A military officer in Vientiane Capital has been discharged after going viral on social media when he constructed a wall preventing neighbors from entering or exiting their homes.
According to a notice issued last week by the Minister of Defence, General Chansamone Chanyalath, the Lao People’s Armed Forces has discharged an army officer after he famously built a barrier between his home and that of his neighbor.
The 54-year-old officer, identified as Lieutenant Colonel Somphan Chalernsack, stationed in the Lao People’s Liberation Army General Political Department, built a wall to block his neighbor from accessing her home in October.
The notice states that the Lieutenant Colonel abused his power by constructing the wall which obstructed a public route and prevented other individuals from accessing or departing their homes.
He had relied on his position in the military to silence opposition to the wall.
The officer has now been discharged from the army and given a military allowance commensurate with his rank of lieutenant colonel.
His party membership card, firearms, and military driving license were confiscated.
The incident quickly went viral on social media after the victim posted images and videos of the wall online.
The Facebook user complained that her neighbor had built a two-meter wall completely surrounding her property in Somvang Tai Village, in Vientiane’s Hatsaifong District.
To make matters worse, the woman’s grandmother passed away after the wall had been constructed, with the unfriendly neighbors preventing the entry of funeral attendees, while the coffin had to be passed over the wall.
Under article 59 of the Lao Law on Urban Planning (Revised version), residents and business owners must submit a letter of proposal to authorities before constructing or demolishing a structure.
Article 45 of the law states that each land lot must be connected to an access road or route, as well as water supply and electricity, making any blockage of access roads illegal.
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