Lao government does not want to hear Sombath's name

Radio Free Asia: 18 March 2015

Unofficial translation

S-somphoneThe Lao government does not want the Steering Committee of the ASEAN People’s Forum to include Sombath Somphone’s name in the CSO Statement for their meeting to be organised in Malaysia on April 21-24, 2015.

Mr. Maydom Chanthanasinh, a member of the APF committee from Laos, recommended to other members to remove Sombath from the statement, particularly the reference to enforced disappearance and human rights violations, according to a CSO staff.

The recommendation to remove Sombath’s name came from a meeting for CSO representatives held on March 10-11 in Vientiane. The meeting, to “exchange information between the state and CSOs,” was chaired by the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Xaisy Somtivong.

According to one staff, towards the end of that meeting the Chair asked whether Sombath’s name should be removed from the APF statement. About 20 out of 100 persons present raised their hands in agreement, but the Chair concluded the resolution had passed.

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