Where is Sombath? ສົມບັດຢູ່ໃສ?


Sombath SomphoneSombath Somphone was last seen in Vientiane on the evening of Saturday, 15 December 2012 when he was driving home in his jeep.

Two days later, CCTV footage became available that showed Sombath being stopped by police and then abducted. The video can be seen here.

Sombath is a friend, colleague and a visionary who has spent his life working for his people and country. This website hopes to facilitate his return to his family and work.

ມີຄົນພົບເຫັນ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ຄັ້ງສຸດທ້າຍໃນ ນະຄອນຫລວງວຽງຈັນ ໃນຕອນແລງ ຂອງວັນເສົາ ທີ 15 ທັນວາ 2012 ເມື່ອລາວ ກຳລັງຂັບລົດຈິດຂອງລາວກັບບ້ານ.

ສອງມື້ຕໍ່ມາ ໄດ້ມີພາບຖ່າຍວິດີໂອກ້ອງວົງຈອນປິດຈາລະຈອນ ໄດ້ສະແດງໃຫ້ເຫັນວ່າ ສົມບັດ ກຳລັງຖືກຢຸດກວດໂດຍຕຳຫລວດ ແລະ ຫລັງຈາກນັ້ນກໍ່ຖືກລັກພາຕົວໄປພາບຖ່າຍ ວິດີໂອດັ່ງກ່າວ ສາມາດຊົມໄດ້ທີ່ນີ້.

ສົມບັດເປັນໝູ່, ເປັນເພື່ອນຮ່ວມງານ ແລະ ເປັນຜູ້ທີ່ມີວິໃສທັດ ຊຶ່ງລາວໄດ້ໃຊ້ຊີວິດເຮັດວຽກ ເພື່ອປະຊາຊົນ ແລະ ປະເທດຊາດ. ເວບໄຊ້ນີ້ຫວັງວ່າຈະຊ່ວຍເອື້ອຍອຳນວຍໃຫ້ລາວກັບມາ ຫາຄອບຄົວ ແລະ ວຽກງານຂອງລາວ.

Making the disappeared visible: the EU and the enforced disappearance of Sombath Somphone

New Europe: 31 August 2014


A Thai activist holds placard shows drawing portraits of Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone during a demonstration of the anniversary of his disappearance outside Laos embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, 15 December 2013 – EPA/Rungroj Yongrit

by Nicolas Beger

The International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance was marked on 30 August. Many of us will have given special thought to Sombath Somphone, one of many such victims.

Sombath is known across Southeast Asia. But today, his whereabouts still remain shrouded in mystery. On 15 December 2012, Sombath was driving outside Vientiane, Laos, when, as video evidence shows, he was stopped at a police post. A truck with flashing lights arrived.

As police looked on, Sombath was bundled into it by men in civilian clothing. Police investigations have been far from thorough and failed to make full use of available video footage. Continue reading


Castan Centreລາວ​ເປັນຍັງ​ເປັນ​ຄົນ​ທີ່​ມີ​ຄວາມ​ເຄົາ​ນົບ​ຖື​ເປັນ​ຢ່າງ​ສູງ​ຕໍ່​ວິຖີ​ຊີວິດ​ທ້ອງ​ຖິ່ນ ​ແລະ ພູມ​ປັນຍາ​ທ້ອງ​ຖິ່ນ. ລາວ​ເຊື່ອມາຕະຫຼອດ​ວ່າ​​ເຮົາບໍ່​ສາມາດ​​ເອົາ​ຕົວ​ລອດ​ໄດ້​ໃນ​​ເລື່ອງ​ການ​​ປູກຝັງຖ້າ​ເຮົາ​ບໍ່​ວ່າ​ຈະ​ລົງມື​ເຮັດ​ແນວ​ໃດ.

