Call to Abolish Bilateral Treaty

Dissident groups claim Vietnamese troops remain in Laos under the agreement.
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An advertisement displays Vietnamese investment projects in Vientiane, March 16, 2011.
An advertisement displays Vietnamese investment projects in Vientiane, March 16, 2011.

Dissident groups called on the authorities in Laos Wednesday to rescind a 35-year-old bilateral treaty with Vietnam, claiming that Vietnamese soldiers remain in the country under the pact and should be expelled.

On the 35th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, the French-based Lao National Council for Democracy and the U.S.-based Lao New Generation Movement said the agreement had robbed Laos of its sovereignty.

The treaty signed on July 18, 1977 provided for the stationing of Vietnamese army troops and advisers in Laos after the end of the Vietnam War.

Eleven years later, the Lao government announced that all the Vietnamese troops had withdrawn from Laos but the dissident groups claim they remained.

"The Vietnamese government has, in fact, flouted all the Lao peace treaties and independence agreements by retaining an army of over 70,000 soldiers in Laos and occupying the border regions by setting many thousands of Vietnamese families to plunder our heritage and exploit our mineral resources," a statement from the Lao National Council for Democracy said.

It also called on the international community to help restore democracy in Laos, a one-party communist state which tolerates almost no opposition and maintains strict control over the media.

The Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation effectively "handed over all sovereignty to Vietnam," said a leader of the Lao New Generation Movement, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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Vietnam-Laos ties have blossomed over the years, with Vietnam emerging the second largest investor in the neighboring state, after China, another major ally of Laos.

In Hanoi this week, leaders of Vietnam and Laos agreed to further consolidate and strengthen ties, Vietnamese media reported.

Vietnamese Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan and her Lao counterpart Bounnhang Vorachith, who was on an official visit, signed a pact to continue increasing high-ranking visits and exchanges, promoting cooperation at state, local, and business levels and raising public awareness of the "history of special ties," reports said.

Vietnam held a meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday to mark the 35th anniversary of the controversial treaty and the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Le Thanh Hai, a key communist party official in Ho Chih Minh City, said bilateral ties are "an invaluable asset of the two nations."

Reported by RFA's Lao service. Translated by Viengsay Luangkhot and Max Avary. Written in English by Parameswaran Ponnudurai.

Comments (4)

Anonymous Reader

Me neither I don't accept the presence of VN troups in Laos territory but the pretty vietnamese ladies are welcome.In fact there is no vietnamese troups in Laos,they were withdrawn long time ago; you can check with the cia.

Aug 17, 2012 09:48 AM


from vientiane

I don't agree having vietnamese soldiers running around in Laos. They should return to their motherland. They have enough land to go around. As citizen in Lao PDR we need to help each other and build the country together and not other imperalist foreigner. I feel bad for the people and brought shame to our country.

Jul 31, 2012 10:34 PM

Anonymous Reader

I don't know why Lao government no change communist rule to democracy almost 40 years nothing change in Lao, Lao people still are poor and the country not develop. All citizen in Lao don't like communist rule but they can't say nothing. Can Lao people know why we can't not depend to our own people have to depend on Vietnam?

Jul 19, 2012 02:26 PM

Aitam singvongsa

from vientiane, laos

most of vietnamese troops are remaining in laos now, but they are not in the military Uniforms any more because the late (sa hay) kaysone pomvihanh asked them to stay in laos if they wanted too and some went back to vietname thats what I have seen in 1976.

Jul 18, 2012 09:19 PM





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