Lao Dam Collapse Caused by Heavy Rains, Faulty Construction: Minister

A high-ranking Lao official suggested Thursday that a dam collapse earlier this week in Attapeu province was the result of faulty construction and said the project’s developer should be held accountable, as the death toll from flooding has reached 30, with more than 20 hospitalized for injuries.

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Marriage Law Amendments Ease Processes For Foreigners, Citizens

Amendments to the Law on Family Registration passed by the National Assembly (NA) recently will ease and regulate marriage between Lao and foreign nationals as well as family registration affairs in general.

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You know you’re raising kids overseas when…

‘I wrote the list a couple years back and have gotten enough chuckles from other expats that at least some of them seem to reflect life for many of us over here!

You know you’re raising kids overseas when…
1. When you say, “We’re going home,” your kids ask, “Which one?”
2. It’s 27 C outside but your kids want a jacket.
3. Hundreds of total strangers have ……

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Two Children Dead, Three Missing After Bridge Collapses

Two children have died, 52 people have been rescued and three children are missing after they fell into a river in Luang Prabang province on Friday morning when the slatted wooden bridge they were walking on tipped sideways.
Fifty-seven schoolchildren, a teacher, and a motorcyclist fell off the bridge into the Xeng River at around 7am in Vangbay village, after one of the main ….

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Tallest Lao Man Shot To Fame After Clinic Visit

Phoudoi Xayachak was shot to fame after his photo was posted on social media. He is now thought to be the tallest man in Laos.
Phoudoi, whose name means mountain, was born into a farming family in 1990 in Namsay-theung village, Pathoumphone district, Champassak province. He was measured at 2.25 metres in June this year.
It is believed that he holds the record for the …..

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Myanmar Leader Suu Kyi Makes First Official Trip, To Laos

Myanmar and Laotian state media reported that Suu Kyi accompanied Myanmar President Htin Kyaw on the visit, which came at the invitation of the president of Laos, Bounnhang Vorachit.
Htin Kyaw was the first head of state to be hosted by Bounnhang, who officially assumed his post just three weeks ago.
The purpose of the visit was to strengthen relations and cooperation between …..

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Bounnhang Vorachit New President Of The Lao PDR

Members of the National Assembly’s 8th Legislature elected Mr Bounnhang Vorachit as the new President of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic at the Assembly’s inaugural session this morning.
They also elected Mr Phankham Viphavanh as …..

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J&C Services Awards “Employee Of The Year”

On Saturday J&C Services honored the outstanding performance of Mrs. “Nounou” Arinya Phonseya with the “Employee of the Year” award.
Nounou joined J&C Services in 2009 as the Finance and Office Manager. “Over the many years Nounou has shown an outstanding performance, her loyalty and diligence is recognized by the entire team” says Stephan, Senior Partner at J&C Services.
“We receive so many good feedback from our clients about …..

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Plastic Wastes A Challenge To Increasingly Prosperous Laos

Like many other cities of the world, the Laotian capital, with its improving economy and standard of living, is not spared from the scourge of urban living: the proliferation of plastics and products bottled or wrapped in plastics.
The biggest problem is that wrappers or bottles made of plastic materials are carelessly thrown just about anywhere. Most of them end up clogging canals and waterways or polluting the waters of the mighty Mekong River.
Hundreds of tons of garbage, that include plastic materials, are being scavenged in the whole city every day. And these include refuse from the ……

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Vientiane To Trial Pedestrian Zone Alongside Mekong

For nine days at the end of January Vientiane will have a designated walking area alongside the Mekong, designed to offer residents and visitors a peaceful place with a panoramic view where they can take an evening stroll.
“We will close the riverside road in the evening and turn it into a pedestrian walkway for nine days starting from January 24. If it proves popular we will consider continuing with it.”
The installation of temporary bollards to block vehicular traffic from 6 pm until midnight each day will create a pedestrian zone and allow people to walk in ….

