20 Mac, 2010
[hang nadim] Omar pulang dari LAOS.......
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For other uses, see Laos (disambiguation).
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon
Motto: "Peace, Independence, Democracy, Unity and Prosperity"
Anthem: Pheng Xat Lao
Location of Laos (green) in ASEAN (dark grey) — [Legend]
(and largest city) Vientiane
17°58′N 102°36′E / 17.967°N 102.6°E / 17.967; 102.6
Official language(s) Lao
Official scripts Lao script
Demonym Laotian, Lao
Government Socialist republic,
Communist single-party state
- President Lt. Gen. Choummaly Sayasone
- Vice President Bounnhang Vorachith
- Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh
- President of National Assembly Thongsing Thammavong
- President of the People's Supreme Court Khammi Sayavong
Independence From France
- Date 19 July, 1949
- Total 236,800 km2 (83rd)
91,429 sq mi
- Water (%) 2
- 2009 estimate 6,320,000 (101st)
- 1995 census 4,574,848
- Density 26.7/km2 (177th)
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
- Total $13.310 billion (129th)
- Per capita $2,127 (137th)
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
- Total $5.374 billion
- Per capita $859
Gini (2008) 34.6 (medium)
HDI (2007) ▲ 0.619 (medium) (133rd)
Currency Kip (LAK)
Time zone (UTC+7)
Drives on the right
Internet TLD .la
Calling code 856
Laos (pronounced /ˈlɑː.oʊs/, /ˈlaʊ/, or /ˈleɪ.ɒs/), officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and People's Republic of China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west. Laos traces its history to the Kingdom of Lan Xang or Land of a Million Elephants, which existed from the 14th to the 18th century.
After a period as a French protectorate, it gained independence in 1949. A long civil war ended officially when the Communist Pathet Lao movement came to power in 1975, but the protesting between factions continued for several years. Forty-four percent of the population lived below the international poverty line of the equivalent of US$1.25 a day according to data from 2006, though the CIA World Factbook currently places this figure at 26%.
In the Lao language, the country's name is "Meuang Lao (ເມືອງລາວ)" which literally means "Lao Country." The French, who united the three separate lao kingdoms in French Indochina in 1893, spelled it with a final silent "s," to signify the unity of multiple lao kingdoms, hence "Laos" (the Lao language itself has no final "s" sound, so Lao people pronounce it as in their native tongue though some, especially those living abroad, use the pronunciation ending in "s"). The usual adjectival form is "Lao," e.g., "the Lao economy," not the "Laotian" economy—although "Laotian" is used to describe the people of Laos to avoid confusion with the Lao ethnic group. Since 1975 the official country name is Lao PDR.
Main article: History of Laos
Laos traces its history to the kingdom of Lan Xang, founded in the 14th century (1353) by Fa Ngum, himself descended from a long line of Lao kings, tracking back to Khoun Boulom. Lan-Xang prospered until the 18th century, when the kingdom was divided into three principalities, which eventually came under Siamese suzerainty.
In the 19th century, Luang Prabang was incorporated into the 'Protectorate' of French Indochina, and shortly thereafter, the Kingdom of Champasak and the territory of Vientiane were also added to the protectorate. Under the French, Vientiane once again became the capital of a unified Lao state.
Following a brief Japanese occupation during World War II, the country declared its independence in 1945, but the French under Charles de Gaulle re-asserted their control and only in 1950 was Laos granted semi-autonomy as an "associated state" within the French Union. Moreover, the French remained in de facto control until 1954, when Laos gained full independence as a constitutional monarchy.
Under a special exemption to the Geneva Convention, a French military training mission continued to support the Royal Laos Army. In 1955, the U.S. Department of Defense created a special Programs Evaluation Office to replace French support of the Royal Lao Army against the communist Pathet Lao as part of the U.S. containment policy.
