Although his own son fled from the Communists Pathet Lao in Laos, former Prime Minister Prince Souvanna Phouma told reporters in Paris France, on Tuesday (12 October) that there had been no problems in the country since the takeover.
SV EXTERIOR Elysee Palace
MV TO CU Prince Souvanna Phouma walking out of main door
CU Prince answering questions from reporters in French
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Background: Although his own son fled from the Communists Pathet Lao in Laos, former Prime Minister Prince Souvanna Phouma told reporters in Paris France, on Tuesday (12 October) that there had been no problems in the country since the takeover.
SYNOPSIS: Prince Souvanna Phouma made the remarks after talks with French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing in the Elysee Palace.
United Nations figures put the number of Laotians who have fled to Thailand at less than 100,000. Local estimates are much higher, and Prince Souvanna Phouma's son, Prince Panya, swam across the Mekong River to Thailand after being summoned to a Communist Pathet Lao re-education seminar last year. A reporter said there had been very little news out of Laos since the peaceful revolution, but the 74-year-old Prince said nothing had changed. He added that the new Government's main effort was going into increasing rice production to help make the country self sufficient.
Prince Souvanna Phouma, regarded as a neutralist politically, was made Premier after an agreed coalition Government ended the civil war between the right-wing Vientiane side and the Pathet Lao. He was ousted from power last year when the Pathet Lao took over the government, but Prince Souvanna Phouma insisted the revolution had been peaceful, in the Laotian style.