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While our primary concern is for Sombath’s safe return, we should not put his ideas and vision on hold. The ideals Sombath has worked for, including a more humane, sustainable and equitable approach to development, a respect for the earth and the rich cultural heritage that has nourished Lao people for centuries, and education that nourishes rather than crushes the creativity and heart of Lao youth.
While scores of appeals to the Lao leadership have had little visible effect, and no direct results, Sombath’s disappearance has shone a harsher light on the Lao PDR’s human rights practices, enforced disappearance, and inequitable development policies. The Lao government hopes this issue will fade. Don’t let that happen.
Write: A list of people and offices to contact can be found here. Points to consider:
- Emphasize the good work Sombath has done for his country, as an educator, a community development worker and a peace practitioner.
- Note the relationship between economic development and human rights. A modern country is one that respects the rights of all citizens.
- Indicate that the continued disappearance of a well-known and highly-respected person like Sombath is affecting the international image of Laos, with possible consequences for investment, tourism, and foreign aid.
- Make full use of the information on this website. Copy the text or photos (with appropriate citations) and share the links.
2. Indirect Pressure: As can be seen from the Global Concern page, support from around the world has been remarkable and sustained. The Lao government or those supporting it cannot be allowed to return to “business as usual.”
INGO network Learning House
3. Join a Campaign or Contribute: Numerous human rights organizations and initiatives have taken up the cause of Sombath and related issues:
3.2 Like the Find Sombat Somphone page at Facebook and spread the word to your friends by liking and sharing the posts:
Or fax these to the Lao Embassy in your country!
You can make a difference!