Laos vows to help track Thai fugitives
Thai political fugitives in Laos will be kept under strict surveillance to prevent them from engaging in lese majeste activities, the Laos government has assured Thailand.
Lt Gen Souvone Leuangbounmy, chief-of-staff of the Lao People's Armed Forces (LPAF), yesterday played down Thai authorities' concerns about political fugitives and those wanted under Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lese majeste law, there.
Laos would be vigilant in trying to stop any acts which could affect Thai people, he said.
"Please rest assured. You can count on us," Lt Gen Souvone said.
He said the Thai and Loas armies enjoyed strong relations, and both countries have always assisted each other in helping civilians who travel back and forth to make a living in the two countries.
Lt Gen Souvone was speaking during a traditional thod pha pa or "robe-offering" ritual at Wat Ong Teu Mahawihan, the oldest temple in Vientiane yesterday.
The merit-making ceremony was also attended by Thai army officials, led by Chief of Defence Forces Thanchaiyan Srisuwan, who are on an official visit to the neighbouring country until Tuesday.
The visit is aimed at reinforcing cooperation between the countries on army and security affairs.
Gen Thanchaiyan's delegation will also call on the Laos defence minister and the LPAF's Supreme Commander.
The Thai delegation also includes ACM Nopphadol Supakorn and Gen Chaichana Nakkerd, both deputy chiefs of joint staff of the Royal Thai Armed Forces.
Lt Gen Souvone said the merit-making ceremony joined by the military from both countries represented the cordial relationship between the Thai and Laos armies and their people.
Thod pha pa is a traditional ritual in the two countries in which Buddhism serves as the national religion.
"We [Thail and Laos people] are like siblings and we share the same bloodline. Therefore, we have to help, love and respect each other. We also have to help preserve our traditional rituals and uphold Buddhism so it will last forever," Lt Gen Souvone said.