Laos was dragged into the Vietnam War and the eastern parts of the country followed North-Vietnam and adopted North-Vietnam as brother country. Laos allowed North-Vietnam to use its land as supplying route for its war against the South Vietnam. In response, the United States initiated a bombing campaign against the North Vietnamese, supported regular and irregular anticommunist forces in Laos and supported a South Vietnamese invasion of Laos. The result of these actions were a series of coups d'état and, ultimately, the Laotian Civil War between the Royal Laotian government and the communist Pathet Lao.
In the Civil War the North Vietnamese Army, with its heavy artillery and tanks, was the real power behind the Pathet Lao insurgency. In 1968, the North Vietnamese Army launched a multi-division attack to help the communist Pathet Lao to fight against the Royal Lao Army. The attack resulted in the army largely demobilizing and leaving the conflict to irregular forces raised by the United States and Thailand. The attack resulted in many lost lives.
Massive aerial bombardment was carried out by the United States. The Guardian reported that Laos was hit by an average of one B-52 bombload every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, between 1964 and 1973. US bombers dropped more ordnance on Laos in this period than was dropped during the whole of the Second World War. Of the 260 million bombs that rained down, particularly on Xiangkhouang province, 80 million failed to explode, leaving a deadly legacy. It holds the dubious distinction of being the most bombed country in the world.
Pha That Luang in Vientiane, the national symbol of LaosIn 1975, the communist Pathet Lao, along with Vietnam People's Army and backed by the Soviet Union, overthrew the royalist Lao government, forcing King Savang Vatthana to abdicate on 2 December 1975. He later died in captivity.
After taking control of the country, Pathet Lao's government renamed the country as the "Lao People's Democratic Republic" and signed agreements giving Vietnam the right to station armed forces and to appoint advisers to assist in overseeing the country. Laos was requested in the late 1970s by Vietnam to end relations with the People's Republic of China, leading to isolation in trade by China, the United States, and other countries. The act of socialization has slowly been replaced by the relaxation of economic restrictions in the 1980s and admission into ASEAN in 1997
Main article: Geography of Laos
Map of LaosLaos is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia and the thickly forested landscape consists mostly of rugged mountains, the highest of which is Phou Bia at 9,242 feet (2,817 m), with some plains and plateaus. The Mekong River forms a large part of the western boundary with Thailand, whereas the mountains of the Annamite Chain form most of the eastern border with Vietnam. The climate is tropical and monsoon.
There is a distinct rainy season from May to November, followed by a dry season from December to April. Local tradition holds that there are three seasons (rainy, cold and hot) as the latter two months of the climatologically defined dry season are noticeably hotter than the earlier four months. The capital and largest city of Laos is Vientiane and other major cities include Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Pakxe.
In 1993, the Laos government set aside 21% of the nation's land area for Habitat conservation preservation. The country is one of four in the opium poppy growing region known as the "Golden Triangle." According to the October 2007 UNODC fact book "Opium Poppy Cultivation in South East Asia," the poppy cultivation area was 15 square kilometres (3,700 acres), down from 18 square kilometres (4,400 acres) in 2008.
 Government and politics
Main articles: Politics of Laos and Foreign relations of Laos
Laos is a communist single-party socialist republic. The only legal political party is the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP). The head of state is President Choummaly Sayasone, who also is secretary-general (leader) of the LPRP. The head of government is Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh. Government policies are determined by the party through the all-powerful nine-member Politburo and the 49-member Central Committee. Important government decisions are vetted by the Council of Ministers.
Laos' first, French-written and monarchical constitution was promulgated on May 11, 1947 and declared it to be an independent state within the French Union. The revised constitution of 11 May 1957 omitted reference to the French Union, though close educational, health and technical ties with the former colonial power persisted. The 1957 document was abrogated on 3 December 1975, when a communist People's Republic was proclaimed. A new constitution was adopted in 1991 and enshrined a "leading role" for the LPRP.
