Points to Ponder

Development partners: Where are the people?

Above is a word cloud generated from the Vientiane Declaration on Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation  from the 2015 High Level Roundtable Meeting. Where are the people? The term only appears three times in the document itself, and those are within the Lao PDR’s name. Other terms such as rights, empowerment, participation, rural, ethnic minority,

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Is Sombath Being Forgotten?

As Laos celebrates its traditional new year, a few points to ponder: While the Lao government claims it is continuing to investigate Sombath’s disappearance, no results have been released in nearly three years. But is anybody still asking? Within days of his disappearance, Sombath’s family filed an appeal with the Supreme People’s Prosecutor. Authorities later claimed the

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Vientiane Declaration ignores rights, people, etc.

The Vientiane Declaration on Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, which will be signed at the High Level Round Table Meeting, departs sharply from the spirit and assurances made during the recent Universal Periodic Review. A few observations include: The document makes no mention of human rights, civil rights or any kind of rights. Civil society, NPAs and INGOs are

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Where can we go?

When a crime is committed, we often go to the authorities for help. But where can we go if the authorities committed the crime? ເມື່ອເກີດມີອາຊະຍາກຳ, ສ່ວນຫຼາຍ ເຮົາຈະໄປຫາເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ເພື່ອຂໍຄວາມຊ່ວຍເຫຼືອ. ແຕ່ເມື່ອເຈົ້າ ໜ້າທີ່ ເປັນຜູ້ກໍ່ອາຊະຍາກຳເອງ, ເຮົາຈະໄປຫາໃຜ?

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ASEAN People’s Forum

ACSC/APF forums held each year are vibrant examples of diverse ASEAN civil society groups and individuals bringing their voice and concerns to the region’s leaders and lawmakers. In 2014, the gathering was held in Yangon, Myanmar, with some 3000 participants. Three plenaries and 35 panels included nearly 200 speakers. Only one of these was from

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Facts & Fictions

Since Sombath Somphone’s abduction on December 15, 2012, many inferences have been made, both in public and in private, about why he was taken. Just days after he disappeared, government officials speculated it may have been due to a personal or business conflict. Variations on this theory have been repeated many times, both by diplomats

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