bringing back the serenity and happiness in the heart of all the Lao who only aspire to reconstruct their unity for the future of their children in a state of law.
The world moves and evolves, with a worldwide or globalization of the economy and the disappearance of the old word order ruled by the cold war and the balance of forces, the relationships between nations and the peoples needs to be redefined in order to establish a word which included all people in the process of sustained development and which ensure to the future generations the right to be alive. Laos, in order to develop and integrate itself in the present world, needs a social, economic, and political reform and with this, of all forces of its compatriots inside and outside of the country, it is urgent to engage the indispensable reforms in order to pull out the country from poverty an under-development.
In this prospect the Lao National Committee is ready to assist
to succeed in its reform and
to participate concretely to social and economic development of the nations.
This development must emerge into concord, solidarity and prosperity of Laos . The
Lao National Committee invites the
international community, in particular the international organizations, the
Great Powers, and the donor countries to revise their assistance policy and to
demand in return of their aids the tangible results and verifiable as to the
matter of human rights, democracy to fight against corruption and good
governance . Laos
The LAO NATIONAL COMMITTEE remains committed to ending all forms of dictatorship in Laos and that though peaceful actions and is cooperating fully with all organizations and individuals with the same goal, we urge all compatriots to work in solidarity and to openly claim to right to live in a democratic and free society Lao.
It expresses a wish that the great Powers and the international organizations have the good relationship with Laos, to encourage these steps and to extend the cooperation to the organizations representatives of the democratic aspirations of the Lao abroad.
The Lao National Committee launches a solemn appeal to governments, to international organizations: UN, EU (European Union), ASEAN, and to personalities who cherish liberty, peace and justice, having the relationship with Laos, in order to facilitate by their generosity and experience, the meeting, the reconciliation, and the understanding between Laotians, and, in doing so, helping the realization of economic social and democratic progress in Laos, and contributing to the security and prosperity of Southeast Asia.
LAO NATIONAL COMMEETTEE