The following year, elections were held for a new 85-seat National Assembly with members elected by secret ballot to five-year terms. This National Assembly, which essentially acts as a rubber stamp for the LPRP, approves all new laws, although the executive branch retains authority to issue binding decrees. The most recent elections took place in April 2006. The assembly was expanded to 99 members in 1997 and in 2006 elections had 115.
Kepulangan Omar disambut tangisan kegembiraan
SEPANG 20 Mac - Kepulangan seorang rakyat Malaysia, Omar Atan yang ditahan di sebuah penjara di Laos selama 11 bulan disambut dengan linangan air mata kegembiraan oleh anak-anaknya di Terminal Penerbangan Tambang Murah (LCCT) di sini malam ini.
Omar dan empat orang anak perempuannya saling berpelukan dalam suasana yang penuh emosi - melepaskan kerinduan yang teramat dalam setelah berpisah dalam tempoh yang begitu lama.
Meskipun hanya dibenarkan pulang selama 10 hari ke negara ini, Omar, 59, melahirkan rasa syukur kepada Allah kerana dia tidak percaya masih berpeluang untuk menatap wajah anak-anak dan cucu kesayangannya.
Bagaimanapun dalam kegembiraan itu, dia terkilan kerana kepulangannya tidak dapat disambut isterinya, Siti Zaleha Abdullah, 48 yang telah pulang ke rahmatullah kelmarin setelah menderita sakit buah pinggang.
''Sepanjang ditahan, saya tidak tahu tentang keadaan keluarga di Padang Besar, Perlis sehinggalah saya dibantu oleh kakitangan Kedutaan Malaysia di Laos.
''Saya berterima kasih kepada Wisma Putra dan Biro Aduan Komuniti Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO sehingga membolehkan saya balik untuk menziarahi kubur arwah isteri saya dan berjumpa anak-anak serta kaum keluarga di kampung," katanya kepada pemberita sejurus tiba dengan penerbangan Air Asia dari Vientiane pada pukul 7.45 malam ini di LCCT.
Turut hadir, Pengerusi Biro berkenaan, Datuk Mohd. Khairun Aseh dan Setiausaha Bahagian Konsular Wisma Putra, Ayauf Bachi.
Kepulangan Omar disambut anak-anaknya, Nur Aleena, 21; Nur Asma, 20; Siti Suhaida, 17; Nur Akila, 11, dan cucu, Mohd. Zafran Aqil, 2.
Omar ditahan oleh pihak berkuasa Laos sebaik ingin keluar daripada negara itu pada 13 Mei tahun lalu atas dakwaan membawa pekerja asing.
"Saya terkilan dan sedih kerana saya ke sana hanya untuk menolong kawan sebagai penterjemah kerana saya boleh bercakap dalam bahasa Thai.
"Apa yang berlaku, kawan saya itu pulang ke Malaysia tapi saya pula ditahan sedangkan pasport saya sudah dicop sewaktu hendak keluar.
"Saya harap Wisma Putra dapat membantu agar pihak yang menyebabkan saya ditahan dapat dibawa balik ke Laos," katanya yang bekerja sebagai seorang peniaga.
Mengenai pengalaman ditahan dalam penjara di Laos, dia dihidangkan dengan daging dan pulut sebagai makanan setiap pagi dan petang malah dibenarkan memasak dan menunaikan solat.
Sementara itu, Mohd. Khairun berkata, ini adalah kes pertama seorang tahanan luar negara di Laos dibenarkan pulang buat seketika.
Tambah beliau, pihaknya berusaha menyediakan pasukan pembelaan yang terbaik untuk Omar tetapi pada masa sama tetap akan menghormati kedaulatan undang-undang Laos.
"Kita yakin dia tidak bersalah sehingga dibuktikan, apa yang menjadi masalah ialah selama ditahan, tiada sebarang pendakwaan dilakukan ke atas Omar.
"Dalam hal ini, saya ucapkan terima kasih atas kerja berpasukan bersama Wisma Putra selain Perdana Menteri Laos yang membenarkan Omar pulang untuk sementara," katanya.