Thursday, June 3, 2010
Eau Claire (WQOW) - There are local concerns about Hmong refugees oversees and how they're being treated. Thousands of Hmong are being held in camps in Laos after fleeing more than 30 years ago.
They fled because of political unrest during the Vietnamese and Indo-Chinese wars. The ambassador to Laos was in Eau Claire today to talk with the area Hmong community about what's being done to help.
Late last year, the Thai government sent Hmong refugees back to their home country of Laos. Those refugees are now in camps.
"My concerns are the treatment of Hmong people there, the discrimination they go through," says Xong Xiong.
She's worried the United States isn't doing enough to help her family members and her fellow people. On Wednesday, the U.S. Ambassador to Laos spoke to many Hmong community members about what the U.S. is doing to help out.
"I've been out there, I've seen the conditions, they're very basic, there's shelter, there's water, there's electricity," says Ravik Huso, the U.S. Ambassador to Laos.
Some aren't buying what the ambassador is telling them.
"He wasn't very clear about the numbers that have returned, he wasn't very clear about what the goals were, the objectives were, and what they were trying to accomplish there," says Xiong.
And many are just hoping the U.S. can take care of those that fled.
"Making sure that the people who have gotten resettled back are really taken care of, because I know what it's like over there in those countries under the communist rule," says Bee Lo.
The ambassador says the U.S. is trying to build schools, roads, and hospitals for the refugees.
"What people really need is they need some assistance, some development assistance to get themselves a new start in their lives," says Ambassador Huso.
Many aren't sure how the U.S. is going to accomplish that.
"Well, ok, so what have we done about it? What are the steps that you have taken to make sure these things are happening? He didn't tell us anything," says Lo.
A visit that some felt left many questions unanswered.
The ambassador says the U.S. is doing all it can to help out Hmong refugees in Laos. Many Hmong community members are hoping that someday their family members in Laos can come to the United States.