The Laotian Times brings our readers a round-up of some of the most shared topics this past week, based on reach and engagement on Facebook.
A Good Lao Day
Paintings of women dressed in traditional attire by Sompraseuth Chounramany instantly went viral on social media last week.
Officials on Coronavirus High Alert In Wattay International Airport
Souliya Vilaythong, a medical officer, shows off equipment based at Wattay International Airport that is purported to detect signs of the epidemic coronavirus that has been plaguing the region and the world. The ad-hoc medical camp is part of the government’s efforts to step up its fight to contain the spread of the epidemic.
Convicted Felon Receives Death Sentence
Kinoi, the notorious druglord and debt collector, has been sentenced to death. The 36-year-old has also been convicted of other crimes, including money laundering and arms dealing. Social media users have long supported and applauded the death penalty for drug dealers and violent criminals. However, many remain skeptical regarding the actual implementation of capital punishment, citing the lack of news that the executions have actually taken place.
Toilet Fees Near Khonepapheng Falls
Despite the official government notice from provincial authorities waiving entry fees, there are still reports of people having to pay fees to enter the Khonepapheng Falls. Even worse, there are reports that a 10,000 kip fee is being charged to use the toilet facilities.
“Cats” Found At Wattay International Airport
Customs officials discovered three cats on the lawn in front of the airport. Social media users were most concerned with the way that the cats were being handled (notice the officers’ grips).
Fire In Don Chan/Chao Anouvong Bush Area
A huge inferno erupted in the bush area of Don Chan/Chao Anouvong Park (Vientiane Capital).
Dead Body Found In Aftermath of Chao Anouvong Fire
Police were alerted by nearby villagers of a corpse that had been burnt beyond recognition during the aftermath of the fire that burned that area. Personal identification documents found near the body appeared to indicate that it was a foreign national. It is unclear whether the fire was the cause of death.
Unconscious Man Found On Street Has Nothing to Do With Coronavirus
The Lao Red Cross Rescue Team 1625 announced that fears that a Chinese man had dropped dead due to having contracted the coronavirus in front of Lao-Viet Bank (i-Mobile intersection, Vientiane Capital) have been misplaced. On the 31st of January, the rescue team woke the man (a Mongolian national) up and he appeared normal and healthy.
Unscrupulous Fuel Station
A Facebook user Kou Xapoungern exposed a bad practice prevalent among unscrupulous fuel stations. Having heard it happen to many others, he had to see it for himself to believe it. He took a 1.5 mL Tigerhead water bottle and filled it up at an unmarked fuel station in Bolikhamxay. The pump read 2.05 liters, which cost him a total of 20,000 kip (at 9,740 kip per liter), but the bottle was not filled to its entirety. While some social media users claimed that it might have been a technical issue, the majority advanced the narrative that it was unethical station owners who intentionally programmed their pumps to be this way.