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British Stars Speak Out Against Dog-Meat Trade’s Cruelty

Thailand’s Soi Dog Foundation has some of the biggest stars in Britain speaking out against the dog-meat trade in a video that starts with a warning about its “distressing” content.
Dame Judi Dench, Ricky Gervais and two of the stars of the international-hit series “Downton Abbey” – Laura Carmichael and Phyllis Logan – give voice to the “I Never Knew” campaign in the moving (and, yes, distressing) three-minute video that drives home what you probably didn’t want to know. But of course you should know …

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Presidential Term Limits Discussed At Constitution-Amendment Seminar

Policy developers have debated whether the term of office served by the President of the Lao PDR should be indicated in the Constitution, to specify that the president is permitted to serve not more than two consecutive terms.
The existing Constitution, which has been amended once in 2003, does not indicate how many terms the president is permitted to serve. Neither is the term of office spelt out in any law or regulation.
The current Constitution indicates that the president has …..

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Seven Days For Census Survey

Laos Statistics Bureau has confirmed it shall survey of the population via a census to be conducted across the country over seven days at a projected cost of US$7.2million.
Census surveyors will proceed to count the population as at March 1, 2015.
Public awareness campaigns are getting underway. A poster from the Department of Social Statistics implores people not to run from the census surveyors as they don’t go to catch to people, but to count them in every corner of ….

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Lao Coffee Festival 2014

To celebrate the tremendous development of the Lao coffee sector and to further promote the unique Lao coffee to the domestic and foreign markets, Lao Coffee Association is organizing the 1st Lao Coffee Festival, from 24 – 26 October 2014 at the Arawan Riverside Hotel and Champasak Grand Hotel in Pakse.
The Lao Coffee Festival will include various activities like exhibition of Lao coffee products, seminars on topics on production background of Lao coffee, present state of the world coffee trade, trends in prices, production ….

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No Measures In Place To Stop Disappearance Of Colonial Buildings

No concrete solution has been determined to save Laos’ colonial and traditional buildings, which are disappearing due to urbanisation.
Officials from the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism’s Heritage Department expressed concern that if there were no coordinated preservation efforts or proper town planning the historical architecture would disappear.
Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are rich in colonial French architecture.
Tourists and foreign expatriates told Vientiane Times that Vientiane used to have the potential to become one of the most attractive and charming cities in Southeast Asia, but a lack of good planning and proper zoning has gradually eroded the city’s ….

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Can You Afford To Retire? (And Why You Should Read This)

Retirement has changed radically over the last few decades in developed countries.
Years ago, when you expected to work most of your life for a single, large employer, you could count on a pension. Retirement planning meant figuring out how to use your free time when you stopped working, not calculating rates of return and deciphering tax rules. You didn’t have to worry.
Now though, its a different story. In the new modern world of transient employment and Countries of residence most workers are not enrolled in pension plans, and the numbers continue to drop as Company schemes continue to close or not be offered. Because fewer and fewer people enjoy the security ….

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Explosions Rock Vientiane’s Biggest Marketplace

Explosions were rocking Lao capital Vientiane’s biggest marketplace, Thong Khan Kham after a fire started at approximately 7:40 p.m. yesterday.
One shopkeeper, who operates a curtain shop on the street outside Thong Khan Kham told Xinhua that the fire broke out from a corner of the marketplace before spreading quickly around 7:40 p.m. The shopkeeper believed that not many people were injured in the blaze as the market closed just over an hour earlier at 6:30 p.m.
The fire has knocked out power for surrounding areas and locals were evacuating the ….

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Baskets Of Salt For A Living

Away from the sea, Laos produces salt by mining in Vientiane basin that shares potash deposits of Sakon Nakhon basin of Khorat Plateau in Thailand.
Named after its abundance of salt deposits, Boukeua (keua means salt) village has the 35-year-old salt factory in the country, the Khoksaath Iodized Salt Factory, which is 21 kilometers from Vientiane Capital.
The compound was silent as a cemetery on a Sunday. Over a hundred of rectangular man-made ponds for drying brine (water saturated with salt water) in the sun, spread in the entire …..

