“Sombath Somphone and Beyond” Project – The 2nd Episode

Tea Talk: Growing Peace Together

Friday 15 March 2013

10.30 Onward, In front of Laos Embassy

Soi Sahakarnpramun, Pracha-utit Rd, Wangthonglang, Bangkok

image00115 March 2013 marks 3 month anniversary of the enforced disappearance of Sombath Somphone or “uncle Bath” of many young people in Laos, Mekong region and ASEAN. The respected Ramon Magsaysay award winner had dedicated his life to rural development and supporting youth groups by giving them the opportunity to learn. Beloved, respectful, kind-hearted and humble, Sombath is their role model as to his love for the world. The sharing and caring that Sombath shared with the young people was a part of the foundation of the growth of their own.

It has now been 3 months of unexplained disappearance of Sombath which occurred on 15 December 2012, despite the CCTV clip showing once and for all his being taken by a group of men after being stopped by a street police at a point on Tha-dua road in Vientiane municipality as evening fell. Seemingly, the answer to his fortune is in the wind.

We, Thai and Mekong Youth network, once again question this suspicious disappearance and request the Laos government to address it and, soon, bring him back to his family and us. We believe that, to end this human rights violation is to return peace to the Mekong region. We echo voices of the region’s people who call for sustainable development, harmony and peace.

On 15th day of every month from now, we will take action to remind ourselves as well as society of uncle Bath’s enforced disappearance. Wherever he is, we feel he is still with us and we will not keep quiet about him. We shall continue to work for the good of others, serving community and society of Mekong and ASEAN. We, the youth, will always connect our actions to empower the powerless. Our ideology, way of thinking, dream and spirit of love for peace will go on. And truth will prevail. We believe that peace has now grown in us. We will help each other to make it grow larger and stronger not only for the good of us but those of the coming generations.

“Sombath Somphone and Beyond” Project set out of our 5th February concert for peace in Thammasart University. This “Tea Talk” is the second episode. Its key objective is to create space to discuss about peace in the young people’s perspectives. Talk over tea is symbolic in our culture, when people exchange socio-political ideas. As for 15th March in front of the Laos Embassy, we will share with our guests nice tea and cakes, together with music and performance titled “Three Nots” (not know, not see, not understand or “Boh huu, Boh hen, Boh jak” in Laos language). We will invite the Laos ambassador to join us for the Tea Talk and will in the end submit our petition that urge investigation on Sombath case. We hope our friends, colleagues and concerned others will join us so that our attempt to stop human rights violation and our search for peace shall once again be realized.

More information please contact:

Jaruwan Pholrai (Netting) Tel 08 1072 2714 E-mail: [email protected]

Sakdinee Amasiri Tel 085212 198 E-mail  [email protected]