Urgent Appeal of Parliamentarians across Asia and Europe

Urgent Appeal of Parliamentarians across Asia and Europe for Mr. Sombath Somphone

 February 5, 2013

His Excellency
Thongsing Thammavong
Prime Minister
People’s Democratic Republic of Laos

Dear Excellency,

Re: Request urgent investigation into the disappearance of Mr. Sombath Somphone

We, members of parliament across  Asia and Europe, write to you deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of Mr. Sombath Somphone one of the most prominent Lao co-organizers of the Asia Europe People’s Forum 9, the founder and former Director of PADETC and one of the most respected and influential voices for sustainable people-centred and just economic and social development in Laos as well as in Asia.

Mr. Sombath Somphone has been missing since about 5 pm on Saturday December 15th 2012. His wife and colleagues last saw Mr. Sombath Somphone on December 15 at 5 pm when he left the PADETC office in Vientiane to go home.  He left the office in his own car; his wife was in another car.  He did not reach home and his family has had no news from or about him since then.

We are concerned about his safety, his state of health and his well-being.

We are aware that the International Organising Committee of the Asia Europe People’s Forum has worked intensively with Mr. Sombath Somphone over the last year. His contribution to the successful Asia Europe People’s Forum 9 in Vientiane on the 16-19 October was extremely significant, widely recognized and deeply respected.  In addition he is a highly respected educationalist, inspiration for sustainable development and a recipient of the prestigious international Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2005.  He has dedicated his life to sustainable development and poverty reduction in the Lao PDR, and has contributed positively to numerous international processes, including the AEPF9. Mr. Sombath is an inspiration to development practitioners all over the world.

We are deeply concerned for Mr. Sombath’s safety and well-being and his disappearance is cause for great alarm.

We urge the Lao Government to immediately and urgently initiate an investigation into Mr. Sombath’s disappearance.  And, we call on the government to undertake all actions necessary to ensure his immediate safe return to his family.

Yours sincerely,


Petra Bayr, Social Democratic Party
Efgani Dönmez , Green Party
Judith Schwentner, Green Party
Tanja Windbüchler-Souchil, Green Party
Wolfgang Zinggl, Green Party

Lee Rhiannon,  Australian Greens

Céline Delforge (Parliament of the Brussel’s Region), Ecolo-Groen

Son Chay (Party Whip) Sam Rainsy Party

Thomas Gambke, Group Alliance 90/The Greens
Annette Groth (Human Rights Spokesperson of the Parliamentary Group), Die Linke
Heike Hänsel  (Spokesperson for Development Policy of the Parliamentary Group), Die Linke
Wolfgang Gehrke (Foreign Policy Speaker of the Parliamentary Group), Die Linke
Stefan Liebich, Die Linke
Frithjof Schmidt, Vice-Chair of the Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/The Greens

M. Hanif Dhakiri, Nation Awakening Party (PKB)
Budiman Sudjatmiko, Gedung DPR/MPR
Lily Chadidjah Wahid, Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB)

Chong Chieng Jen, Democratic Action Party
Tian Chua, Parti Keadilan Rakyat
Teo Nie Ching, Democratic Action Party
Ngeh Koo Ham, Democratic Action Party
M Manoraharan, Democratic Action Party
Tony Pua, Democratic Action Party
Charles Santiago, Democratic Action Party
Ramakrishan Suppiah, Democratic Action Party
Liew Chin Tong, Democratic Action Party

Tuur Elzinga (Senator),  Socialist Party

Walden Bello, Akbayan
Teddy Brawner Baguilat, Liberal Party
Arlene Bag-ao, Akbayan
Jorge Banal, Liberal Party
Bernadette Herrera-Dy, Bagong Henerasyon
Lorenzo Tanada III, Liberal Party

Alasdair Allan,  Scottish National Party

Laia Ortiz Castellví, G.P. La Izquierda Plural 

Jens Holm, Swedish Left Party

Francine John-Calame, Green Party
Liliane Maury Pasquier, Social Democratic Party
Luc Recordon , Green Party
Maria Roth-Bernasconi, Social Democratic Party
Geraldine Savary , Social Democratic Party

Veeravit Gongsakdi, Senator
Prasarn Marukpitak, Senator
Sumol Sutaviyawat, Senator
Somchai Swangkarn, Senator
Rosana Tositrakul, Senator
Trungjai Buranasomphob, Senator

Lothar Bisky, MEP, GUE/NGL Group (Germany)
Nikolas Chountis, MEP, Member of the Bureau GUE/NGL Group (Greece)
Cornelia Ernst, MEP, Member of the Bureau GUE/NGL Group (Germany)
Mikael Gustafsson, MEP, Vice Chair GUE/NGL Group, Chair Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (Sweden)
Thomas Händel, MEP, Member of the Bureau GUE/NGL Group (Germany)
Jürgen Klute, MEP, GUE/NGL Group (Germany)
Barbara Lochbihler, MEP, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, Chair of Subcommittee on Human Rights (Germany)
Sabina Lösing, MEP, GUE/NGL Group (Germany)
Marisa Matias, MEP, Member of the Bureau GUE/NGL Group (Portugal)
Willy Meyer, MEP, Member of the Bureau GUE/NGL Group (Spain)
Paul Murphy, MEP, Member of the Bureau GUE/NGL Group (Ireland)
Sirpa Pietikäinen, MEP, Group of the European People’s Party (Finland)
Niccolò Rinaldi, MEP, Vice Chair Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (Italy)
Helmut Scholz, MEP, GUE/NGL Group (Germany)
Søren Bo Søndergaard, MEP, Member of the Bureau GUE/NGL Group (Denmark)
Alda Sousa, MEP, GUE/NGL Group (Portugal)
Marie-Christine Vergiat, MEP, GUE/NGL Group (France)
Sabine Wils, MEP, GUE/NGL Group (Germany)
Tatjana Zdanoka, MEP, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance  (Latvia)
Gabriele Zimmer, MEP, Chair GUE/NGL Group (Germany)


Minister of the Prime Minister Office
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lao PDR
Ministry of Public Security Lao PDR

Lao National Assembly VII,  Members of the Standing Committee

Pany Yathotu, President
Saysomphone Phomvihan, Vice-President
SomphanhPhengkhammy, Vice-President
Douangdy Outhachak, Member of the Standing Committee, President of Ethnic Affairs Committee
Davone Vangvichit, Member of the Standing Committee, President of Law Committee
Koukeo Akkhamounty, Member of the Standing Committee, President of Foreign Affairs  Committee
Souvanpheng Boupphanouvong,  Member of the Standing Committee,
President of Economics Planning and Finance Committee
Phonethep Pholsena, Member of the Standing Committee, President of Cultural and Social Affairs Committee
Vilay Douangmany, Member of the Standing Committee, President of National Defence and Security Committee
Ounkeo Vouthirath, Member of the Standing Committee, chief of the Cabinet

ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh

Ambassador David Lipman, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, and  EU Representative to the Ninth Asia Europe People’s Forum in Vientiane

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