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Silvère Jarrosson Shares Techniques With Aspiring Lao Artists

French artist Silvère Jarrosson was been invited by the French Institute and Alisa Phommahaxay to give courses at The National Institute of Fine Arts. Jarrosson holds exhibitions worldwide and has developed a new style of painting that he taught and demonstrated to the students.

After talking about the history of innovative techniques in art creation, the class focused on how the students could use them in their own work. The goal is to give them new tools to improve their ability to be creative. “Hazard is not a choice, it is a necessity. Your only choice is what you do with it,” said Jarrosson. This French artist uses those theories himself in his own work.

The students were asked to participate in workshops where they had the fortunate opportunity to work with those new techniques.

A public exhibition of their artworks will be held on Friday 13th of January at the National Institute of Fine Arts, Vientiane (from 4pm).

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Front President Meets with Russian Guest

President of the Lao Front for National Construction Xaysomphone Phomvihane received on Dec 22 a courtesy visit from Andrey Klichkov, Vice President of the Commission on Religions and Mass Organisations of Duma of Moscow on the occasion of his working visit to Laos on Dec 20-26.

At the amicable talks, Mr Xaysomphone highly valued the visit to Lao by the Russian  delegation as a contribution to enhancing and promoting the longstanding relations between the two Parties and people of Laos and Russia.

The host also briefed the guest about the socio-economic achievements in the Lao PDR including the successful 10th Party Congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and expressed gratitude to the Communist Party and people of Russia upon their priceless support and assistance to the Lao PDR in the past and present time.

The host also appreciated the Communist Party of Russia upon its active performance.

In reply the guest congratulated Laos upon the achievements in socio-economic development the Party, government and people of Laos have recorded over the past years.

The Russian delegation is on a working visit to Laos to enhance the longstanding relations and cooperation between the two parties as well as to discuss preparations for celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution and to extend the invitation to the host Party leaders to take part in such celebration in Moscow in 2017.

Earlier, on Dec 21, Mr Andrey and his delegation met with Mrs Sounthone Xayachak, Head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations where both sides informed each other of their respective socio-economic development and highly valued the cooperation and relations between the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and direction of cooperation between both sides in the years to come.

The visiting delegation also paid courtesy calls to other senior officials.


Source: KPL

EU Impressed with Govt Progress on Human Rights

The European Union (EU) has been impressed with the progress made by the Lao government on human rights, while wanting it to have a concrete plan to implement the commitments to the international community.

This message was offered by diplomatic representatives from the EU at a press conference held in Vientiane on Friday to tell the media about the EU’s view on progress made by the international community concerning human rights.

This year’s December 10 marked the 68th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights by the United Nations on December 10, 1948. Marking the date this year, the United Nations has called upon people to “stand up for someone’s rights.”

Speaking at the press conference, EU Ambassador Leo Faber made mention about the achievements made by the Lao government in this regard, especially its ratification of the main core international human rights conventions that protect and defend the rights of the most vulnerable individuals.

Mr Faber noted the government’s acceptance of most of the recommendations made through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), and established a human rights mechanism such as the national steering committee for human rights, which he said was a very specialised commission.

“This is a very important achievement for the Lao PDR,” the ambassador said.

In his turn, German Ambassador to Laos, Mr Michael Grau spoke about the role of the Lao National Assembly (NA) and the people’s trust in the legislative body in its moves to adapt to new global challenges and building the future of the Lao society as a state governed by the rule of law.

Mr Grau also mentioned the establishment of provincial people’s assemblies, saying the country’s parliamentary system has a better chance than ever to communicate with people at all levels of the society, including people at the district and village levels.

“Members of the NA and the members of provincial people’s assemblies can now communicate with people at the district and village levels much more easily than before, take up their voices and bring people’s concerns to the higher levels of politics and government,” Mr Grau said, adding that the NA members and members of the people’s assemblies have a mandate to protect the rights of their people.

The NA hotline opening was noted by the ambassador as a new channel for communication between the government and people of the country, which has helped the government in learning people’s opinions, and facilitated people to monitor the government’s work for the country.

This supports the agreement between the government and its development partners on the enhancement of participation by all sectors and people in the nation’s development.