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The Lethal Legacy of U.S. Foreign Intervention

Americans seem to believe that once the U.S. military exits a foreign country, its moral accountability ends. But the deadly consequences — and culpability — continue long after the last soldier leaves.
The U.S. military bombed Laos from 1964 to 1973, during its war on Vietnam, to disrupt the Ho Chi Minh trail, the route for military personnel and equipment from North Vietnam to South Vietnam, which ran through Laos and Cambodia. According to the website Legacies of War, “the U.S. dropped over 2 million tons of ordnance over Laos in ……

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US Unveils New $100 Bill Today

After production problems and delays, the Federal Reserve will finally circulate a new $100 bill today. The aim of the redesigned bank note is to make it harder to fake.
Due to the enhanced security features “it only takes a few seconds to check the new $100 note and know it’s real,” according to Newmoney.gov, a website affiliated with the Federal Reserve Board,Treasury Department and U.S. Secret Service.
Check out a decade’s worth of research and development that went into America’s newest bank note.: ….

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Chinese Premier Meets Laos PM

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong in Nanning on Monday, pledging to further their all-round strategic partnership.
Li said as good neighbours, China and Laos can further promote strategic coordination, economic cooperation and extensive cultural exchange, and work together on major projects in transportation, energy and agriculture, so as to lift China-Laos relations to a new level.
He called on Laos to continue to …..

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Heritage Architecture Being Lost

Heritage officials have expressed concern over the number of French colonial buildings that have disappeared from the capital due to urbanisation in recent years.
There are growing concerns that much of the colonial architecture in Vientiane, which is part of the national heritage of Laos, is being demolished without permission in order to develop the land, particularly in the city.
The French colonial architecture that has remained in the country since France left Laos is one of the unique attractions of the nation, which continues to attract many tourists to ……

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State Employees’ Salaries To Go Up As Planned

Salaries for state employees will increase by 1,900 kip per index as planned next fiscal year, which will begin in October, despite current budget tension.
At its ongoing fifth ordinary session the National Assembly approved in principle the state budget plan for the next fiscal year giving a green light for the government to spend up to 29,580 billion kip or 32.63 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) for total spending next year including salary expenditure.
The plan also requires the government to collect revenue of at least …

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Young Laotians Look Ahead As They Help Clear Deadly Remains Of Vietnam War

Shadowed by a dense green and brown jungle canopy, Phakhai Keo methodically guides her metal detector across a thick carpet of grass, leaf and vine until a loud squeal cuts the still of the forest like a machete.
She has found a deadly remnant of a war that ended long before she was born — and she couldn’t be happier. “The day we find nothing is not so fulfilling,” says the 25-year-old, who has spent the last three months combing the jungles and fields of southern Laos for unexploded cluster munitions.
Phakhai is part of a six-person team of deminers from ……

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Lao Can’t Have Same-Sex Marriage In France

Same-sex couples in France are not allowed to marry if one of the two is a Lao citizen or an expatriate of one of 11 countries, French officials said.
France signed agreements with the countries stipulating their expatriates are prohibited from marrying under France’s new gay marriage law passed in May.
The 11 countries are Laos, Poland, …..

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How To Detox After Holiday Binging

The holiday season is a time to bond with family and friends. But for many, it is also a time for overeating and weight gain.
So how can one get rid of all that junk from his system? Through detoxification, said raw food practitioner Margo. She said drinking lots of water and fresh fruit and vegetable juices, coupled with rest and exercise, will help flush all the salt, oil and alcohol out of the body.
“Our body is like a car. You bring it to a shop to clean it, the tubes and the pipes. It’s the same with our bodies. We drink fresh juices and…..

