The celebrations for the 27th anniversary of the founding of the Laotian Liberation Army which took place on Tuesday (20 January), were generally low-key and quite.
The celebrations for the 27th anniversary of the founding of the Laotian Liberation Army which took place on Tuesday (20 January), were generally low-key and quite. It was the first time the anniversary had occurred with the Pathet Lao in full control of the country.
Many observers had expected a major celebration, with rallies, military parades and revolutionary entertainment. But instead, students and civil servants were given a day off work, and the only scheduled events were a sports competition at the municipal stadium, and a programme of revolutionary and traditional dancing in Vientiane.
Shops and markets continued to do brisk business, though the Lao national radio service devoted a considerable amount of broadcasting time to the history of the Liberation Armed Forces.
The Liberation Army was founded in 1945 by Prince Souphanouvong, the former leader of the Pathet Lao who is now President of the new Laotian Republic. Prince Souphanouvong, who is 63 years old, came to power after more than two deuces of military and political struggle at the head of the pro-Communist forces.
He went to school in Hanoi and University in Paris, where he graduated as a civil engineer in 1937. He returned to French Indo-China and worked until 1945 building roads and bridges in central Vietnam and Laos. As the Second World War came to an end, he joined the anti-French movement in his country and won the backing of Ho Chi Minh, who was then the leader of the Viet Minh in Vietnam. It was in that first year of his revolutionary commitment that he helped to form the Liberation Armed Forces.