Aside from its impressions, the EU has an expectation of more efforts from the government such as the elaboration of an action plan to implement the recommendations through the UPR that it has committed to. The EU also wanted the country to ratify the other core conventions which it has not yet ratified, and the EU will encourage the Lao government to do that and also to implement them, according to Ambassador Faber.


Source: Vientiane Times

CARE Works with Laos to Eradicate Violence against Women, Children

CARE International has cooperated with the Lao government, Lao Women’s Union and line ministries to promote gender equality and combat violence against women and children in Laos.

“Today, we have fifteen projects being implemented across the country. Among which, three projects are focused on preventative measures against violence against women through raising public awareness about violence against women in rural and remote areas. They are supported by the European Union and the Australian government,” said Glenn Bon, Country Director, CARE International (Laos).

CARE previously worked with the United Nations making a guidebook to encourage men and women to take part in community-based campaigns combating violence against women and children.

CARE has also supported village, district and provincial campaigns for gender equality and women’s empowerment to strengthen the capability of Lao Women’s Union representatives by ensuring that they have a role on the projects and supported the government campaigns to visit villages and to provide moral and technical support for gender equality approaches.

Since 1993, CARE has provided a number of long-term development programmes in Laos. Its focus is on improving livelihoods, ensuring food security and community development in remote rural areas; preventing the spread of avian influenza and other emerging infectious diseases; and supporting vulnerable women and girls.


Source: KPL

Students Expand their Horizons with Talk on Chinese Culture

Students from the Kong Zi Institution’s Chinese Language Department and the National University of Laos (NUOL) gained an exciting insight into Chinese culture on Wednesday after listening to a special lecture at the university.

The topic of the lecture was Integration of eastern and western culture and was delivered to mark the 400th anniversary of artists and literature of China and Europe, many of which have become firm favourites the world over.

The student audience learned a lot more about Chinese customs and traditions including traditional forms of dress, the arts, literature and traditional artistic practices.

Acting President of NUOL Professor Dr Somsy Gnophanxay said the university wanted to expand its arts and culture activities in relation to different ethnicities in order to broaden students’ education.

NUOL was also interested in more cultural exchanges and exposure to international cultures.

Prof. Dr Somsy said the students were fascinated and would long remember the lecture and what they had learned about Chinese literature.

This would inspire them to develop an interest in the literature produced by other countries, both old and modern.

The lecture was organised by the Chinese Cultural Centre in Laos and NUOL’s Chinese Research Centre.

It was delivered by a senior Chinese official and was attended by NUOL officials and lecturers, staff from the Chinese Embassy to Laos, and members of other organisations.

Source: Vientiane Times

IFRC Confirms further Cooperation with Lao Red Cross

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has agreed to continue its partnership with the Lao Red Cross on relief assistance and disaster response.

President of the IFRC and President of the Japanese Red Cross, Mr Tadateru Konoé, on Monday met with Lao Red Cross President Mr Khamhoung Heuangvongsy in Vientiane to discuss further cooperation.

A welcome ceremony took place at the Lao Red Cross office in Vientiane, attended by officials from both organisations.

The two parties discussed plans for relief assistance, aid supply storage and logistical systems. They also discussed the mobilisation of funding resources.

Mr Khamhoung said the IFRC and Lao Red Cross have worked together in the past on relief assistance, disaster response and capacity building for Lao Red Cross personnel.

Some years ago, the IFRC provided vital assistance to Lao people affected by natural disasters at a cost of more than 800 million kip.

The Lao Red Cross was founded on January 1, 1955, and recognised by the ICRC on May 23, 1957, becoming a member of the IFRC on October 25 of the same year. The Lao organisation is one of 190 members comprising the National Societies of the IFRC movement, the world’s largest humanitarian aid organisation.

The Lao Red Cross works to provide emergency assistance to vulnerable people, including the provision of aid and medical treatment in response to natural disasters.

It also works with communities to improve health conditions and livelihoods, in line with the fundamental principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movements.

Mr Tadateru Konoé also paid a courtesy visited to the Vice President Mr Phankham Viphavanh at the President Office in Vientiane on Tuesday.


Source: Vientiane Times

French Embassy Announces Research Week, with Focus on Public Health

The Embassy of France to Laos and partners held a joint press conference on Thursday to announce the programme for the 6th edition of “Research Week for Development”.

