[87], Human rights violations remain a significant concern in Laos. Laos is one of the world's five remaining communist states. He has since forged stronger relations with the United States, welcoming President Barack Obama on an official visit in September 2016, the first by a US president. [67], Some Hmong groups fought as CIA-backed units on the royalist side in the Laotian Civil War. [165][166], Polygamy is officially a crime in Laos, though the penalty is minor. [16][17], The English word Laos was coined by the French, who united the three Lao kingdoms in French Indochina in 1893 and named the country as the plural of the dominant and most common ethnic group, the Lao people. 1975 - Pathet Lao - renamed the Lao People's Front - replaces the monarchy with a communist government. [44] When Japan surrendered, some Lao nationalists (including Prince Phetsarath) declared Laotian independence, but by early-1946, French troops had reoccupied the country and conferred limited autonomy on Laos. Neither was Malaysia. [86] Plans to resettle additional Hmong refugees in the United States were stalled by provisions of President George W. Bush's Patriot Act and Real ID Act, under which Hmong veterans of the Secret War, who fought on the side of the United States, are classified as terrorists because of their historical involvement in armed conflict. 1953 - Independence restored after the end of French rule. The Communist Party has been in power ever since, and Laos has traditionally mirrored neighbouring Vietnam's political system, although China's sway has grown in recent years. [41] By 1943, the Vietnamese population stood at nearly 40,000, forming the majority in the largest cities of Laos and enjoying the right to elect its own leaders. Since Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith came to … In 1988 though, the country began allowing some forms of private … [130] The European Council on Trade and Tourism awarded the country the "World Best Tourist Destination" designation for 2013 for architecture and history.[131]. Sticky rice is generally preferred over jasmine rice, and sticky rice cultivation and production is thought to have originated in Laos. More than half of the nation's population is ethnic Lao—the principal lowland inhabitants, and the politically and culturally dominant people of Laos. Lan Xang became an important trade centre during Samsenthai's reign, but after his death in 1421 it collapsed into warring factions for nearly a century. The Communist Party has been in power ever since, and Laos has traditionally mirrored neighbouring Vietnam's political system, although China's sway has grown in recent years. [147] The total literacy rate is 73% (2010 estimate). [168], The martial art of muay Lao, the national sport,[169] is a form of kickboxing similar to Thailand's muay Thai, Burmese Lethwei and Cambodian Pradal Serey. Theravada Buddhism has coexisted peacefully since its introduction to the country with the local polytheism. Laos was part of French Indochina, it became independent in 1953, but for most of the next 25 years it was torn by civil strife between the communist Pathet Lao … According to the World Bank data conducted in 2014, Laos has met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets on water and sanitation regarding UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring Programme. [123] In addition, the country's plentiful water resources and mountainous terrain enable it to produce and export large quantities of hydroelectric energy. [26] Burial jars and other kinds of sepulchers suggest a complex society in which bronze objects appeared around 1500 BC, and iron tools were known from 700 BC. His ministers, unable to tolerate his ruthlessness, forced him into exile to the present-day Thai province of Nan in 1373,[30] where he died. [167] Polygamy, however, is still customary among some Hmong people. [citation needed], Massive aerial bombardment against the PAVN/Pathet Lao forces were carried out by the United States to prevent the collapse of the Kingdom of Laos central government, and to deny the use of the Ho Chi Minh Trail to attack U.S. forces in South Vietnam. He is the General Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party. [154], Australian filmmaker Kim Mordount's first feature film was made in Laos and features a Laotian cast speaking their native language. Laos's first French-written and monarchical constitution was promulgated on 11 May 1947, and declared Laos an independent state within the French Union. The Lao National Tourism Administration, related government agencies and the private sector are working together to realise the vision put forth in the country's National Ecotourism Strategy and Action Plan. Is Laos’ ruling communist party building up to an anti-corruption campaign similar to the ones we’ve seen in China and Vietnam? [40] Under French rule, the Vietnamese were encouraged to migrate to Laos, which was seen by the French colonists as a rational solution to a labour shortage within the confines of an Indochina-wide colonial space. Laos has a single-party communist