“Reliable sources from inside Laos have stated that on March 23, 2008, the LPDR regime under the direction of President Choummaly Sayasone and Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh as well as Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Douangchay Phichit, who is also a Member of the Politburo and Major General Asang Laoly ordered the implementation of a comprehensive and deadly plan to intensify and expand military operations to attack and kill thousands of dissident unarmed Hmong civilians and opposition members in-hiding by the end of April 2008,” stated Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis in Washington, D.C. “These new and ominous military actions, in cooperation with senior generals in Vietnam’
"This Bosnia and Darfur-like crisis in Laos facing the Lao-Hmong people has risen to a level that commands the immediate attention of the United Nations, Bush Administration and international community so as to halt the further deaths of thousands of innocent people," Smith stated.
Amnesty International has issued numerous reports about war crimes in Laos, including a March 2007 report about the Lao military’s attacks and mass starvation Hmong civilians and dissident and opposition groups. Independent humanitarian and human rights organizations as well as journalists including Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the New York Times, Time magazine (Asia-Edition)
Mr. Tong Pao Yang and Mr. Nou Mang Chang issued the following statement and joint appeal from inside Laos to the international community:
“It is important to note, that the LPDR regime has reportedly suspended Colonel Kham Xeng Yang, a communist officer in the Lao Peoples Army (LPA) because he failed to complete the brutal order issued by the Lao Minister of Defense Lao Deputy Prime Minister & Defense Minister Douangchay Phichit, who is also Member of the Politburo, to kill or capture all Lao-Hmong civilians and dissident Hmong groups in-hiding in key areas inside Laos. The Lao regime is using Hmong soldiers to kill and commit war crimes against their fellow Hmong people, which they are sometimes not capable of doing. These are terrible crimes against humanity being committed by the military of Laos and Vietnam now against thousands of unarmed Hmong civilians that are surrounded and under attack. ”
“Most importantly, however, on behalf of many thousands of Hmong groups now hiding from ongoing LPDR military attacks in Laos, we are appealing to the United States, U.S., U.S. Congress, United Nation, European Unions, ASEAN and the international community, to demand the Lao PDR regime to stop its current military offensive and ongoing attack helicopter and air force bombing. Major military units, and fresh battalions of troops, of the Lao military and Socialist Vietnam are now mobilizing for a new, upcoming planned ground offensive which seeks to massacre all Hmong in hiding groups which our information indicates will likely begin in early April of this year. We are innocent civilians, women and children and we do not want to be killed or captured by the Lao PDR government troops. All unarmed Hmong civilians, especially women and children have the right to life, liberty and the rights for a life free from persecution, torture and brutal human rights abuses currently be directed against our Lao and Hmong people by the communist regime of Laos and Vietnam.”
Tong Pao Yang and Nou Mang Chang continued:
“Our information and field intelligence sources indicate that they have appointed Colonel Boa SaVan as one of the key commanders of the Lao PDR government to carry out this deadly operation which includes plans to continue to encircle, trap, kill and starve to death thousands of Laotian and Hmong civilians. The Lao PDR government has given the order to Colonel Boa SaVan’s troops to slaughter or capture all remaining Hmong groups in hiding by the end of April 2008. Civilians will not be spared. A food is being used as a weapon to kill and starve our people who only seek to live in peace and freedom.”
Tong Pao Yang and Nou Mang Chang concluded:
“The LPDR’s Colonel Boa SaVan has already worked to order new air attacks and the deployment of ground troops in Xieng Khouang Province to prepare for new attacks on Lao-Hmong groups in Phou Da Phao, Phou Bia and in Vang Vieng province. His military trucks have begun carrying his troops at night to the locations where Hmong groups in hiding are located and are standing by to launch fresh military attacks against these innocent Hmong groups in hiding in Vang Vieng Province. Large numbers of troops from Vietnam are also being deployed now to attack and kill our people.”
In response to these developments, Vaughn Vang, Director, of the Lao Human Rights Council made the following four point statement: “We the Lao Human Rights Council propose the following four points to end the genocide, ethnic cleansing war, human rights violation, and mass starvation directed against some 15,000 Lao-Hmong civilians now hiding from attack and persecution in key jungle and mountain areas in Laos:
• We urgently appeal to the United States, United Nations, the world community, European Union, ASEAN and international human rights and humanitarian organizations, to investigate and stop the communist Laos government’s ethnic cleansing war, genocide, oppression and human rights violations, and campaign of mass starvation directed against dissident Lao and Hmong civilians and religious and minority opposition groups; and to press the LPDR regime to immediately end all military attacks from ground and air troops against the innocent, unarmed Hmong civilians, women, and children in-hiding in the jungle of Laos.
• We urgently appeal to the United States, United Nations High Commission for Human Rights and the international community, International Human Rights Commission (independent commission) and other international human rights organizations to investigate and stop the ethnic cleansing war, human rights violation, and genocide, against the Lao-Hmong in-hiding in the jungle of Laos;
• We urgently appeal to the United States, United Nations, the International Red Cross and international relief agencies to send food, and medical supplies, and to provide other basic human needs to the 15,000 Hmong who are being attacked daily and facing mass starvation, ethnic cleansing war and human rights violations against them in the jungle of Laos;
• Finally, we urgently appeal to the United States, United Nation, and ASEAN Nations to bring true peace, democracy, human rights, stability and national reconciliation to Laos and the Lao-Hmong dissident and opposition groups who seek an open and free society.”
# # #
The Center for Public Policy Analysis is a Washington, DC-based think-tank and research organization focused on national security and foreign policy issues.