In Vientiane, the Laotian capital, thousands of people took part in a two hour parade last Thursday (2 December) to mark the country's first anniversaries asocialiest pro-Communist state.
In Vientiane, the Laotian capital, thousands of people took part in a two hour parade last Thursday (2 December) to mark the country's first anniversaries asocialiest pro-Communist state. The celebration came a year after the pro-Communist Pathet Lao ousted the former coalition government, abolished the monarchy and put Laos firmly in the Communist camp in Indochina, along with Vietnam and Cambodia.
SYNOPSIS: The parade was led by goose-stepping male and female troops. It is thought to be the first time that the toe-pointing goose-step has been performed at a major occasion by these crack soldiers. The parade also included a display of weapons such as mortars, anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns, machine guns, and rocket launchers. Thousands of Laotians cheered and clapped as the marchers and floats passed. There was a generally festive mood and a number of lighted displays were on show.
A song and dance group also provided a lot of entertainment.
To the surprise of foreign observers, neither President Souphanouvong, the veteran Pathet Lao leader, nor Prime Minister Mr. Kaysone Phomvihan attended. Mr. Kaysone, chief of the ruling Lao People's Revolutionary Party and the country's most powerful figure, has not attended a big public event in Vientiane in the past 12 months. The celebration showed signs that Laos, a year after the Communist take-over, no longer wished to stress its hostility to the United States. There were no floats attacking the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, as there had been in previous big parades.