government, in which the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) is the only legal political party. "[127], The country's most widely recognised product may well be Beerlao, which in 2017 was exported to more than 20 countries worldwide. Sinh is a traditional garment worn by Laotian women in daily life. Entitled The Rocket, the film appeared at the 2013 Melbourne International Film Festival and won three awards at the Berlin International Film Festival. Mountain/hill tribes of mixed ethno/cultural-linguistic heritage are found in northern Laos, which include the Lua and Khmu people who are indigenous to Laos. Murray Kilpatrick Murray Kilpatrick is a patron of history and the arts. Read about our approach to external linking. Laos is usually considered a single-party socialist republic, which is a fancy way of saying "communist" in … Export earnings from international visitors and tourism goods are expected to generate 16% of total exports or US$270.3 million in 2010, growing in nominal terms to US$484.2 million (12.5% of the total) in 2020. A French colony until the 1953, the power … [164] Lao citizens who have criticised the government have been subjected to enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and torture. [120] Approximately 77% of Lao farm households are self-sufficient in rice. According to the CIA World Factbook, Laos became a communist government in 1975 under Pathet Lao. The only legal political party is the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP). On 17 May 2014, Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Douangchay Phichit was killed in a plane crash, along with other top ranking officials. The population of Laos is approximately 6, 759,000 people, which makes it the world’s 103rd … “The detention of [Sangkhane] shows that communist Laos never stops violating the human rights of its people, especially the right of expression and other universal basic rights enshrined in the Universal Human Rights Declaration that the Lao government has signed,” said Vanida Thepsouvanh, chairwoman of the Paris-based Lao Movement for Human Rights. Pakxe has also experienced growth based on cross-border trade with Thailand and Vietnam. The remainder, particularly in rural areas, speak ethnic minority languages. According to independent non-profit/non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Amnesty International,[96] Human Rights Watch,[97] and Civil Rights Defenders,[98] along with the U.S. State Department,[99] serious human rights violations such as arbitrary detentions, disappearances, free speech restrictions, prison abuses and other violations are an ongoing problem. English, the language of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), has become increasingly studied in recent years. Ngum was descended from a long line of Lao kings that traced back to Khoun Boulom. Rights groups say communist Laos, one of Asia's poorest countries, is a linchpin of transnational crime, and a transit center for contraband from drugs and wildlife to timber – and recently, semen. [33], Chao Anouvong was installed as a vassal king of Vientiane by the Siamese. Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}18°N 105°E / 18°N 105°E / 18; 105, Laos (/ˈlɑːoʊs/ (listen),[8] /laʊs, ˈlɑːɒs, ˈleɪɒs/;[9][10] Lao: ລາວ, Lāo [láːw]), officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao lau; French: République démocratique populaire lao), is a socialist state and the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. The Lao government has been working with the International Rice Research Institute of the Philippines to collect seed samples of each of the thousands of rice varieties found in Laos. Much of Laos lacks adequate infrastructure. This work is … Laos' strategies for development are based on generating electricity from rivers and selling the power to its neighbours, namely Thailand, China, and Vietnam, as well as its initiative to become a "land-linked" nation, as evidenced by the construction of four new railways connecting Laos and neighbours. Songthaews (pick-up trucks with benches) are used in the country for long-distance and local public transport. Vientiane prefecture, the capital and largest city, had about 683,000 residents in 2020. ", "Communism and Capitalism Are Mixing in Laos", "Preparing the Cumulative Impact Assessment for the Nam Ngum 3 Hydropower Project: Financed by the Japan Special Fund", "Briefing note for countries on the 2015 Human Development Report – Laos", International Food Policy Research Institute, "UN expert: Lao PDR's economic strategy entrenches poverty", Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, European Council On Tourism And Trade Delegation Visit To Laos-World Best Tourist Destination – European Council On Tourism And Trade, "The Lao People's Democratic Republic's Vision for Ecotourism", "Focales n° 8. Internal conflict, Lan Xang broke into three principalities representative to the country became.! Died under suspicious circumstances in a variety of ways gunderson, Steve ( 18 May ). 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