Dear Sombath…from Mhe-Ann Burgos

Dear Sombath,

Greetings of peace!

I share the same endeavor as your wife. My husband [Jonas Burgos] was taken away from me, too. He was abducted by the military last 2007. We are nearing the eighth year of his disappearance. It is difficult, yes, but my family and I will never stop until we have found him, you, and all the other disappeared. Yes, even if it happens that we may have already found my husband, we will continue to search for the others. It is because we know how hard it is for the families and friends left behind by the disappeared. We want this all to end. Nobody must be disappeared again.

Shui Meng and I write each other whenever we can. We need each other as well as all the other relatives of the other disappeared. We support and comfort one another so we can continue on strong with the search. I know you would be very proud of your wife because she never stops searching and fighting for you, to get you back. And I know my husband is just as proud of me, too, for doing the same.

When we remembered the International Day of the Disappeared last Aug. 31, I had a butterfly land on me when we were about to start the march. I whispered a message to it for my husband…In our country, we have this belief that butterflies may carry messages for people in some special way. I will send you a butterfly, Sombath. Keep strong and keep the faith. God is with all of us always!

My prayers and support, Mhe-Ann

Education is too Important…

sombath_fishing_skillsEducation is too important to be left only in the hands of teachers and bureaucrats at the Ministry of Education. Educators and teachers need to work hand-in-hand with parents, the community, the private sector, and most especially, children themselves to transform the business of education.

Education has to become more participatory, experiential and stimulating. It has to be more fun. Both the process and content of education have to unleash the potential of every child to solve life problems. Education should be able to integrate information and knowledge into a coherent whole.

Sombath, in “Experiential Learning in Lao Rice Fields,” SangSaeng, Summer, 2008.

SAPA Working Group on ASEAN: Uphold Human Rights and Investigate Disappearances

sapaSolidarity for Asian Peoples’ Advocacies (SAPA) Working Group on ASEAN calls on ASEAN to uphold human rights and investigate cases of enforced disappearances

August 30 marked the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance. In solidarity with the victims and families of those who have been disappeared, the SAPA Working Group on ASEAN urges ASEAN governments to bring an immediate end to enforced disappearances and ensure justice for the victims and their families.

Enforced or involuntary disappearance is one of the most heinous violations of human rights, akin to torture, and cruel and inhuman treatment. According to the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance, an enforced disappearance happens when, “persons are arrested, detained or abducted against their will or otherwise deprived of their liberty by officials of different branches or levels of Government, or by organized groups or private individuals acting on behalf of, or with the support, direct or indirect, consent or acquiescence of the Government, followed by a refusal to disclose the fate or whereabouts of the persons concerned or a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of their liberty, which places such persons outside the protection of the law.” Continue reading


Question Markຜ່ານ​ໄປ​ແລ້ວ​ກວ່າ 600 ມື້ທີ່​ສົມບັດ​ຖືກ​​ເອົາ​ຕົວ​ໄປ ຈົນ​ມາ​ຮອດ​ປັດຈຸບັນ ຍັງ​ບໍ່​ມີຜົນ​ທີ່​ຈະ​ແຈ້ງຈາກ​ການ​ສຶບສວນ​ສອບ​ສວນ​ຂອງ​ເຈົ້າ​ໜ້າ​ທີ່.

​​ເກືອບ​ວ່າ​ທັນທີ​ທັນ​ໃດ ທີ່​ເຈົ້າ​ໜ້າ​ທີ່​ໄດ້​ສະຫຼຸບ​ວ່າພວກ​ເຂົາ​ບໍ່​ມີ​ສ່ວນ​ຮັບ​ຜິດ​ຊອບຕໍ່​ເລື່ອງ​ດັ່ງກ່າວ.

ນັບ​ຕັ້ງ​ແຕ່​ຕອນ​ນັ້ນ, ມີ​ການ​ລາຍ​ງານ​ຫຼາຍ​ສະບັບ​ທີ່​ມີ​ຂໍ້​ມູນ​ຈຳນວນ​ຫຼາຍ​ທີ່​ມີ​ລາຍ​ລະອຽດ​ກ່ຽວຂ້ອງ​, ການ​ປະ​ຕິ​ເສດ, ​ແລະ ອ້າງ​ວ່າ​ໄດ້​ຕັ້ງໜ້າ​ສືບ​ຕໍ່​ຢ່າງ​ຮີບ​ດ່ວນ ​ແລະ ​ເອົາ​ຈິງ​ເອົາ​ຈັງ.

ຮ່າງ​ເຫດການ ສຳຄັນໆ ທີ່​ເກີດ​ຂື້ນ​ຈົນ​ເຖິງ​ປັດຈຸບັນ​ນີ້ສາມາດ​ເບິ່ງ​ໄດ້​ຢູ່​ບ່ອນ​ນີ້. ຂໍ້​ມູນ​ອັບ​​ເດດ​ຈະ​ຖືກ​​ໂພສຂື້ນ​ຖ້າ​ຫາກ​ວ່າ​ມີ.

ໝູ່​ເພື່ອນ​, ​ເພື່ອນ​ຮ່ວມ​ງານ, ​ແລະ​ ອົງ​ກອນ​ຕ່າງໆ​ ຈາກ​ທົ່ວ​ໂລກທີ່​ມີ​ຄວາມ​ເປັນ​ຫ່ວງ​ເປັນ​ໄຍ​ໄດ້​ສືບ​ຕໍ່​ມີ​ຄວາມ​ຫວັງ​ວ່າ​ຈະ​ມີຜົນ​ຄວາມ​ຄືບ​ໜ້າ ​ແລະ ບໍ່​ເຍິ່ນ​ເຍີ້.


รายงานพิเศษ – รออย่างมีหวัง ภรรยา “สมบัด สมพอน”

The Nation TV: 03 กันยายน 2557

Nation TVกรณีการหายตัวไปของนักเคลื่อนไหว เกิดขึ้นในหลากหลายประเทศ หนึ่งในนั้น ที่เป็นที่รู้จักพอสมควร คือ การหายตัวไปของอ้ายสมบัด สมพอน นักพัฒนาชาวลาว ที่หายตัวไปเกือบ 2 ปีแล้ว … จนถึงวันนี้ มีข่าวคราวใด ๆ เกี่ยวกับตัวเขาหรือไม่ … คุณภัทร จินตนะกุล พาไปนครหลวงเวียงจันทน์ พูดคุยกับภรรยาของอ้ายสมบัด กันค่ะ

15 ธันวาคม 2555 คือวันที่ สมบัด สมพอน นักเคลื่อนไหวและนักพัฒนาชาวลาว หายตัวไปอย่างไร้ร่องรอย หลังจากที่เขาถูกโบกรถให้จอดเข้าข้างทาง จากนั้นมีคนเข้ามาเจรจากับเขา ท่ามกลางการจราจรที่พลุกพล่านในนครหลวงเวียงจันทน์  .. ก่อนที่สุดท้าย จะหายตัวไป ไม่มีใครทราบว่าเป็นตายร้ายดีอย่างไร .. Continue reading

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