As delegates to the 14-nations Geneva talks on Laos were discussing the problem of Laotian representation at the conference, the three factions in Laos met at Ban Nam Mone (North of Vientiane) May 14.
LS Helicopter with Commission team arriving at village (2 shots)
MLS Villagers looking on
MS Sen and Col. Ketsena going to meeting place
MLS/PAN Crowd to delegates to hut
MS Delegates (2 shots)
MS Ponsavan (extreme right) receiving Sen and others
MLS Crowd outside conference hut
LS/PAN Neutralist side to Pathet Lao to Commission (foreground Government side)
MLS Ponsavan speaking
MS Gen. Sing of Government side (middle with spectacles) & others
LS Pathet Lao side, Nouhak speaking
MS Commission delegates
MLS MS. Government side Gen. Sing speaking (2 shots)
PAN Commission to neutral side
LS Exterior of hut
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Background: As delegates to the 14-nations Geneva talks on Laos were discussing the problem of Laotian representation at the conference, the three factions in Laos met at Ban Nam Mone (North of Vientiane) May 14. They discussed, in the presence of the International Control Commission the formation of a coalition Government, political and military matters.
The commission team headed by Samar Sen (India) flew by helicopter to Ban Nam Mone village in rebel-held territory. They were met by Col. Ketsena, one of Kong Le's officers, and hero of Nam Cadinh and Vientiane battles. Col. Ketsena was with the neutralist delegation.
Before going to the hut where the discussions were held, there were more greetings among members of all three delegation. Many of them knew each other personally - some fought together in the Royal Army, though they now have different views. The atmosphere was friendly, and people of the village also joined in the welcome. They were outside they hut as the delegations put forward their views during the conference.
The leader of the neutralist delegation was Peng Ponsavan, while Nouhak led the Communist-backed Pathet Lao side, and Gen. Sing Retnasamai the right wing Laotian Government side. During the discussions, Ponsavan said his delegation's proposal were: strict compliance with the cease fire; the establishment of an interim coalition; general elections to the National Assembly; drafting terms of armistice; guarantees for peace and the neutrality of Laos; and an extension of democratic freedoms.
Though no major decisions were reached at the meeting, it provided the first direct political contact among all three groups.