A WALL of silence has risen over the disappearance of Magsaysay Award winner Sombath Somphone in Laos four months ago.
His wife, Singaporean national Ng Shui Meng, is exhausted but still not contemplating leaving Laos, the couple’s home for more than 30 years.
“Sometimes I feel this has to be a (bad) dream, a nightmare,” she says. “I stay because there is still some hope.”
Madam Ng was on the way back to Singapore for a break and on a brief stopover in Bangkok yesterday where she had an emotional meeting with Mrs Angkhana Neelapaijit. Her husband – Thai human rights lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit – disappeared under similar circumstances in the Thai capital in 2004.
“I know what Shui Meng is going through,” Mrs Angkhana told The Straits Times. “It’s an emotional seesaw driven by rumours. One day you hear from someone that your husband is alive. The next day you hear that his body has been found.”
Neither man has been found – alive or dead.
Mr Sombath’s abduction may have been triggered by his role in coordinating the Asia-Europe People’s Forum in Vientiane in October last year, where the Laos government came under some criticism. Continue reading “Missing activist's case losing prominence”