ເຊິ່ງ​ແຕກ​ຕ່າງ​ຈາກຜູ້​ຊ່ຽວຊານ​ດ້ານ​ກະ​ສິກຳ​ຫຼາຍໆ​ຄົນ​​ໃນ​ປັດ​ຈຸ​ບັນ​ທີ່ມັກ​ຈະ​ຍ່າງ​ເຂົ້າ​ໄປ​ຫາ​ປະ​ເທດ​ກຳລັງ​ພັດທະນາ ​ແລ້ວ​ເວົ້າ​ວ່າ ‘​ເຮົາ​ສາມາດ​ສອນ​ເຈົ້າວ່າ​ຄວນ​ຈະ​ເຮັດ​ແນວ​​ໃດ.’​

ສົມບັດ​ ບໍ່​ເຄີຍ​ເຮັດ​ແນວ​ນັ້ນ. ທຸກໆ​ຄັ້ງ​ລາວ​ພະຍາຍາມ​ຮຽນ​ຮູ້ ​ແລະ ຮັບຟັງ​ກ່ອນ, ​ແລະ ມັນ​ກໍ​ເປັນ​ແນວທາງ​ການ​ເຮັດ​ວຽກ​ຂອງ​ລາວ​ຕັ້ງ​ແຕ່​ໃດ​ມາ​ ​ໃນ​ການ​ເຮັດ​ວຽກ​ກັບ​ຄົນ​ອື່ນ. ລາວ​ບໍ່​ເວົ້າ​ຫຼາຍ, ​​ລາວ​ຟັງ​ກ່ອນ.

ນາງ ອຶງ ຊຸຍ​ມິ​ງ, ກ່າວ​ໃນ ງານ​ຄາ​ສຕານ: ການ​ບັງຄັບ​ໃຫ້ຫາ​ຍສາບ​ສູນ​ໃນ​ອາຊີ: ກໍລະນີ ສົມບັດ​ສົມ​ພອນ (Castan Event: Enforced Disappearances in Asia: the case of Sombath Somphone), ​​ຈັດ​ຂື້ນ​ທີ່ມະຫາວິທະຍາ​ໄລ​ໂມ​ນາຊ, ​ເມ​ວບອນ, ອົດ​ສະ​ຕາ​ລີ ​ໃນ​ວັນ​ທີ 6 ມີນາ 2014

Amnesty Renews Call for Competent Investigation

Marking the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, Amnesty International has sent another plea to Lao President Choummaly Sayasone seeking justice for Sombath:

Amnesty_InternationalThe Lao authorities have denied arresting Sombath Somphone and deny any responsibility for his enforced disappearance, saying that he may have been abducted as part of a private dispute after being stopped by police for a routine document check. Several statements issued by the police on the matter provide little information or detail.

There appears to have been a failure by your government to conduct a prompt, thorough, competent, and impartial investigation. In addition, other countries’ offers of external assistance, including analysis of the original CCTV footage, have been rejected.

…The case has been marked throughout by flawed investigations, a wilful refusal to adequately address key questions, inconsistencies and the rejection of international assistance – in short, by the Lao government’s failure to remedy a serious human rights violation and persistence in ignoring its international human rights obligations.

The full statement can be seen here.

Dear Sombath…from Shui Meng

My dearest Sombath

Today is 30 August 2014, International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances – a Day to remind the world that Enforced Disappearance is an international crime and violation against human rights. It is also a Day to remember the pain and suffering this violation causes to the victims and their families.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor the people around the world – it may be just a small jolt to their collective memory that such awful crimes against humanity continue to happen around the world, and that there are still many families and communities whose lives are forever changed, and forever broken. They are also asked to remember that in thousand and thousand of cases, the perpetrators of the crime are state agents who are protected by the state and its broken justice system. They are servants of states which deliberately use enforced disappearances as a tool of state intimidation to silence their own citizens who are viewed as “troublesome”, “outspoken”, “civil activists”, or “politically incorrect”. Continue reading

Inadequate and Unproductive

39 groups and organisations from across the globe have marked today, the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, with a call for action on behalf of Sombath, Dedek Khairudin from Indonesia, Khem Sophath from Cambodia, Porlagee Rakchongcharoen (Billy) from Thailand, Sumlut Roi Ja from Myanmar, Jonas Burgos from the Philippines, and Somchai Neelapaijit from Thailand.

In part, the statement (available here) reads:

Analysis of the CCTV footage shows that Sombath was taken away in the presence of police officers. Despite the Lao Government’s pledge to “thoroughly and seriously” investigate Sombath’s disappearance, the authorities’ probe has been inadequate and unproductive.


