Along with the present political crisis in the landlocked Kingdom of Laos, has come the more serious problem of a food and fuel shortage.
LS Trishaw cyclist on Vientiane street.
MS Another street scene.
MS Empty petrol station.
MS Market scene.
MCU Woman selling rice.
MS Two women gossiping in market.
MS Flower and vegetable sellers.
LS Market scene.
BETACAM CYPRUS TAPE 12
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Along with the present political crisis in the landlocked Kingdom of Laos, has come the more serious problem of a food and fuel shortage. In Vientiane, the capital stronghold of the Royal Government, the population are slowly using up what stocks of food they have left.
Before the fighting broke out between the Government's forces and rebel army under General Phoumi Nosavan and more recently the northern Communist forces, the Kingdom received its supplies by the overland route through Thailand. Due to the disturbed conditions along the border, Thai traders are unwilling to send goods into Laos.
Thailand's Government has been accused of staging a trade block by the Royal Government in Vientiane, who also state that Thailand is giving indirect support to General Nosavan. Thailand has never recognised the Phouma Government, but has offered to sell it 50,000 bags of rice for "humanitarian reasons".
An approach has also been made to Burma to supply the Kingdom with rice and petrol. While the negotiations are going on, the city of Vientiane is slowly coming to a standstill. Cars have been stranded everywhere for the lack of fuel, and much needed supplies have yet to arrive.