The Mekong River brought the two governments of Thailand and Laos a little closer on Monday (8 October) when a boat race between the two nations took place in it.
LV PAN TO MV Thai and Laotian boats racing
CU Australian Deputy P.M. J.D. Anthony watching race with others
MV Thais watching race
MV Boats racing
MV Australian Deputy P.M. and others turn away from watching race
GV Deserted banks on Laotian side of river
LV Boats racing towards camera
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Background: The Mekong River brought the two governments of Thailand and Laos a little closer on Monday (8 October) when a boat race between the two nations took place in it. Thousands of Thais and Laotians lined the banks of the river of "peace and friendship" to witness the biggest boat race ever held between the two countries.
SYNOPSIS: Thailand was represented by about 400 paddlers - almost half of them women in the boat race which was held in the Sri Sattana district of Laos. The organizers said it didn't matter who won the race, just as long as the festival and boat race "signify the friendship the two countries have for each other."
Australia's Deputy Prime Minister, J.D. Anthony, took in the race as part of his five day official visit to Thailand. during that time he has been urging the world to help Indochina to solve its political problems which have resulted in 'countless human tragedies'. Thailand has become a refuge for thousands of refugees from the war in Kampuchea, and the Australian politician stressed that his nation would continue to help in the international refugee effort. The boat race between the two neighbours was, in fact, much more than just a cross - border sport. It marked a major improvement in the links between the two countries which have, upon occasion, been strained and even snapped. Pressure has been placed on Thailand to improve relations with La??? especially by the A.S.E.A.N. and the United States. It is believed that by resolving their differences a measure of stability will be brought to the area.
For two years the two governments have been ??? increasingly good terms, and the boat race was an example of the improved relations.