Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lao diplomats are fast - at least in cars

This is the story of the year: BOC asks Laos Embassy to justify importation of 3 exotic sports cars .
It seems that the Lao Embassy in the Philippines tried to import a Ferrari Spider and 2 (!)  Lamborghini Aventadors, claiming these are diplomat cars. Or better not claiming anymore. Because, regarding to the newspapers report "Since they arrived on Nov. 28, nobody has come forward to claim the cars after BOC agents questioned why diplomats would buy fast cars as their service vehicles."

Ferrari f430 SpiderFerrari f430 Spider by Axion23, on Flickr

Just in case you are wondering where all the money goes that is so much needed in Laos and its rural areas - its needed to put diplomats on the fast track...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vientianale opened yesterday

It is THE event to go for all film enthusiast and - makers: The 3rd Vientianale opened yesterday at the National Circus. Opening movie was the Lao art media production "Chantaly", with a late screening and premiere of Bang Soun by my friend Nin as the closing.
Until Saturday you can watch movies for free during the day at the Department of Cinema (near PVO Vietnamese Food restaurant) and in the evening at the National Circus.

Saturday from 5pm on will be the most important event: The screening of the short movies from this years contest. I too part in it with "Forever", a short film about a Lao girl struggling with her life and making the wrong decision.

Award ceremony will be at 9pm.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bored at the weekend? Visit the Animal Rescue Center

The Center will be open every Saturday and Sunday for the public. We have horses (and yes, kids can ride on them), rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, cats and dogs (yes, puppies too). And refreshments. after the good response last weekend we decided to open the center every weekend to the public as kind of a events in particular for families. Just come by.

It is located at Hom 4 in Ban Phone Kham. Go the Chao Anouvon Road to the Russian Circus, on the traffic light there go straight, at the Petrolimex Gas Station turn left, follow the street until there is a tempel wall in front of you, turn left and follow the street until you see two (small, sorry) signs for the Animal Rescue Center on the right. Turn in that street until the sign Hom 4 and follow the small street until you see the Center.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Vietnam takes lead in FDI, China only third

It is a bit like a race: When it comes to FDI in Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and China chasing each other and changing positions quite often. A surprise for many is that China is now only third.

Bangkok Post reported: 

Vietnam leads all foreign investments in Laos, followed by Thailand - with mining becoming the most popular sector for foreign investors, according to the Lao government
The Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment said Vietnam invested in 429 projects in Laos, worth about US$4.9 billion (147 billion baht) from 1989 to 2011, followed by Thailand, which invested in 742 projects worth $4 billion, The Vientiane Times reported on Tuesday.
China came third with 801 projects, with a combined value of $3.9 billion. Other leading investors included South Korea, France, Malaysia, Japan, India, Singapore and the United States.
Mining is still the top investment, raising question how long this will last and how the economy will benefit from. Most money from mining is leaving the country or goes into the state budget as tax or fees - but not really into consumption.
Also many FDIs are announced, but never realised. Look at the shopping malls. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Police report on Sombaths disappearance

There only two paragraphs worth quoting from todays Vientiane times article about the police report regarding Sombath Somphones disappearance:

After having interrogated the traffic police who were working at the car checking area on that day, it was reported that there was a regular random check on cars on daily basis and they could not remember whose cars they have checked and which one belongs to whom as they have checked many cars each day. After checking the documents and when all documents were found correct, they then returned them to the car owners and allowed them to go according to the rules and regulations. They also confirmed that in the area under their responsibility during the time of reported incident, the situation was normal and there was no any incident of fighting or violence occurred and no car or individual was detained....

Until now Mr Sombath Somphone the reported missing person, has not yet been found and no further evidence and information concerning his missing obtained.
2. The authority does not detain him. The Police authority has lent its full cooperation starting from authorising the viewing of the CCTV footage to the conduct of the search and investigation. The instructions from the leadership of the Ministry of Public Security demonstrated its sincerity on the case, contrary to the accusation made by some organisations and groups of bad elements. If the missing of Mr Sombath Somphone really happened, it might be due to personal conflict or business conflict or any other conflicts.

So, it means that Sombath wasn't forced and did not inform the police officers. That means he either knew his abductors or he was aware that it would not be helpful to inform the nearby police.

Also we learned the POLICE authority did not detain him. Also we learn, that BAD ELEMENTS make accusations about the "sincerity of the case". Interesting handling of a case like this. The last sentence could be understood as "could not find him, case closed".

Wasn't there another case a few years ago quite similiar to this?