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Belgian Honorary Consulate Opens In Vientiane

The Belgian government invited Dr Jean-Marie Hospied to become their resident representative here on March 12 this year. His appointment as Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Belgium in the Lao PDR, at Xieng Nuyen village (opposite the Lao and French Red Cross) in Vientiane, was officially accepted by the Lao government on Saturday.
Being a physician who specialises in tropical diseases and recognising that his skills would be in demand here, Dr Hospied established the French Embassy Medical Clinic in Simeuang village, Vientiane, in 2006 and has been a staunch member of the medical community ever since.
The principal duty of the Honorary Consul is to promote goodwill and friendship between ……

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Nam Phou Fountain Reopens To Public

After being renovated for almost a year, the Nam Phou fountain reopens to the public and international tourists. Being granted with a concession lasting 30 years, the developer, Asia Investment and Finance Service Company, confirms that the fountain will remain a public space where local people and tourists can come to relax and enjoy the facilities.
The developer had to modify the original design six times to accommodate the public fear of …..

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Death Penalty Is Necessary, But Should Be Humane: NA

The death penalty is necessary for brutal crimes, but the punishment should be implemented fairly and humanely, National Assembly (NA) members have said.
This was the consensus among NA members when they met on Tuesday to debate the amendment of the Law on Criminal Procedure. “The use of the death penalty is unavoidable, but in some cases it should not be done by firing squad,” NA member for Vientiane Prof. Dr Kikeo Khaykhamphithoun said.
“If the international community is interested in why Laos is serious on this matter, we can tell the world that it’s because of our determination to fight crimes like drug trafficking,” Dr Duangsavat said.

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HIV/AIDS On The Rise In Laos

Despite a well-run domestic prevention and treatment programs in Laos, the overall incidence of HIV/AIDS in the country seemed to be going up, according to UNAIDS Country Coordinator for Laos Pascal Stenier.
“The number of new cases for last year is estimated to be one thousand, which is three new infections per day,” Stenier said
With the support of the Lao government, extensive prevention, testing, monitoring and treatment campaigns have been launched over the last decade. Stenier said he was very pleased with some recent progress in support for HIV-affected individuals with the Lao government’s official recognition of the Lao Network of People Living with HIV.

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Laos Holds First Gay Pride Event

Laos has held its first ever gay pride event in what supporters hope is a sign of softening social values in the small communist country.
Although homosexuality is legal in Laos, it is frowned upon by many among the socially conservative nation of around six million people, and event organisers decided against holding a parade as is common at global pride events.
Instead, around 100 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people gathered on a US embassy sports field in the capital Vientiane to watch performances relating to their marginalised position in society and sip beers provided by the capital’s handful of gay-friendly bars.

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Tails And Trails: The Hash House Harriers Of Vientiane

Are they a gang of reveling runner enthusiasts as their name implies or are the Hash House Harriers into something even more mysterious?
With their own argot, rituals, traditions, and leadership positions including titles like ‘Grand master’, ‘Religious Advisor’, and… ‘Hare’, one might expect something more insidious is going on, but in fact what they are at their core is a group of runners who enjoy a good nightcap.
They joke that they are ‘drinkers with a running problem’, but others emphasize that they are more like a tight family that helps each other. Some groups and people focus more on the running, while others are more into the social aspect, but every hasher expresses that all people are welcome as long as they have a good sense of humor and believe it if you are told to bring a dry bag.

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That Luang Marsh To Become Vientiane’s Showpiece

Plans to turn Vientiane’s That Luang marsh into an attractive urban development envisage an area of green spaces, wetlands, a public park, new roads, residential areas, and commercial centres. The plan would divide That Luang marsh into five zones, covering an area of 2,200 hectares, of which 660 hectares would be dry land and the rest wetlands.
Most people agree that if That Luang marsh is developed as planned, Vientiane could be one of the most liveable and sustainable cities in the region.

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Police Warn Of Dry Season Fire Threat

Vientiane Police Headquarters has issued a warning notice to villagers, public offices and business units to be on the alert for possible fire outbreaks during the dry season.
The warning comes as authorities aim to reduce the number of fire incidents in the capital, which have cause loss of life and property in past years.
Electrical shorts and lightning candles have been among the main causes of fires in Vientiane in the past.

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