ເຖິງສົມບັດ…ຈາກ ເບັນ ເອັດເວີດ


ຂ້ອຍ​​ໄດ້​ລົມກັບ​ຊຸຍ​ມິ​ງມື້ວານ​ນີ້ກ່ຽວ​ກັບ​ແນວ​ຄວາມ​ຄິດ​ຂອງ​ເຈົ້າ​​​ເລື່ອງ​ການ​ສຶກສາ​ແບບ​ອົງ​ລວມ, “ການ​ສຶກສາ​ທີ່​ຈິດ​ໃຈ” ​​ເຊິ່ງ​ເປັນ​ພື້ນຖານ​ຂອງ​ການ​​ເສີມ​ສ້າງ​ລັດຖະບານ​ທີ່​​ແຂງ​ແຮງ; ​ເສີມ​ສ້າງ​ຄຸນ​ນະ​ທຳ​ໃນ​ໂຕ​ຄົນ ​ແລະ ຄວາມ​​ປະສານ​ກົມກຽວ, ​ແນວ​ຄວາມ​ຄິດ​ຂອງ​ບຸກຄົນ ​ແລະ ສັງຄົມ​ ກ່ຽວ​ກັບ​ການ​ເປັນ​ພົນລະ​ເມືອງ​ທີ່​ມີ​ຄວາມ​ຕື່ນ​ຕົວ, ​ແລະ ການ​​ເກື້ອ​ໜຸນ​ກັບ​ທຳ​ມະ​ຊາດ​​ແວດ​ລ້ອມ, ຄອບຄົວ, ​ແລະ ຊຸມ​ຊົນ ​ແລະ ສັງຄົມ. ​ແນວ​ຄວາມ​ຄິດ​ເຫຼົ່າ​ນີ້ ​ໄດ້​ສືບ​ຕໍ່​ເປັນ​ແຮງ​ຈູງ​ໃຈ ​ແລະ ​ຊີ້​ທິດ​ເປັນ​ແນວທາງໃນ​ການ​ຈັດການ​ສຶກສາ​ສຳລັບຂ້ອຍ​ໃນ​ນາມ​​ເປັນ​ອາຈານສອນໜັງສື. ດຽວ​ນີ້ ຂ້ອຍຍ້າຍ​ມາ​ຢູ່​ຮ່ອງ​ກົງ (Hong Kong) ​ແລະ ຮູ້ສຶກດີ​ຫຼາຍ​ທີ່​ໄດ້​ເຫັນ​ຄົນ​ຮຸ່ນ​​ໃໝ່ມີ​ຄວາມ​ຕື່ນ​ຕົວ ​​ມີ​ສ່ວນ​ຮ່ວມ​ໃນ​ນາມພົນລະ​ເຮືອນ​ທີ່​ມີ​ຄວາມ​ກະຕືລື​ລົ້ນ ​ແລະ ການ​ທີ່​ລະບົບ​ການ​ສຶກສາ ທັງ​ໃນ​ ​ແລະ ນອກ​ລະບົບ ​ໄດ້​ສິດ​ສອນ​ໃຫ້​ຄົນ​ໃຫ້ຮັບ​ຮູ້, ​ເປັນ​ກັງ​ວົນ, ​ແລະ ຕື່ນ​ຕົວ​ໃນ​ທຸກໆ​ດ້ານ​ຂອງ​ສັງຄົມ.

