Friday, May 8, 2009
Tuesday, 5 May 2009, 12:03 pm
Press Release: Center for Public Policy Analysis
Laos Military Kills 9 Hmong Children In Attack
Bangkok, Thailand and Washington, D.C. , May 5, 2009, For Immediate Release
The Lao military killed at least nine (9) Hmong children in an April 3, 2009, attack on Lao Hmong civilians hiding in the Phou Da Phao area of Xieng Khouang Provice, Laos.
"Multiple sources in Laos, including Lao government and Hmong sources from within the Lao Peoples Democractic Republic (LPDR) regime as well as refugees, have recently confirmed the bloody April 3, 2009, attack by the Lao military that left dozens of civilians dead and wounded, including 9 Hmong children who were confirmed killed, whose bodies were recovered and buried by their families," said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C
Smith continued: "On April 3, 2009, Lao military forces deliberately targeted for ethnic cleansing three Lao Hmong civilians groups in the jungle and mountain area of Phou Da Phao who they brutally attacked and began slaughtering with machine guns and other weapons, the victims included many innocent Lao Hmong children, and villagers. The confirmed Hmong children's names and ages killed by Lao military and security forces in the April 3rd attack against unarmed Hmong civilians groups at Phou Da Phao, Laos, include: Ker Lee, 10 years old; Xue Thao, 8; Thong Thao, 7; Ka Lee, 6, Moua Thao, 3; Yer Thao, 4; Thao Houa, 2 ; Kao Lee, 1; and Chia Thao, 15 years old."
"Many more Laotian and Hmong women and children have been captured, or have disappeared, or else killed in the jungle of Laos, as a result of additional attacks that have been launched in recent weeks and months by the Lao military; However, we have the confirmed deaths and bodies of nine (9) Hmong children in Laos that were the result of the Lao government's military attack of April 3 at Phou Da Phao, " Philip Smith concluded.
Recently, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the BBC, New York Times, Al Jazzera, Time Magazine and other independent human rights organizations and journalists have documented the Lao military's attacks and atrocities against Lao Hmong civilians and political and religious dissident groups seeking sanctuary in the jungles and mountains of Laos.
"Cher Tong Thao, Nom Long Lee and Tong Pao Yang are leading unarmed Lao Hmong civilians groups in-hiding, composed of mostly sickly women and children survivors, trying to protect them from LPDR ethnic cleansing operations and military attacks in Laos, as well as the Lao military's cruel efforts to starve them to death," stated Vaughn Vang, Director of the Hmong Lao Human Rights Council.
Vaughn Vang continued: "The unarmed and defenseless Lao Hmong civilians, especially the women and children who are so very hungry, are crying out and pleading for emergency help from the United Nations and world community as well as the United States, Amnesty International and human rights organizations, to please immediately put pressure on the Lao Communist government, the LPDR, to withdrawal all its military forces, and to stop attacking, and ambushing all locations of Hmong civilians in-hiding in the jungle of the Phou Da Phao mountain area."
"They are only civilians, women and children; Their only wish is to live peacefully, free from persecution, torture and killings of the Lao Communist regime," Vaughn Vang observed.
A spokesperson, who spoke on condition of anonymity, in Laos for three of the surviving Hmong groups in hiding, that have been under attack in Laos in the Phou Da Phao mountain area of Xieng Khouang Province in recent weeks and months, issued the following statement describing the situation: "We the Hmong civilians in-hiding in the jungle of Phou Da Phao currently are surrounded by the Lao communist government military forces. The Lao PDR military are ambushing us everywhere in the mountains; hills, rivers, and where ever natural food is growing that we can try and eat. Water and food are currently cut off, we are starving, while our people are being hunted and being killed daily. All of us will likely be killed in the next few weeks without help."
The Lao Hmong spokesperson who witnessed the attack of April 3, and other recent LPDR attacks and atrocities against the Lao Hmong civilians continued: "The Lao military is surrounding and launching heavy attacks and ambushes with troops and artillery from everywhere in the mountains, hills, and river valleys around the mountain area of Phou Da Phao,"