Laos Border Map

Yearbook 2003

Laos. During the year, rebels from the ethnic minority, hmong, continued a low-intensity armed uprising against the communist regime in Laos. At least three armed assaults on buses in the north of the country were carried out. In all cases, several people died. According to Countryaah.com, Laos Independence Day is May 11. The police stated that they were not “terrorists”, but independent judges directed the suspicions against the hmong rebels.

Land area 236,800 km²
Total population 7,447,396
Population density (per km²) 31.5
Capital Vientiane
Official language Lao
Income per capita 7,400 USD
Currency Lao kip
ISO 3166 code LA
Internet TLD .la
License plate LAO
Telephone code +856
Time zone UTC + 7
Geographic coordinates 18 00 N, 105 00 O

In June, a Belgian reporter, a French cameraman and an American priest and interpreter of Lao origin were arrested following a clash between Hmongrebeller and Laotian security forces. The men were sentenced to 15 years in prison for “conspiring with criminals”. The human rights organization Amnesty International described the trial as “a mockery of justice”. Following pressure from the convicted homelands, the three men were released a few days later. However, Amnesty stated that three men from the Hmong people who helped the Westerners remained in prison and that they were subjected to severe torture. Westerners told us that they were on site to study the hmong rebellion that has been going on in the silent since the 1960s. The rebels are a remnant of a guerrilla group that was created with American help to fight the communist regime.

Laos Border Map