ມໍ່ໆ​ນີ້ກຸ່ມ​ນັກຮຽນ​ປີ​ທີ 9 ກຳລັງ​ເຮັດ​​ໂຄງການ​ວິ​​​ໄຈ​ກ່ຽວ​ກັບປະ​ເທດ​ລາວ ​ແລະ ສ່ວນ​ໃຫຍ່​ຂອງ​ບົດ​ນຳ​ສະ​ເໜີ​ຂອງ​ພວກ​ເຂົາ​ແມ່ນ​ກ່ຽວ​ກັບ​ວຽກ​ງານ​ຂອງ​ເຈົ້າ​ໃນ​ດ້ານ​ການ​ສຶກສາ ​ແລະ ພາກ​ປະ​ຊາ​ສັງຄົມ. ​ແນວ​ຄວາມ​ຄິດ​ທີ່​ພວກ​ເຂົາ​ໄດ້​ຮຽນ​ຮູ້​ໄດ້​​ເປັນ​ແຮງ​ບັນດານ​ໃຈ​ໃຫ້​ພວກ​​ເຂົາ​ຢາກ​ຊອກ​ຮູ້​ເພີ້​ມຕື່ມ, ​ເພື່ອ​ໃຫ້​ເຂົ້າ​ໃຈ​ວ່າພວກ​ເຂົາ​ພິ​ເສດ​ແນວ​ໃດ​ໃນ​ປະ​ເທດ​ຮ່ອງ​ກົງ ທີ່​ປະ​ເທດ​ອື່ນໆ ກຳລັງດີ້ນຮົນ​ເພື່ອ​ໃຫ້​ໄດ້ສິ່ງ ​ເຊິ່ງ​ເປັນ​ສິ່ງ​ທີ່​ພວກ​ເຂົາ​ມີ​ຢູ່​ໃນ​ປະ​ເທດ​ນີ້, ​ແລະ ພວກ​ເຂົາ​ກຳລັງ​ວາງ​ແຜນ​​ເຮັດ​ໂຄງການ​ເພີ້​ມຕື່ມ​ເພື່ອ​ເປັນ​ການຕິດຕາມ. ພວກ​ເຮົາ​ຈະ​ເດີນທາງ​​ໄປ​ປ​ະ​ເທດ​ລາວ​ໃນ​ລະດູ​ໃບ​​ໄມ້​ຫຼົ່ນ​ນີ້ ​ແລະ ​ໄດ້​ອອກ​ແບບ​ໂຄງການ “ການ​ອອກ​ແບບ​ເພື່ອ​ການ​ປ່ຽນ​ແປງ” (Design for Change) ​​ເພື່ອ​​ເປັນ​ກິດຈະກຳ​ຫຼັງ​ເລີກ​ຮຽນ​ໃນ​ໂຮງຮຽນ​ຂອງ​ພວກ​ເຮົາ ​ແລະ ພວກ​ເຂົາ​ຍັງ​ຈະ​ພາກັນ​ສ້າງ​ຄວາມ​ເຂົ້າ​ໃຈ ​ແລະ ລະດົມ​ທຶນ​ສຳລັບ​ UXO ຜູ້​ເຄາະ​ຮ້າຍ​ຈາກ​ລູກ​ລະ​ເບີດ​ໃນ​ປະ​ເທດ​ລາວ. ຂ້ອຍ​ຫວັງ​ວ່າ​ມັນ​ຈະ​ຊ່ວຍ​​ໃຫ້​ເຈົ້າຈະ​ຮູ້ສຶກອຸ່ນ​ໃຈ ວ່າ​ເຈົ້າ​ຍັງ​ຄົງ​ສືບ​ຕໍ່​​ເປັນ​ແຮງ​ບັນດານ​ໃຈ​ໃຫ້​ກັບ​ພວກ​ເຮົາ ​ແລະ ​ແນວ​ຄວາມ​ຄິດ​ຂອງ​ເຈົ້າ​ມີ​ຄວາມ​ໝາຍ​ຫຼາຍ ​ແລະ ​ເປັນ​ແນວທາງ​ສຳລັບ​ຄົນ​ຮຸ່ນ​ໃໝ່​ໃນ​ການ​ໃຊ້​ຊີວິດ​ປະຈຳ​ວັນ ​ແລະ ການ​ເຮັດ​ວຽກ, ທີ່ຢູ່​ເໜືອ​ຂອບ​ເຂດຊາຍ​ແດນ​ປະ​ເທດ​ລາວ.

ຂ້ອຍ​ລໍຖ້າ​ມື້ທີ່​ຈະ​ໄດ້​ລົມ​ກັບ​ເຈົ້າ​ກ່ຽວ​ກັບ​​ແຜນ​ເຫຼົ່າ​ນີ້​​ໃນມໍ່ໆ, ​ເພື່ອ​ສະ​ແດງ​ໃຫ້​ເຈົ້າ​ເຫັນ​ວ່າ​ໄວ​ໜຸ່ມ​ໄດ້​ເຮັດ​ຫຍັງ​ແດ່​ທີ່​ເປັນ​ຜົນ​ມາ​ຈາກ​ແຮງ​ບັນດານ​ໃຈ​ຈາກຂອງ​ເຈົ້າ ​ແລະ ຢາກ​ຈະ​ສົນທະນາ​ນຳ​ເຈົ້າ​ກ່ຽວ​ກັບ​ໂຄງການ​ທີ່​ໜ້າ​ຕື່ນ​ເຕັ້ນ​ອື່ນໆ ທີ່​ພວກ​ເຮົາ​ໄດ້​ວາງ​ແຜນ​ໄວ້.

​ເບັນ ​ເອັດ​ເວີ​ດ (Ben Edwards)