Pressure on Vientiane over abduction of top activist
Authorities in Laos are under growing international pressure over the disappearance of prominent activist and Magsaysay award-winner Sombath Somphone, who went missing on December 15.Lao exiles living overseas say they believe the government abducted Sombath - and they called on Vientiane to free him.
After concern was raised by the United Nations, Lao ambassador to Geneva Yong Chanthalangsay sent an official explanation and clarification to the UN Human Rights Council last Friday. He maintained the same old stance that Sombath was abducted by unknown men because of personal reasons or a business conflict.
"The Lao government has grave concern over the incident and gives importance to the investigation to find out the truth," Yong said in a letter to the UN.