Research Week will take place in Vientiane from November 16-18, with the theme “Public health challenges in Laos” and featuring contributions from health research and regional perspectives.

The event will take place at the Francophone Institute for Tropical Medicine and the University of Heath Sciences, with participation by researchers and stakeholders from Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar.

Speaking at the press conference, French Ambassador, Mrs Claudine Ledoux said the focus of Research Week will be identifying and addressing emerging health risks linked with environmental and economic practices through an integrated approach known as One Health.

Researchers will illustrate the contributions of research in the field of surveillance and infectious disease fighting in Laos and the region.

A diversity of health professionals and researchers will share their experiences and work with Lao youth, highlighting the opportunities of research for public policy and career development.

Since the first edition held in 2009, the Research Week for Development has pursued a three-pronged ambition: feed into scientific debates for the Lao PDR’s and the sub-region’s development; support decisions and policy makers; and attract young students to scientific careers.

Proving the international dimension of this symposium, talks will be given in French, English and Lao with simultaneous translations.

Scientific presentations and high-level panels will bring together policy makers and scientific experts. There will also be interactive events for a wider audience (workshops, stalls, competitions, tours, screenings and exhibitions).

Quality training, sustainable practices in agriculture, and optimised national strategies are three key levers for public health development in Laos.

Laos is characterised by high biodiversity and a multifaceted society, and is a crossroads for cultural, human and economic exchange. Laos is subject to many challenges in a dynamic region prone to environmental, human, and climatic changes.

More than any other public action, the role of scientific research is fundamental in public health. In addition, current economic development allows authorities to consider an ambitious policy for the development of the health and wellbeing of the population.


Source: Vientiane Times

Govt Proceeds with Planned Mekong Hydro Project

The government has informed the Mekong River Commission (MRC) that it will proceed with the planned development of a new Mekong hydropower project in Pakbaeng district, Oudomxay province.

The MRC Secretariat said on its website that it has received notification from the Lao government that Laos will undertake the formal process of prior consultation on the planned 912MW hydropower scheme in the northern province.

The run-of-river dam will be built on the Mekong mainstream, and is designed to discharge a flow of 5,771.2 cubic metres of water per second, according to the MRC.

The Lao National Mekong Committee Secretariat submitted on November 4 a detailed description of the planned project to the MRC Secretariat for its review and further action to inform other member countries about the project’s scope and other requirements under the prior consultation process.

Within the next month, the MRC Secretariat will review the document and verify its compliance with the rules before forwarding the case to the MRC’s Joint Committee, which comprises representatives of the four member countries at the head of department level where the consultation takes place.

The prior consultation is part of the MRC’s procedural rules on cooperation on water use in the Mekong mainstream: the Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement (PNPCA). Under the procedures, any infrastructural project using mainstream water during the dry season within the same basin, as well as during the wet season between two basins, must undergo the prior consultation process.

Applicable projects include large-scale irrigation and hydropower development projects which may cause significant impacts on the environment, water flow and quality of the Mekong mainstream.

In the prior-consultation process, with technical and administrative support from the MRC Secretariat, the notified member countries will review technical aspects of the project, assess any possible impacts on the environment and livelihoods along riparian communities, and suggest measures to address those concerns.

The member countries aim to come to an agreement on how the consulted case should proceed. It is not meant to approve or deny the proposed project. This process normally lasts six months, but could be extended further by the Joint Committee.

The MRC has so far experienced two prior consultation cases – the Xayaboury and Don Sahong hydropower projects, both of which are located.

In both cases, agreement was not reached at the Joint Committee level and they were referred to the MRC Council, the organisation’s highest body, with the ministers from the four countries. The council was also unable to reach unanimous conclusions on these cases.

In the case of Xayaboury, the process prompted the Lao government and the developer to conduct their own environmental impact assessment and to invest an additional US$400 million to revise the dam’s design in order to address the issues of fish migration and sediment, two of the main concerns raised during the prior consultation.

From learning lessons from the previous cases, the MRC has reviewed various aspects of the PNPCA to improve its application, including adequacy of documentation and early sharing of information.

Source: Vientiane Times