"Answers are Needed"

I hope the Lao government would assume a more active role in finding out the truth of this particularly unwelcome event…

It does touch on the value of human rights. There are disappearances [when people go missing] and enforced disappearances [when people may have been seized by the state]….

You can’t have enforced disappearances – it’s not something we like in this part of the world.

Anand Panyarachun, former Thai Prime Minister and Magsaysay winner, in The Nation, 11 January 2013

I feel that answers are needed… The government has the responsibility to answer questions as to what has happened to him. The government of the Lao PDR is not really taking up this responsibility.

Jon Ungpakorn, former Thai Senator and Magsaysay winner, in The Nation, 11 January 2013

Former Prime Minister of Thailand expresses concern

Anand urges Vientiane to find missing activist

The Nation ,  January 11, 2013

Former Thai prime minister Anand Panyarachun has appealed to the Lao government to do more to locate the missing activist Sombath Somphone, who disappeared in Vientiane nearly a month ago.

Anand, who attended the launch of a film at the Bangkok Arts Centre on Thursday evening, said he didn’t want to debate the circumstances of what occurred to Sombath – who exiles claim was abducted by government officials after being stopped at a police checkpoint in the capital.

But he urged Vientiane to do more to investigate, saying the 60-year-old social activist was a “very good man”.

Speaking during a debate on reconciliation televised by Thai PBS after the film showing, Anand said the disappearance of Sombath was bad for the region.

“I hope the Lao government would assume a more active role in finding out the truth of this particularly unwelcome event,” he said.

“It does touch on the value of human rights. There are disappearances [when people go missing] and enforced disappearances [when people may have been seized by the state].

“You can’t have enforced disappearances – it’s not something we like in this part of the world.” (more…)